For local artist Rhoda Strasser, buildings have a story to tell. She helps to tell that story through her artwork.
Her upcoming art show at the Lennox Community Library in February will showcase one local farm, as she plans to set up, “Buildings Thru the Ages” — a collection of paintings that feature the LeRoy and Doris Fett farm.
The Fett farm was recognized as a century farm in 2018. To qualify as a South Dakota Century Farm or Ranch, a family must have retained continuous ownership of at least 80 acres of original farmland for 100 years or more.
LeRoy and Doris’ daughter Cynthia Fett said, “Actually my dad Leroy was born and raised here, his father bought this place in 1917.”
Strasser is a friend of the Fett family and for the past two and one-half years she has spent time walking the property, taking photos and painting many different buildings from the farm.
Her first piece was the barn which was built in 1898 by Wesley Harden. Cynthia said the barn is still in use today.
“The cows are standing in it right now,” she said.
Learning about the history was not only fun for Strasser but for Cynthia as well.
Cynthia said, “When she was doing the pieces, I would ask my dad the history of them. My dad passed away in June of 2018, and so hopefully, we have that history now.”
Strasser said that was what she found so inspiring about this collection of art.
“I enjoy the old buildings, their character and stories that they have to tell,” she said.
Strasser has one painting of a limestone fence post. She said this unique fence post that stands at the Fett farm originally came from Kansas. Fencepost limestone was used between 1884 to 1920. She said, “it’s part of family history.”
The collection that she will be showcasing in February consists of about fifteen pieces that feature buildings like the Fett barn, the hog house, the smoke house and more.
Cynthia said her favorite is the hoghouse.
“The architecture is so cool,” Cynthia said. “And she did it in the fall with the pumpkin patch in the background.”
Cynthia expressed her appreciation for Rhoda’s art.
“They are all fabulous,” she said, “The show is a fabulous idea, too, because she’s done such wonderful pieces and it’s nice to share them with others, not just us.”
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