The Gann Museum of Saline County will showcase local artists with its upcoming exhibition "Heart Behind the Art."

A reception for the new show will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and visitors can begin seeing exhibits during regular hours Friday. 

Museum Director Lindsey Jordan said four local artists will exhibit their work. 

"We really wanted to convey not only their artwork, but why and how they begin creating, why they chose the mediums they work with and as much of their process as we can," Jordan said. "That is really what is interesting– people's stories."

Jordan believes art is important to the community and a part of its history. 

The featured artists are Diane Roberts, Ben Edwards, Matt Coburn and Cameron Holt. 

A bonus artist in the gallery is the late Ron Meyer, who drew local political cartoons for The Saline Courier. Jordan said for a long time Meyer's work was a big part of people's daily life. 

Each of the featured artists work in different mediums. 

Roberts' pieces include pen and ink drawings of local landmarks and water and oil paintings. 

Ben Edwards uses Saline County clay to create pottery. 

Matt Coburn's work is impressionistic oil paintings. 

Holt is an award-winning photographer who captures national parks and landscapes. 

"It is important to support the arts and especially the artists," Jordan said. "They are themselves their own small business." 

All the artists, except Meyer, will have work for sale. Jordan said the museum has contact information for each artist. 

Jordan hopes the display will help generate new clients for the artists. 

Jordan said this exhibition is completely different than any the museum has done, but she hopes to feature other local artists in future displays. 

"This one has a historical factor, but also recognizes four creative artists in our community," she said. 

She hopes this exhibit will bring in more varied and diverse guests. 

This exhibit will be on display through the end of 2019. In 2020, the exhibit will feature local scavenger Brandon Sutton and the artifacts he has found in Saline County and throughout the state. 

The exhibit and reception are both free to the public to attend. Jordan said donations and new memberships are always welcome. Membership levels range from $15 to $500 and include being on the mailing list for the newsletter. Donations and memberships help keep the Gann going. 

Some of the artists plan to attend the opening reception. Light refreshments will be available. 

The Gann is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at 218 S. Market St. in Benton. Jordan said groups can schedule tours. 

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