Mulvane Art Fair

(Deb) Hi, I’m Deb Bisel and welcome to Around Kansas, at the lovely campus of Washburn University. This is the Mulvane Art Fair, the Mountain Plains Art Fair, the annual fundraiser for the Mulvane Art Museum and each year dozens of artists from all over the state of Kansas and neighboring states come and share their wares. We’re going to visit with some of those folks, so stay tuned.Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission.
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(Deb) Hi, I’m Deb Bisel, Welcome to the Mountain Plains Art Fair here at Washburn campus in downtown Topeka. And with me is Greg Lathrop who is a ceramic artist and has just some fantastic work. Greg is from Derby and Greg, it’s great to be with you. (Greg) Thank you. Good to be here. (Deb) So, tell me about how long you’ve been doing this and how you got started. (Greg) Well, I started actually in high school, so I’ve been actually doing it for 35 years, The first art show that I went to was in 1979, so I was 18 years old. (Deb) So, ceramics, that’s kind of a… is that kind of a manly art form? (Greg) Well, there are a lot of women that do it as well, but it is something that I enjoy, so I’ve been doing it a long time and I still have the passion for it. (Deb) So did you, when you started in high school, did you…was that like an art class? (Greg) Yeah, I took an art class and was immediately drawn to it and just continued. (Deb) So, what’s your favorite stuff to work on? I mean you’ve got a range of… everything from really small items, to the bean pots, the bowls, the gorgeous vases. What’s your favorite thing to work on? (Greg) Well, I like making the big, one-of-a-kind pieces. But demand for the smaller stuff, I spend a lot of time making the smaller items so people… the things that people can use and afford and they will buy them. (Deb) So, do you do much commission work? (Greg) I do some. I have a few galleries that I am in. And a little bit of wholesale. But primarily it’s through the art shows like this that I sell my work. (Deb) So when you set up at shows like this, this is a lot of work to, obviously, to pack up all this breakable stuff, so you must choose your shows pretty wisely. (Greg) I am not doing it right now but I have done this full time and traveled all over the country where I have done 30-35 shows a year so, it’s… you know, I have a process that I go through. I don’t worry about the weather, that’s not anything I can control first of all. But I apply to the shows that I feel is a good fit for me. (Deb) So, talk about this one here in Topeka, the Mountain Plains Art Fair. (Greg) Mulvane Mountain, it’s a great show. I first did it in 2007. It’s a great venue. It’s well supported by the people here in Topeka, which is always a plus because there’s some places I go to, they’re not very well supported by the people that live there. (Deb) Well, that’s a great thing to hear. And of course, the caliber of artists that are here, you have to be pretty good to get in this show. (Greg) Well, the only ones that I will do are the fine art shows that are juried, so there’s a lot of competition to get into those shows. You have to submit photos or digital images and then there is a panel that will look at those and score them and then they will only let the people with the highest scores get into those shows. And so, there is a lot of competition. (Deb) Well Greg, we’re going to share your website with folks, so people can find you there if they didn’t get a chance to come to the art fair here on Washburn Campus. And they find your schedule there? (Greg) Yes, I do have a schedule it’s at That’s (Deb) Wonderful.

(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas, I’m sitting here at the Mulvane Art Fair with my good friend Barb Quaney. And Barb, the multi-talented Barb Quaney, who does fiber art. And Barb you’ve just got some beautiful stuff. So, tell me what fiber artist means? (Barb) Well, fiber artists, some are knitters, some are quilters. I’ve chosen to work in silks, cottons and wools. My processes are, I like to dye, so I hand dye fabrics using silk dyes or natural dyes from plants, native plants of Kansas. In the wool, I am not a spinner. But I take wool roping or unspun wool out and trap silk fibers or natural fibers in it and then agitate it into cloth with my hands to make felted products. (Deb) So, do you grow plants that you use? (Barb) I do. As an example, these are smoker bush leaves from my garden and I have dyed this top using a rusty iron wrench and smoked leaves and this is a eucalyptus leaves. I ordered those from California and then dyed those with tulips to get new dyes. Those are some of the natural dyes. And then the silk dyes, I do a lot of ancient art called shibori which is kind of the pre cursor to tie dye, but it is folding and twisting and tying and stitching to come up with the different patterns that you can put on cloth. (Deb) You just continually amaze me. Well, Barb, thanks so much for visiting with us. Guys, stay tuned we’ll be right back with Around Kansas.

(Deb) Around Kansas, we are still at the Mulvane Art Fair, the Mountain Plains Art Fair with of my favorite artists, Becky Drager. And Becky we were just talking about your work and you said it has been characterized as “happy art.” I think that’s a great description. (Becky) Yes, thank you. I do a lot of really bright colors and so people just think that it’s happy art. (Deb) Well, you take a lot of very ordinary places or scenes and turn it into something really special, so how does the subject speak to you? (Becky) Right now I’ve been doing a show called “Prairie Structures” and before that I was doing Topeka series, and so I really got involved in doing buildings of the local, regional area. And so I took this new show “Prairie Structures” and I went around Kansas and drove all the back routes and found all of these different structures that we see in our every day life, but we don’t really necessarily pay that much attention to them, and then I add these really bright colors to them and bring them to life and you say, “Wow, I see that every day!” And it’s all around Kansas. (Deb) And it’s all about taking something really ordinary and causing people to see it in a different way. And you surely do that. (Becky) Exactly and that’s what I do with color. I really, I think the color is what makes me stand apart from everybody else. And I also have a very graphic design style because my background is graphic design. So, I have a very print maker kind of style. (Deb) It’s just wonderful stuff and so we were looking at this image of Cawker City, which is really spectacular. Now that image of Cawker City is really interesting because the great ball of twine was not in it. So, why did you pick the street scene? (Becky) Because I’m really interested in the buildings. The buildings that are in our rural environment, all around us. Those buildings… it’s interesting because a person that lives in Cawker City came today and a couple of those buildings are no longer there. And so, they’ve been torn down and so they’re very interested in that painting, cause it will never look like that again. So, anyway I am very interested in the buildings. (Deb) Well, they’re just spectacular. And of course, we’ve got the cows over here. That’s awesome. (Becky) All prairie structures, it’s natural or man made is part of the show and so the cows are a structure that you see everyday out in the field. And so, I do both man made like the buildings and then I do natural like the rock city or the cows. (Deb) They’re wonderful and we’re going to share your website with folks so they can find you. (Becky) (Deb) Becky these are just spectacular. And what a great way to preserve and enjoy the Kansas landscape, they’re just awesome. Thanks so much. Stay tuned we’ll be right back with more of Around Kansas.

(Deb) Welcome back to the Mulvane Art Fair and I’m here with Cort Anderson and Cort has got some wonderful black and white photography displayed and for all those people who don’t think that photography counts as art this is a display you really need to see because it’s fantastic. And again, just like we we’re talking with some of the other folks, you take some really ordinary objects and present them in a whole new light. (Cort) Yes, I spent a lot of time traveling the back roads in Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas and I find a lot of things that people miss in their everyday travels to and from work. And I just tend to see things a little differently. (Deb) So, when did you start…I guess when did you make the transition from newspaper to photojournalist or photography as an art rather than a journalistic endeavor. (Cort) I shot for newspapers for about six or seven years and really kind of got burned out and got into this type publishing when it was first starting. Spent a lot of time working with desktop publishing, computers, from there I went into digital photography and did a lot of consulting with photographers, but really not working on my own. I spent time working in photo labs. And in 2001, a friend invited me to drive out to Los Angeles with him and we did Route 66 and I took a consumer level point and shoot camera and got back into shooting photos again. (Deb) So, what are you looking for how? What kind of projects are you working on now? (Cort) Like I said I’m going to be doing churches. I just got a new printer that requires it to be run every week, and I have a lot of photos of people that I’ve shot over the years. That’s not something I sell at art shows, and I am going to be working with a couple of venues in Wichita looking to do a show down there of the people photographs I have. (Deb) Wonderful. And you live in that area? (Cort) I live in Belle Plaine. (Deb) And maybe not necessarily known around the world for it’s spectacular scenery and that’s one of the things I’ve learned from living in Kansas, I’ve learned to look at scenery in a whole different way, and now I love it. (Cort) Well, I like going out in the Flint Hills. I want to go back and spend some more time in north west Kansas. Beautiful country, you just have to get off the highways and find the right places. (Deb) Isn’t that the truth? Get off the highways, that’s our lesson for the day. Cort, thank you so much. (Cort) Thank you. (Deb) We’ll be right back with more of Around Kansas.

(Deb) Back here at the Mulvane Art Fair, Mountain Plains Art Fair with one of my favorite people, Cally Krallman. Cally, your Kansas landscapes are just legendary, they are spectacular. And you capture the landscape but then you put something else into it. What is that something else you put in it? (Cally) Well, let’s call it mojo or something. Kansas mojo but I love painting the Kansas landscape Deb and I don’t think you can get me to stop. (Deb) It’s gorgeous and the variety in the Kansas landscape. One would think that you might paint the same thing over and over and over, but it’s never the same thing. (Cally) No, cause we have a lot of different land formations, creeks, lots of different kinds of trees. There’s a little bit of everything right here. And of course you can’t forget our beautiful sunrises and sunsets. There’s no place like Kansas. (Deb) Well, you capture that sky with some spectacular manifestations and the different moods that the Kansas sky has. (Cally) Yes. Well, I am kind of a moody gal. No, it’s… I want to pass that same emotion that I see when I am looking at a skyscape or something, you know, I want to pass that on to the viewer, the person that buys the painting. And so they can feel that same emotion I did when I saw that scene. That’s it. (Deb) Cally is not only a very talented artist, but a very talented musician and songwriter and let’s talk for a minute about the project that you and Diane Gillenwater did together. (Cally) Yes, the Kansas Song Project. We did that…gosh it’s upwards of 10 years now, but we sold a ton of those CDs and we were able to get musicians from all over the state of Kansas to sing and perform on that CD. We still sell those things and sold one today, as a matter of fact. So, the Prairie Glimpses, Kansas Song Project. (Deb) Fantastic. So, you’ve taken with the Prairies Glimpses, not only the Kansas scenery but again the mood of Kansas and put it into music and those wonderful Kansas stories. (Cally) Well, there’s lots of mediums to work in and sometimes it’s words and the pencil doing the work and sometimes it’s the brush. (Deb) So, Cally what’s left, what are you working on now? And what is there in the Kansas landscapes that you haven’t done that you want to tackle? (Cally) Oh golly, you know, every time I go out, drive around the Flint Hills, or even central Kansas, western Kansas, it’s never ending. There’s always something, and so nature provides the ideas for me and I just have to capture it. (Deb) Mother nature never runs out of ideas does she? (Cally) No, no. (Deb) Now, you do a lot of shows around the state but you also have a website so people can find you there. (Cally) Yes, it’s (Deb) So, any art shows coming up? (Cally) Actually, I am going to be painting in Colorado soon, and I also finished up a Plein Air Paint-out called Stems in Leawood, so always something going on. (Deb) Always something. Cally wonderful work. Thanks so much. (Cally) Thanks Deb, appreciate it. (Deb) We’ll be right back with more of Around Kansas.

(Deb) Welcome to Around Kansas and of course one of my favorite parts of the Mulvane Art Fair, the Mountain Plains Art Fair is the entertainment and this year, Jed Zeplin and what a great fun performance that was. And I am here visiting with the members of Jed Zeplin, all veterans of other bands and veterans of music industry for a long, long time and I think all with other jobs too. But, I want to start with Rodney, the banjo picker, because I can. So Rodney, talk about how long you guys have been together as Jed Zeplin. (Rodney) It’s been about three years now. I appreciate you calling us veterans too, you know that’s what we are, we’re old guys. (?) We all have day jobs too. (Deb) Old guys. That’s right, old guys making blue grass or something like blue grass. What would you call what you guys do? (Bill) I call it 60s 70’s- 50’s, 60s, 70s pop turned into bluegrass. (Deb) I love it. (Bill) Yep. That’s it. (Deb) All right. Bill you got the upright bass, so obviously the tall guy got the upright bass. He is the only guy that can manage it. So, how long have you been in the business? (Phil) You mean playing music? (Deb) Yeah. (Phil) Since about 1980. (Deb) Oh my gosh. (Phil) Yeah, older than dirt. (Deb) So upright bass, you know, was there nothing left, for Pete’s sake! (Phil) It was the only opportunity to play music at the time, so I took it. (Deb) Well, great job. Now, Joe McElroy plays with Past Tense and then you and Jolene do a lot of stuff together, so how did you find time for these boys? (Joe) Well, this is kind of… this originally started out as a different band and then it evolved into this band. It was originally with Dara Durst and then it kind of morphed into this band and then Dara, she went off and had kids and that sort of took up her life. And so, kind of left us together. And I just don’t know when to quit, that’s my problem. (Deb) So who picked the name Jed Zeplin? (Rodney) I think it was my idea, mostly, yeah. (Deb) That would explain things. (Rodney) Banjo player picked the name. We don’t ever want to let that happen. (Deb) I was just going to say, when you let the banjo player pick a name, that’s what you get. Well guys, it was great fun. And you’re going to do a lot of other events. So do you guys have a website or Facebook page? (Rodney) We have a Facebook page JedZeplin spelled Z-E-P-L-I-N. You can like us on there if you like.

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