Art of Blackbear Bosin to be Presented at Next Cloud County Community College Cook Series Event

The work of Blackbear Bosin, who created the "Keeper of the Plains" sculpture in Wichita, will be the topic of an upcoming Cloud County Community College Cook Series event on Thursday, May 4. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be at 7 p.m. in Cook Theatre on the Concordia campus.

David Simmonds, Bosin's stepson, will speak on the life and artwork of his stepfather, as well as his book, "Blackbear Bosin: Keeper of the Indian Spirit." Named the 2013 Kansas Notable Book by the Kansas Library Association, the book will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

Francis Blackbear Bosin was born in 1921 in Oklahoma, and served in the Marine Corps during World War II. After his stint in the military, he began a career working with sheet metal at Cessna Aircraft in Wichita, and later with Beechcraft and Boeing.

Bosin had a gift for painting, and during his career, he became popular as a painter of Native American themes, which he used to preserve his Comanche and Kiowa heritage. His most prominent work is the 44-foot-tall steel sculpture, "Keeper of the Plains," which has become the most recognized landmark in Wichita.

While giving a lecture about his stepfather, Simmonds was asked if a book of his work existed. As there wasn't, Simmonds and several members of the audience formulated plans for a book and began fundraising. The success of the project was not guaranteed until Simmonds secured major funding from Trey Parker. Parker is best known as a co-creator of the animated series "South Park" and the hit Broadway musical, "The Book of Mormon."

Simmonds will have his book available for purchase following the presentation. All proceeds will go to the Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton to support the arts in Kansas.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Charles and Marian Cook Series at Cloud County Community College. The Cooks were travelers who wanted to bring the world to those who could not travel themselves. More than 70 events have been presented under the auspices of the Cook Foundation and the Division of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business in the past 25 years.

For more information, contact Brenton Phillips, Dean of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business at the Cloud County Community College, 785.243.1435.