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The Songs of the Land Never Cease

“Songs of the Land” opens September 15 at Carriage Factory Art Gallery

 (NEWTON, Kan.) – Emerson Wiens was a whittler as a young boy growing up on a Kansas farm, but he did not take up serious sculpturing until after retirement when his adult son gave him a set of sculpturing chisels for Christmas. By that time he had already earned a PhD and taught 35 years in higher education — 23 years at Bethel College and another 12 at Illinois State University. Sculpturing became one of his passions upon retiring back to the Newton area in 2000. Now his sculptures featuring various woods are highlighted in an exhibit opening Saturday, September 15, 7 p.m., at Carriage Factory Art Gallery. “The Songs of the Land Never Cease” will also feature landscape paintings by Mike Livingston who grew up in rural Kansas, in the tiny town of Geneseo. After graduating from Fort Hays State University where he studied art, he and his wife Peggy moved to Hutchinson in 1972. Livingston built his own foundry and began casting pieces out of bronze. Later he began making furniture and crafted more than 500 pieces.  For most of his career, Livingston worked three-dimensionally but he also had a desire to paint and now devotes most of his artistic efforts to painting the Kansas landscape. “I just love painting the Kansas landscape,” he said. “I like the sort of plainness or starkness.” Livingston and Wiens will be present at the exhibit’s opening reception September 15 and will give “artist talks.”  Music will be provided by Ian Gingrich-Gaylord on piano, and refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to all ages. Works in “The Songs of the Land Never Cease” will be on display and for sale through November 9. 

The nonprofit Carriage Factory Art Gallery, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, is housed in a former carriage factory founded in 1883. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Support for the organization comes primarily through memberships, donations, art sales, facility rental and fundraisers.

In addition to featured exhibits that highlight the work of local and regional artists, the gallery includes a consignment gallery for artists, a gift shop and collections of paintings by Albert H. Krehbiel and Vernon Rickman.

The gallery provides workshops in various art media throughout the year and offers space for rent for special events and meetings. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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