This morning in the House of Representatives Chamber in the Kansas Capitol, Gary Blitsch of SouthWind Art Gallery introduced Don Lambert and me.

Don Lambert portrayed John Steuart Curry and so he was dressed in his painter’s overalls. I was dressed in my author clothes. Actually, I would not, could not write in these fancy clothes. (Fancy for me is anything that is not a t-shirt and jeans.)

Dave took these incredible photos.

Don Lambert was fabulous as John Steuart Curry. Curry has a fascinating story and I learned a lot from Don’s performance. Curry’s father went to KU with William Allen White and White was one who helped Curry get the mural job in the Statehouse in the late ’30s. There was a lot of criticism from the legislature and others over his paintings – and so he never did finish the set of murals – or even sign them.

“Tragic Prelude” by John Steuart Curry on the second floor of the Kansas Capitol.

Don Lambert, as Curry, told about receiving negative comments about the horse he had painted. A legislator brought in the book, “My Friend Flicka,” and said the horse should look like the painting of the horse shown in the book. Curry pointed out to the legislator that the picture in the book was done by Curry himself.

After Don’s performance, I read six or seven of my favorite Kansas essays from my book, Flyover People.

Being able to read in the Capitol building was a wonderful opportunity. I send much gratitude to Doyle Comfort on the Savor Kansas committee for making the arrangements.

Topeka is celebrating the Kansas Sesquicentennial during June – all month long – with their Savor Kansas events. Check out the events here.

An art competition was held for Savor Kansas and 150 pieces were selected for display. Those are now showing at SouthWind Gallery, 3074 SW 29th in Topeka. There are some great pieces – and a number have already been sold – so stop by to check them out.