Homestead National Monument presents “Art Classes on the Prairie”

BEATRICE – Homestead National Monument is hosting two art classes in honor of a volunteer who died in 2016.

Jerry Davison was a longtime volunteer at Homestead who valued the park’s natural beauty. Before his passing, Davison expressed his wishes to have an educational art session for students in Beatrice and surrounding areas.

Funds from Davison’s memorial will help pay for the instructors as well as art supplies for the students. “Art Classes on the Prairie” will include a drawing session September 28-29 and a painting session Oct. 19-20.

Retired art teacher and adjunct Southeast Community College professor Nelson Dungan will be instructing the classes. Fifth-to-eighth-grade students will be able to attend the sessions in the morning, while afternoon sessions will be reserved for high schoolers. Students can choose to attend one or both of the sessions.

“In October, we’re hoping the weather will be nice and the trees will be beautiful and we can do some outdoor painting,” Dungan said. “But, for right now in September, it’ll be drawing.”

Dungan hopes the classes will properly honor Jerry Davison’s legacy.

“(Jerry) was just a very involved man in the community,” Dungan said. “I think he’s a man who deserves a lot of respect. So, knowing the family and everything, I was interested in becoming involved.”

Homestead Chief Ranger Susan Cook said the park provides a great backdrop for aspiring artists.

“The park has so many cool places for nature to inspire people in all sorts of arts actually,” Cook said. “To the cool artistic buildings, to the historic buildings, to our story, to our prairie, to Burr Oak Forest…it has a lot of neat places to inspire.”

The first session is about half-full and Homestead has allowed for 60 students per session.

If interested, anyone can call Homestead to sign up for the free lessons. Younger children will be in the sessions from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and high school students are welcomed from noon to 4 p.m.

You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.

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