PITTSBURG — Yellow sunflowers, dirt roads and flying birds.

Painted benches portrayed the drastic difference between chilly winters and warm summers and other benches celebrated the arts in southeast Kansas.

The 12 benches were part of SEK Art Fest’s fundraiser for art grants. In the past, coal buckets and farm animal sculptures have raised money while providing a unique piece of art for all to see. The sculptures — and now benches — have sponsors who help pay the artists who decorate them.

In July, the benches were revealed to the public at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. Later, they were moved to Meadowbrook Mall so the public could see their colorful stories portrayed through art.

During community events, such as Little Balkans Days, the benches were put on display at Memorial Auditorium in hopes of finding new homes for the benches.

On Sunday, SEK Art Fest hosted an auction at Memorial Auditorium to sell the benches, making a total of $9,500. One bench, Four Seasons, by Lori Stotler, raised $2,200.

“It was the last bench,” SEK Art Fest Board Member Jenna Spencer said. “It was really exciting, everyone really wanted it.”

Spencer said the SEK Art Fest is thankful for Meyer Auction Service, who donated their time for the auction.

The next grant program will be announced in the spring. The previous sculpture auction raised enough money for several murals to be painted — including the “The Spirit of the Little Balkans,” mural in the Miners Hall Museum, the “Greetings from Pittsburg,” mural on the side of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce building and six crosswalk murals at Lakeside, Meadowlark, Westside, George Nettels Elementary Schools created by Pittsburg State University art students, among others.

In 2020 SEK Art Fest will have another call out for artists to paint another object. People can keep up with the goings-on at SEK Art Fest on the group’s Facebook page. Spencer said anyone interested being on the SEK Art Fest board may contact her at Memorial Auditorium.

Although the benches have a new home, there is an opportunity for people to have a little bench of their own on a postcard. They are $5 at Memorial Auditorium.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.



PITTSBURG — Yellow sunflowers, gravely dirt roads and flying birds.

Painted benches portrayed the drastic difference between chilly winters and warm summers and other benches celebrated the arts in southeast Kansas.

The 12 benches were part of SEK Art Fest’s fundraiser for art grants. In the past, coal buckets and farm animal sculptures have raised money while providing a unique piece of art for all to see. The sculptures — and now benches — have sponsors who help pay the artists who decorate them.

In July, the benches were revealed to the public at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. Later, they were moved to Meadowbrook Mall so the public could see their colorful stories portrayed through art.

During community events, such as Little Balkans Days, the benches were put on display at Memorial Auditorium in hopes of finding new homes for the benches.

On Sunday, SEK Art Fest hosted an auction at Memorial Auditorium to sell the benches, making a total of $9,500. One bench, Four Seasons, by Lori Stotler, raised $2,200.

“It was the last bench,” SEK Art Fest Board Member Jenna Spencer said. “It was really exciting, everyone really wanted it.”

Spencer said the SEK Art Fest is thankful for Meyer Auction Service, who donated their time for the auction.

The next grant program will be announced in the spring. The previous sculpture auction raised enough money for several murals to be painted — including the “The Spirit of the Little Balkans,” mural in the Miners Hall Museum, the “Greetings from Pittsburg,” mural on the side of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce building and six crosswalk murals at Lakeside, Meadowlark, Westside, George Nettels Elementary Schools created by Pittsburg State University art students, among others.

In 2020 SEK Art Fest will have another call out for artists to paint another object. People can keep up with the goings-on at SEK Art Fest on the group’s Facebook page. Spencer said anyone interested being on the SEK Art Fest board may contact her at Memorial Auditorium.

Although the benches have a new home, there is an opportunity for people to have a little bench of their own on a postcard. They are $5 at Memorial Auditorium.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.