Jeana Clark, rural Greensburg, was recently commissioned to provide Best Western Plus Hotel with 18 Kansas photos for display in hotel's guest hallways.
When Jeana Clark is out in the fields with her farm family, rural Greensburg, she has plenty of time to enjoy beautiful Kansas sunsets and scenery. Now, thanks to her professional photography skills visitors to the area who stay at the Best Western Plus Hotel at 515 W. Kansas Avenue, will also be able to enjoy Kansas beauty at its finest.
In the months of July and August, Clark completed a commissioning of 18 photograph portraits that were installed in the hallways of the hotel. The pictures included sunflowers, snow-covered trees, sunsets, a cow, horses and several different landscape settings.
"This all came about years ago when the original owner saw some of my pictures in some books I was selling at Main Street Flowers," Clark said. "At that time they purchased some pictures for the hotel that were very Kansas-like. They choose some pictures of wheat fields, harvest and a barn or two."
When the hotel was sold to a new owner from Fiji just of over a year ago, the pictures from Clark stayed. The new owners decided they would like to have more of the local artist's work and contacted her to commission more pictures.
"The Best Western chain required us to do some updates," said the new owner's son, Jay Kumar. "We wanted to stay with a local artist and really liked what we saw here of Clark's work. We just got the news one all up in the guest hallways."
Clark said that her life revolves around the farm she works with her husband and son, and the photography was really something she just pursues when she has extra time. Her family dry land farms wheat, corn, milo and soybeans so busy seasons blend from one to the other. In the past, Clark has photographed weddings, senior portraits and family pictures on request. She still does some of that, but said her favorite subjects were those of Kansas scenery.
"My favorite thing to do is just drive around in the country and take pictures," she said. "I especially love the old towns like Belvidere and Sun City, but I don't take pictures where I don't have permission."
Even with her limited time, Clark has put together 10 to 12 extra framed and matted Kansas scene photos that are for sale at her favorite art shop, Starla's Stitch-N-Frame, in Greensburg. She also created a few sunflower note cards that are available at the same spot.
"I was just so humbled to be asked to provide the additional portraits for Best Western," she said. "They have asked to pass my name on to other hotels, like the Best Western in Liberal, but with the farm here, and being so busy, I just haven't pursued any more commission work."
She has agreed to provide additional digital photos from her collection for a new work in progress at the Best Western in Greensburg, a 55-inch television screen that will scroll through Kansas scenes of sunsets, pictures from the May 2007 tornado and the aftermath plus several Greensburg businesses.
"The new owner wants to be able to promote Greensburg and places like the Big Well and the Twilight Theatre, but wasn't too excited about the price I quoted him to put those on canvas," Clark said. "So they came up with this digital idea that will allow them to keep changing pictures at less expense. They plan to put this up right behind the front desk so everyone who comes in the door will see what we have to offer here."
Clark said she did use photo shop on some of her pictures, especially to enhance the color, but for the most part just lets Kansas beauty speak for itself.