NORTH NEWTON, KAN. Geneva Flickner is an artist, not a talker. But the art she has created during her lifetime speaks for itself and for her love of texture. "I like textures and that comes through in all the media I work with," Flickner said from her home in Moundridge where she is learning how to work with a new art clay to make silver jewelry. "I like to learn new things."
Opening March 5, an exhibit in the Fine Arts Center Gallery at Bethel College will feature the works of both Geneva Flickner and Inman sculptor Chris Petrocci Hershberger. Flickner’s art in this exhibit will include batik on paper and also pastels. Hershberger will show her limestone and marble sculptures.
Both artists are tied to the outdoors. Flickner tries to duplicate natural textures in her works, the flowers from her backyard appearing in many of her paintings. Hershberger’s studio is outdoors where she catches inspiration from subjects that are organic-the free-flowing curves of a fallen leaf or the simplicity of a rabbit.
"Some artists look at the stone and see what is in there waiting to come out. I have a subject in mind, work the problems out in a small clay model and then find a stone to use," Hershberger says. "The stone takes on its shape and character, and I feel as though I can push the stone around to make the shape that I want, much like the way that one manipulates clay."
Flickner graduated from McPherson College and completed her master’s degree at Wichita State University. She studied art with various instructors, including Bethel’s now-retired art professor Robert Regier, who introduced Flickner to printmaking. She taught art in the Moundridge schools from 1966 to 1992 and taught classes at Wichita State University and Sterling College.
Flickner works in printmaking, drawing, watercolor, batik on paper, and jewelry. She has exhibited her art in the United States and internationally and won numerous awards.
About her art, she says, "I can get myself lost in it."
Hershberger attended Bethel College from 1976-79 where she studied sculpture and ceramics with former Bethel professor Paul Friesen.
A landscape painter for many years, Hershberger "looked at the world through color and perspective." For the past three years she has worked as a self-employed artist, developing stone sculptures out of limestone and marble. She uses tools powered with air, employing short strokes with a chisel that she believes is easier on the stone than the blows of a hammer.
"Stone carving is very much an alive art that was once thought of as dying out, "Hershberger says. "It is not as popular as watercolor but is making a strong comeback."
The Flickner-Hershberger exhibit will be on display in the Bethel College Fine Arts Center Gallery March 5 to April 2 (closed March 20 to 28). Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 2 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free and open to the public.
The public is also invited to a reception with the artists from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, March 7 in the gallery.