It won’t be the usual soundtrack for Main Street in Hays, but visitors to the 2019 Summer Art Walk on Friday night will stroll to the beat and rhythm of drums coming from the Union Pacific Park and Pavilion at 10th and Main.
John Makings has been making and playing drums as a hobby since 2007. On Friday evening for the Hays Arts Council Art Walk, Makings is filling up his 6 by 12-foot trailer with some of the 80 drums in his collection and bringing them to Hays.
“I want people to grab a drum,” Makings said Wednesday. “I have drums from all over the world. I want them to touch them, hit them, slap them, rub them.”
He’ll also have cow bells, wash boards, wood blocks and shakers at the drumming event, which is sponsored by Downtown Hays Development Corp.
“I encourage people to come and have some fun and get crazy,” Makings said. “Come and be 2 years old again.”
It’s the first time at the art walk for Makings’ drum collection, many of which he has made himself from deer hides and other local materials. But he holds his drumming circles and drumming workshops all over western Kansas, at libraries, retirement homes, for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, for veterans, at the state hospitals and even prisons.
Makings, who was born and raised in Atwood, is a psychologist at the Center for Counseling and Consultation mental health center in Great Bend. Drumming is his hobby, and his passion is introducing people to the fun of drumming. His collection includes everything from bongo, African Conga and ashiko drums to steel drums, finger drums, the djembe of west Africa and India, Native American drums of buffalo hide and cottonwood trees, and cajón drums.
“I like music, and to me, drumming is just another form of musical expression,” Makings said.
A variety of art forms would describe this year’s summer art walk, said Hays Arts Council executive director Brenda Meder.
“This is a delightfully eclectic art walk,” Meder said, with costume design, a book signing, a renovated historic Hays building, music and painting.
Local writer Mary Kay Schippers will sign her book, "A Year on the Family Farm," at Regeena’s, 1013 Main.
The summer art walk, like the other three seasonal walks the Hays Arts Center holds each quarter, has 12 venues participating this year.
The shops, all of them Hays Arts Center outposts for the evening, include retailers, the Hays Public Library, Gella’s Diner, the pavilion, the Hays Community Theatre and the Moss Thorns Gallery at Fort Hays State University’s Rarick Hall, all of which are opening their space from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to host exhibits of local painters and other artists.
At The Hays Arts Center, 112 E. 11th, a display of a couple of dozen paintings by western Kansas native Cally Krallman, of Topeka, captures present-day views along the historic Santa Fe Trail.
The trail marks its 150th anniversary this year, and the exhibit includes a map and brochure of the trail and its history with locations on the map clearly marked where each of Krallman’s paintings captures a view.
At Couture for Men, 1111 Main, local Elvis tribute artist Frank Werth is loaning his costume wardrobe for display in the store.
“I thought it would be something different,” said store owner Leland Olive. “I thought it would be cool, since we’re a men’s store now, to show the fashions from another era.”
“These are reproductions of Elvis Presley costumes,” Meder said. “Frank has amassed quite a collection, and they are exquisitely designed costumes.”
In a special extension of the art walk into Saturday, the Hays Arts Council is partnering with the Hays Public Library to host a showing of a documentary about Schoenchen native and legendary polka artist Herman Dinges.
Dinges, 94, who has lived in Denver for years, will be on hand for an interview with the documentary’s director and producer, Dave Steinke, a public affairs specialist at the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado.
Steinke’s documentary, “Herman Dinges: Colorado’s King of Christmas and Polka,” will be shown at noon during a free lunch of barbecue meatballs and cheesy hash browns, provided by the Hays Arts Council.
The showing is in partnership with the library’s Summer Polka Party, which starts at 10 a.m. at the library, 1205 Main. It features live music by the local Hot Shots Polka Band, with Dale Stramel, Jimmy Rothe, Ken Windholz and Lee Maxwell.
Other stops on the art walk include: eyeSMILE Vision & Dental, 1300 Main; Paisley Pear Wine Bar, 1100 Main; Madd Matter Frame Shop, 112 E. 11th; the Hays Arts Center Annex, 1010 Main; and BriefSpace, 219 W. 10th.