Sunday, June 30, 2013

Harper Valley Plays at GOTW: Cheer them on!

Stu and Lori Strecker, part of The Harpies team

One of our favorite teams is playing tonight at Kaw Valley Kickball's Game of the Week.  Harper Valley PTA, or "the Harpies",  will play their hearts out in front of the large and rowdy crowd that gathers at Hobb's Stadium in East Lawrence. Some consider the GOTW the quintessential Lawrence experience that should not be missed.  The Harpies will be challenged by the competitive Tellerdactlys. 

In the mean time, here are some photos from previous games at Hobbs: 

7th Inning Strech


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Final Fridays: What we liked

It was a nice cool evenings for Final Fridays this month.  We are posting some of the memorable pieces that we saw. 

We like the dramatic abstract collage works of Jack Collins.  His work is highlighted in the large space at the Arts Center. 

Jeremy Rockwell is progressing with work composed of small letters from keyboarding keys.  His latest work depicts Darwin.

Here is a view of the whimsical installation piece for the nesting concept at The Percolator. 

We were impressed by ceramic work of Retta H Backus

These strange and delightful ceramic figures were at the flash gallery space on Pennsylvania Street

We enjoyed talking to and looking at the work of photographer Amjad Faur at The Invisible Hand.  His black and white film photography is impressive in its technique and subject matter.

We loved the work of ceramic artist in resident of the Arts Center Monika Laskoska.  She had an interactive table where visitors made small clay sculptures for display. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Final Friday Preview

No one can complain that this Final Friday is going to be boring as there is something for everyone! It will be a good night to get out and hear music, view bicycle races, and see some art.

Our friends at Larryville Chronicles posted some great underground music picks for Friday.  You can see them here:

The Art Scene for Friday: 

1.  Hott Sheets 11: Hotter Sheets: Wonderfair Gallery: 803 1/2 Massachusetts
Our number one pick for the night takes a quirky and absurd look at the art market.  Artists created works on paper that will be evaluated based on a value market determination such as the amount of colors used in a work.
They have a long and complicated Facebook event post, about it and you can read it here:

This work by Stephen Johnson will be at Wonderfair

Kristen Morland

2.  Festive Flag Fete: Kristen Morland 737 Connecticut
Looking for something off the beaten path,  that celebrates the Stars and Stripes?  This stop is for you.  Kristen will be showing her festive work at her house on Connecticut.

3. Jack Collins at The Arts Center 940 New Hampshire
We love Jack's large abstract collages that show the lush and juicy aspects of paint.  His new works will be shown at the Arts Center.

Amjad Faur

4. Photographs of Amjad Faur at The Invisible Hand
Adam has been excited for this event for months.  Photography is at its best as Faur shows black and white photography with a focus on the Middle East among other subjects.

Louis Copt

5. Louis Copt at The Copt/Feldman Gallery: 800 Massachusetts
Louis has shown us some of his new work and it is gorgeous!  Make a stop and see him at his gallery on Massachusetts Street.

6 . Other notable stops: 
Share the league at the Social Service League, Shannon White at The Pheonix,  and Jeremy Rockwell the The Cider Gallery, various artists and bands at Seedco.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Summer Reads: Hannah Bobby Picks

Artist Hannah Bobby

As part of our summer reading series, we visited with local artists and asked them what they are reading this summer. This week, Hannah Bobby gives us her list.
Hanna is a recent graduate of KU where she studied expanded media. She was one of our favorite DJ's on KJHK this past year.

The Alchemist - Paolo Coelho : The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

The Courage to Create - Rollo May In this trenchant volume, Rollo May helps all of us find those creative impulses that, once liberated, offer new possibilities for achievement.
A renowned therapist and inspiring guide, Dr. May draws on his experience to show how we can break out of old patterns in our lives. His insightful book offers us a way through our fears into a fully realized self.

  Exercises for Rebel Artists: Radical Performance Pedagogy - Guillermo Gomez Pena: In Exercises for Rebel Artists, Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Roberto Sifuentes use their extensive teaching and performance experience with La Pocha Nostra to help students and practitioners to create ‘border art’.

Hannah's Studio

Friday, June 14, 2013

Statue in KC Hosts Bird Kitsch

A mystery surrounds a statue that stands at 52nd and Brookside in Kansas City.  The figure is adorned by various ceramic birds left for her;  some are broken.  We would like to know who or why these tiny treasures are reverently placed there.

It  is a puzzlement indeed, but we think the statue is perceived to be Artemis, the Greek Goddess of wildlife and mistress of animals.  Artemis is a very ancient goddess, and offerings were made to her in pre-Greek and in Greek societies.  She is sometimes depicted carrying a bow and arrow.  She is also  a goddess of childbirth and relieves diseases in women.

When we visit Kansas City, we plan to spread the love by leaving a tiny bird vase with flowers by the statue ( shown below). 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nerd Nite explores @KUboobs, and Figure Drawing in East Lawrence Tonight

Rachel Smalter Hall talks about @KUBoobs at Nerd Nite

Rachel Smalter Hall talked about @KUboobs at Nerd Nite last night. @KUboobs is a Twitter viral site started to inspire the KU basketball team where self photos of the cleavage of women fans are posted.  It has more than 60,000 followers, and more than 30 other schools have replicated its format.  Rachel Smalter Hall's feminist take on the phenomenon was originally written for the blog The Larryville Chronicles, but her commentary was quickly picked up by the national press and spurred controversy and comments by readers.  Does @KUboobs allow for a male gaze, or is being sexy part of the female experience?  


Tonight, the Art Guild hosts figure drawing at their new space at 512 E. 9th from 7:00-10:00.  Bring drawing supplies and $5.00.  It's a punk revival theme, and the poses will be rock inspired.
Here is what they say on the Facebook invite page says:
Punk is about an individual going against the grain and standing up and saying "This is who I am"
-Joey Ramone-    That's how we feel about art.

 Here is the Facebook invite:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Colin Roe Ledbetter: Master of the Loom

Colin in front of his weaving loom

We visited artist Colin Roe Ledbetter at his studio space on the 5th floor in Art and Design. He talked about his latest weaving project which will be displayed in an outdoor installation on the streets of Salt Lake City, Utah.  His piece will be part of a collaboration with other installations in a project called "The Celebration of the Hand" in which plakets originally designed for The Sundance Film Festival will be utilized.

His large weaving is in the style of a rag rug and is 4 feet by 108 inches.  He showed us his template that is under his large weaving. Around the loom sits stacks of cloth in various designs.  Ledbetter sorts the material by color.

Although we talk to him for hours about art, Ledbetter is on a deadline to finish his weaving.  The show will be installed this weekend. 
Read more about the show in Utah "Celebration of the Hand" here:

 Detail of the weaving: Celebration of the Hive: Industry

More about Celebration of the Hive: Industry
The weaving alludes to common Utah state symbols, imagery, and history. The beehive is a part of the state symbol, the beehive state (working together as bees do).  The state motto is “industry.”
The CTH is a reference to the CTR RING a common Mormon ring, while the patterns and materials reference the large craft industry in Utah and to quilting.
"It's deeper than it needs to be, but the image portrays exactly what I want to be seen: A beehive,  mountains and CTH."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Karen Matheis: New Works on Paper at Wheatfields

View from a Back Porch oil on prepared board

Karen Matheis has new work up at Wheatfield's.   The 21 oil paintings reflect the mood of summer, with oranges, yellows, and bright greens.  If you are Downtown, stop in and see her work. 
Here is the Facebook invite for this show:

Yellow Sky Oil on prepared paper

Orange FIeld Oil on prepared paper

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fun and Games in Lawrence: KVKL And cute Foxy Girls

Lawrence's thriving kickball league provides what some consider THE weekly event to go to in Lawrence.  In the  "Game of the Week" players from kickball games and people from the neighborhood gather to see a culminating game on Sunday nights at Hobb's stadium. A large and rowdy crowd is present,  most of whom have a beer in their hands,
East Lawrence resident Mark Akin says this about the scene,  "This is Lawrence at its best.  There is no law.  There are no rules. "
Last night, the team Late Fees ( Liberty Hall) played Pac Man Ghosts ( Eldridge Hotel) in competitive match-up.
Here are some pics from last night:


We spotted some cute Foxy by Proxy girls who were performing a benefit for the EMU Theater at the Replay. 

We also spotted was a rogue painter creating amazing portraits.  Check this one out: 

Rikki and Mr. Monzie Leo, patrons of the arts

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Frida Kahlo and Diego RIvera at the Nelson

It's difficult to rival the interesting political, social, and artistic lives of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. However, somehow the Nelson-Atkins Museum presented a dull interpretation of them and their inner circle in the show Frida Kahlo,  Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico.  

Perhaps the shallow interpretation of the over 100 works is the curator's choice to adhere the taste of the Gelman's,  patrons to Rivera and Kahlo and other artists working in Mexico. In any case, the show is a missed opportunity for what is touted as the Nelson's "vibrant" and "festive" blockbuster show.

Although we are by no means a Kahlo or Rivera expert, we learned nothing new from the show. This in part is because of the weak information on cards presented with each work;  we had the feeling that the curators of the show got lazy with the presentation. Instead of providing insight into Kahlo, Rivera, or any of their fellow Mexican artists, exhibitors chose to include comments from students from an area elementary school beside the information cards.  In one painting containing a portrait of a woman getting married in traditional wedding attire, a third grader wrote "......there is a hammock in the background.  Maybe they could take a nap." Indeed, we felt like napping when we visited the show.

We did like aspects of the show.  Iconic Kahlo self-portraits (worthy of staring contests),  range in style of Rivera, and the courteous Nelson employees are positives.  Also, it seemed unusual, and refreshing, to hear Spanish speakers in the galleries at the Nelson.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thinking about Frida

The show with the buzz right now is the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera show at the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City.  The Nelson has been heavily promoting the show, and big crowds have been reported.  Here is the Nelson info:

Our staff will view this show and some First Friday shows, and report on them this weekend.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Reads: David Titterington Picks

Out staff went to painter David Titterington, who we know as an avid reader of interesting things,  and asked him what he is reading this summer.  Here is his summer reading list: 

“The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light: Mythology, Sexuality, and the Origins of Culture.” Using his characteristic “mind jazz,” cultural historian William Irwin Thompson (MIT, Cornell, CIIS, Lindisfarne) tells a fantastic story that integrates media studies, science, myth, tantric spirituality, art history and the history of sex. I think he is a genius and I read everything he writes.

“Material Cultures, Material Minds: The Impact of Things on Human Thought, Society, and Evolution.” Oxford archaeologist Nicole Boivin explores “material agency” and how the physicality of the material world shapes our thoughts, emotions, social relations, and our bodies. This book came highly recommended from KU’s Christopher Forth, who said it changed his research focus from history to sensory history and the body. It’s heady, but good!

“Men’s Bodies Men’s Gods”
is a survey of contemporary gender theorists and theologians who provide a pro-feminist, pro-queer revisioning of the male body. This is a must read!
full title: "Men's Bodies, Men's Gods: Male Identities in a (Post-) Christian Culture"

Send us your summer reads and we'll share. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Studio Visit with Lori Norwood

Today we visited the impressive studio of Lawrence artist Lori Norwood.  Lori told us she is preparing for a big outdoor sculpture exhibition in August in Loveland, Colorado. Her studio had many pieces that she was working on,  all in various stages of completion.   Her figurative work range  in size from large to small. 
We are jealous of her large industrial North Lawrence studio which includes a sink, heating unit, and garage door. 

 Here are some pics of some things we saw in her studio. 

Artist Nori Norwood