Van Wert artist, the late David Humphreys Miller exhibit housed at Crazy Horse Memorial in Custer, South Dakota. (Photos submitted)
Van Wert artist, the late David Humphreys Miller exhibit housed at Crazy Horse Memorial in Custer, South Dakota. (Photos submitted)

The silence of that hill is palpable. While I’m comfortable traversing the country through all types of terrain and spaces, that all went out the open truck window as we approached the hill where over 300 Lakota/Sioux were massacred by the United States Seventh Cavalry in 1890.

Standing there it becomes evident how “moving on” is extremely difficult. The mass grave where the victims are buried, ironically sits on a knoll where the four Hotchiss guns used to mow them down were situated.

Looking out from that spot Wounded Knee Creek curved away from the camp and was the only refuge the few survivors could flee too. Multitudes of brightly colored flags, strips of cloth and handkerchiefs are tied around a run-down chain link fence, flapping in an ironic dance.


Scrawled in permanent marker on one of the concrete gateposts is the history to date of some of the atrocities suffered before and after that fateful day in December of 1890.

The visit to Wounded Knee was prompted by a trip to meet with the administration of the Crazy Horse Memorial which is located in Custer, South Dakota. They have a permanent display of David Humphrey Miller’s prints of the 72 Little Bighorn Battle survivors. The paintings created by one of Van Wert’s own, overlook the massive monument.

Unlike Mount Rushmore, Crazy horse memorial, which was commissioned by Lakota elder, Henry Standing Bear in 1939, is funded entirely by private monies. In contrast, the creation of Mount Rushmore was funded by the federal government. Crazy Horse monument is still being completed following the sculptor’s death by remaining family members and the current administration.

There are only a couple weeks left of The Best of 2014, a traveling, multi-media exhibit curated by the Ohio Design and Craft Museum in Columbus, before we tote it to its only other stop in Ohio, at the French Art Colony. The world of craft (functional objects) has over time morphed into fine art. This is not your grandmother’s craft show. Van Wert is extremely fortunate to have been chosen to exhibit this body of work. It will be on view through Aug. 24. As most art within the Wassenberg Art Center, this unique art is also for sale and could be a great addition to any decor or collection.

We are beginning our work on our next exhibit, The Symphony of My Heart. This exhibit will detail the life and loved ones of Saffron Goetschius through something called mail art. Mail art is typically collages of mixed media placed on a post card, with instructions to hand cancel and are they are mailed as is. My mailbox has been full almost everyday with the body of the work arriving through the United States Post Office. Thank you mail carrier, your pack is probably much lighter following delivery at my house. The body of work is coming in from Iowa City, Iowa, but hails from all over.

Saffron lived in northwest Ohio for a considerable amount of time and these poignant slips of communication will hang from the trusses in the Wendel Gallery, signifying fragile balance of life and relationship. The Exhibit will open Saturday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. with an opening reception and run through Sept. 28. During the last week, Saffron encourages visitors to cut down a postcard they find meaningful and take it home.

The call for entries for our annual photography exhibit will be mailed and posted on the website soon.

Classic Watercolor class continues on Tuesday mornings starting at 10 a.m. This is an ongoing class is taught by Pat Rayman. Persons are encouraged to jump in anytime and the class is sold in monthly increments. $35 for members and $40 for non-members.

Classic Drawing Class will again be offered Aug. 8, 15, 22, 29 10 a.m.–noon. Learn different and sometimes crazy ways to open up and have fun with drawing. The use of non-traditional tools make this class a hoot. Materials required. Cost is $35 members/$40 for non-members.

We still have some space for Vine & Palette taking place on Aug. 7. We often end up with a waiting list. Call soon if you would like to join us for the evening. The evening includes all painting materials and wine and participants may bring a snack to share if they wish. We take care of the rest. Wear a paint shirt or apron to protect your clothes. $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

Clay creation is here! Beginning on Sept. 8–12 from 6 –9 p.m. ages 15–150. Reverend Hall Schafer will be joining us to teach various ceramic techniques. Hal graduated from Mount Union University and learned to throw pottery at Culver Military Academy at the age of fourteen. He also attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

We are super excited to have Hal on board. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to throw ceramic pots, Cost for the class is $40 members/$45 non-members all materials included.

Plans are formulating and percolating Consider yourself busy on Oct. 31 because “it’s coming.”

For information on exhibits, classes and programs listed on there as well. The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 214 South Washington Street (former Van Wert Armory). We can be reached by telephone at (419) 238-6837, email: info@wassenbergartcenter.org and our website is: wassenbergartcenter.org.