Washburn University's Mulvane Art Museum welcomes a new exhibit this week of writings by Thomas Fox Averill and drawings by artist Clinton Ricketts. The exhibit -- Garden Plots -- opens Friday, December 4 and remains at the museum through January 23, 2016.
Garden Plots is a collection of short stories and poems inspired by Averill's visits to 21 gardens in 31 days during a trip to England and France. An avid gardener, he became determined to find an idea for a short story with every garden visit before returning to Topeka where he is a professor of English and artist-in-residence at Washburn. He returned to Topeka with a notebook full of "seeds" for story ideas along with photos of each of the gardens. He used both in reporting on his sabbatical trip and the Garden Plots project grew from that presentation.
Since that summer in 2007, Averill has visited gardens in a number of locations including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oregon, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, and Kansas and has written in short forms on these subjects. Averill has collected some of his favorites in a special "Garden Plots" section on his Washburn website, and many are featured in the exhibit at the Mulvane
For the visual component, Averill joined forces with artist and printmaker Clinton Ricketts to create illustrations based on the stories and Averill's photographs.
The museum will host an opening reception for the exhibit on December 4 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The reception will include dance performances at 6 & 6:30 p.m. by Eleanor Goudie-Averill the dance artist in residence at the Lawrence Arts Center. She will be joined by Juliet Remmers, dance instructor from the University of Kansas.
Thomas Fox Averill is a writer, novelist, and English professor from Topeka, Kansas. His works, including Secrets of the Tsil Cafe, The Slow Air of Ewan Macpherson, Ordinary Genius, and a Carol Dickens Christmas, have won wide acclaim in Kansas and throughout the United States. He is a two-time winner of Kansas Notable Book Awards. Averill is a writer-in-residence and professor of English at Washburn University.
Clint Ricketts is a printmaker, painter, and teacher currently living in Lawrence, Kansas. He received his MFA from the University of Kansas in 2010 and has taught design and printmaking courses at Emporia State, Washburn University and Missouri Western State University. Clint’s art has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally and has been featured in the publication New American Paintings.