Archive for Thursday, April 5, 2007

Art show to celebrate De Soto

April 5, 2007

If Darrel Zimmerman were an artist, De Soto would be his muse.

"I drove around De Soto the other day and considered 50 different subjects artists could use," he said. "It could be Abbott Hall, the four water towers at Sunflower, anything agricultural or historical subjects such as John Fremont marching down the California Road on his way west."

Zimmerman is hoping De Soto and the promise of not insignificant cash rewards will inspire those gifted with a brush or lens to capture the beauty in De Soto he sees.

After visiting Ernie Miller Nature Park in Olathe earlier this year, Zimmerman got the idea to organize a juried art show in conjunction with the De Soto sesquicentennial.

The show, "Finding a Sense of Place" will be from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23 at Zimmerman's Kill Creek Farm, 9210 Kill Creek Road. The deadline for entries is June 15.

But Zimmerman said his plan was to reverse the rules of the Ernie Miller art show.

"It was limited to Johnson County artists but the subject matter could be anywhere," he said. "Our show is open to all artists, but the subject has to be De Soto.

"Our big concern is getting the artists notified."

Zimmerman and the sesquicentennial artistic committee of himself, De Soto city planner Kim Buttrum, Joe Webb, and Diana Zwahlen have also found donors and sponsors to pledge to support the show as a way to increase the interest of artists.

The show's judge, Judith McCrea, Kansas University art professor and chair of the school's art department from 1993 to 2006, will award prizes of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third. In addition, the committee has secured $5,000 from FCB Bank, Mr. Goodcents, Huhtamaki Americas, Dave Anderson and Kill Creek Farms in purchase award pledges for the show's best works.

It is his hope that the best works in the show will be purchased and displayed in a public place so De Soto residents can continue to appreciate it, Zimmerman said.

The show is limited to two-dimensional works, Zimmerman said. The works could be contemporary depictions, works inspired by historic photographs or based on research, he said.

More information on the show can be obtained by calling Zimmerman at (913) 209-4446 or Zwahlen at (913) 638-8998.

For information on De Soto history or old photographs, artists should call Kathy Ross at 583-3178.

Entry forms are available for downloading by e-mailing

To accomplish that, Zimmerman has contacted the art department of Kansas University and area galleries. But perhaps more importantly,

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