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Kauffman Museum program to survey protest art from Vietnam to present day

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A Bethel College art instructor will present a program focused on protest art in conjunction with the current special exhibit at Kauffman Museum.

Rachel Epp Buller, Bethel adjunct assistant professor of art, will give an illustrated program – surveying key examples of art from the Vietnam years through contemporary photographs and installation art by Palestinian artist Emily Jacir – as part of the regular Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum series at Kauffman Museum. Epp Buller’s presentation will be Sunday, April 19, at 3:30 p.m. in the museum auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Epp Buller, who completed a doctorate in art history at the University of Kansas, will draw on research she did during for her graduate work. The program will cap the closing day of Kauffman Museum’s current special exhibition “Hot & Cold: Images of America in Conflict,” curated by Wichita art consultant James W. Johnson. Epp Buller, a printmaker, noted that “printmaking has a long history as a protest medium because prints are reproducible and easily distributed.”

Johnson, director of Rickerby Art Services in Wichita, gathered art from American experiences of war into “Hot & Cold.” The exhibit features 33 works, ranging from “Kansas Sketches,” wood engravings from the “Bleeding Kansas” period that were published in Harper’s Weekly in 1858, to “Iraq Identity Playing Cards” printed in 2003 by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

The show emerged when Johnson realized he had lived all of his 58 years under the cloud of conflict – not only the Cold War, but military action in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq – and that times of war and conflict tend produce powerful images within a society. Johnson assembled “Hot & Cold” from his personal collection as well as pieces borrowed from artists’ private collections, the Emprise Bank collection and Watermark West collection.

“Hot & Cold” will be on display through April 19 during regular Kauffman Museum hours, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri., and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays (including Easter, April 12). Admission to the museum, which also includes admission to the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its Web site, www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/.

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