Art of the Lied
“BLOOM” by Jan Gaumnitz
The Lied Center commissioned a new piece of visual art for the 25th Anniversary—a physical landmark to memorialize the significant milestone. Local artist Jan Gaumnitz conceptualized and created the nearly 20-foot-tall sculpture that now resides in the circle drive at the main entrance of the Lied Center.
Note from the artist: The seeds of thought for the sculpture “BLOOM” were planted many years ago in my grandmother’s flower garden and in the fields of my farming uncles. There, I observed the cycles of planting seeds, nurturing growth and the season of fruition. The seasons were the clock that guided everyone’s lives.
In choosing “BLOOM” as the theme for a sculpture to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Lied Center, I likened this endeavor of planting to the mission of the Lied Center: planting seeds of discovery, nurturing the development of receptive minds and talent, and the fruition of awareness, self-confidence and commitment to each person’s ability to “bloom” in whatever way is their destiny. I hope that “BLOOM” will be a symbol for aspiring to have beauty around and within us.
In choosing the design and materials for the fabrication of “BLOOM,” I considered the environment that was to be its home—open spaces with challenging winds, visibility from long distances, as well as seasons of sun, rain and snow. Simplicity of design seemed important, as did color, to bring the focus to the front entrance of the Lied Center, in addition to the strength and durability to withstand the elements. Welded sheets of steel seemed to provide the answer to all the requirements, as well as ease of maintenance and receptiveness to color. The location of “BLOOM” in the midst of a Kansas garden is the ideal home.
– Jan Gaumnitz
The Susan and Doug Rendall Garden
The beauty of the sculpture is perfectly complemented by the lush flowers and plants surrounding it. The sustainable pollinator garden was designed by Susan Rendall, and planted and cared for by she and her husband, Doug Rendall, both master gardeners. Every detail of the garden, designated as a monarch waystation, was meticulously planned, including the position of each plant in relation to the sun, the color scheme and visual aesthetics, and the origin of each plant to ensure it would thrive.
“Rhythm in the Bluestem” by Chris Wolf Edmonds
The Friends of the Lied commissioned a new piece from Chris Wolf Edmonds. Her inspiring artwork entitled “Rhythm in the Bluestem” is displayed in the Lied Center stairwell and featured on the 2019–20 program cover.
Note from the artist: Living in Kansas at the eastern edge of the Tallgrass Prairie Flint Hills makes the majesty of great expanses evident. The ceaseless, subtle consonance of color in the grasslands is a symphony of inspiration and wonder, the rhythm of my existence and the stimulus for my art. I am honored by the Lied Center of Kansas to be able to place ‘Rhythm in the Bluestem’ in a venue that will provide a soundtrack for my visual art.
— Chris Wolf Edmonds
“PANTA RHEI: Everything Changes, Everything Flows” by Carol Bradbury
four column installation, expanded media
The Lied Center is proud to partner with Lawrence Public Schools in providing free arts experiences to all students in the district each year. From school-only performances to Third Grade Theatre Arts Day to educator workshops and more, integrating the arts into the lives of the next generation is at the core of our mission.
In celebration of our 25-year partnership with Lawrence Public Schools, from 1994 to 2019, the Lied Center invited over 600 third and fourth grade students and their art teachers to participate in a unique and interactive art experience led by artist Carol Bradbury. The result—a visually stunning installation of four lobby column wraps that the artist evolved from students working and playing together.
Note from the artist: This work inspired me to think about the importance of play and the profound effect that our interconnectedness and our individual actions have on the world. Using the students’ marks as “prima materia,” I played with and pushed their work to reveal four motifs that transform the students’ collective energy into an explosion of color to redefine the lobby as a liminal space, preparing us for the magic of the performance to come.
Thanks to the students at Lawrence Public Schools and to the art teachers for embracing the experience and passing it onto their classrooms.
– Carol Bradbury
- Black Box VI / Aspects of Nature—Rita BlittSculpted bronze. Gifted by artist, 1991.
- Secret Garden—Ron RencherOil painting on canvas. Gifted by the KU Senior class of 1994, in honor of the Lied Center opening in 1993.
- The Planet, Birth & Life—Jeff WeinbergFew events are more dramatic than the stages in the life of a planet. What comes into being, and eventually dies, is not a world but only its dispositions. We should observe everything including that which we cannot see, or know, or understand.