Sunday, December 30, 2012

Art News: Most Memorable Stories of 2012

We are looking back at some of the most memorable national and international art news stories for 2012.  Here are our top stories, 

1. Christ image Re-Make

We loved this story of a fresco make-over in Borja, Spain by 80 year old Celia Jimenez. We actually liked the make-over!   Her Christ image was all over the internet, and even inspired Halloween costumes. Jimenez in now a international celebrity, and is selling her art.  

2. A Rothko gets tagged

An artist tagged a Rothko at the Tate with a marker.  He claimed the value of the Rothko would go up.

3. Guy visits museum, looks like an old painting

The painting hanging in the Philadelphia Museum of Art is called Portait of a Nobleman with a Dueling Gauntlet and was painted in 1562. 

Photo via Hyperallergic

4. Hurricane Sandy devastates small galleries

Hurricane Sandy brought heavy rains and flooding to New York City. Especially hard hit were small and independent galleries in the Chelsea District.  Artist studios were also flooded. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Looking Back: Most Memorable LFK Art Shows from 2012

1. A Story of Chickens
Amber Hansen
The Percolator

Certainly the most controversial of any art project from 2012, A Story of Chickens made national news.  Hansen received a Warhol Foundation Rocket Grant to house chickens around Downtown Lawrence.  At the end of the project, the chickens would be eaten at a community gathering.  Hansen received hate mail, and as a result of pressure, including a city ordinance, ultimately excluded chickens from the project. 

2. I Have Big Feelings
Henry Schiederman
Art and Design Gallery

We loved Henry's huge and eerie sculptures that reminded us of Death Eaters from Harry Potter

Pic of artist Henry Schiederman

3. Out of My Hands
Eli Gold
Lawrence Arts Center

Gold spent months creating a silver tea pot.  After a special tea ceremony, Gold smashed his tea pot as a means of renewal. 
4. Balloon Sculpture
Willy Chyr
Lawrence Arts Center

We hated this balloon sculpture that was touted as science related and hung on the ceiling of the Arts Center.  It started bright and cheery (seen in the below picture), but quickly became an eye sore as the balloons deflated.


5. Body of Work
Group Show
Lawrence Arts Center

Some of the most talented Lawrence artists working with the figure participated in this group show over the summer.  We especially liked Hasen's film of her rolling down a hill, and TJ's movable cardboard sculpture. 


6. Dark Inside
Jessica Wohl
Invisible Hand

We loved this creepy and insightful show which used a multi-media combination of embroidery on old photographs. 
7. DJ MCL Performs at the Spencer
in conjunction with contemporary South African Sculptures

The Spencer invited DJ MCL to perform in its formal central court.  The chairs were lined up straight and solemn as people in the audience quietly and politely listened. However, despite the academic surroundings, MCL gave a great performance. 

8. A Fuck Ton of Prints
Sean Starwars
Wonder Fair

Starwars was at the print loving gallery of Wonder Fair in June. We grilled Starwars on his work process.  He explained he created a new print every week.  We loved talking to him, and loved his whimsical prints.

9. Togethers
Lincoln Drawings
Nicholas Ward

We loved these multiple drawings of Lincoln.  And, we think Nicholas is looking more and more like Lincoln these days.

Pic of artist and Lincoln look- alike Nicholas Ward

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day and Black and WTF

Stocking Up on Art Supplies
Today is the day after Christmas, and some consider it Boxing Day.  It may be a day to stock up on supplies as online art supply stores are having post-Christmas sales. We checked out what promotions some had.  Jerry's Artarama has $15.00 off orders of $99.00 with free shipping.  Dick Blick seems to have a similar deal:  Daniel Smith has some items discounted for its Winter Sale. 
Website we like: Black and WTF
The staff at Larryville Artists are always looking for interesting art websites. We love the unusual black and white photographs at the website Black and WTF.
See the website here:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Weekend Picks: Grease floats to the Top

LFK empties out on winter breaks, leaving the hard core resilient Lawrencians to surface in the scene like grease floating to the top of water.  Most of us will be going to Apocalypse parties, but here are some art friendly picks for this weekend:

The Baggage Show: The Percolator 
Friday 6-9
We've read the invites and the "call for artists" for this show, but still don't quite understand what exactly will be in this show. We do know there will be a drum circle. 
Here is what the FB invite says: 
The question is how & what to pack. As 2012 comes to a close and we begin a new year and, according to the ancient Mayan timekeepers, a new 26,000 year cycle, we evaluate what we carry. 
We asked artists: What are you willing to let go of, and what do you want to bring with you into the new year and the new age? Now we invite you to be a part.
So come to the Perco, bring a drum, celebrate... lighten’ your load, artfully repack your bags, and get on board Timeship Earth 2013.

Film Church at Liberty Hall
Bridge over River Kwai
Doors open at 11:00a.m.
If we make it past the Apocalypse deadline, Bridge over the river Qwai is the Film Church selection for Sunday.  Doors open at 11:00, movie starts at 12:00.  715 will serve a light lunch for $5.00 more. The invite says there will be Bloody Marys and a special eggnog drink!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ruin Porn: Detroit Culture Blog and the Next KU Common Book

A blog we like: Detroitblogger John
A ruin porn blog we like is so well written, it's addictive! Blogger John Carlisle (under the name Detroitblogger John) writes about Detroit cultural life twice a week for the Metro Times.  His straightforward style is non-judgmental. Although some of the stories are often bleak, he also finds examples of growth and renewal amidst decay.
Read the stories: 
Inside Out: Migo's house is broken into so many times that he decides "To Hell with it" and places all of his belongings on his front yard to save everyone the trouble of breaking in.  Some see it as an act of art and take photographs, and disapproving neighbors add trash to the project.

No Show: Without a ride to gigs, a Detroit puppet show remains obscure:
The next KU Common book will be Timothy Egan's The Worst Hard Time. The purpose of a "common book" is to "promote community and academic engagement through discussions of a common reading experience among faculty, staff, and students."

Egan's book follows dozens of families as they survive through the Dust Bowl of the 1930's. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

'Tis the Season for Museums

'Tis the season to visit Museums. Many major museums plan terrific blockbuster shows around the holidays when traffic is high. We wish we were visiting the Metropolitan right now.  The Met has three exhibitions that would be worthy of a trip to New York to see. The exhibitions are old school painting, photography, and sculpture at their height.

Matisse: In Search of True Painting: 
If we've learned anything, it's that you have to see a Matisse in person.  The rich color Matisse used was purposeful, and difficult to capture in photography.  
 This exhibition has 49 drawings and paintings. Some are familiar, and others are new. 

Seated Nude, 1909
Oil on canvas; 45 9/16 x 35 1/16 in.

Drawing for "Le Luxe," 1907
Charcoal, squared for transfer, on paper mounted to canvas; 

Interior with Goldfish, 1914
Oil on canvas;

Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop
Sponsored by Adobe, this exhibition shows photos with influences of collage and Surrealism in over 200 photographs.  It features prints made from altered negatives; seemingly realistic images made by piecing together two or more negatives; hand-colored black-and-white prints; and Surrealistic montages. They date from 1846 to the early 1990s.

John Paul Pennebaker 

Bernini: Sculpting in Clay
Although not considered a major exhibition, some have been impressed by the exhibition which includes terra cotta studies, notes, and drawings of Gian Lorenzo Bernini that were used as studies for his marble work. 
Writer Thomas Micchelli describes his visit to this exhibition here: and says he prefers Bernini's terra cotta work to finished marble work. 
 "Scraped, squeezed and gouged by the artist’s fingers, the clay’s inert mass mutates into rippling manifestations of pure energy. Architectures abound: angels’ wings become ramparts; the robes of a Virgin and Child sweep upward like a Gaudi bell tower."
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, “Angel with the Superscription” (detail) (ca. 1667–1668). Terracotta, 14 1⁄4 x 7 5/8 x 7 1/8 inches.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Pietro Bernini, “Head of Saint Jerome” (ca. 1661). Terracotta, 13 13/16 x 11 5/16 x 9 inches. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Brian Hawkins at Gaslight Gardens, Sketch Tease, and Vintage Rockettes

We have some weekend picks as well as vintage photos of our favorite holiday dancers: The Rockettes!

The Music of Brian Hawkins in the Spirit of Jimmy Stewart
We know Brian as a printmaker and animator, but he is also a wonderful musician. See him at Gaslight Gardens on Sunday, 6:00. 
This is what the Facebook invite says: Get ready ladies and gentlemen for a night to remember! This Jimmy Stewart Ragtime Jamboree will be the first in history. Bring a friend, sweet dance moves and your best Jimmy Stewart Impressions.
See the Facebook Invite here:


Sketch Tease
The next Sketch Tease will be on Sunday.  Foxy by Proxy's Bel Ruby will model and perform burlesque at Seedco starting at 6:00. 
$5.00 at the door, with cash bar. Bring drawing supplies. Photographers welcome.

Rockettes for the Holidays
Vintage photos of the Rockettes via Vanity Fair

One of the more elaborate costumes from the 1930s, this one—for September of 1933’s performance of “Fantastique Diabolique”—was designed by Marco Montedoro. It features red and gold sparkliness, chiffon, and feathers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nerd Nite 12, Biblio-Mat, and ARTiculate Open Mic

Nerd Nite 12
Nerd Nite 12 was a huge success.  One intriguing talk was Spit-Shining the Rust Belt: Transforming a Region from Smokestacks to Tech Startups. Steph Kozach talked about  beer and 3-D printing, but also about "Ruin Porn" (as in photos that capture the beauty of the decaying urban world). 

Ruin Porn Image Search from Smart Planet

Ruin Porn from Smart Planet

Read the re-cap for all three Nerd Nite 12 talks from our friends at Larryville Chronicles here:
We often can't decide which book to read next.  So, we love the idea of a BIBLO-Mat, which is a random book dispenser created by Craig Small. 
See the short film about it here:

Here is the description from the website: When a customer puts coins into it, the Biblio-Mat dramatically whirrs and vibrates as the machine is set in motion. The ring of an old telephone bell enhances the thrill when the customer’s mystery book is delivered with a satisfying clunk into the receptacle below.

Spoken Word Open Mic

There will be an Open Mic for spoken word tonight at the Lost Art Space and will include our buddies Jason Ryberg and Mark Hennessey.  The event is free.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nerd Nite and Exploding Christmas Tree Ornaments

Nerd Nite: 8:00 Wednesday at Pachamamas
Can you believe that Nerd Nite is a year old?  We are gearing up for this Wednesday's Nerd Nite 12.  Alum Nite 12 will feature three past speakers that were voted favorites among the crowd.
Here are the presentations:

1) "The Sound of Thunder Over Headphones: Ray Bradbury and the Radio" by Justin Runge

2)  "Spit-Shining the Rust Belt: Transforming a Region from Smokestacks to Tech Startups" by Steph Kozak 

3)   "The origins of life: A quick biochemical history" by Bryan Smith

Want to see a past Nerd Nite online?  Nick has been filming!  
See Nerd Nite 9 Down Home, here:
Nerd Nite 11 Soviet Bloc Party:

And... we loved the delightful pic of Nerd Nite's Co-bosses Travis and Becky that were featured in the Journal World so much, we want to repost!


Exploding Christmas Tree Ornaments: 
Photographer Alan Sailer works out of his garage shooting things with a high-speed pellet rifle and photographing the results using a homemade flash unit. An interesting series of photographs called The War Against Christmas.  Christmas tree ornaments are filled with various things and explode when shot. 

Filled with colored sand from a garage sale

Check out more images from The War Against Christmas here:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cotter Mitchell is Employee of the Month and a Website we Like

Cotter Mitchell is "Employe of the Month" at KU's Department of Visual Arts.  He was honored earlier this week with a celebration and cake.  As the man behind the Commons Shop, he has helped countless students and faculty with the patience of a saint.  Congratulations to Cotter for this well deserved honor.

Frtiz Lang was born on this day in 1890.  Here is a photo from the making of Metropolis.


 A website we like via Laura O is My Daguerrotype Boyfriend "Where early photography meets extreme hotness." and "Because having a crush on a living and breathing person is so mainstream."  It is strangely fascinating. People post images of real daguerrotypes, and explain why they feel the men in them are "hot."
Here is the website: