Artist Exchanges Between Kansas and Paraguay

Below is a link to a nice article that appeared in ABC Color about Kansas artist Eric Conrad and his visit to Paraguay.  I want to use this opportunity to mention some of the artist exchanges that have occurred between Kansas Paraguay Partners and Comite Paraguay Kansas.  It is a remarkable history all made possible through travel grants from Partners of the Americas.There have also been many musical artist exchanges. I will review those another time. I will miss some artists so feel free to let me know who I missed.

Eric Conrad is an art professor at Emporia State University and is part of the most recent project where Kansas artists are helping judge contests in Paraguay with the winners coming to Kansas in the future.  Amber Hansen traveled to Paraguay a few months ago as part of this same project.  She helped judge a photography contest.  Judith McCrea is an art professor at the University of Kansas (KU) who is helping with this project and has traveled to Paraguay several times and hosted the well respected artist Carlos Colombino in Kansas.  The work that he created while in Kansas is part of the collection of the Spencer Museum of Art at KU. Another very recent Paraguayan artist who visited Kansas is Teresita Gonzalez who presented her photographs of the Paraguayan Hospital de Clinicas.

The ABC Color article mentions other Paraguayan sculptors who met with Eric.  One of those is Gustavo Beckelmann who visited Kansas during the Paraguayan art exhibit held at Washburn University in 2008.  He in turn was greatly influenced by Elden Teft a KU professor who traveled to Paraguay many years ago to teach sculpture.  Gustavo took one of Elden’s classes and was greatly influenced by what he learned.

The art exhibit at the Mulvane Museum at Washburn University in 2008 was curated by Reinhild Janzen who was director of the museum.  She travel to Paraguay and met many artists and brought back works that helped make the exhibit a success.  Speaking of Paraguayan art exhibits in Kansas, there was an exhibit of 20 pieces way back in 1969. This exhibit was at the Wichita Public Library.

Gene Ernst was a professor at Kansas State University who traveled to Paraguay to make sketches from the Jesuit Missions. He turned his sketches into beautiful note cards that I still use and treasurer.

A wonderful large sculpture along Interstate 70 was constructed by Herman Guggiari who was hosted many years ago by Ross and Marianna Beach.  The Beaches also were critically important in the creation of a museum of wood carved saints in Santa Maria de Fe.  The saints were carved by indigenous Paraguayans during the time of the Jesuit Missions.

Let me know what I missed.

Here is the link to the ABC Color article.

http://www.abc.com.py/edicion-impresa/artes-espectaculos/intercambio-a-traves-de-la-escultura-1297490.html

Ireland Anyone?

Charleville, Cork Ireland is having a weekend celebration (Sept. 19,20) of Eliza Lynch. So why is this on the Kansas-Paraguay blog? Because she became the “Queen of Paraguay.”  It is a great story. So book now for an early fall trip to lovely Ireland.  Then you could drop down to Paraguay.
http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/Eliza-Lynch-the-Irish-Queen-of-Paraguay-remembered-in-Cork.html

New Train in Paraguay?

Could it really be true? Check out this article that says that there is a contract with a South Korean company to explore light rain in Asuncion.  Thanks to the British, Paraguay had the first train in South America.  And then there is the joke that it is the last train in Paraguay.  The photo below is from 2005 and is indeed a working steam locomotive.  When I lived in Aregua the train woke me most mornings upon its arrival.  Occasionally I would stumble out of my bed and watch it take on water. A blast from the past.  Imagine Asuncion with light rail.  I bet it wouldn’t be as low cost as the bus.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2014/08/123_162325.html

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War of the Triple Alliance

In case you are not up to date on the Paraguayan War of the Triple Alliance here is an interesting piece.  This is from Wiki Wormhole.  Anyone want to do some fact checking?  The entry seems to on target according to my reading but I am no historian. I am always fascinated by the role of President Hayes.

http://www.avclub.com/article/war-nearly-destroyed-paraguay-and-made-hero-medioc-205545

Donated Fire Fighting Equipment from Kansas Arrives in Paraguay

Kansas Firefighter Equipment Delivered in Paraguay

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A container of firefighting equipment has landed in Paraguay and has been delivered to members of Comité Paraguay Kansas (our counterpart) Emergency Preparedness Committee headed by Steve Richards.  This nears the end of a 7 year saga that began with a cultural exchange to Kansas by Jorge Martín.

In 2009 Steve and Lorraine Richards along with several other Kansas Paraguay Partners (KPP) attended a Partners of the Americas (POA) regional meeting in Chicago.  At this meeting we all learned about the Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners remarkable ability to ship donated firefighter equipment to Nicaragua.  Steve came away from this meeting with a smile and the name of the Denton Program.

Steve and Lorraine were the lead KPP members on the Emergency Preparedness Committee and envisioned sending donated equipment from Kansas to Paraguay.  Under a POA travel grant Paraguayan firefighters had been to Kansas and indicated the need for updated equipment.  But why would Kansas’ fire departments donate equipment to Paraguay rather then to the many small rural communities in Kansas? There are standards for firefighter equipment and with technological advancement the standards change and fire departments must update to the latest equipment. This means that Kansas fire departments must get rid of old equipment.  Steve and Lorraine were glad to help out.

Now KPP had an interesting problem.  Steve’s basement was soon out of space to house donated equipment.  Under Steve’s leadership KPP bought an old shipping container and Steve arranged for it to be housed on the Wichita Fire Department’s property.  This storage and work space also came with the beginning of Scott Fromme’s involvement in KPP.  Scott is a Wichita fireman with lots of international experience.  Under a POA travel grant he traveled to Paraguay to make certain that the donated equipment could actually be used rather than sit in some warehouse because it didn’t work in Paraguay.  Scott visited lots of Paraguayan fire departments and learned a few words of Guaraní that helped forge a bond with Paraguayans.

Donated equipment kept coming in and Steve was learning about the Denton Program. Here is how the Department of Defense describes the Denton Program.

The purpose of the Denton Program is to allow U.S. based non-governmental sources to transport humanitarian aid at little or no cost to the donor, while simultaneously putting the extra space on U.S. military transport assets to good use. This program is jointly administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of State (DOS) and Department of Defense (DOD). Transportation is generally available to close destinations such as Latin and South America; however, the availability of transportation to particular countries is affected by current military and political situations. Transportation can neither be scheduled nor guaranteed; and therefore, cannot be used to meet urgent needs or deadlines.

Steve met the challenge of satisfying two government agencies and KPP was approved.  This is far from the end of the story.  I will let Steve tell more of the story.  Please click and enjoy.

 The Rest of the Story

Human Ecology in Kansas and Paraguay

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Pictured here are Clotilde Benitez and Mimi Smith Zabalio at the Kansas Paraguay Partners (KPP) meeting March 8, 1014.  Clotilde is the Dean of the College of Human Ecology at the National University in Paraguay and a graduate of Kansas State University (KSU).  Mimi Smith Zabalio is a long time member and supporter of KPP and the founder of the Paraguayan Human Ecology program. In the 1980s Mimi was a professor at KSU and working with Paraguayan counterparts on a variety of projects.  Out of these efforts came support from the Kellogg Foundation to establish a program for educating rural development professions in the College of Agronomy at the National University of Asuncion. This became the Department of Human Ecology in Paraguay. Most of the faculty of this program received degrees from KSU.  Other KPP members involved in these efforts were Lois Redman, Barbara Stowe, Meredith Stroh and Clara Dubbs.  I am certain that I haven’t credited all of those involved and invite additions and corrections.

Ireland has discovered Eliza Lynch

Here is another piece about Eliza Lynch: Queen of Paraguay from Ireland.  It seems like Ireland has discovered her.  In my mind it is about time.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/emily-hourican-the-extraordinary-story-of-eliza-lynch-the-queen-of-paraguay-30054027.html

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