MOUNDRIDGE — When Moundridge Communications Network was left with 20 pieces of artwork in its vault, the company wanted to make sure it was used in the best possible way.
The assortment of paintings, photographs and prints, most depicting scenes from the southwest, was just part of the art collection of Carl Krehbiel. Krehbiel, like his father before him, was the owner of Moundridge Communications Network, formerly called Moundridge Telephone Company.
“He still had some artwork left here in our vault,” said Sommer Smith, vice president of Moundridge Communications Network. “He had a huge art collection.”
After Krehbiel’s death, his family asked Moundridge Communications Network to use the art to do something good in Moundridge.
“We thought donating it to the arts council would be the best thing we could do, especially with them just getting up and going,” Smith said. “We wanted to do it on behalf of the whole (Krehbiel) family.”
Lory Fisher, president of the Moundridge Arts Council, said when she learned of the donation, it made her excited to have pieces to display in the organization’s gallery space.
“For them to give us that and the right to sell it, that’s huge,” Fisher said. “It not only stabilizes us, it sustains us and our growth going forward.”
Each piece of art was numbered, wrapped in bubble wrap and carefully transported to the MAC building.
“It was quite an archival process,” Fisher said.
One of the donated pieces still sits in the vault at Moundridge Communications Network — a large painting appraised at $10,000.
“We wanted them to have the opportunity to do with it what they wanted,” Smith said.
Eventually, all of the donated artwork will be sold and the money generated will be used to continue renovations of the MAC building and support arts programs.
“There was such a hunger in Moundridge for this kind of thing,” Fisher said. “So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to encapsulate everything (in the arts).”
The public is invited to view the Carl Krehbiel collection from 4 to 8 p.m on Sept. 30 at the MAC Fall Art Show.
“This will serve as an open house venue to also invite local artists to display and sell their items,” Fisher said. “It gives the community a chance to come in and see the Arts Council (building). We’d like to show it off. We have so much to be proud of.”
“The establishment of the arts council is fantastic,” Smith said. “If we can contribute to that, it makes us happy.”
To tour the MAC building or to display artwork the Fall Art Show, contact Lory Fisher at 620-794-6125 or email@example.com.
Contact Patricia Middleton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.