Art of Spring II, a June 19 and 20 fund-raising event for Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, will feature a lecture by Henry Mitchell, garden columnist for The Washington Post, an auction of designer birdhouses and a reception honoring Robert Berkeley Green, the center's 1992 poster artist.
The events are to benefit Building Independence, the center's capital campaign to create housing for adults with disabling mental health problems.
According to Carol Hatton, who chairs the event, Mitchell will inaugurate the Bert Nash Center's Corinne Miller Memorial Garden Lecture Series at 7:30 p.m. June 19 at the Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt.
Author of "The Essential Earthman," a collection of his newspaper essays, Mitchell notes, "There are only gardeners and non-gardeners.
"Gardeners are the ones who, ruin after ruin, get on with the high defiance of nature herself, creating, in the very face of her chaos and tornado, the bower of roses and the pride of irises."
According to Hatton, Mitchell will be guest of honor at the birdhouse auction, "Where Architects Come Home to Roost," from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 20 in Jonell Williams' garden, 700 Calif.
Williams' garden was among those on a tour of area gardens last May sponsored by the Bert Nash Center that raised about $50,000 for Building Independence.
Green, a KU professor of art emeritus and Prix de Rome fellow, will be honored at a reception during the auction. He painted "White Cyclamen" for the 1992 Bert Nash Mental Health poster.
For Art of Spring II, more than 40 birdhouses are being created by area architects, including Victor Papanek and Wojciech Lesnikowski, Kansas University distinguished professors of architecture. First-year architecture students studying under KU associate professor Brent Anderson also contributed to the project.
Karen Gould, an interior designer with Gould Evans Associates, and Cynthia Lartigue, an architectural engineer with The Allied Companies of Kansas City and a Bert Nash Center board member, recruited various architects to participate.
Gould said the architects had the option of building the birdhouses themselves or working with a builder. "While all of the entries aren't in yet, we've seen many of the preliminary sketches."
She said Mark Russell of FF&E teamed up with artist Ron Hinton to create a wood and metal entry called "The Ivory Tower," and Jan Wallace of Ottawa linked up with Furniture-Apeel to create a birdhouse of recycled architectural salvage called "The Stuff Houses Were Made Of."
Dean Graves of Overland Park designed "Rare Birds of the Big Eight" which allows the owner to change the arrangement of the birds to reflect the owner's preference or Big Eight standings, she added, and Lawrence resident Dick Wagstaff is building ``Grave's sports complex.''
Art of Spring II tickets will be available after Monday at Bert Nash Center offices, 336 Mo., and 211 E. Eighth, as well as other outlets throughout Lawrence, Kansas City and Topeka.