There have been a lot of comments about the fair window painting at Hill’s Family Foods this year. Store owner Dirk Hill was very pleased with the likeness of his father, Ansel, created by painter Chelsea Zuege. (Johnson Publications photo)
Fair window painting at Hill’s drawing second looks
This year’s Chase County Fair window painting at Hill’s Family Foods is drawing more than the usual admiration.
After several years of painting likenesses of Dirk and Rhonda Hill’s daughters, painter Chelsea Zuege took on a bigger challenge this summer—painting Dirk’s dad, Ansel, with a plate of his famous nut rolls.
Ansel owned the grocery story at 131 East 5th Street since 1979 before his son took over as part owner in 2002 and worked in the store for 20 years before that. He continued to work there until October 2016, with his major duty before becoming ill that of making the nut rolls, Dirk said. Ansel passed away in June this year.
When Dirk received the order form for this year’s fair window painting, he wrote on it that he’d like a caricature of his dad.
When Zuege saw the request, she laughed, “Really?”
While a little nervous at first, Zuege said Dirk provided her with a photo of Ansel holding the plate of 36 nut rolls which helped.
She decided to start work on the window on a Sunday when the store is closed, so she could focus better.
“Caricatures are not my strong point, but I knew how important losing a father is and it meant something special to do this,” she said.
“When you’re doing a likeness of someone you need to take more time,” she added.
She went to work, and the painting began to develop into more of a real likeness of Ansel than a caricature.
Both she and Dirk believe the finished painting is half realistic and half caricature.
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