This month Rachel uncovers another story about a Kansan, Nancy Overmyer. Rachel (and Geoff) met Nancy while they were volunteering for the Lenexa Art Show in May 2019. And Rachel immediately fell in love with Nancy’s artwork.
In this episode, Rachel sits down with Nancy, a gourd artisan who also did a stint as a librarian. They discuss the origins of the gourd, the intricacies and nuances of the gourd as (artistic) medium, and how Nancy’s path meandered and branched out to include making gourd jewelry, as well as carving and decorating. And you’ll learn what it means to ‘love the 745s’ and how Nancy sees unique patterns in each gourd. Nancy’s passion and commitment to her artistic development is evident in this interview and in her artwork (see photos). It’s no wonder her creations have been highlighted and showcased in magazines. Being a library geek herself, Rachel encourages Nancy to share with listeners her experience as a librarian as well as her personal picks and favorites from around the Sunflower State.
A note from our co-producer, Geoff: Uncovering Kansas never requests or expects compensation, in any form, from guests appearing on the show. Rachel fell for Nancy’s creativity and purchased a necklace while volunteering at the Lenexa Art Fair. Unbeknownst to Rachel, Nancy brought another necklace to the recording of this episode and presented it to Rachel as a token of appreciation and kindness. Rachel accepted the gift. While it was not a requirement of appearing on Uncovering Kansas, nor influence the content or direction of the recording, we believe it appropriate to share this information with listeners in the spirit of transparency and openness.
Gooseberry Lane (Nancy’s) Facebook Page(look for a picture with a gourd)
Sunflower Gourd Patch
Silver Lake Kansas
Maple Leaf Festival
Baldwin City Kansas
Baldwin City Lumber Yard Arts Center
Coronado Heights Castle
Emma Chase Friday Night Concerts
This year is the 10th anniversary of the Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival, which takes place each September in St. Marys, Kansas. For 2019, the festival features Twelfth Night along with an artisan village of about 50 craft and food booths along a forest path. The festival is a volunteer led event, another example of the power of people coming together to make something happen.
Our guest is Ben Moats, the President of the festival, and he and Rachel talk about the festival, the history of St. Marys, and the importance of bringing culture to towns across the state. The festival is in September (2019). Event and ticketing details can be found at the Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival website. (Bring your own chairs and wear appropriate shoes for walking through the woods -- Shakespeare out in the open, as intended)
St. Marys Kansas
Kansas City Flint Hills Enthusiasts Group
We are working on a project to create a group in Kansas City for Flint Hills enthusiasts. We'll meet every few months to enjoy a drink, socialize, and talk about our love of the Flint Hills. If you would like to be notified once we have the details worked out, please let us know below.
Most of us have experienced that always exhilarating, and sometimes frightening, feeling when we end up doing something we never quite expected doing. Chris Alexander's path took her from theater to stained glass to metal working. As co-owner of Alexander Artworks, Chris has found herself busier than she ever imagined as she and her co-owner husband try to keep up with orders. Rachel and Chris talk about metal working, the importance of personal connection, and what it's like to be a business owner in a small town. Chris' answers and responses during the Get to Know a Kansan section impressed, and Rachel captured her insights so our listeners can add to their list of places to check out when exploring Kansas.
Morris County Community Arts Council
Strong City Rodeo
Bloody Bill Anderson
Allegawaho Heritage Memorial Park
Rails to Trails
Kanopolis Drive In
Lost City of Etzanoa
Angie Pickman is a Kansas artist with a national reputation. Angie imagines and creates artwork in her Lawrence studio that is a modern twist on the traditional Chinese art form of paper cutting. Her love of nature is front and center in her work and growing up in Kansas provided her with a wealth of inspiration. In this Uncovering Kansas episode, Rachel talks with Angie about her round trip journey from Kansas to New York. While travelling her creative path Angie built both her talent and her fanbase, her career flourishes as a result. Rachel and Angie discuss how several stereotypes about Kansas aren't true.To learn more about Angie, please visit her website, Rural Pearl.
Other things we talked about:
An Example of Lotte Reiniger’s work
Lawrence Art Walk
The Sallie House – Haunted Home
Amelia Earhart Birthplace
The Smallest Presidential Library
Chalk Pyramids (aka Monument Rocks)
Once upon a time…
That’s a classic way to begin a story. And it’s the right way to begin this episode.
We’re certain listeners will uncover something interesting about this Kansas event. Please note that this year’s event is scheduled for April 26 and 27, 2019.
Kansas Storytelling Festival website
The podcast about culture, travel, people, history, and enterprise in Kansas.