Linda Ganstrom's ceramic artwork, curatorial and writing skills are featured in a new book, "The Best of 500 Ceramics: Celebrating a Decade in Clay," published by Lark Books. She is a professor of art and design at Fort Hays State University.
Ganstrom's publication is just one in a series of opportunities she was afforded while on sabbatical during spring 2012 semester.
"I began my sabbatical studies hoping to expand my understanding of European influence on contemporary style by reading, research and language lessons," said Ganstrom. "A trip to London and Paris gave me a personal experience with European art, especially ceramics, allowing me to view works in the context of the culture that created them."
In addition to Ganstrom's publication, she created figures of influential women of European history currently on display in Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art. "Belle(s): Celebrating Women of Remarkable Influence" closes Sept. 21.
"Traveling to England and France, I was confronted with artistic images of women I had studied through reproductions of paintings, funeral effigies, statues and busts. The experience of seeing this art in person and in context offered me an experience and understanding more rich and full than I could have imagined."
Ganstrom said she "wanted to understand how history lives and influences the present through a study of art history."
"Art seems to be the thread that allows us to imagine the past, learn and prepare for a future, a thread that connects the past to the future," she said. "I also sought to understand my European heritage and the immigrant experience of my family and our community's history by viewing statues in Catholic churches and connecting with my personal family history through my great grandparent's homesteads, furniture and treasured objects -- ceramics, dolls, pictures."