Artist will speak on what informs some of her work

Close-up of a circular, cast porcelain piece by Marguerite Perret that resembles a cream-colored ammonite shell spiral atop magnified bacteria

Washburn University professor and artist Marguerite Perret will be on the Bethel College campus March 21, including a public lecture in the evening.

Perret’s work in cast porcelain, “Transmutation Speculation: Fluid Nature,” is currently on display in the Regier Art Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center on campus. The show closes March 22.

The public reception is March 21 from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery. At 7 p.m., Perret will speak on “Navigating Wormholes: The Past is Present” in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

The talk is supported by the Bethel College Women’s Association’s Carolyn Schultz Lectureship.

It will focus on “an artist’s response to fossil records, both ancient and recent,” said Rachel Epp Buller, Bethel professor of visual arts and design and Regier Gallery coordinator.

The presentation is inspired in part by research Perret conducted at the Berkeley Pit in Butte, Mont. Once an active site of copper mining, the mine pit became a toxic lake, endlessly replenished by water from a deep aquifer made acidic by ongoing extraction.

The Berkeley Pit was designated an EPA Superfund site in 1987 and remains the largest Superfund site in the United States.

“Perret takes the story of the Berkeley Pit as a stepping-off point for artistic observations about time and change – environmental and personal – and how these are inextricably linked,” Epp Buller said. 

Perret is professor of art at Washburn University in Topeka. She conducts arts-based research through a social issue-engaged studio practice that examines the promise, complications, and sometimes contradictory narratives inherent at the interstices of art, science, health care and personal experience.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel ranks at #23 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest” for 2023-24. Bethel was the first Kansas college or university to be named a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center, in 2021. For more information, see