Betty Kort’s Art on Display at CHI Health Good Samaritan

CHI Health Good Samaritan welcomes Hastings artist Betty Kort to its Walkway Gallery. A retired teacher, Kort’s mixed medium exhibit is a lifetime retrospective in poetry, prose and other ways of seeing on perfectly peculiar days. It’s on display in the hospital through November.

"There is nothing much that is new when we are at home in our familiar worlds. Our experiences feel commonplace because they have always been there, that is until we are jarred into noticing some marvelous detail of a place, a person, an object―some detail we ‘would not or could not see’ before. I believe that it is the artist’s job to point out these details," says Kort.

Korts’s 40-piece photography exhibit related to Willa Cather was exhibited at the 2007 Willa Cather Spring Conference and later adopted by the National Endowment for the Arts to be featured at various sites from New York to Wyoming and Texas as part of the NEA BIG READ program.

If interested in purchasing a piece, some of which are for sale, contact Kort at betty.kort@gmail.com.

The gallery at Good Samaritan has provided a respite and distraction to those walking the hospital’s halls since 2008.

Artist’s Statement written by Betty Kort

If you are in the countryside and happen to be in the right place at the right time, you may have seen what my father pointed out to me when I was just a child: When conditions are just right on the plains of Nebraska, you can see seemingly forever. It’s as if the earth peels up its side to display in dazzling detail, amid unearthly light, little worlds that normally reside over the edge, downward off the curvature of the planet.

Creating art is almost always a surprise for me too. I love those moments when watercolors merge unexpectedly or the right words suddenly appear on the page - little epiphanies along life’s way. It’s like coming to the edge of my mind.

There is nothing much that is new when we are at home in our familiar worlds. Our experiences feel commonplace because they have always been there, that is until we are jarred into noticing some marvelous detail of a place, a person, an object - some detail we "would not or could not see" before. I believe that it is the artist’s job to point out these details.

Biography written by Betty Kort

Betty Kort has worn many "hats" during her lifetime and has been blessed with many professional mentors along the way. Each has contributed to her scholarly and artistic pursuits, influencing her thinking and her personal and professional accomplishments.

Betty taught English and Art at Hastings High School chairing the Art Department for ten years. She was a 14-year member of the Willa Cather Foundation Board of Governors and also served as a board member of both the Hastings Literacy Program and the Nebraska Heritage Foundation. After retiring from teaching, she served as executive director of the Willa Cather Foundation for nearly 6 years which included her role as managing editor and contributor to the Willa Cather Newsletter and Review. She recently retired as executive director of the Hastings Public Schools Foundation.

Betty was a Cooper Foundation Award teacher; the 1993 Nebraska Teacher of the Year; a Disney Award Teacher; and is a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Nebraska Kearney. Betty was featured in "Creativity in the Classroom," a video and handbook created through collaboration between the Disney Learning Partnership and Project Zero at Harvard University. She was later employed by the Disney Learning Partnership during the summer for several years. She became the first Nebraska NEH Teacher Scholar in 1989 and later returned to Washington DC to serve as a mentor to the second group of NEH Teacher Scholars the following year. Heavily influencing her work as a teacher and artist was participation in an NEH Secondary Teaching Seminar, "Faulkner, the Regional and the Mythic."

Betty and her husband Ron are both native Nebraskans and now live in Hastings, Nebraska. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.

More about the CHI Health Good Samaritan Walkway Gallery

The Walkway Gallery is a dedicated corridor connecting the main hospital to the West Tower at Good Samaritan. This gallery gives regional artists more than 200 feet of display space with lighting and security systems to professionally highlight their artistic works. It was developed as part of Good Samaritan's Planetree philosophy of patient-centered healing.

The Art Steering Committee follows a competitive selection process using documented research criteria for art that supports healing in a hospital environment to choose the artists featured in the gallery. A new artist will display his or her works every four months. To submit art for consideration, please contact the Foundation at (308) 865-2700.

Betty Kort Photography