A Perennial Tribute

The Lied Center of Kansas dedicated a sculpture in September to celebrate the center’s 25th anniversary and to honor the Lied Foundation Trust. 

In 1988, the Lied Foundation, led by Christina Hixson, made a gift of $10 million to build a new performing arts center in Lawrence. The center opened in 1993 and has entertained more than 1 million people in a variety of performances since then. 

The Friends of the Lied commissioned the 20-foot, red-and-yellow sculpture titled “Bloom” from renowned artist and KU alumna Jan Gaumnitz. She drew inspiration from the center’s mission to engage Lawrence through experiential learning and wanted to create a large flower to represent the growth and creativity the Lied Center fosters in the community. Gaumnitz had a few goals for the sculpture — it must be visible from long distances, able to withstand harsh weather and suitable for a large open area with challenging winds. 

“Bloom” is located in the middle of a sustainable pollinator garden and monarch waystation designed and tended by donors Doug and Susan Rendall, of Lawrence. The garden was meticulously planned — the Rendalls considered the origin of the plants, their position in relation to the sun, aesthetics and color scheme when arranging them in the garden.