(NEWTON, Kan.)– When artist and art teacher Phil Epp met artist and art teacher Julia Ellen Edmonson, she had already worked for the U.S. government in Washington creating scientific drawings, worked in New York City drawing for fashion houses and taught art at two prestigious universities, Syracuse and Cornell.
Edmonson returned to Newton in 1960 after retiring from her teaching position at Cornell. Epp didn’t meet her until the 1980s when he received a call from the Newton nursing facility where Edmonson was living. She had portfolios of art, and with no known family, the facility thought that Epp would be the one who could make a connection with her. They became friends who both enjoyed talking about art. Edmonson shared her work and gave him her portfolios of scientific and fashion drawings, other pencil drawings and oils.
Edmonson’s work will be on display at Carriage Factory Art Gallery, 128 E. Sixth St., Newton, the evening of Thursday, July 21, 6 to 8. Epp will be present to talk about his connection with the artist. Some of the work will be for sale. “These are historic pieces of art,” said Epp. “I think the community will have interest in seeing her work.”
Edmonson died in Newton in 1983. She was a 1914 graduate of Newton High School. The 1914 “Newtone” yearbook is dedicated to “Ellen Edmonson, for her untiring efforts in making ‘The Newtown’ a success…” Edmonson is included in the high school’s Fine Arts Hall of Fame.
Also on display the evening of July 21 will be featured works by members of the Kansas Art Education Association. Bob Wambold will provide music on the piano, and refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.
Carriage Factory Art Gallery is a non-profit organization housed in the original carriage factory and blacksmith shop founded in
1883 by J. J. Krehbiel, co-founder of Bethel College. More than
50 area artists have their work for sale in the gallery and gift shop. The building and adjacent courtyard park are available for rent for special occasions and meetings.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 12 to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Third Thursday events are 6 to 8 p.m. Art classes are held throughout the year.
An oil on canvas by Julia Ellen Edmonson, 1914 graduate of Newton High School. Her art will be on display Thursday, July 21, 6 to 8 p.m., at Carriage Factory Art Gallery, 128 E. Sixth St., Newton. Art by members of the Kansas Art Education Association will also be on exhibit. The Third Thursday event is free and open to the public.