The Artist


Jerry Thomas has revealed his newest work of art, "Tradition".  The bronze sculpture is perched on its pedestal on the South side of the Scott Community Field House at Darner Field.  Commissioned by Rod and Kathy Haxton, in memory of Ryan Haxton, the statue represents the tradition of Scott Community High School Football, which has deep roots in the community.  The unveiling was held on 14 September 2012.  The Board of Directors and membership of the Scott County Historical Society congratulate Jerry Thomas on this singular achievement.

Thomas Inducted

SC Fine Arts Hall of Fame to Induct Three New Members

Winfield, Kan., April 16, 2012 — The Southwestern College Fine Arts Hall of Fame will induct three new members on Saturday, April 21. The ceremony will begin in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center lobby, with induction to be held in Messenger Auditorium.

The celebration will begin with a reception and the unveiling of plaques at 10 a.m., followed by the induction ceremony at 10:30 a.m.

Inductees include:

  • James Strand was on the faculty of Southwestern College from 1961 until his retirement in 2000. With degrees in organ performance from the University of Redlands, he earned his DMA from the University of Oklahoma. At Southwestern he taught organ, harpsichord, music theory, and music history; directed the bell choir; and chaired the division of fine arts for several years. An active participant in Jan Term, he also taught students how to build harpsichords. Strand received the Student Council Citation for excellence in teaching. He was an active soloist, performing organ, harpsichord, and clavichord concerts under the sponsorship of the Kansas Arts Commission and the Mid-America arts Alliance touring Program, and recitals in London and Holland during a sabbatical.
  • Jerry D. Thomas ’81 graduated from Southwestern College with a business degree, but became a full-time artist in 1986. The wildlife, trails, and history of the West are an important inspiration for his artwork, and his attention to detail and endless research have become a hallmark of his realistic images. He has twice designed the Kansas Wildlife Habitat Award and has been named Kansas Wildlife Artist of the Year twice. Thomas has dedicated himself to the preservation of our natural and historic heritage and has generated funding for habitat restoration in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The newly established Western Vistas Historic Byway features his designs along its 102-mile historic route.
  • Orcenith Smith studied voice at Friends University and opera performance at Juilliard, then began his opera career in 1940 with the Julliard Opera Company. He later sang with the New England Opera Company and with many American symphonies. Smith earned a degree from Trinity College of Music in London, a master’s degree from Columbia Teachers College, and a doctor of sacred music degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. He taught at Southwestern College from 1947 to 1953, always singing a major role in “Elijah” and directing the Purple Robed Choir. He later taught at the University of Oklahoma and Wittenburg University. Dr. Smith died Sept. 18, 1986.

The induction ceremony is a part of Founders Day Weekend at Southwestern Friday through Sunday, April 20-22. Four Southwestern College halls of fame will open their doors to new inductees, and the newly-refurbished Reuter Organ will be dedicated.

For more information, contact Susan Lowe, director of alumni programs, at (620) 229-6334.

Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. About 1,700 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at five professional studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.

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