Public Reception May 30 for Sandoz Exhibit of Pastels



The Mari Sandoz Center has announced the opening of an art show including a variety of still life, abstract, portrait, and landscape pastel drawings by the late Marilyn Belschner. Celebrating Color and Light: The Art of Marilyn Belschner opened May 22 and will close Sept. 6. The public is invited to a reception Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m.

According to a website dedicated to the late artist and mother of Chadron area resident Shawn Cogdill, Belschner was born in Beatrice, Nebraska, in 1930. As a child, she drew and made paper dolls, and designed and created their clothing and rooms using wallpaper books and fabric remnants.

The family moved to Kearney, Nebraska, in 1945 where Belschner graduated from high school.

In 1949, she married James Belschner and moved to Amherst, Nebraska, where she lived for 35 years, raising two daughters. As an aspiring artist in the 1950s and 1960s, she dabbled in sculpture, illustration, watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting. Throughout her life, she helped schools and churches with artistic and creative projects.

In 1966, she traveled to Chicago to view the Andrew Wyeth Art Exhibit. That year, her first oil painting received The Nebraska Centennial Art Show award.

According to the website, Belschner was passionate about researching her topics and taking photographs she could work from. She became dedicated to developing her talents and settled upon pastel as her primary medium.

She attended workshops by Sergei Bongart, Albert Handell, and Ned Jacob. Other artists who influenced her include Georgia O’Keefe and Andrew Wyeth. According to the website, moving to Taos, New Mexico, in 1996 fulfilled her dream to paint and study the people of the Southwest. Her travels to Europe and Maui further broadened her library of work.