photo by Terry Evans

photo by Terry Evans

Eyes to Acres: Cultivating Food Culture

July 31 - September 15, 2019

Salina Art Center Education Wing

The Salina Art Center seeks art inspired by food and food culture, including issues related to farming and land. Works should convey stories and experiences of local food traditions and cultures, or demonstrate the impact of food production on a local and/or global scale. Topics may include but not limited to: soil health, cultural traditions, food scarcity, family farms, environmental impact, economic impact, etc. This juried exhibition and related interpretive programming is in partnership with Local Foods Works foundation and Feast on the Fe.

In his essay The Deserted Country, Wendell Berry refers to the principle of ‘eyes to acres’. In traditional farming practice this referred to the understanding that there was an eyes to acres ratio that was needed for proper care of working of the land. The right ratio of caring, knowledgeable, and observant farmers would ensure the health of the land and a plentiful harvest.

Artists are often the “eyes” of our culture; careful - and caring- observers capable of cultivating a strong community.

Funded in memory of Star Black who embraced a love for exploring food cultures, battling scarcity, and building traditions through food throughout her life and career.

Programming announcements coming soon.


San-shin (Mountain Spirit)  , 1800s   Korea , Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)  ink, mineral color on silk  Museum purchase: R. Charles and Mary Margaret Clevenger Art Acquisition Fund, 2014.0052  Image courtesy of the Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas

San-shin (Mountain Spirit), 1800s

Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)

ink, mineral color on silk

Museum purchase: R. Charles and Mary Margaret Clevenger Art Acquisition Fund, 2014.0052

Image courtesy of the Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas

Shattering the Void

January 15 - March 8, 2020

Shattering the Void moves through representations of everyday life to otherworldly realms from Chinese, Korean, and Japanese art. Some of the themes addressed include longevity, transcendence, and myths and legends, which both contrast with and link to the earthly influences of calligraphy, tea, and personal adornment. Through contemporary considerations of myth and everyday life, realms of meaning are built across voids of time and geography. This exhibition is part of the Freeman Foundation K–12 Educational Outreach Initiative by the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas. A main goal of this project is to build bridges of communication between East Asian culture and local Kansas communities through the Spencer’s collections.

The installation also includes a digital platform where visitors can engage with three-dimensional scans of artworks as well as other educational resources. These resources were developed with a committee of educators from the Salina area for use in K-12 classrooms, in conjunction with visiting artist-teachers and supplemented with materials such as books, art supplies, and 3D-printed reproductions of some of the works in this exhibition. For more information about this project, please visit https://www.spencerart.ku.edu/resources-k-12.

This exhibition is funded by the Freeman Foundation.