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October Exhibition at the Lee Dam Center for Fine Art
October 19 @ 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Marian Vavra, Rose Hill, Kan., is one of twenty wheat weavers in Kansas. Her designs are intricate and elegant, yet crafted out of simple wheat. She creates crosses, jewelry, ornaments, and baskets.
Her straw art will be on display at the Lee Dam Center for Fine Art, Marysville, throughout the month of October. The exhibition opens with a reception to meet the artist Saturday, October 12, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.; a complimentary breakfast will be served. Vavra will also demonstrate her technique during the reception.
Vavra has been plaiting, spinning, and gluing wheat into elaborate pieces of art since she bought a kit in the 1980s at a craft store. Over the years she taught herself the folk art that dates back to Europe in the 1500s.
Over time, Vavra learned many different techniques with straw. First it must be soaked, making it easier to bend and fold. She can braid it in different ways, use a clothespin and a rock to spin the straw into thread, or create intricate flowers with appliqué work. The straw keeps its shape after drying.
While Vavra does a variety of projects with wheat, she specializes in sacred crosses. She feels it has been difficult for her to find the right words to talk about her Christian faith. Now, she expresses her spiritual thoughts through weaving wheat into the form of crosses. Some of her crosses are used in church sanctuaries.
The art center is open Thursdays from 4-6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10-4 p.m.; Sundays from 1-4 p.m. The exhibition is sponsored by the Marshall County Arts Cooperative and closes Sunday, October 27. For more information, visit the arts cooperative’s website marshallcountyarts.org.