Vernon Rickman created more than 300 paintings, charcoals, sculptures, and reliefs during his spare time and after retiring as a staff artist/sculptor from the Smithsonian.
“He was a Kansan, and he was an artist through and through to the very center of his soul,” said his nephew Ted Scott.
A selection of Mr. Rickman’s art: figural, religious, landscape, and abstract will be on display and for sale through September 3. The exhibit is part of an oral history project on Mr. Rickman’s life.
Kansas author Beverley Olson Buller interviewed Rickman family and friends as part of the project. She will share about Mr. Rickman’s life during the opening reception.
“Vernon Rickman is an Emily Dickinson of the art world,” Buller said. “Mr. Rickman emerges as a person who was solitary by choice with a great dedication to his family and who left behind a large volume of work as his ‘letter to the world.’ I think people will be amazed at the broad scope of subject matter in his work.”
Mr. Rickman died in Newton in 2013, but stacks of his paintings and boxes of his sculptures continue to be discovered by his family.
“Sculpting and painting were his life,” said gallery board president Susan Koehn. “We’ve learned that he was a solitary man, a quiet man whose immense talent impressed his art instructors early-on. His artistic style speaks to his broad-ranging interests in politics, philosophy, religion, and worldview.”
The opening reception is free and open to the public. Music will be provided by Vada Snider, Ellen Neufeld, and Heidi Regier Kreider. Refreshments will be served.