Category Archives: Art

Iola’s Bowlus Center Features Smithsonian Institute Museum Until Oct. 10

The Bowlus Fine Arts Center announced today, that they will be the first stop in Kansas
for the “Smithsonian Crossroads: Change in Rural America Exhibit.” The “Crossroads” Kansas tour is
sponsored by Humanities Kansas in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street

The Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit will be housed in the Large Rehearsal Hall from August 29-October 10, 2020. Admission is free.

“Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” offers small towns a chance to look at their own paths to highlight the
changes that affected their fortunes over the past century. The exhibition will prompt discussions about what
happened when America’s rural population became a minority of the country’s population and the ripple effects
that occurred.

The exhibit covers themes such as: Identity, Land, Community, Persistence and Managing
Change with photographs, hands-on activities, and audio and video clips provided by the Smithsonian in the
“Crossroads” exhibition to tell the history and culture of local rural life in Kansas and spark conversations about
our state’s future.

“Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, Humanities Kansas
is able to bring the resources of the nation’s premier cultural institution to Kansas,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive
director of Humanities Kansas. “The six communities were selected because of the inspired plans provided by
local organizations to use the national exhibition as a springboard to explore local stories of innovation and

As a requirement for selection, a local companion exhibit was to be established. “Allen County: From Trails
to Rails to Highway and Back,” will take you on a journey with a fictitious family who found their way into the
South East Kansas territory in 1856. The historical fiction is told by way of the diary writings of Jerimiah Wilson
and his subsequent children in the later years. Working with the local newspaper and the writings of local
historian, Larry Manes, this diary will be printed in the format of a special newspaper section in the proceeding weeks of the exhibit opening, along with extra prints to be available at the exhibition. The exhibition layout will bein the chronological order of the diary. Certain passages highlighted in the printing will be displayed on the walls with surrounding supportive photographs, articles, and artifacts. The diary writings take patrons through the
many crossroads experienced throughout Allen County’s history and will invite the viewing patron to imagine
what will be the next chapter for the Wilson family as the next generations come to their crossroads.

The Allen County Historical Society (ACHS) and the Bowlus Fine Arts Center submitted a joint proposal in
April 2019 to Humanities Kansas to be considered for selection as one of six Kansas communities to host
the nation-wide exhibit. With 32 communities from across Kansas submitting proposals, our proposal was
selected, as were five other Kansas communities: Alma; Independence; Greensburg; North Newton; and

In addition to the six sites hosting the Smithsonian, ten communities will create their own exhibitions and
programming to explore what it means to live rural in the 21 st century, the relationship between rural, suburban,
and urban, and the progress and persistence needed by communities of all sizes to thrive. Participating
communities include Colby, Council Grove, Dodge City, El Dorado, Ellinwood, Hays, Lebanon, Olathe, Onaga,
and Satanta.

Humanities Kansas sponsors the “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” initiative in partnership with the
Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, a one-of-a-kind cultural project that serves small
towns and residents of rural communities. To learn more about the “Crossroads” statewide tour visit
For more information about “Crossroads” at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center visit or call

Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of
Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, our pioneering programming, grants,
and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights.

The 2020 Gordon Parks Museum to feature Photo Contest

Contact: Kirk Sharp at 1-800-874-3722, ext. 5850

Fort Scott-The Gordon Parks Museum at Fort Scott Community College, will feature a photo contest sponsored by Merl Humphrey Photography and inspired by Gordon Parks, who was a champion in the fight for social justice and racial equity. His weapon of choice was a camera to fight against racism, discrimination and poverty.

The theme of the contest, “Social Justice, Diversity and Equity” is for any amateur photographer.

Photographers are invited to capture the essence of one of the concepts and share one or two sentences on what inspired the photo.

Non-professional photographers of any age and skill level are invited to take pictures for the project and may enter up to two photos in jpeg format with less than2MB.

There will be a first place ($100), second place ($75) and third place ($50) prize and up to five honorable mentions.

All photos submitted will be on exhibit at The Gordon Parks Museum and in the Ellis Family Fine Arts Center Oct. 8 – 16, 2020. All photos will also be posted on the Gordon Parks Museum website and Facebook page.

Photographs must be submitted via e-mail to

All photos must be attached in JPEG format and limit file size to less than 2 MB. All entries will be confirmed via email.

Photographers should submit (in their email) a title, along with their name, address, email, phone number and share a one or two sentence on what inspired the photo.

If under 10 years old please include parent’s information.

Photos should be received via email by Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at the latest.

For more info, click below:

photo contest flyer 2020



For more information email or by phone call 223-2700, ext. 5850.

“Always Choose Family” by Ashton Nolan was1st place winner in the 2019 Photo Contest. The theme was: “My Learning Tree, Life Lessons Learned.”

Cinema Saturday and Summer Hours at the Gordon Parks Museum

The Gordon Parks Museum will show the films of Gordon Parks on every other Saturday this summer starting on June 13 at 10:00 a.m. in the museum on the FSCC campus.

This free event will feature Mr. Parks’ films.

“This is a good way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday morning and come watch some of Gordon’s films” said museum director Kirk Sharp.

The schedule is as follows: June 13-Leadbelly; June 27-Shaft (1971); July 11- Shafts Big Score; and July 25-Learning Tree.

The Gordon Parks Museum summer hours will be Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. starting June 6 – August 1.

For more information contact the museum by email at or by phone at 223-2700, ext. 5850.

JUNE 13: LEADBELLY, (1 hour, 38 minutes)
SHAFT, (Directed by Gordon Parks) (1 hour, 40 minutes)


JULY 25: THE LEARNING TREE, (Written, Directed, Music Score, Screenplay by Gordon Parks) (1 hour, 47 minutes)



Art Is Ageless Winners Announced

Thyra Babcock won the Best of Show prize for her “Round of Robins” submission, in the amateur division of the Art Is Ageless juried competition at Fort Scott Presbyterian Village. All photos were submitted.


Fort Scott Presbyterian Village, an assisted living facility,  recently honored winning artists in the annual Art Is Ageless juried competition, according to a press release.

“We are honored to exhibit artwork by seniors,” Becky Kellum, marketing director at the facility, said. “Our artists prove that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition.”

Winners are as follows:

In the professional division:


1)      The Tony Forelli piece, “Wilderness Knife”  won two ribbons  1) Mixed Media /Crafts Professional and  2) People’s Choice Professional.



2)      Sculpture 3/D Professional “ Forever” by Bobbie Kemna



3)      Quilting Professional “ American Flag” by Carolyn Crystal



4)      Photography Professional “ Sunrise at Fort Scott National Cemetery “  by Paul Milks



5)      Painting Professional “ Gossip “ by Carolyn Munsell



6)      Needlework Professional “ Flower Bag” by Carolyn Crystal



7)      Christmas  Professional ‘ Christmas Stocking “ by Carolyn Crystal



8)      Best of Show Professional “ Druzy Diamonds “ by John Bartlesmeyer



9)      Judges Choice Professional “ His Word” by Tony Fornelli


In the amateur division:


1)      Christmas Amateur  “Thompson Farm “ by Linda Thompson



2)      Needlework Amateur “ Flower Bouquet” by Charlotte Kite



3)      Fiber Arts Amateur “ Star of Bethlehem ” by Jean Strader



4)      Mixed Media/Crafts  Amateur “Joy in Motion”: Barbara Gibson


5)      Painting Amateur “ The Cottage “ Glenda Stevicks


6)      Sculpture 3/D ( Amateur ) “ G.E. lives Here!” by Gerald Elliott


7)      This piece, “The Clover Valley”  by Earline Foster, won two  ribbons  1) Quilting Amateur  2) Judges Choice  “ The Clover Valley “



8)  People’s Choice Amateur “ Flower Garden “ by Carolyn Eastwood



9)  Best of Show Amateur “ Round of Robins “ by Thyra Babcok







Fort Scott Presbyterian Village announces Art is Ageless® winners

Fort Scott, KS. — Fort Scott Presbyterian Village recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless® juried competition.

We are honored to exhibit artwork by seniors,” said Becky Kellum, marketing director. “Art is Ageless is unique in featuring only the works of artists age 65 and older. Our artists prove that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition.”

Winners in the Fort Scott Presbyterian Village Art is Ageless juried competition were:

Best of Show (professional): John Bartlesmeyer, “Druzy & Diamonds”

Best of Show (amateur): Thyra Babcok, “Round of Robins”

Judges Choice (professional): Tony Fornelli, “His Word”

Judges Choice (amateur): Earline Foster, “Clover Valley”

People’s Choice (professional): Tony Fornelli, “Wilderness Knife”

People’s Choice (amateur): Carolyn Eastwood, “My Flower Garden”

Christmas (professional): Carolyn Crystal, “Christmas Stocking”

Christmas (amateur): Linda Thompson, “Thompson Farm”

Fiber Arts (amateur): Jean Strader, “Star of Bethlehem”

Mixed Media/Crafts (professional): Tony Fornelli, “Wilderness Knife”

Mixed Media/Crafts (amateur): Barbara Gibson, “Joy in Motion”

Needlework (professional): Carolyn Crystal, “Flower Bag”

Needlework (amateur): Charlotte Kite, “Floral Bouquet”

Painting (professional): Carolyn Munsell, “Gossip”

Painting (amateur): Glenda Stevicks, “The Cottage”

Photography (professional): Paul Milks, “Sunrise at Fort Scott National Cemetery”

Quilting (professional): Carolyn Crystal, “American Flag”

Quilting (amateur): Earline Foster, “Clover Valley”

Sculpture 3/D (professional): Bobbi Kemna, “Forever”

Sculpture 3/D (amateur): Gerald Elliott, “G.E. Lives Here!”

Local competition winners will join winners from 16 other Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities to be judged at the masterpiece level. Winning entries at the masterpiece level are selected for publication in PMMA’s annual Art is Ageless calendar and note cards. The 2021 calendar marks the 40th anniversary for the Art is Ageless program.

Art is Ageless is a copyrighted program of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America. For the competition, works must have been completed in the past five years. Started in 1980, Art is Ageless is an extension of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s wellness programs, which focus on mental, physical, social and spiritual health.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s Art is Ageless program encourages Fort Scott Presbyterian Village residents and other area seniors to express their creativity through its annual competition, as well as art classes, musical and dramatic events, educational opportunities and current events discussions throughout the year.

For more information about Fort Scott Presbyterian Village, 2401 S. Horton, Fort Scott, contact Becky Kellum at 620-223-5550, or


Bourbon County Arts Council Exhibition Biggest Ever, Continues Today and Saturday


Al Letner, Pittsburg, is the first-place winner in ceramics and also won best-of-show in the three-dimension category at the Bourbon County Arts Council Fine Art Exhibit.


Fifty-six artists submitted 150 art pieces for the 28th Bourbon County Arts Council Fine Art Exhibit and Sale.

“This is the largest show we have ever had,” Deb Anderson, president of the BCAC, told the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Coffee attendees on Thursday morning.

“We feel we have an outstanding show, ” she said.  “The judge was challenged in this show (to pick place winners). He was very complimentary.”

The judge was James Oliver, assistant professor of painting and drawing at Pittsburg State University.

The exhibit will continue today, March 6, from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ellis Fine Arts Center on the campus of Fort Scott Community College, 2401 S. Horton.

Following are the first-place winners in each category:

Liz Darling, Pittsburg,  is first-place winner in mixed media and also wins best-of-show in two-dimension art.
Ripp Harrison, Lawrence, took first-place in MY HOMETOWN THEME.
Bob Schlyer, Rich Hill, MO, won first-place in painting.
First-place in sculpture is Jim Miller, Joplin, MO.
Chance Fuhrman, Bronson, won first-place in drawing and graphics.
Carleen Shatto, Drexel, MO is first-place winner in glass.
First-place in photography is Ron Gates, Girard.
First-place in pastel is Clyde Wendel, K.C.MO.
Skip Kreibach, Derby, is the first-place winner in watercolor.
Barbara Gibson, Fort Scott, wins first-place in jewelry.
Jean Strader, Fort Scott, received first-place in fiber arts. Courtesy photo.
Bourbon County Arts Council Members present at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Coffee on March 5, from left, Elaine Buerge, Deb Anderson, Terry Floyd, Steve Floyd, and Linda Noll.

Prize sponsors are Buerge Art Studio, Landmark Bank, Citizens Bank, Briggs Toyota Auto of Fort Scott,  Union State Bank,  H & H Realty, Fort Scott Broadcasting, Bernita Hill, Ward Kraft, City State Bank, and In Memory of E. C. Gordon.

Chamber Coffee At Ellis Art Center March 5

The Chamber Coffee will be hosted by
Bourbon County Arts Council
at the Ellis Fine Arts Center
March 5, 2020
8 am
Chamber Members & Guests are
welcome to attend and pay $1 to make any announcement about their business or organization including events, new products, promotions and more!
Upcoming Chamber Coffee Schedule:
Tri-Valley of Fort Scott – 3/12
Briggs Auto, Fort Scott – 3/19
Smallville CrossFit – 3/26
Woodland Hills Golf Course – 4/2
Fort Scott Presbyterian Village – 4/9
Home Show KOMB 103.9 FM – 4/16
City State Bank – 4/23
Winfield Scott, 1st Grade Class – 4/30

Bourbon County Arts Council 28th Annual Fine Arts Exhibit

Bourbon County Arts Council 28th Annual Fine Arts Exhibit

The Bourbon County Arts Council will present their 28th Annual Fine Arts Exhibit, March 5th through 7th, at the Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center, on the Campus of Fort Scott Community College.

“The mission of the Bourbon County Arts Council is to foster, promote and increase the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts in our community,” said Deb Halsey, who is  a board member and also  co-chairing the Fine Arts Exhibit along with President Deb Anderson.

The Exhibit will be open to the public on Thursday and Friday, March 5th and 6th, from 12:00 pm to 7:00pm, and on Saturday, March 7th, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. A Reception will be held on Thursday evening from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, to honor this year’s Juror and artists; the public is invited to attend and enjoy the opportunity to meet and visit with them about the art. (Note: In previous years, the reception was held on Wednesday evenings. The change to Thursday was made in hopes of allowing a greater number of community members to attend.) The Bourbon County Arts Council will host the Chamber Coffee at 8:00am on Thursday, March 5th.

Artists will have their work on display and for sale in this multi-media exhibit, with categories including Ceramics, Drawing & Graphics, Fiber Arts, Glass, Jewelry, Mixed Media, Painting (oil and acrylic), Pastels, Photography,Printmaking, Sculpture, and Watercolor. A “themed” category was added to the Exhibit, with this year’s theme being “My Hometown”. An artist may create a piece in any of the above catogories, in relation to the theme. In recent years, artists from Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Vancouver, British Columbia have participated in this show. This year, 55 artists have contributed 148 pieces of art. Local artists presenting at this year’s Exhibit include Elaine Buerge, Cheyanne Carpenter, Steve Floyd, Chance Fuhrman, Jane Gaines, Barbara Gibson, Deb Halsey, Bobbi Kemna, Cindy Lipe, Paul Milks, Connie Neil, Jezeriah Simpson, Bri Stokes,and Jean Strader.

James Oliver will serve as Juror for this year’s Exhibit. He holds his BFA from Denison University in Granville, OH, his MA from Easten Illinois University in Charleston, IL, and his MFA from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Mr. Oliver has acted as Pittsburg State University Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing since 2001, and was Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at Denison University from 1997 t0 2001. James has taught courses at Pittsburg State University in Designed World, Intro to Art Studio, Drawing, Perspective Drawing, Color Theory and Application, Painting, Structural Anatomy and Figure Drawing, Special Topics of Plein Aire Painting, Portrait Painting and iPad for the Artist, and Graduate Drawing. He has participated in numerous Group Exhibitions, and his works have been featured in Solo Exhibitions in Deleware, Illinois, Missouri, New York, and Oklahoma. Mr. Oliver has affiliation to the College Arts Association, the Popular Culture/American Culture Association, and FATE(Foundation in Art:Theory and Education. Publications include American Art Collector and New American Paintings.

The Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center is located at 1208 Horton St., in Fort Scott, Kansas. There is no admission charge for this event, and all are encouraged to come and enjoy a wonderful collection of original artwork.


Takin Notes Will Perform Jan. 31

Members pictured are Brian Crites Kyle Crites, Randy Maple, Billy Beckman , Roger Bland, Dr Larry Buck, Terri Louk, Mike Church. Not pictured is our soundman,  Jeff Deal.

A band of friends from the Iola area will perform in Fort Scott at the Fort Scott Community College Round Room, Bailey Hall, on Friday, January 31 at 7 pm.

The public is welcome to come to listen to some old and newer country, rock, along with bluegrass and gospel music.

Special guests are the Matt Kloepfer family.

The Matt Kloepfer family. Submitted photo.


The band “Takin’ Notes” has played downtown several times and is looking forward to sharing their talents with you.

These bands have something enjoyable for everyone.

Admission is free so come on over and have a great evening with us!