Sabatini Family Foundation Supports Unearthed

The 12th annual art exhibit for children presented by the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery features seven artists with creepy-crawly artworks inspired by bugs. The exhibition, Unearthed, includes paintings, sculptures, photographs and scientific illustrations to get the Topeka community thinking about the wonderful world of insects and the art they inspire.

“From large glass and wire bugs, to cartoons of flies doing human activities, there is something for everyone,” said gallery director, Sherry Best.

The exhibit features the diverse work of seven artists, six American and one Swede. Adults and children are inspired by the artwork and learned more about the world of insects and how these tiny creatures have a large affect on our world. In the kid’s experience area children can see the way honeybees see the world and crawl through a kid-sized ant tunnel.

“The kids love the bugs,” said Best. “The bright colors appeal to them and the little ones love crawling through the ant tunnel. Kids who are a little older are fascinated by the concepts of everything being about bugs.”

The seven artists offer very different perspectives about insects. Steven Kutcher uses bugs as moving paintbrushes. He puts paint on their feet, and then guides them across paper to make patterns, some based on famous artworks. Jennifer Angus is interested in the Victorian period, roughly 100 years ago, where everything was very beautifully arranged.

“Angus and her assistant spent four days pinning cicadas, Thai katydids, and exotic insects from southeast Asia to the walls of the Jewel Box,” said Best. “We saw people physically take a step back when they realize the complex wallpaper pattern is made of real insects.”

The final day of the exhibit will be Sunday, July 21st. The gallery hours are Mon. through Fri. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun. 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The annual art exhibit for children is supported by the Sabatini Family Foundation. The Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery promotes the understanding and enjoyment of art through diverse collections, exhibitions and educational experiences. The gallery staff is committed to providing access to art, inspiring curiosity, making connections and building community. In the main gallery, the staff curates six annual exhibits including two national competitions, a show for young people, and exhibits featuring local, national and international artists. The annual children’s exhibit gets children involved in and excited about art at an early age.

The Library Foundation’s purpose is to help secure resources that support the collections, programs, services, technology and physical facilities of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. The Foundation pursues this purpose by seeking philanthropic support, by providing conscientious stewardship of the assets in its care, by encouraging appropriate community partnerships, and by advocating on behalf of the library’s mission in our community.


The Artists

Steven Kutcher, Hollywood’s go-to guy for insect training, uses bugs as moving paintbrushes. He puts paint on their feet, then guides them across paper to make patterns, some based on famous artworks.

Joan Danziger’s wire and glass insects are charming and colorful, and some are four feet long – those are some big bugs!

Magnus Muhr photographs fly bodies and makes cartoon drawings around them that portray flies doing the things that people do.

Jennifer Angus pins real bodies of insects to walls creating unbelievable designs inspired by Victorian wallpaper.

Patrick Vincent combines portraits of real people with the bug of their choice.

Leroy Mize takes old pipe wrenches and welds steel parts to create grasshoppers.

Dr. Barrett Klein, a biology professor at University of Wisconsin, combines his scientific study with illustration and video.