By SALINA POST
Salina Arts & Humanities today revealed the 2021 Smoky Hill River Festival print.
Smoky Hill Prairie Haunts, created by Kansas City interdisciplinary artist Rena Detrixhe, had its beginnings in 2020 while Detrixhe was a research resident with The Land Institute south of Salina.
Detrixhe gathered parts of grasses, forbs, and flowers from a remnant prairie along the Smoky Hill River, which she dried and pressed in the ancient tradition of plant collecting, a release from Salina Arts & Humanities noted. Detrixhe then traced the plant specimens onto paper by carefully dusting over each segment with powdered graphite, using a soft brush to render them in silhouette until many layers later, Smoky Hill Prairie Haunts came into being.
“The 2021 Festival Print is part of a series of work inspired by The Land Institute and the process of looking closely at the prairie ecosystem,” Detrixhe said. “An early project of The Land Institute, carried out by co-founder Wes Jackson and photographer Terry Evans, among others, involved isolating square-meter sections of prairie and meticulously documenting the diversity of plant species within these bounds, to better understand the beautiful and complex diversity of the prairie. This print pays tribute to that body of research, and it is an homage to the prairie as our teacher.”
Only 250 digital prints made from the original graphite drawing and signed and numbered by Detrixhe are available. People can obtain a print for a $100 gift to the river festival, Salina Arts & Humanities noted in its news release. If you are interested in a print, go to the Salina Arts & Humanities offices at 211 W. Iron Avenue between 8 a.m. and noon or 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday or go to riverfestival.com.
About the artist
Detrixhe grew up in a limestone farmhouse south of Russell, where her father and mother still live. She credits her artist mother and her father, a musician and retired USDA/Soil Conservation professional, for encouraging her creativity from a young age.
Detrixhe holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in visual art with a minor in art history from the University of Kansas. She also studied in Seoul, South Korea.
Detrixhe’s work has been shown nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include Place out of Matter at the Spencer Brownstone Gallery in New York City and In Times of Seismic Sorrows at the Center for Craft in Asheville, N.C. Since 2019, Detrixhe’s work has been featured at The Volland Store in Volland, Kan., the Salina Art Center, and at the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence.
Her Red Dirt Rug installation has been created in galleries and museums across the U.S., including at the Salina Innovation Foundation in 2019. In August 2020, her work was featured in a group show at the Baum Gallery at the University of Central Arkansas, called Threads Through Time.