Luminary walk, art exhibit coming to Dyck Arborteum

Chad Frey
The Kansan
The 2021 Winter Luminary Walk Dyck Arboretm will be 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Nov. 26 to 28 and Dec. 3 to 5.

A big weekend is coming for Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston — the annual luminary walk will launch, and a multimedia art installation will be complete.

The 2021 Winter Luminary Walk, which will be 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Nov. 26 to 28 and Dec.3 to 5, is an outdoor holiday event featuring a lighted walk, a “snow globe” stage and food and drink served by a local scout troop. 

The Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston is a 29-acre arboretum owned by Hesston College. 

Visitors of the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains this fall will be treated to a stunning art installation, "Parallels", depicting elements of the prairie in a scale that is larger than life. In October, Prairie Works Design Inc artists Ann Zerger and Chip Parker installed five metal sculptures depicting prairie grasses, butterflies and caterpillars on the Arboretum grounds. In addition, sixteen photographs and video footage, capturing moments in the artists’ Moundridge-based studio, are on display in the Visitor Center.

Visitors of the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains this fall will be treated the art installation "Parallels", depicting elements of the prairie in a scale that is larger than life.

Though the sculptures have been on display since October, the entire multi-media installation will be available the Arboretum from Nov. 26 through mid-December. Zerger will present an artist talk in the Visitor Center at 4 p.m.  Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. The Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and during special events, such as the Winter Luminary Walk, and the grounds are open to the public every day from dawn until dusk.

Zerger, Professor Emeritus of Art at McPherson College, and Parker, an award-winning architect, returned to Zerger’s family farm in 1988 and opened an architecture and sculpture studio near Moundridge. In more recent years, they have developed a portion of their land in Southwestern McPherson county into what they call an "Eco-Art-Sphere", which includes both permanent and ephemeral sculptures. In addition, the artists have planted native wildflower and grass species to create a 5-acre Monarch Waystation.

“The focus of this eco-arts sphere was to create a permanent environmental installation on a portion of land that has been in Ann’s family for over 100 years that would celebrate the Great Plains Prairie and the local and migratory wildlife that depend on this environment for existence," they wrote on their website. "The intent was to create an installation that would impede the return of this land to agriculture or any other type of production as well as be a catalyst for a visceral conversation with the viewer on the beauty, diversity and serenity of the prairie."

During the luminary walk the Prairie Pavilion “snow globe” stage will feature the following performers, each performing two 45 min sets at 6 and 7 p.m. each night: classical guitarist Howard Glanton on November 26, harpist RoJean Loucks on November 27, pianist Ken Rodgers on Nov 28 and December 3, violin/clarinet duo “Outside the Bach(s)” on December 4 and square dancers from the “Shoe Scuffers” of Hesston and “Circle 8” from Park City on December 5. Performers will be inside the Pavilion, with music projected outside through speakers. Visitors can watch performances from the covered patio.

In addition, creative, crafty individuals are invited to participate in "Wreath-o-rama", a Wreath Decorating Contest. All sizes of wreaths and all kinds of wreath materials will be accepted. However, wreaths will be judged on creativity and use of natural materials. Entries are due at the Arboretum Pavilion on Nov. 23. Submissions will be displayed in the Prairie Pavilion during the Luminary Walk and winners will be announced on Dec. 5. Prizes for an adult category (age 13+) and children's category (ages 5-12) will include Dyck Arboretum memberships and gift cards. Contact LeAnn Clark at 620-345-6806 with questions.

All Luminary Walk attendees should observe guidelines for a safe event, which can be viewed at dyckarboretum.org/luminary-walk. Tickets are available online, in the gift shop or by calling the office in advance. Your ticket purchase and donations support the ongoing work of the Arboretum, which seeks to cultivate transformative relationships between people and the land.