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K-State Today

April 1, 2011



Manhattan's own Tal Streeter offer ghosts, shadows and more in Beach exhibition

By Julie Fosberg

There's no place like home for sculptor Tal Streeter.

An exhibition of the Manhattan High School alumnus's work, "Lines Traveling Through Space: Ghosts and Shadows, Minimal Sculptures by Tal Streeter," runs April 8 through Oct. 11 in the Orval Hempler Gallery at Kansas State University's Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

Streeter's first works as an artist -- done while he was living, working and exhibiting in New York City in the 1960s -- drew upon his Manhattan background. He describes these early sculptures as "a distillation, abstractions of the windblown grasses of the Konza Prairie." His metal "Prairie Sculptures" were shown at the 1964 New York World's Fair and the Whitney Museum of Art. One of the sculptures is included in his Beach Museum exhibition.

Also in the exhibition will be Streeter's most recent work, which are done in a combination of heavier and lighter materials.

"These works depart from the tradition of pure nonobjective minimalist art, as they allow the viewer to imagine a story connected to each one," Streeter said. "For example, my work 'Ghosts' is a very pared-down story of the passage through life: youth, middle age, death. At the same time, the objects may still be read as pure structure, or 'lines traveling through space.'"

Streeter was born in Oklahoma City in 1934. His family moved to Manhattan when he was 2 years old, and he graduated from Manhattan High School in 1952. Streeter attended the University of Kansas, earning a bachelor of fine arts and a master of fine arts in design and sculpture. He taught at KU before moving to New York to start his sculpture career. In 1969 Streeter went to Japan to study the art of kite making. Following his return to the United States two years later, he wrote "The Art of the Japanese Kite," one of the most influential book about kites ever published in English.

Streeter was inducted into the Manhattan High School Alumni Association Wall of Fame in February.

More information about the Streeter exhibition is available by contacting Martha Scott at the Beach Museum of Art, 785-532-7718, or dropping by the museum on the southeast corner of the K-State campus at 14th Street and Anderson Avenue. Free visitor parking is available next to the building. Normal museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.