Hatteberg's People - Cher Olson

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On Hatteberg’s People, In Cawker City, Kansas there is the largest ball of twine in the world. Any Kansan worth their salt knows that. But I’ll bet you didn’t know about local artist Cher Olson. She painted her way into the heart of Cawker City.

“As you come into town you’ll see the big water tower that says ‘Cawker’ on the right. The neat thing about my studio is that we are right across the street from the ball of twine.”

That twine put Cawker City on the map. But a few years ago, as now, vacant buildings became pigeon roosts. Cher and others had an idea.

“We thought that maybe it would just be nice to cover up those windows with something very beautiful, like masterpieces of art.”

So Cher painted over fifty pictures then added something else…in each one she placed a ball of twine.

“We needed to connect. It worked perfectly.”

So for the past few years, the pictures have stood as part of the towns’ tourist attraction.

“It’s been really appreciated by the tourists from around the world. It’s just been a real pleasure doing this project and I’m so glad it was appreciated by so many.”

In her own right, Cher Olsen is a gifted artist.

“My art work is realism painting, most of it is realistic. I would describe it as colorful, I do a lot of landscapes.”

Her artwork is everywhere especially here in her studio, where scenes from the Kansas landscape are a testament to her roots.

“We’ve go some beautiful hills in the area and of course the changing seasons that we have her are just gorgeous.”

She loves to paint outside on good days – stretching herself and her art in a continuous search to satisfy that creative urge.

“I love it…this is where I want to spend my life.”

But in a small town art can sometimes create controversy.

“Well it did.”

This picture representing Michelangelo’s ‘David’ had to be taken down from one of the window displays.

“It really kind of surprised me that someone would come up with that thought.”

The original David is nude. But Cher strategically placed…you guessed it…a ball of twine on her ‘David’.

“There was no question, that ball of twine was going to go right where it went. I didn’t want to offend anyone.”

Now understand, Cher is also the wife of the Methodist Minister.

“Well, I did decide to take it down but we sure got a good laugh out of this.”

Living and laughing in a small Kansas town.

“I have found my niche in life and I am happy.”

Tag: Cher’s husband has been transferred to a new church in Junction City come July. But Cher says her studio will remain in Cawker City and be open part-time.

To reach Cher Olson at “Limestone Art Studio” you may call 785-781-4923. Her studio is right across the street from the ‘Ball of Twine’ at 821 Wisconsin in Cawker City, Kansas in Mitchell County.


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