Why did the turkey cross the road?

The image flashed through my mind again. A wild turkey racing across highway 169 just north of the huge Amazon.com distribution center near Coffeyville, Kansas in mid-March. What was it thinking? Was something chasing it? Black/green feathers shining under a bright blue sky. Yellow forsythia in bloom near the farmhouse. Flagman waving just one direction of traffic through at a time. My mind an old school film projector that clicks as the reels turn. Turkey running fence flashing sun black green blue yellow construction orange slow moving traffic fast moving turkey.

This is a poor reproduction of an old friend from the Sheldon Gallery's permanent collection. I was lucky to find Theordore Wendel's 1886 oil, "Girl with Turkeys, Giverny" on display last month. The Sheldon had a delightful grouping in the Rohman Family Galleries, including one room full of Robert Henri's portraits.

For fifteen years the Sheldon sculpture garden has been the site for "Jazz In June", a free series of concerts on Tuesday evening. It's been many years since I was in Lincoln in the month of June, but an old "Jazz In June" t-shirt is a star in my art classroom. It features a picture of a mosquito playing a trumpet. Ever since I put "the mosquito shirt" in the smock box a few years back, it's been easier to get kids to put on smocks. It's now a game to see who ends up with "the mosquito shirt," and other shirts have also acquired titles and status.

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