The local weekly newspaper, the Wilbraham-Hampden Times just did a very nice article about Kathy, her art, and the exhibition. I thought I would share it:
Hampden resident Peter Lehndorff is preparing to celebrate the artwork of his late wife Kathy at the Wilbraham Public Library during the month of September.
Celebrating the art of Kathy Lehndorff
Partial show proceeds to benefit Huntington’s research
By Tyler S. Witkop Turley Publication Staff Writer
HAMPDEN – A collage of everyday, household items pieced together and pasted with news clippings hangs on a wall. Another assemblage made with child’s toys hangs only feet away, above boxes full of handmade pins.
At every turn in the Lehndorff home, the creations of the late Kathy Lehndorff lay hidden from the world. This September, for the first time in more than 20 years, the public will have the opportunity view and purchase her work at a showing in the Brooks Room of the Wilbraham Public Library. Her husband Peter is busy preparing the pieces that range from paintings to imaginative sculptures and assemblages.
‘A self-taught artist, much of her work reflected her sense of humor,” Peter said. “‘She assembled found objects, painted and collaged items into whimsical assemblages. This exhibit will cover some of the different styles she worked in from early painterly work and boxes covered with typography, to invented contraptions.”
Kathy passed away last October from complications associated with Huntington’s disease. For the last 15 years of her life, she lived with the noticeable signs of the genetic and incurable condition that shares similarities with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). According to Peter, the lifelong artist gave up on artwork in the late 90s, just before the first signs of the condition surfaced.
Much of her later work consisted of crafts – making pins, jewelry, and other keepsakes. Initially, she helped her husband with their graphic design business, doing illustrations for advertisements, ultimately transitioning to bookkeeping and administrative work when symptoms progressed.
“She was a talented, imaginative person,” Peter said, “She was always learning, always changing. It was exciting watching her brain work.” Over the years, he said that she accumulated various objects like bicycle parts and old car mufflers for her creations. One piece used a baby stroller and an old typewriter. She even made an abstract painting using an old pair of Peter’s clothes.
He explained that the idea of the show is to celebrate her life and art, bringing awareness to the talents she kept from much of the world, particularly in her later years. It will also serve to raise awareness to the effects of Huntington’s disease. Partial proceeds from any sales will benefit the Huntington’s Disease Program at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut.
To help celebrate, a public reception is planned for Saturday, Sept. 17 from noon to 2 p.m. Peter, a singer-songwriter, plans to perform some of his songs, including a brand new song written about living with Huntington’s disease called “the Huntington’s Waltz.” He will stream the reception online at ConcetWindow.com. A feature on the site allows viewers to ·’Tip the Artist,” and proceeds would benefit the UConn Health Center.
“The reception is a chance for me to thank everyone for their help and support,” he explained. “It’s a chance for people to get to know her art.” Full reception details are still in the works, he noted. “She’d be grateful, but in some respects, she’d be too embarrassed to go,” Peter said of his wife.