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Local artist visually explores Kansas small towns in special exhibition

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by Rachel Pannabecker

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A special exhibition featuring digital photography by North Newton artist Bob Regier has returned to Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus.

“Considering the commonplace: Prairie towns through the lens of Bob Regier” premiered at Kauffman Museum in 2009. The exhibition has been shared with the Dane G. Hansen Museum in Logan and the High Plains Museum in Goodland.

During 25 years of travel around the state of Kansas, Regier photographed churches, barns, restaurants, parks and overlooked corners in small towns. Each photograph frames a visually engaging pattern — from abandoned buildings to signs of renewal and humor.

Thematically, images are organized in the exhibition as “Elegance,” “Entrances,” Light and shadow,” “Locomotion,” “Sacred space,” “Sentinels,” “Signs and  lines” and “Windows and walls.”

The original 71 photographs are displayed in an immersive environment that incorporates thoughtful quotes that Regier chose to evoke an appreciation for the ordinary scenes of small-town life. The Kauffman Museum exhibit team custom-designed and produced the exhibit’s display system.

The current show also contains six recent (since 2009) photographs,  taken in the Kansas towns of Alexander, Cawker City, Pretty Prairie, Reading, Weir and Wilson.

 “Considering the commonplace” will be on display at Kauffman Museum through Sunday, May 19.

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri., and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. 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,

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