2nd Ave. Art Guild showcases children’s book art gallery

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
Artist Mary Anne Hendrix stands in front of her watercolors during her exhibit at the 2nd Avenue Art Guild in Dodge City. Beside her is Ford County Historical Society president Kent Stehlik.

Works of art illustrating a children’s story is on display at the 2nd Ave. Art Guild in Dodge City.

On Friday, Sept. 24 the gallery kicked off with the work from watercolor artist Mary Anne Hendrix who created several panels of art work for a story called “We’re Going to Kansas.”

According to the art guild, the story, rooted in the history of pioneers who settled in Kansas during the late 1800s, was written by Cimarron High School English teacher Lynne Hewes, illustrated by Hendrix, set in “stone” by Luminous Neon of Dodge City, and set up as part of a covered wagon playground attraction at the Cimarron Crossing Park in Cimarron.

The guild said Hendrix’s style is whimsical, with vivid colors that create a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant picture of what the main character, a little girl, sees as her family’s Prairie Schooner travels into Kansas.

“We had a great time with this project,” Hendrix said. “In fact, we’ve decided to do another one, this time based on experiences on the Western Cattle Trail on the way to Dodge City.”

Watercolors for “We’re Going to Kansas” are on display at Dodge City’s 2nd Avenue Art Guild.

Funding for the project came from a grant by the Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas.

“They said that this was one of the most interesting projects they’ve funded,” Hewes said. “It’s probably the most unusual. The idea started when Beverly Benton, a social worker interested in history, decided that the park needed some information to go with their new ‘covered wagon’ attraction. She wanted kids who play there to learn a little about what that wagon represented.”

The City of Cimarron held an “unveiling,” with representatives of the Santa Fe Trail Association present, once the panels were created and installed.

After the reveal of the board, children walked up and began reading the story.

“This is what I envisioned for this,” Benton said.

Hendrix’s watercolors are still currently on display at the 2nd Ave. Art Guild.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@gannett.com