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All facets of nature inspire Wichita ceramicist

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Wichita artist Heather Meeds, whose work is now on display in Bethel College’s Fine Arts Center Gallery, finds her inspiration in the colors, shapes and textures of the natural world.

“Organic Forms,” a solo show by Heather Meeds, opened March 4 and will be on display through April 1.

“I work with clay because I love the material and its creative possibilities,” Meeds says in an artist statement. “I am still fascinated with the stages that clay must go through to produce a finished piece. I have discovered that this process keeps me working with clay.

“I am often asked what inspires me [and the answer is] nature. I see beauty all around me: leaves on a tree, a single flower petal so delicate, the undulating curves of a shell, the weathered rock smoothed over by time and running water, white clouds against a brilliant blue backdrop. Places of beginnings intrigue me: the womb, shell, nest, egg, water – these all stir my soul and continue to inspire me. As my hands touch the clay, my senses come alive and recall the beauty of these objects and how they speak to me through their peace, sensuality, tranquility, joy, beauty, sacredness, fragility, purity and color.

“The objects I make are just the reflections of all I find beautiful and am inspired by. My wish is to create beautiful, functional and non-functional objects that translate to others my joy of having made them and hopefully it touches you in some way.”

Meeds has a bachelor of fine arts degree in ceramics from Wichita State University. She has also studied at North Texas State University.

Her work can be found at three Wichita locations: Artifacts in Lincoln Heights Village at the corner of Douglas and Oliver, Gallery XII at 412 E. Douglas and the Wichita Art Museum gift shop.

“Organic Forms,” an exhibit of work by Heather Meeds, will be on display in the Fine Arts Center Gallery through April 1. On the schedule for the remainder of the school year are the annual student exhibit, April 8-29, and the annual senior art exhibit by graduating art majors, May 6-22, with a reception for the artists during Commencement Weekend.

Regular hours for the Bethel College Fine Arts Center Gallery are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (closed March 19-27 for spring break). There is no admission charge.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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