ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kansas Flint Hills- unique weekend getaway and artist's retreat

Updated on January 31, 2017
looking out the window of our little artist's cottage.
looking out the window of our little artist's cottage.

The Gallery at Pioneer Bluffs in the Flint Hills of Kansas

The tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills- an artistic escape

There is a place where vast expanses of prairie grass wave in the wind, with nothing but the sky above you. Where prairie fires and blackened sod give way to fresh new green life. A place where prairie chickens make a spectacle of themselves doing an elaborate mating dance . Whose beautiful headdress of feathers cannot help but bring to mind the Indians who roamed these plains for so long; The Kansa, or South wind, Indians.

Land, sea and sky- artistic inspiration

This place is Kansas. It's in the Flint Hills, Chase county, out in the middle of nowhere, somewhere between Wichita and Emporia on the two lane highway - or interstate 35 if you're in a hurry. If you are an artist or nature enthusiast, you will be particularly drawn in by the awe-inspiring beauty this place has to offer. It is the last and largest tallgrass prairie left in the country. You will see cows and horses grazing, and fires in the spring and fall. Both help renew the prairie and keep it just like it has always been. A place of refuge. A place of beauty. A place to be still. It's undulating forms still remind one of it's former life- an ocean bed- waves of tallgrass and birds now occupy where water and fish once met the sky while fossills in the limestone tell the story of prehistoric lifeforms.

Prairy Erth and the Flint Hills connection- an artist's story

This place has held many secrets over time ; of the ancient sea, of Native American, of pioneers, wind, fires, wondrous nature, and countless other stories never told. The book "Prairy Erth" , written by William Least Heat-Moon, tells all about this land and it's occupants over time and space. He probes deeply, and you come away with an appreciation and love of this mystical place- this spot in Kansas, of all places- whether you have ever traversed it's limestone bluffs or not. "Blue Highways",it's predecessor, also by Least Heat-Moon written in the 1970's, his story of travelling the byways of America during a time of transition and growth in his own life. This was the experience and the book where he first made contact with the Flint Hills, and was then inspired to write "PrairyErth" about Chase county. See more on the Flint Hills :

Drawn to this particular place on earth- Cultural and artistic retreat - artist residence

Ton and Ans Zoutenbier, moved deeply by these books, moved from Europe to the U.S.and settled in Abiquiu, New Mexico, where they ran an art gallery, the Tin Moon, for 12 years. But the more they learned of the Flint Hills, the more they loved it and decided in 2009 to uproot, move to the tallgrass prairie, and open an art gallery in the midst of this place they had fallen in love with.Led by this inspiration, Pioneer Bluffs art gallery was brought to life at the old Rogler homestead, a beautiful house built in 1909 with huge cottonwoods surrounding it. The cottonwoods date back to when Pioneer Bluffs was homesteaded, in 1859. You will find it on the Flint hills Scenic Byway 177, after you drive through Matfield Green if you're coming from the south. You can also take the exit to Matfield Green off of Interstate 35. You will know you're close when you see a hand build, limestone wall spanning at least a half of a mile before you get there. Drive up the gravel drive, up onto the welcoming porch and come in. This is not the kind of art gallery you would expect in the middle of Kansas. No, you will not find cows or chickens painted on anything, nothing "country" or even 'midwest" for that matter. This is a contemporary art gallery, known mostly for it's minimalist and modern artists. It has evolved into a mecca of sorts for artists, with workshops, artists in residence. Several of the residents in Matfield Green have moved from all over the country, and live in the Flint Hills part of the year, and the east coast, etc. the rest of the year.

So much more than just another art gallery-

So Pioneer Bluffs is a wonderful gallery, in a 103 year old home on the edge of the Flint Hills; the tallgrass prairie preserved as it has been for ages. It's a beautiful place to wander and roam, observe and experience. But it's a long way from nowhere- and you would have to drive back to Emporia to stay the night somewhere, right? Wrong!

Artist housing -

Here is one of the coolest things about Pioneer Bluffs art gallery. These folks have amazing little cottages, or bunkhouses, or farmhouses that they will put you up in. You can stay for a couple of days or a week, in your own little private getaway. Ton and Ans will even let you work in their huge community garden if you would like. Or have a wonderful barbeque dinner out in the barn when the volunteers all meet to work once a month. Great people, great food, and an inspiring and unique environment. But the most amazing experience is to be able to roam, explore, photograph and hike around this beautiful land during the day, and then come back to your little house to rest, write, draw, paint, or do whatever it is that you want to do in your quiet hideaway under the stars.

The Pioneer Bluffs art gallery and the Flint Hills surrounding it are hidden treasures in the middle of the Kansas plains. If you're looking for abounding beauty, in land and nature, in the people of this place, and in the fascinating art that is nurtured, spawned and thriving here, you can't find a more inspiring spot than this place.

Check out their facebook page and website to see beautiful photos, what's new, and how to contact them and book a trip!

Matfield Green Kansas and the Pioneer bluffs art gallery


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great place, fine hub! Thanks for sharing!! ;-)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      This is a beautiful hub! Great info and wonderful photos. Rated up!

    • Dbro profile image


      7 years ago from Texas, USA

      I love this hub! I'm from Kansas originally, and really do sometimes yearn for those wide open spaces. I would love to live in this home and create my art there. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful place with us!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)