Quapaw-inspired pottery on display in Kansas

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BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. – A special pottery exhibit is displayed in southeast Kansas by a member of Quapaw Nation.

Betty Beard Gaedtke creates pottery using traditional styles of the Quapaw tribe.

All of the items on display from this exhibit are multipurpose with intricate designwork, meaning historically her ancestors used them as tea pots and planters.

Museum officials say they prioritize showcasing unique works of art many would not see.

Mary Billington, Museum Director of Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum, says, “The native tribes obviously superceded us here in this area and their history and their roots are tied to this land much more tightly than many others. To promote their culture and to share their artwork and their designs shares their history and helps them grow stronger as a people, because more people know their story.”

Billington adds that Gaedtke’s current pottery exhibit will end on July 2.

However, she is working on several new pieces for her new Little People series.

The artwork will tell the tales of spirits in the Quapaw culture.

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