The Prairie Ocean: Long Time, No Sea, is here at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History. Created by Chuck Bonner and Ray Troll, the exhibit will highlight stories of the Bonner family, and their family legacy as fossil hunters. The exhibit will also focus on Kansas and its natural history, featuring a variety of Chuck and Ray’s artwork, and fossils found here in Kansas.
Chuck Bonner – Chuck is a Kansas native, born and raised in the central and western parts of the state. His passion for art and fossil hunting was inherited from his parents. Chuck attended Fort Hays State University, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and a Master’s Degree in Painting. His art has been featured all over central and western Kansas, including murals at Fort Hays State University and the Ellis County Historical Museum. Chuck and his wife, Barbara Shelton, currently operate the Keystone Gallery, which is a combination of an art gallery, fossil museum, and gift shop. For more information about Chuck Bonner, the Keystone Gallery and his artwork, visit his website at keystonegallery.com
Ray Troll – Ray is known for his unique style of blending art and science, drawing his inspiration from extensive fieldwork and the latest scientific discoveries. Ray earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, in 1977, and a Master’s Degree in studio arts from Washington State University in 1981. After he graduated, he moved to Tongass Narrows in Ketchikan, Alaska. From there, his artwork grew in popularity, eventually earning him an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the University of Alaska-Southeast. Ray’s art has been featured in museums, books, and magazines. Some of his most recent works include Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway with Dr. Kirk Johnson; a mural for the University of Washington called Fishes of the Salish Sea; an exhibit at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History entitled, The Blue Seas, Green Seas; a traveling museum show called Buzz Saw Sharks of Long Ago; and his collaboration with Chuck Bonner in The Prairie Ocean: Long Time No Sea. For more information about Ray Troll, his artwork, and his exhibits, visit his website at trollart.com