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Legendary Pastel Painter Marcia Streepy's "Glorious Days" Retrospective and Benefit

"I enjoy the challenge of interpreting and preserving a moment in a certain atmosphere, whether it be a warm, cold, windy, rainy, or a glorious day. It's the secret beauty in the every day if we will only stop and look.”

~ Marcia Streepy, Pastel Painter

I'm so happy to have spent the last few months interviewing and working with the artist, Marcia Streepy to curate her Retrospective! Her show is up and the digital magazine and short video of the show will be out soon! Meanwhile, you can sign up for a tour of the show of over seventy paintings and art pieces. This incredibly rich collection brings together her intimate cityscapes and country junctions, her fashion figures, and her Kansas sunflowers and cowgirls all under one roof at InterUrban ArtHouse in downtown Overland Park, KS, where Marcia and I met. Now Marcia is best known for her work with Plein air, but people may not be familiar with the bulk of her most recent work. These are fashion figures and incredibly intimate cityscapes. The urban scenes are often done in portrait compositions; they focus the viewer into a sense of space showing a small patch of road leading on to the horizon, or "alleyscapes" capturing an intimate section of brick facade, and a sidewalk winding away to a lost alley with telephone wires holding up effervescent sky.

Marcia Potucek Streepy, a long-time, award-winning, Kansas Artist has public work in the New York Art Center and many private collections around the globe. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, the family will have a private reception with tours for the public on Thursdays through Saturdays, May 1 to June 5th by appointment at InterUrban ArtHouse. We will also offer the art on the website and a digital magazine that will soon be available. There is a Public Opening for downtown Overland Park's Third Friday Local life. May 21st from 5:30 to 8 pm. And the Gallery will have limited open hours Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the show will benefit the Mid-America ALS Chapter in Kansas City. Marcia is living with a recent diagnosis of ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. This chapter supports families' equipment, treatment centers' research, resources, outreach, and education. To celebrate her retrospective Streepy has donated two paintings. One to the Central United Methodist Church of a spring day Plein Air watercolor outside their historical building with the castle spire off the UMKC campus "the church with the red door). She is also donating a pastel of the Frank Lloyd Wright Church (Community Church off 46th and main) in downtown Kansas City. I made a little video of our field trip here.

Marcia’s energy and zest for art and life are influenced by the legacy of her mother, full-time regional artist Pat Potucek. When asked about her identity as an artist, Marcia had this to say: "Who am I? A grandmother, wife, sister, aunt, a Kansas Citian. I've lived for thirty years in Shawnee, but I've been a life-long resident of Kansas, which has a big influence on me. I grew up in what I would now call a family of artists: My mother, Pat Potucek, was a full-time professional artist from Hutchinson, KS, known for painting murals throughout the state. (We believe our family is distantly connected to artisans in Italy). One of my sisters has an MFA from Berkeley, and the other, Lessle Knop, from the Kansas City Art Institute. Some of my younger family members, a daughter, niece, and nephew, are artists as well or heading in that direction. I'm proud of my mother's legacy as an artist, and my work over the past twenty-five years as a professional painter has been partly to honor her legacy but also because of my deep love for art.”

Marcia says even as a student she was an artist, her favorite memories from that time were her nursing professors who taught by drawing, “they drew all the pathways of the interior systems of the body by hand on the blackboard, scaled across the classroom. I turned in all my nursing papers with detailed drawings, and when I worked as a professional nurse, I used to draw to help my patients...teaching them how their kidneys and pancreas worked by drawing them on a notepad." Despite health issues, Marcia never stopped working to serve her family, church, and the art community. Marcia's Husband, Fr. Shawn Streepy, recently retired as the rector at St. Aidan's Episcopal in Olathe, KS, in 2019, where they ministered for six years. Her sister, Monica Bryant, and daughter, Jessica Lynn, are hosting the Retrospective. Their family is proud of their mother's work in the arts. Some painted portraits and family pieces will also be on view at the show. Marcia has battled an autoimmune disease that affected her bones since she was young, but it didn’t stop her from being a nurse, a mother, and serving her church. When Marcia had to give up nursing, she didn’t slow down. "I missed it," Marcia says, "but I went straight to the studio and didn't stop." Marcia remembers that while in college at Hutchinson Community College and then Marymount in Salina in the early 70s, “everyone thought I was an art major because of my mural work and being in the student art shows.”

Marcia founded and led drawing and painting groups and classes at Buena Vista Art Studio, mentored young artists, and encourages the practice of art "as a lifelong joy." She studied art under nationally known artists such as Wolf Kahn, Albert Handel, Doug Dawson, and Lorenzo Chaves, as well as courses at KU and Johnson County Community College. She was also influenced by Wayne Thiebaud and Mary Cassatt. Over the years, Streepy has continued to participate in multiple Plein air events and trips. She started doing portraits and taking classes with Charles Stegner in 1989. She founded a life drawing group at the Buena Vista Art Studio in Roeland Park, managing it for about ten years. The group is still going strong today. She said in a recent interview:

"One of my biggest joys is Plein air painting. I love being outdoors, the warmth of the sun, the buzz of cicadas, the singing of birds, even the rumble of traffic. I enjoy the challenge of interpreting and preserving a moment in a certain atmosphere, whether it be a warm, cold, windy, rainy, or a glorious day. Painting on location helps me appreciate the wonders of our world, the beauty of Kansas skies, the rolling hills in Chase County, and the golden wheat fields in western Kansas where I grew up. It's the secret beauty in the every day if we will only stop and look."

Her unprecedented freedom and balance in pigment encourage some to label Streepy a "pastel" painter. She has continually won national and international awards since 1990; in truth, her atmospheric immediacy has often caused artists to call her a modern impressionist. Streepy says she "reinterprets" the wonder of everyday moments. My work is not about realism but the impression of the space, time, and spirit of the object through the medium of art."

InterUrban ArtHouse and the Potucek-Streepy Family invite local art collectors, curators, Plein air artists, and Kansas Art lovers to a Retrospective show of art benefitting the Mid-America ALS Association.

Title: Glorious Days: a Retrospective by Marcia Streepy

Dates of Show: May 1st to June 5th, 2021

Public Hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays 10 am to 1 pm

Public Opening: Local Life Overland Park 3rd Fridays May 21st 5 to 8 pm

Private Family Reception: Friday May 28th

Gallery: InterUrban Art House

Location: 8001 Newton Street Overland, Park, KS

Polly Alice McCann

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"As a personal branding specialist, I write for Artists. I provide creative copywriting mentoring and instructional classes online and in my studio on storytelling and creative practice- my purpose is to provide engaging and meaningful feedback so you can get to the next level in your creative work." Polly Alice McCann’s lyrical poetry paints a picture of the narratives of the internal heartland. That’s not surprising since she is also an artist. Her art and poetry have been published in US newspapers and magazines, most recently in Rattle magazine. A professor of English, she is also the founder and manager of FLYING KETCHUP PRESS. She credits much of her creative work due to her research on dreams which won her the 2014 Ernest Hartmann award from Berkeley, CA. She says her favorite thing is to tell stories-- other people's, her own-- maybe yours.

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