Art donation honors retired library employee
“Literacy Travel Card,” a mixed media piece created by Lausanne, Switzerland, artist Catherine Bolle, is being donated to the Lawrence Public Library in honor of Sandra Wiechert, the longtime community relations coordinator who retired April 30.
The piece (shown above) was part of the library’s May art exhibit, which featured two- and three-dimensional artwork and writing in honor of the Haskell-Baker Wetlands.
Lawrence art enthusiast Irene Grote organized the show and coordinated the donation.
Twenty of the 80 artworks for sale sold during the exhibition, raising $650. A $536 contribution went to Save the Wetlands.
Smoky Hill River Fest set for this weekend
Salina — The 27th annual Smoky Hill River Festival begins Thursday at Oakdale Park in Salina.
The weekend lineup includes The Fine Art Show and Four Rivers Craft Market. One hundred fifty exhibitors will display and sell their work.
Lawrence-based storyteller Priscilla Howe will present her version of “Tristan and Isolde” on the storytelling stage, north of the Statue of Liberty. Lawrence resident Patricia Snow and Baldwin resident Pam Carvalho will demonstrate how to create dried florals and basketry.
Musical entertainment, food vendors, children’s activities, artist demonstrations and workshops also will be on the bill.
“The Spirit of Community” is the festival print, available to those who donate $75 or more.
Gates open at 10 a.m. Friday-Sunday. Admission by festival button is $6 in advance, $8 at the gate. Children under 11 are admitted free.
For a complete schedule, go to www.riverfestival.com.
KU appoints new director of orchestral activities
Nicholas Uljanov, new director of orchestral activities at Kansas University, brings a world of experience to the job — literally.
Uljanov is from Austria. He received degrees from St. Petersburg Conservatory in orchestral and opera conducting. He pursued conducting studies at the Vienna High School of Music and had a successful debut at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
He also has conducted with various major European orchestras, opera houses and festivals, including the Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, the Bavarian State Opera Munich, the State Opera Leipzig and the Munich Opera Festival.
Uljanov was assistant professor and conductor of the Youth Symphony Orchestra at the St. Petersburg Conservatory from 1984 to 1986. Besides English, he speaks German, French, Russian and Italian.
“I have no doubt that we found the finest orchestra director available internationally,” said John Paul Johnson, KU director of choral activities and a key member of the search committee for the position. “Nick is highly regarded for his musicianship and sensitivity to the literature being studied and performed, as well as his strength in teaching artist students.”
Uljanov accepted the position May 21. He will move to Lawrence during the summer with his family and begin his new position in the fall.