Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year's greetings from the staff at Larryville Artists!

We'll report back tomorrow with more exciting Lawrence news and events, but meanwhile, we love this pic of Kent and Kylie Smith.  Hopefully, we'll see many royal crowns tonight as we are out and about celebrating the new year. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Undercover Investigation: Inside an Art Teacher Conference

We recently sent some of our reporters undercover to check out an art teacher conference. The Kansas Art Education Association Fall Conference was held at the Nelson-Atkins Museum and at a technology center in Overland Park, Kansas.  Here is the report they filed.

As we enter the technology center, we spot attendees wearing red lanyards around their necks.  We learn that the lanyards contain tickets for meals and a pen. At the start of the day, attendees linger by coffee and muffins until the first session starts. We see attendees pull out complicated workshop schedules from these lanyards, and mull over their next destination.

During the day, the 250 attendees from public schools, colleges, and city arts organizations attend workshops, visit with vendors, and participate in activities.  One focus of the conference is implementing "Common Core' into the art curriculum.  Common Core is a recent educational development which promotes higher order thinking, and combines art with other subject areas such as math and writing.  Other presentations focus on new technology, art demonstrations and activities, and media.

We keep tabs on events through the day with a twitter account set up for the event. Although the conference is busy, the art teachers seem to have time for fun as well.  Here are our pics:

Attendees at the Nelson-Atkins Museum where a docent is giving a tour

Attendee Beth Koon clowning at the Nelson-Atkins Museum

Dave Sturm of Bracker's Ceramics is modeling the red lanyard that attendees wore

Attendees learning a new monoprint technique

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thieves Guild Drawing and Lindsay Yankee at Wheatfield's

Thieves Guild Presents:
Nov. 4, 7:00 PM
Fatso's Public House

Here's what the Guild's FB page says about the event: 
What are these mysterious beasts that lurk in the recesses of our imaginations? Join us and SNIPE HUNT, (Society of the Neverending Inquest to Prove Existence and Hopefully Uncover Non-typical Terrestials), as we attempt to sketch an elusive cryptid. Poses provided by the lovely lupine Putressa Le Pew of Foxy by Proxy.
Only $5.00! Bring your sketchpads and art supplies


We love this post by Harrisonic's singer John Harrison:

Sometimes when I hear a song I loved in the ancient long ago I get a strange, instantaneous flashback to something I felt when I first heard it. It's not so specific as to evoke a particular place or a certain person; it's much more nebulous. Maybe it's the feeling of being young, of possibilities, of a sense of something beautiful freshly discovered. I can't really say, because it's so brief, but I long to somehow grab it and pull it to me, to rediscover it and communicate with it like a lost soulmate. It vanishes before I can clutch it and hold it. It is, at the same time, one of the most beautiful and painful things I experience on a near-daily basis. I feel I am addicted to it, and always will be.

Check out the new work up at Wheatfields Bakery.  Poppies and other flowers are part of the display by Lawrence Illustrator Lindsay Yankee.

See her website for more information here: http://lindseyyankey.com/home.html

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Great Balls of Fire

Great ball of fire coming from "The Performance Kiln"

Months of planning and days of constant feeding of logs to fuel kilns came to a magnificent end last night as KU, Lawrence, and regional artists finished a huge kiln burning event at Chamney Barn.  Spectators also watched an iron pour.

Water hoses were on hand as Sam Holloway unveiled his homemade kiln. He wore protective gear as he removed the outer insulation layer that maintained the kiln's core temperature. The result of the unmaking was a striking ball of fire coming from inside the skeletal structure.

Sam and Zach preparing for the unveiling

Historically, wood burning was the only choice for potters.  Although labor intensive, these wood burning kilns are favored by some for their high fire abilities which allow unique chemical reactions in the ceramic pieces.  The high fire takes away the oxegen creating color changes within the clay, and flying ash leaves unpredictable patterns on the pieces.

Getting ready for the iron pour

Elliot watching from on top of logs

Ceramic ware inside these kilns will require one week of a gradual cool down process before they are throughly removed from the extremely hot kilns.

T. J. Tangpuz getting ready for the iron pour

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Wood Fire Spectacular: An Early Morning Chat with Kiln Feeders

Photo via Dave Sturm

A big occasion in the ceramics community is happening right now. Artists from KU, The Lawrence Arts Center, and regional artists, are firing ceramic pieces in wood fed kilns that take days to fire.  Artists labor over these precious kilns to achieve a unique finish and glaze.  Even in the overnight hours, smoke is seen from blocks away from where the kilns are located by Chamney Barn off 15th street.  The kilns have been in production since Wednesday. 

We wanted to check out this scene and thought it would be fun to talk to the 4-8 am kiln feeding shift. It is a chilly 32 degrees, but the fire from the kilns makes the temperature tolerable. Many kilns are going at once.  We witness the process of the feeding which requires intuitive as well as scientific knowledge about the desired temperature inside the kiln.  Temperature can be adjusted by methods such as the adjustment of dampers which control air flow and regulate the kiln's atmosphere. 

One hand built kiln is called "The Performance Kiln".  We talked to its creator, Sam, whom is inside his tent.  We are told that this kiln will be taken apart tonight to reveal a pure ball of red fire.  This kiln gets very hot, reaching a temperature of up to a cone 10 (which is the hottest degree ceramic ware is fired, over 2, 500 degrees). 

 The work will be pulled from the kilns tonight in a culminating event. 

The Performance Kiln

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Book: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

Daily Rituals: How Artist Work by Mason Curry

Routines can be mundane or extraordinary. B.F. Skinner started his day with corn flakes and coffee.   James Joyce played the piano, and Jean-Paul Sarte consumed amphetamines.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curry is a fascinating look at the daily routines of 161 famous creative geniuses. Included are daily patterns of  artists, writers, poets, scientists, and composers as recorded by interviewers, family members, servants, and secretaries.

Picasso painted at night; Gunter Grass wrote in the mornings. Herman Melville visited his farm animals for a break from writing, while Erik Satie took long walks. Some were strict about daily routines, while others had no routines whatsoever.

Many of the people included in the book were fortunate to have servants and/or family members to take care of daily household tasks. Most did not have typical 9-5 jobs.  The work habits of many of the women reveal that they often hid their work from visitors and often did not have a permanent work space.

What can we learn from this book? According to a piece written by Curry for Slate, it is difficult to pin down effective work habits.  Each person has their peak time of day for productivity and individual rituals:
Given how much time I've spent reading and thinking about artists' schedules and working habits, you might expect that I would have some insight into what makes for an ideal daily routine. Is there some combination of sleep, work, exercise, coffee, and focused head-scratching or brow-furrowing that is most likely to lead to creative breakthroughs? Or, at the very least, are there some basic guidelines that will stave off blocks and guarantee a minimum level of intellectual output?
Short answer: no, not really. 
Find the full interview here: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/features/2013/daily_rituals/daily_rituals_life_hacking_tips_from_novelists_painters_and_filmmakers.html

A must read for those interested in this topic (via NPR) is the Onion's essay Find the Thing You're Most passionate About, Then Do It On Night and Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life  http://www.theonion.com/articles/find-the-thing-youre-most-passionate-about-then-do,31742/?ref=auto

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Today: Open Drawing at KU and James Turrell at the Spencer

Feel like opening up a sketch pad today?  KU has an open drawing from 11:00-2:00 in room 405 of Art and Design.  Bring drawing supplies.  The cost is free and Sarah will be modeling. 
Come early to find a place. The last session was packed with over 30 people.


James Turrell will open a new show at the Spencer Museum. "Gard Blue" will start on an exclusive note as only Museum members are invited to the opening on Saturday.  If you are an early riser, Turrell will present a Sunday lecture about his work in the auditorium at 11:00 that is open "to the public."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nerd Nite 20

The Nerds in Lawrence have been prolific.  Nerd Nite celebrated their 20th series last night. Prompted by a community book reading of "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan, the focus of the night was on the history and culture of the 1930's Dust Bowl.  The term "rape of the land" seemed to have double meanings as presenters talked about depression era Kansas politics, farm equipment, and art.  People in the audience tweeted and snickered as size and anatomy of plows were discussed ( they got bigger and stronger with improved technology).  We learned that in the 1890's, populist Sockless Jerry Simpson did not wear socks, and derided those representatives who wore silk socks. 

Presenter Beth Beavers, editor of  the magazine "Farm Equipment" was a perfect choice for describing Depression era farm tractors and plows

"Erosion #2; Mother Earth Laid Bare" by Alexander Hogue 
Kate Meyer gave a presentation about Dust Bowl Art

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Model and Bad Behavior: Drawing the Body in Lawrence This Week

Jen young is preparing her costume for Fatso's

Lawrence is exploding with figure drawing opportunities this week. Be sure to check some out.
We love Jen's post about her costume she will have for her model session at Fatso's on Monday. The theme for drawing this month is Batman and the title is "The Art Night Returns." Check it out at 7:00.  It's $5.00 at the door, and bring drawing supplies.  Here is the Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/events/499971830081809/

Open Model at KU
KU hosted a great modeling session yesterday.  The room was packed.  Here are some pics from the event:
People drawing at KU for Open Model

Freestate student Maria Ferrerra had some great drawings at Open Model

Graduate student Steven Prochyra monitored the session

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Open Drawing Today and Final Friday Pics

Today is KU's first open model session of the fall semester.  It's from 11:00 until 2:00 in room 405 of Art and Design. Bring drawing supplies.  It's free, and all levels are welcome.

Final Friday
We didn't make many venues for last night's Final Fridays (we ducked out of the heat and into a cold drink at the Tap Room).  However,  we liked what we saw.

We talked with members of the Lawrence Public Library who were at 9th and Massachusetts giving away copies of"The Worst Hard Time" for the Read Across Lawrence project.

We were impressed by Molly Murphy's new paintings at The Pig.   Check out her small, whimsical works if you are Downtown.

Molly Muphy's new work at The Pig

Molly's brother Gabriel shows us his mini Shakespeare collection

Work by Louis Copt at the Copt/Feldman Gallery

We appreciated the enthusiasm of the Summit Gym for hosting a nice Final Friday presentation.

Print by Tugboat Studios now at Wonder Fair

"Mama Bear" print from Tugboat Studios

Wonder Fair has printmaking from Pitttsburgh's Tugboat Studios.  Tugboat is a cool independent print shop which creates affordable art and  run by Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth. We liked the multi-colored prints including a map of the United States. Check out their website at: http://www.tugboatprintshop.com/

Paul Roden from Tugboat Studios

Jake browsing at Wonder Fair

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Jason Barr: Current Projects and summer reading list.

Artist Jason Barr

We caught up with local artist Jason Barr and asked him about his latest projects and summer reading list.
He told us he has been busy taking care of his girls this summer.  His current projects include a zine series based on "Top Pastors ( working with Florida artist Justin Nelson) and commissioned portraits.  Jason also produces a podcast called Barr Heaven's A.D.D. Podcast.

A sample from the zone "Top Pastors" by Jason Barr

What is on Jason Barr's Reading List?
We asked Jason to share his summer reading list.  He says that most of his books were given to him by friends.  Here is a short list:

1. "The Dome in the Forest" by Paul WIlliams

2. "Atlantis: The Eighth Continent" by Charles Berlitz

3. "Chronic City" by Jonathan Letham

4. "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel"l by Susan Clark

5. Dharma Bums by Kerouac

Jason is active in the social media scene.  You can catch his tweets at @Barrr. 
Hear his A.D.D. Podcast and view his art here: http://barrrheaven.com/modx/home/

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Busker Tim Models and Photographs of John Clayton

Photo by Dave DeHetre

The Thieves Guild took a leap of faith and asked busker Tim, "The Juggling Dingus" to model for their monthly drawing event. last night  Although he never modeled before, and wore regular street clothes, Tim proved to be a terrific drawing subject.  He has a showbiz style, and was willing to do unusual poses, such as holding a cup on his head for a twenty minute pose.


Photo by John Clayton

Photographer John Clayton has been busy documenting the Foxy by Proxy crew as well as the Lawrence night scene.  Victor Continental asked Clayton to document their last performance.  He also photographs events such as Tour de Lawrence. 

Check out Clayton's work on Flicker here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roscoepoet/9449908118/in/photostream/

Photo by John Clayton

Monday, August 5, 2013

Banned Books Trading Card Submissions and Cool artist graves

One of the banned books trading cards
"Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut
Artist: Kent Smith

The Lawrence Public Library is looking for submissions to the second series of Banned Books Trading Cards.  The cards were a big success last year, and received national attention.  The deadline for submissions is August 23.  


Ricardo Menon (1952-1989)Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France

Alison Meier documents the graves of artists in her blog post.  She writes:
As a last final statement, artists’ tombstones don’t disappoint. From the wildly eccentric to those that incorporate their own creations, the graves of artists are a fascinating reflection of their work. Even those tombstones that are simple, or sometimes even unmarked, often find a tribute from visitors who leave mementoes to these artists. I’ve spent much time visiting cemeteries during my travels, and spotted these artist memorials among the tombs.

See her full blog entry here: http://hyperallergic.com/76916/the-tombs-of-artists-a-last-statement-from-the-grave/

                          Grave of Jean-Michel Basquiat in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn