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Businesses, artists ready for fall art walk





From metal sculpture to ceramics to knitted garments, the Hays Arts Council 29th annual Fall Art Walk from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday has something for everyone.

"It's a celebration of who we are as a community," said Brenda Meder, HAC executive director.

But that doesn't mean it's strictly a local event.

"There's so many license plates not from Ellis County," Meder said.

The United Way of Ellis County is joining the event and hosting a unique exhibit.

United Way sponsors some HAC programs, and it's good to have them participate in the art walk, she said.

The exhibit, "Poverty: A-Z," will be in the Hays Arts Council Annex, 1010 Main. It was created by Kansas Association of Community Action Programs and will be on display through Sept. 2.

The multimedia display uses real stories and features original art and music.

It includes "wonderful examples, (and) provides a conduit of change and awareness, social acknowledgment," Meder said.

The traveling exhibit debuted at the 2010 Kansas Conference on Poverty.

"We wanted to be involved in the community," said Rachel Albin, United Way of Ellis County administrative assistant.

Since the art walk draws a high attendance, the exhibit provided a good way to do that.

The Arts Center Annex display also will include "The Fiber of Her Being," a memorial tribute of knitted works by Georganna Johnson.

Johnson, who died in 2011, taught home economics at Hays High School for more than 20 years. Her family donated 140 articles -- mostly sweaters -- to HAC, Meder said.

"They are intricate, top-notch pieces of work," she said.

Approximately half of those pieces have been sold, and some of the remainder will be on display, she said.

Besides the downtown venues, art work will be displayed at Moss-Thorns Gallery on the Fort Hays State University campus, Sternberg Museum of Natural History and Thirsty's Grill & Pub, with some displays during extended hours.

A free concert by The Yawpers American Band begins at 9 p.m. Friday at Singers.