Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Final Friday Pics

Here are some pics from last night's Final Fridays.

Todd at the Arts Center

Travis (Nerd Nights) with friends at the Pig

Jason tweeting at Wonderfair

art at Wonderfair

Jason at Wonderfair

Christy at Inkello

Boog at the Percolator

Rolf at the Percolator

Nicholas at the Percolator

Aaron at the Percolator

Max at the Percolator

crowd at the Percolator

Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting Ready at the Percolator

Artists have been getting their shows ready for tonight's Final Friday.  You can view my top five Final Friday picks here:

Last night, we visited the Percolator Gallery to drop off artwork.  We took pics of Amber Hansen getting ready for her show The Story of Chickens.

More about the Percolator Gallery
The Percolator runs on a small budget by volunteers with funding from art sales and donations.
 Located behind the alley of the Lawrence Arts Center, the Percolator is a gallery and project space that not only has art, but poetry readings and other public events. 

The history of the Percolator is grass roots, started by members of the community.  Original Percolator meetings were held in Dave Loewenstein's art studio.  In 2007, the group obtained non-profit status and, with the help of a generous owner, a more established building for the gallery. 

Unique to the Percolator is that it is not afraid to tackle political issues.  Just recently, the gallery explored the topic of diminishing green space downtown through an art show and lectures.  The Percolator held discussions and show for Save our Schools.  In another show, the gallery presented historical political posters from the Lawrence area.  Last winter, the Percolator offered a sign making event for a demonstration for state budget cuts for the arts in Topeka.

The future of the present Percolator space is unknown.  Members of the Percolator board fear that if a proposed hotel is built in the present lot in front of the gallery, the gallery will be forced to move. The gallery is keeping a watchful eye on the development of the hotel.

above pic: members of the percolator present a small scale model of Downtown to Mayor Cromwell with the proposed Marriott Hotel included

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Karen's Top Five Final Friday Picks for March

Looking at Art In Lawrence

March 30 is another Final Friday in Lawrence.  The weather should be nice and there are many great venues to see artwork.
Look for my paintings at The Lawrence Arts Center and The Percololator.
Here are my top five picks for Friday.

1. Lawrence Arts Center Auction
940 New Hampshire

Photos from the Art Auction reception for Artists earlier this month

The Lawrence Arts Center has their show up for their annual Art Auction.  The show is up now until April 14, which is the night of the auction.  There are 150 artists exhibiting, and the featured artists is Hong Chun Zhang. Look for TJ Tangpuz's interactive sculpture (pictured above).
Here is the Arts Center Website for more information on the auction:

2. Amber Hansen,The Story of Chickens: A Revolution at the  Percolator
Located in the alley between 9th Street and the Lawrence Arts Center.  Look for the green awnings.

This is the big show that everyone is talking about.  Here is what the postcard says about the show:
This is an exhibition showcasing the project thesis, its original intent, dialogue surrounding the project and subsequent project modifications. Also included will be an exhibition of local artwork reflecting our relationship to animals and the food we eat.

There will also be a closing reception to this show.  More about the closing reception in upcoming weeks.
The show closes April 22.

3. Wonderfair: Cat People
803 1/2 Massachusetts Street ( Upstairs)

Here is what the Final Friday blog says about Cat People:
Cats: They’re Not Just For The Internet Anymore
Final Friday, March 30th, Wonder Fair presents CAT PEOPLE, a group exhibition featuring
original art, zines, and installations by Faye Moorhouse (UK), Gemma Correll (UK), Liz Prince
(Boston), and Nicole Georges (Portland OR). In their diverse narrative works, these artists take
the ubiquitous and banal subject of cat fancying to unexpected, unsettling, or absurd new places.
Destinations range from Correll’s comical interpretation of a doting cat lady’s altar, to
Moorhouse’s haunting artist book The Cat Ladies of Czecheslovakia, a modern folk tale
rendered in soft ink washes.  Affordable original artworks and limited print editions from all
participating artists (including a few local favorites) will be available for purchase through the Gallery.

4. Teller's Jonathon Metzger: Keep Busy
746 Massachusetts Street (third floor)
Jonathon is a second year graduate student in printmaking at the University of Kansas.  He works in a variety of printmaking media including intaglio.
Here is a part of his description of the show:
Growing up in a conservative farming community within a family of boys, I have come to question my American, specifically male, experience. In creating delicate works on paper, I strive to explore male identities and the transition from boyhood to manhood.

5. Kristin Moreland: Invisible Hand
801 1/2 Massachusetts ( Upstairs from the Casbah)

Kristin works with sequins and beads to create her beautiful and unusual work.  Check out her website for more information on her work.
I love the pic she put on her Facebook invite:

At next month's final friday, we look forward to Atomic Photography's show and open house for their new studio in East Lawrence. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Two Great Thesis Shows: Opening pics

Tonight, we visited the opening at the Art and Design Gallery for two talented MFA thesis candidates: Nathan Hoffman and Andrew Huffman.  Here are pics from tonight's opening.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Nathan Hoffman: Microcosmical

I am very excited to see two new thesis shows that share a space this week at the Art and Design Gallery.  One of the shows is Nathan Hoffman's Microcosmical which opens on Monday.

Nathan's work is organic, with textures and colors inspired from nature.  Here is Hoffman's statement about his work that was included in the invite for the show:
The goal of my thesis exhibition is to take the viewer into a landscape of my artistic world, where matter is a vehicle between the conscious and subconscious mind. I want my viewer to connect with the space by physically entering and travelling through it, thereby becoming a part of the landscape and a part of the installation.

I am not exactly sure which art works Nathan will include in his show, but I'm adding some random pics from Nathan's studio that he sent us on Facebook.

Opening Reception: Monday, March 26, 5:30-8:00 pm
Closing Reception: Thursday, March 29, 5:30-8:00 pm

Gallery Hours: Monday 8:30 am-7:00 pm
Tuesday & Wednesday 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Thursday 8:30 am-9:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am-1:30 pm

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tap Room Poetry Series this Sunday

We are already thinking about our weekend plans. One of our stops is The Tap Room for poetry on Sunday, March 25.  We love going to this poetry series, which is held in the basement of the Tap Room.  This Sunday, special guest poets are Judy Roitman and Mary Stone Dockery.  However, our favorite poets are people from the community who read in the first half of the presentation,  which is an open mic type format.

Of course, the Tap Room sells alcohol, but one of my favorite drinks they make is gingerale, made with fresh ginger ( Jeremy makes an exceptional gingerale).

This event is free and open to the public.  For more information, go to the Tap Room Poetry Series website:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Story of Chickens

One of the most talked about art topics in Lawrence right now is Amber Hansen's project The Story of Chickens.  A Warhol Foundation Rocket Grant was awarded to Hansen for her proposal to house chickens in a traveling coop. At the end of the project, the chickens would be eaten at a community gathering.  

Modifications were made in response to community input and after Lawrence's City Hall announced that Hansen's project was breaking city code. For now, no chickens will be used in the project; an empty chicken coop will travel to "undisclosed locations" throughout Lawrence starting on March 30.  A community potluck and discussion will follow on April 21.

Currently, there is a call for submissions for The Percolator Gallery's show The Story of Chickens, curated by Hansen, for art that is "a personal reflection on chickens, the food we eat and where it comes from."  Art may be in the form of film, photographs, poems, paintings, prints, or sculpture.  The opening for this show is March 30.

More about the Project
People have very strong opinions about this project.  Some critics say that it is inhumane to use animals for the sake of art.
Here is the artist's statement about her project given on her "The Story of Chickens" blog: Through this project, I made a commitment to unveil what I have found to be the abstracted and passive experience of our disengagement with the animals we consume. “The Story of Chickens”’ intent is to provide an opportunity for this engagement....
The average American’s interaction with food is at best a passive one. By this I mean that consuming is often reduced to a purely aesthetic experience abstracted from the reality of life and death. I believe our current reliance on factory-farmed animals to be a parasitic relationship. By urging a closer relationship between the consumer and the consumed, I hope to promote a more conscientious and tangible relationship.
With this closeness comes the responsibility of realizing and de-abstracting the conditions and origins of that which we choose to consume.

Some critics of this project have been unfairly harsh, like this article entitled "15 Minutes of Shame' in which Bradshaw compares the psychology of this project to the "doubling" or dissociation similar to the twin selves guards had when working at Auchwitz. While the "camp self" performed selections for the gas chambers, the humane self played congenial host and father outside the prison—a psychological no-lose proposition.

In any case, this project has raised community discussion about just where our food comes from, which was Hansen's original aim.  Look for her empty chicken coop around town starting March 30 and check out her opening the next Final Friday at the Percolator.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fantasy Trip: Lucian Freud in London

Lucian Freud  Reflection ( Self-Portrait) 1985

One of the hottest art shows on view right now is the Lucian Freud "Portraits"  retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The museum is offering extended hours for this exhibition because of enormous ticket sales.  "Portraits" includes 130 of Freud's works, some of which were owned privately and have not been seen in public.

Some consider Freud to be one of the most important recent artist working with the figure. He died in July of 2011 at the age of 88. His paintings have fetched millions at auction, with a portrait of a nude lying on sofa going for $33.6 million in 2008 - then a world record for a work by a living artist.

'I've always wanted to create drama in my pictures, which is why I paint people. It's people who have brought drama to pictures from the beginning. The simplest human gestures tell stories.' -Lucian Freud

An interesting critic of Freud's work was in the Nation in August 2011 "The Democratic paintbrush of Lucian Freud" : Some of Lucian Freud’s critics claim that his portraits—especially his naked portraits—dehumanize the sitters, that the light that glares down on their faces and bodies might be more appropriate for a police interrogation or an autopsy, that Freud’s paintbrush reduced the models’ flesh to bags of bones, or else yeasted it up like dough that spills or flops across unsavory surfaces: scruffy couches, crusty mattresses, rag heaps, bare floors....Those critics who called Lucian Freud shameless were, in fact, right on the money. He painted to do away with shame—the kind that cherishes certain bodily stories and banishes others. He made the case that no body type inherently possesses more capacity to compel and spellbind than another.

To learn more about this intriguing exhibition, here is the link to the National Gallery. The show runs unitl May, 2012.

Also, check out this great article from Vanity Fair in which David Kamp interviews people who sat for Freud:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Anne Cherry Tonight at Dr. Sketchy

Dr. Sketchy, Kansas City
Anne Cherry will be at 1331 Union Avenue from 6-10 p.m. Be sure to bring your drawing supplies.  Cyan will be DJing.

Here are some pics from the Dr. Sketchy earlier this month with LaVone Mystere.  LaVone is an artist herself, graduating with a BFA in textiles from the University of Kansas.  She makes many of her wonderful costumes. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kansas City's Best New Gallery: Plug Projects

Last night, we took a field trip to Kansas City to see the Plug Projects gallery opening Superstruct.  

Plug Projects is a gallery located in the Stockyard District of Kansas City. The neighborhood overlooks building icons Kemper Arena and The Golden Ox. The gallery is partially funded by a Warhol Foundation grant. Five Kansas City artists have studio space and maintain the gallery. Here is Plug Project's link:

The weather was perfect for the opening. Here are some pics from last night.

Artist TJ Tangpuz

TJ's Installation



Studio Space