Native-stone installation to open at Beach

By The Mercury

“Take Shelter: An Installation by Tom Parish,” an exhibition at Kansas State University’s Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, will be on display Feb. 4 through May 25.

The museum invited Parish to create a multimedia installation of high-definition images of the interiors of native-stone, arched-roof root cellars in the Flint Hills of Kansas.

Photographs, maps, written text and sound recordings created or collected by Parish during the last two years convey the history of the cellars and their significance in the region.

“Work on this overlooked subject offers insights into the formative years of Euro-American settlement that are in danger of being lost,” said Theresa Bembnister, the associate curator at the Beach Museum. “The cellars are often the last remnants of pioneer homesteads.

“Presentations of historical and oral history research and Parish’s evocative and beautiful photographic art will encourage a dialogue about these structures and shed a light on how they were built and functioned.”

Because very few of these cellars are found outside of this part of Kansas, they have become an icon of sorts of our region’s shared history and community, Bembnister said.

The Beach Museum of Art is offering several activities in conjunction with the Parish exhibition, including:

• An early release workshop for school-age children from 2-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at the museum Children will use Parish’s stone cellars for inspiration while creating mosaics from a variety of materials.

• An opening reception for the exhibition will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in the museum’s UMB Theater. A cash bar will be available.

• “Take Shelter,” a round-table discussion, will be 7 p.m. Thursday, March 13, at the Flint Hills Discovery Center, 315 S. Third St., Manhattan.

Join Parish, Bembnister and historians Mike Hankins and David Vail as they discuss the research behind Parish’s exhibition.

• Parish will present the artist talk “Take Shelter” at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at the museum’s UMB Theater. He will give an in-depth explanation of his artistic influences and the techniques behind his photography.

Parish’s exhibition is sponsored by the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art Business Partners.

It also is funded in part by the Patty and Jerry Reece Family Foundation and the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization promoting understanding of the history, traditions and ideas that shape our lives and build community.

The Beach Museum of Art is on the southeast corner of the Kansas State University campus at 701 Beach Lane.

Admission is free and the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and holidays. Free parking is available adjacent to the building.

For more information, call 785-532-7718 or visit

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