The city of Leawood has installed “Dancers,” a sculpture by artist Ewerdt Hilgemann, on Roe Avenue north of City Hall.
Purchased for $170,000, it’s the 20th 3-D work in the city’s public art collection.
“Dancers,” originally created for a temporary seven-sculpture exhibition in New York City during the summer of 2014, is a two-piece work of art fashioned from two kinds of steel. Each piece is a 20-foot tall rectangular column weighing about a ton.
Hilgemann is a German artist who lives and works in the Netherlands. In a news release, the city said his “implosion” style represents the inward spiral of energy to reach the core and mystery of matter, the ultimate beauty of creation.
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The work will be dedicated later this year when the artist is available.
County recognized for justice reform efforts
Johnson County is among seven counties nationwide to achieve a new national designation that recognizes efforts to reduce the number of people in jail who have mental health issues.
The county has been named a Stepping Up Innovator County for its expertise in collecting data on people in jail with mental illness.
Stepping Up was launched in May 2015 by The Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Association of Counties and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation.
At that time, Johnson County was selected among the first four Stepping Up initiative sites in the nation. Since then, it has taken several steps to better address the needs of people with mental illness who come in contact with police. Those include brief mental health screens at jail, a veterans court and expansion of the practice of sending mental health workers to certain police and ambulance calls.
An official announcement of the designation was planned for May 16.
Library system wants feedback as it plans for the future
As it updates its five-year community plan, the Johnson County Library is asking community members to complete a survey about the services they would like to see offered by the library system.
The anonymous questionnaire will be available through May 25. Find it on the home page at www.jocolibrary.org under the image “We Listen.”
Seven gardens on mid-May tour
Seven private gardens will be opened to the public May 18-19 during the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardener Public Tour, which takes place every other year.
Each garden is owned by an Extension Master Gardener, who will be there to answer questions. Visitors will receive information about the garden’s development, along with educational tips to incorporate into their own landscapes. Photography is encouraged.
Hand-made garden art will be available for purchase at the Garden Boutique, and a national hosta expert will be available with a large selection of varieties.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at any Johnson County Hen House Market or at one of the gardens during the tour, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.. Maps and directions are provided with each ticket. To learn more, visit www.johnson.k-state.edu or call 913-715-7000.
Overland Park promotes “Bike to Work Week”
“Bike to Work Week” is continuing in Overland Park, which has arranged for free light breakfasts to be served to cyclists who stop at designated locations between 6 and 8 a.m. each day.
▪ May 16: Whole Foods, 119th and Glenwood streets.
▪ May 17: Corporate Woods Park, 109th Street and Indian Creek Parkway by the Eilert Fountain.
▪ May 18: Overland Park City Hall, 8500 Santa Fe Drive.
Participants will be entered to win one of three bicycle tune-ups provided by REI, valued at $85.
Senior Arts Council invites new members
Artists and art aficionados 55 and older are invited to join the Senior Arts Council, a group organized by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.
Monthly meetings will include presentations by a featured artist, workshops or demonstrations. Members can display and sell their works at various exhibits, and visitors are welcome.
The next meeting will be at 1 p.m. May 21 at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Drive. An annual fee of $25, payable at the door, includes 12 two-hour monthly meetings — generally on the last Monday of the month.
New Horizons Band to begin session
For instrumental musicians 50 and older, the Johnson County Park & Recreation District has created the New Horizons Band in cooperation with Meyer Music and the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.
The band is open to anyone with an instrument and some musical background. It includes brass, woodwind and percussion and offers an opportunity to play in small groups and at practice.
Rehearsals are at 6 p.m. Tuesdays beginning May 22 at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Drive.
The cost for six two-hour sessions is $30 for Johnson County residents or $33 per person for nonresidents. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Register for Activities” and search for Course ID 6905.
Artisan’s Expo joins Turkey Creek Festival
Works created by local artists will be for sale at The Artisan’s Expo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 19 in Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Road in Merriam.
The expo, a program of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District, is held in conjunction with Merriam’s Turkey Creek Festival that same day at Antioch Park.
Other festival events include a pancake feed, a 5K run/walk, concerts, a petting zoo and children’s activities.