Artist Deb Schroer has spent most of her life in Strong City, Kansas, population 584. Located in the heart of the Flint Hills along Kansas Highway 177, Strong City is famous for its annual rodeo; one of the first rodeos in the nation to be approved by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and one of the largest in the country. Each year the Strong City Rodeo attracts over 20,000 visitors to see professional rodeo contestants from all over the world.
Just two miles down the road from Schroer’s hometown is another famous attraction, the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. It is the nation’s newest National Park, with 11,000 acres of never-ploughed prairie land. The Preserve protects the once vast tallgrass ecosystem. Of the 400,000 square miles of tallgrass prairie that once covered the North American Continent, less than 4 percent remains, primarily in the Flint Hills of Kansas.
Deb Schroer has put down deep roots in this beautiful and unique topography where she lives and works, but she also is making a name for herself as a plein air artist far beyond the Flint Hills and Strong City. Working in oils, pastels, and acrylic, Schroer’s subject matter is varied, Her paintings capture the natural beauty of the Flint Hills landscape, the excitement of the American rodeo, and poignant moments in the everyday lives of people and animals. With her broad understanding of color, she produces and incredibly rich pallet that gives her work immense depth and feeling. Her love of the Flint Hills of Kansa and its people is interpreted through her paintings.
Schroer has garnered many awards for her work. Her painting, “Drama at Sunset,” was chosen as the winner of the 2010 Symphony in the Flint Hills Commemorative Print Competition. She recieved the First Place Award and an Honorable Mention for her paintings entered in the 2010 Ted Ensley Gardens Plein Air Art Competition. In 2009 and 2010, she took First Place for her art in the Stems Plein Air Event. She received the Juror’s Choice Award given by Paint the Parks 2007, a nationally touring art competition that draws nearly a thousand entries annually. In 2004, her painting, Prairie Thunder, was chosen for inclusion in a statewide traveling art exhibit, Homage to the Flint Hills. Her work has been published in the hardcover art book, A Spring Day on the Hill: Art Inspired by the University of Kansas, (Published in 2008 by SouthWind Gallery, Topeka, KS and the KU Alumni Association).
Schroer is a member of the Oil Painters of America and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society. Her work hands in private and corporate collections throughout the Midwest. She is represented by SouthWind Gallery, Topeka.