Creating in chaos: Local artist works in gallery exhibit

Eden Quispe of rural Newton works on one of her pieces at her home studio. She is one of several artists featured in a Carriage Factory Art Gallery exhibit “Kansas Through the Eyes of an Artist.” Wendy Nugent/Harvey County Now

By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now

NEWTON—Eden Quispe embraces chaos in her life and art.

“I’d rather it be chaotic than do the same thing over and over again,” she said about her life. “As an artist, it gives me a purpose. Working in chaos is better than doing routine things like dishes.”

For instance, one of the pieces of her work, called “Machinenmensch,” features a mom as the “altarpiece to womanhood” with cords coming off of her, tying her to various places in her home, like family members.

“Everything kind of revolves around the mom,” Quispe said.

Three of Quispe’s works are in an exhibit that opened on Saturday at The Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton called “Kansas Through the Eyes of An Artist.”

Quispe said she wanted to enter smaller pieces, and they included “Cut and Tied,” that won, which included an image to her great-grandmother. It incorporates fabrics from the Et Cetera Shop in Newton, her great-grandmother and at least one aunt.

“It’s just a way to honor people who have done fabric work in the past,” Quispe said.

Another piece is “Sunflower Ancestor,” which honors another great-grandmother and is based on an old photo. Another is a cityscape called “Permanence.”

The Halstead High School graduate said she picked themes that were Kansas-centric.

The chaos in Quispe’s life comes from all of her involvements, which include being an art teacher at Newton High School, mother to three children with one on the way, living in a home undergoing renovations and working on her master’s degree in painting from Fort Hays State University. She earned her undergraduate degree in art education at Wichita State University.

Quispe taught art overseas for five years, met her husband there and brought him to the States from Peru.

“The more we stayed here, the more we’ve found it’s a good place,” Quispe said.

When they had their first two children, Quispe found it to be overwhelming.

“Now, I’m kind of more laid back about it,” she said, sitting in her studio, adding her newer works are about motherhood.

One called “Dreamer” is of a dream scene.

“It’s kind of based on a house shape,” Quispe said.

Quispe uses mixed media with fiber in her artwork with various techniques. This includes soldering fabric and painting with watered-down paint and watercolor. Materials include fabric, doilies, lace and embroidered fabric.

It’s possible to solder polyester because it melts, but cotton doesn’t.

Quispe enjoys art for several reasons.

“It’s just a way to process things,” she said. “It’s a good way to think about things, a way of processing things—for me and my students, too. This way can be processed a little more quickly.”

That’s more quickly than other media.

Other artists in the show

Other artists included in the exhibit are Velera Adams, Lila Bartel, Jean Cook, Elizabeth Corbett, Kammy Downs, Shawn Dekler, David Ediger, Glen Ediger, Betty Duffy Eller, Marilyn Friesen, Barbara Gabel, Constance Gehring, Mary Goering, Diane Goldschmidt, Pam Hayes, Jay Holobach, Janis Jamesby, Bonnie Johnson, Mary Johnson, Juris Krievins, Diane Lawrence, Arley Loffler, Kristine Luber, Gail Lutsch, Gene Marsh, Kelly Nachtigal, Irene Neilsen, Virgil Penner, Eden Quispe, Connie Rhodes, Karen Robben, Kathy Schroeder, Jeffery Sparks, Kim Taggart, Michelle Voth, Kathy Waltner and Jennifer Weigel.

The exhibit will include pastels, oils, watercolors, acrylics, colored pencils, photography, mixed media and sculpture.

Works featured in the exhibit are priced between $100 and $2,900. A video and digital catalog detailing the works of the show also will be available on the gallery’s website.

For more information, visit or follow the gallery on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

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