Exhibition News: Wilbraham-Times article about Kathy’s art and the exhibit

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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.

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