Roots and Wings: The Family of Chris Wolf Edmonds

two vibrant quilted works from my aunt, Chris Wolf Edmonds

The Lawrence Arts Center, in Lawrence, Kansas, recently had an exhibition featuring work from across the rich artistic career of my Aunt, Chris Wolf Edmonds. There are many creative people in my Aunt’s immediate family: her father (my grandfather), her children, Jason Edmonds and Brynn Edmonds Burns, all of them making beautiful art. The happy idea surfaced that it might be interesting to include some work from my Aunts creative family. They even reached back to her great grandfather (my great great grandfather) Johann Severin Kiemig, who filled his farmhouse in Zenda, Kansas with murals and paintings. They graciously invited me to participate. I am very grateful for this, for I respect my Aunt and my cousins very much, and my grandfather was a profoundly important figure in my life. Often, I contemplate the creative legacy that flows through my family, the generations who celebrated making things with hands, and placed a high priority on light, color and beauty. That benefaction shaped me and continues to do so. It is incredibly meaningful to be a part of an exhibition that celebrates that legacy and especially honors the one who has worked so hard and gracefully in her carrying it forward.

Chris Wolf Edmonds, detail

Deeply principled, generous and compassionate, my Aunt Chris always seems to know exactly who she is. Nurturing a deep love and kinship to the land, specifically Kansas, she has taken a path in life that I seek to emulate: a multi-disciplinary agrarian artist/craftsperson, manifesting excellence in craft, remembering tradition while pushing her own creative boundaries, and constantly evolving and growing as an artist and human within a flowering context of family and community. I know that she is a treasure. I am grateful to be part of her legacy.

the self portrait of my great great grandfather, Johann Severin Keimig, a lamp from my cousin Jason Edmonds, and one of my Aunt’s quilts.

As you look through the images from the show, you will see the quilted and fiber based art of my Aunt, carved wooden birds from my grandfather, wooden sculptures of my cousin Jason, photographs from my cousin Brynn, and paintings and prints from me. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it up to see the exhibition, and I don’t have titles to provide for all of the works at this point, so I apologize for not providing more detailed captions.

All of these photographs were provided by, and used by permission of the Lawrence Arts Center.

13 thoughts on “Roots and Wings: The Family of Chris Wolf Edmonds

  1. Jack, this is such a nice tribute to my mom and your aunt! Thank you. You are an absolute treasure to our family not only for your incredible artistic talent but for your generous and kind soul.

    1. Thank you, Brynn. Of course the nature of the show itself tells why I can’t take credit for any of those things, though I am profoundly grateful to help manifest them.

  2. Dear Jack,
    Thankyou for your lovely words. I wish you could be here to see our wonderful show in person! The Lawrence Arts Center staff did a great job of coordinating and exhibiting all our family’s varied works! And even with the weather and the pandemic, every time we stopped by there were people there to view it!
    It will be coming down this weekend and I will welcome home our pieces of yours and your grandad’s and your cousin Brynn’s and Jason’s, and Grosspapa’s self portrait …. I’ve missed them all ! It was like they all went on vacation and left empty spaces in my home and heart ♥️

  3. Jack, thank you for this beautiful tribute, and thank you for being such an amazing example of a true and talented artist yourself. We’re so fortunate to share the memories, inspiration and love that we do.

  4. Jack, this is really beautiful. You are such a thoughtful, talented and kind person. The exhibition looked fabulous-all of your talent is truly amazing! Hope to see you soon!

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