Butler Community College received a new piece of art which they featured during a dedication ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
The painting, titled “Flying Over the Kansas River Valley” by Lisa Grossman, was hung in the Dankert Board Room in the Hubbard Welcome Center.
The process that led to this painting started three years ago when the Welcome Center was under construction, said Stacy Cofer, Butler Community College Foundation chief advancement officer.
During that time the kinetic sculptures located in the entryway were identified.
“Dr. (Jackie) Vietti loved them and we raised the money in her honor,” Cofer said.
Those efforts had some money left over from the first pieces of art.
“We have this gorgeous space up here that cries out for beautiful art,” she said.
So they decided to use that money to fill the space.
They turned the project over to Butler art instructor Valerie Haring, who served on the art acquisition committee over the summer.
That group traveled to studios and contacted artists on a search for the piece they thought would be great for the space.
“When we found Lisa we fell in love with her work,” Haring said.
Then when they saw the proposed piece, they loved that as well.
During her visit to the college for the dedication, Grossman took an hour out of her day to talk to the Butler art students about her process.
Grossman also talked about the process of coming up with this piece during the dedication.
She said she came up with several different options that would fit the space, then they chose one.
“It was a pleasure to work with you and the committee,” she said to Haring. “I think this is a fantastic building and the room is incredible.”
The painting is of the Kansas River east of Lawrence near Linwood. The image was from late afternoon looking west.
She is mainly a plein air painter of the Flinthills, something she has done for about 20 years.
Coming from Pennsylvania, Grossman said she fell in love with the Flinthills when she came here in 1988 to work at Hallmark Cards. She saw the Kansas River on a commercial flight and loved it. After that, she hired a private pilot to take her up and she documented the entire 170 miles of river from the air. She also has explored it on her kayak and painted it from the banks, but she thought the view from the air offered a unique perspective.
“I thought people needed to see it,” she said. “I feel it is underappreciated. It’s endlessly fascinating to me.”
Page 2 of 2 - Before concluding the event, Dr. Jay Moorman, dean of Fine Arts and Communication, talked about the Friends of Arts organization they are forming.
“Our goal is to improve all of the fine art programs,” he said.
They are selling memberships and the money from those will be used for scholarships, programs and possibly purchasing more art.
Karla Fisher, interim president, concluded the ceremony by speaking on behalf of Vietti who was unable to attend.
“If Dr. Vietti was here she would say a heartfelt thank you,” Fisher said. “I think it honors all of us to have this at our college.”