EARS & EYES – Curate This!

Imagine if you could see and feel music. What would it look like? Sometimes music makes us feel emotions we can’t describe. Just like music, art can make us feel things there is no name for. This exhibit demonstrates the connection between music and art, and the indescribable feelings they share. View the Ears & Eyes exhibit in the front of the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery May 7 – July 22.

In addition to pieces from the library’s permanent collection, the following area high school students will have work on display in the exhibit:

  • Maya Beyer, Topeka High School
  • Josias Espinoza, Highland Park High School
  • Carsyn George, Washburn Rural High School
  • Shyanne Hall, Washburn Rural High School
  • Kathy Martinez-Reynaga, Highland Park High School
  • Brianna Reynolds, Jefferson West High School
  • Cody Simonsen, Seaman High School
  • Jasmine Simpson, Washburn Rural High School
  • Adriana Stewart, Topeka High School

Josias Espinoza, Highland Park High School, Reminiscence, 2018, digital art

What does a Curate This! Teen Curator do?

This annual program brings teens together from area high schools to curate an exhibit. To begin the participants decide on a theme or main idea.

The teen curators put out a call for art from high school artists and select pieces that help tell their story best. By looking through the artworks in the Sabatini Gallery permanent collection (things we own), they fill out the exhibit.

The guest curators research our records and use the library resources to create text for the exhibit, which includes information for the artwork labels. They also write a curatorial statement that explains the story or idea the exhibit is organized around.

Teen Curators learn to mat and frame artworks as needed. Deciding where each of the pieces and text will be placed is an important part of the layout process. Finally, the teen curators hang the artworks with careful measuring and leveling, and arrange the cases.

Voila! It is a finished exhibit.

Meet the Teen Curators

Maya Irene Byer

My name is Maya Irene Beyer, I am 15 years old. I really enjoy making art, writing and reading. I spend most of my free time doing school work or working on a craft project of some sort. I really enjoy school and love diving deep into the subject matter. My favorite subjects are English and biology.
Something some people don’t know about me is that I have Tourettes Syndrome. It’s a neurological condition that causes me to have many tics. Some examples of my tics are twitching, blinking and sniffling. Some days I have lots of tics and other days they are pretty mild and barely noticeable. But whatever kind of tics I am having on any given day, I just keep going and it never stops me. If you have any questions at all please ask, I would be happy to answer them.

Kathy Martinez Reynaga

Ever since I was a child living in Southern California, I have had a penchant for the arts. It is through art that I am able to express myself and inspire others. Constantly seeking growth, I pull inspiration from the daily lives of other artists and my family members.

My favorite media are paint, clay and ink. I hope to study chemical engineering in my secondary education and use my artistic background to bring creativity to the forefront of the engineering world.

Cody Simonsen

My name is Cody Simonsen and I am a junior at Seaman High School. I work at Red Lobster as a host, and have previously worked for the city as an intern as well as Freddy’s as a cashier. I only had my mom growing up, but spent a lot of time with my grandparents, as she was a student at K-State at the time. I moved to Topeka when I was 5 and was born and previously lived in Manhattan. I spent a good amount of time as a child on my grandparents farm, where they boarded horses for military families in Fort Riley. After moving to Topeka I went to McEachron Elementary until fourth grade, then moved up north and went to Logan Elementary, then Seaman Middle School, and now Seaman High School.


Betsy is the associate curator and museum educator at the Sabatini Gallery. She has an MFA from the University of Missouri with a major in Fibers. Betsy has taught art classes at UMKC, Kansas City Art Institute and Washburn University. As an artist, her work is sculptural fibers and focuses on ecological concerns such as the preservation of Kansas prairies in the Flint Hills.