Ulrich Museum hosts artists talk for three


Rachel Rudisill/ The Sunflower

A. Mary Kay, Terry Evans, and Philip Hayes speak during the artist talk on Oct. 5 2021 at the Ulrich Museum.

The Ulrich Museum welcomed renowned artists Terry Evans, Philip Heying, and A. Mary Kay on Tuesday night. Aesthetes from all around the Wichita area were welcomed to view their art and later in the night, they were able to ask the artists questions about their art and inspirations. 

Both Heying and Evans focus on documentary landscape photography. Heying’s favorite piece he brought to the exhibition is titled Three birds’ nests in juvenile honey locust trees. Heyings took this portrait along G Road in a small town just south of Clements, Kansas. The images were shot with a 24-85mm Nikkor lense.  

Evans brought four pieces, one titled Spring Bur Oak, Chicago, Jackson Park. Evans created this art piece of a prairie tree in 2019. Evans has a unique photography style – she does not use one select image, she instead uses multiple. She will cut out the pieces and put them where she believes they need to go similar to a collage. In the end, the pieces turn out beautiful and from afar, the image looks cohesive and you cannot notice the different pieces. 

When Evans creates her pieces, she finds herself seeking advice from other artists. She often finds herself seeking advice from Heying. She said, “He is not afraid to tell me if a piece looks bad or not.”

The final artist of the night was A. Mary Kay. Kay is a British artist who focuses on oil paintings. She brought one three-panel painting entitled Zenith.

“It’s about an ecstatic moment in the natural world,” Kay explains. “Everything is flowering and fruiting and having sex. Everything is going into its peak moments in life. As you come out of that place of fecundity, you move into mortality and into infinity.”

Kay’s painting represents life. In the first panel, there are flowers and plants. As you move to the second panel, you see the plants slowly evolving and turning into more shades of blue. Finally in the third panel, the plants have turned into nebulans and are a part of space.

An art piece is never truly completed because there is always more work that can be added on to it. Zenith is a true example of that. Kay has worked on Zenith, on and off again, for 15 years. When Kay first put the piece down it was a simple night sky. The original painting was even displayed in 2016 before Kay added her current changes to it. Evans got the opportunity to see the piece change and adapt over the years and she was truly amazed each time something new was added to it. 

The topic of the night was the prairie. All three of these artists have been inspired by the land.

“In 1989, Terry took me to see the real prairie revealing to me nuisance differences found by looking down into and through plants and grasses. Over time I have learned to slow down my looking here and calm my initial assumptions,” said Kay. 

Evans describes one of her pieces she brought to the exhibition to help answer how the prairie has influenced her. 

“I was asked to photographically record some work that some students were doing on a nearby prairie,” Evans said. “As I was photographing the survey work they were doing, I started really seeing what was there. It was this huge revelation and I knew I had to keep going back.”

The Flint Hills helped inspire Heying to start photography. He quickly began to notice how difficult capturing an image that shows the same perspective and emotion that he feels. Taking a photo which captures emotion perfectly takes hours of work and editing. 

“I first discovered the Flint Hills (a prairie) when I was about ten years old because my brother brought me out here,” said Heying. “I just distinctly remember seeing this landscape even though I had already spent quite a bit of time in Colorado in the mountains. Seeing the Flint Hills at the age of 10 made a really big impression on me.”

The exhibition will be hung until this week. If interested in learning more about different artists, The Ulrich will be holding a Salon Circle with Dan Cameron October 7th at 5:30 p.m.