Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Transforming Exhibit Space at Art and Design

Eli Gold: Preparing for his thesis show

For Lawrence, March is a season for basketball brackets.  For the art scene in Lawrence, it's the seasonal time for thesis shows at Art and Design.  Graduates pull out all the stops for their final short lived exhibit.  Set-up, defense, reception, and tear down take place in less than a week. The trend right now for KU's thesis exhibits is drama and theater stage.  Not settling for simple display of work, students are frequently transforming the space at Art and Design.

Eli Gold's In Our Time takes his thesis show to an all new level.  Gold, known for his work in metals including teapots,  is working to transfigure the Art and Design gallery into a pageant involving intricate lighting and large rocks. Gold is posting his daily progress via FB

"When we set the palettes on the floor it shook. There was a moment where I had a lurking fear that maybe it would all collapse... To top that off just as I began work this morning four people with clip boards walked into the gallery. I asked them what they were doing and they told me they were doing an inspection for insurance purposes... When they walked out Steven and I couldn't stop laughing. I hope I didn't just get A&D dropped from their policy... Ha."

Gold's post on his progress for In Our Time

Few beyond the Art and Design crowd rarely see these elaborate thesis exhibits, which is a shame.  The hours for the gallery are limited and parking is a problem.  However, we plan to attend the performance and reception on March 27. 
The opening is on Sunday.  Here is the FB information:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Plushy Art of Anna Youngyeun

Picture of Anna Youngyeun in front of her sculptures
There, there
Squishy and plushy describe the tactile textile and painting show at Art and Design There, there  by Anna Youngyeun. The show's closing reception was Thursday.  Large pillow-like sculptures are cuddly and are surrounded by squeezable hanging teardrop shaped stalactites.  On closer inspection, these figures are placed in awkward positions. Nearby,  a painting shows fingers submerged in what appears to be goo or mud.  

Her work statement says:  "I create sensory experiences that allude to sensations such as weightiness, pressure, and simple gestures like hugging and hiding. The use of textiles offers viewers a sense of comfort and familiarity while the alien and bio-morphic forms arouse a disquieting anxiety. "

 "By interacting with my tactile sculptures, viewers make themselves vulnerable in a public space. Such vulnerability prompts introspection and reveals ways in which people engage with their own bodies, "

During the reception, we saw a three year old girl curiously looking and squeezing the structures hanging from the ceiling (while clutching her own princess doll).  Our young friend had the right idea; we are drawn by a psychological need to be close and touch something soft and cushy such as these sculptures. 

See more of Anna's work here:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ragtime Inspired: Paper Trails

Viewers in front of an animation in Paper Trails

What are we recording, and how is it depicted?  What has been lost or reinvented along the way? These are questions posed in two recent animation projects by Brian Hawkins.  

We visited with Hawkins at the closing Reception of his show Paper Trails at Art and DesignIn the exhibition, ragtime music plays on a player piano. Animations are on a big screen as well as on a scroll of the player piano. 

Ragtime music is intergrated into the artwork of Hawkins.  He is a proficient ragtime pianist who studies its music and background. He told us that while researching the history of these composers, little has survived about who these musicians were as people. "We have their sheet music, but no little else of their lives."

Hawkins woks in different media including animation, printmaking, and painting. His art is delicate and thoughtful with colors that are monochromatic with blacks. His animation has the appearance of moving photographs from the early 1900's.  

Brian's animation and other art can be seen on his website here:

Photo of Brian Hawkins

Sunday, March 9, 2014

See The Future of Literature

Members of The PBR Book Club practically peed their pants with excitement when they heard a big announcement.  Independent authors Sam Pink and Scott McClanahan will be visiting Lawrence in April as part of a book tour.

According to the PBR Book Club FB invite page on the event the "Noted literary scoundrels will visit LFK to read their work and booze it up with you."

Pink and McClanahan are representative of an underground literature scene and are marked by a freshness of style. Books from these authors have had a steady stream of favorable reader reviews and ratings from places like Goodreads and Amazon.

The PBR Book Club featured books by each author and engaged in discussion sessions with them via the internet during the past year.  When the Club heard these authors were on tour, one of the members arranged for the pair to come to Lawrence.

The reading will be April 18,  7:00 pm at The Roost
See the Facebook Invite here:
Reviews of Rontel
The PBR Book Club has reviews of Sam Pink's  Rontel. Read them below:

Read about the online chat with Sam Pink:
Read Karen's review of Rontel here:
Read Nog's review of Rontel

Keep up with the latest updates for this reading at the PBR Book Club Site:

 Sam Pink 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Things We Are Loving Right Now

TJ Tangpuz with French Nautilus

1. TJ's Sculpture
We love the new creature/instrument sculpture by TJ Tangpuz.   Shaped like a french horn, French Nautilus is a  biomorphic creature that winds around itself.  We spotted TJ during the art drop off for The Arts Center's auction. 

Detail of French Nautilus

Tayte's drawing of  Pegasus
We also love this wonderful drawing by Tayte.  Inspired by a Pegasus she saw in one of the prints for the auction, Tayte drew her own Pegasus on the spot.  


2. The New PBR Book Club Book
The Circle by Dave Eggers is a futuristic novel that is both thought provoking and entertaining.  The central character, Mae, works for the  social networking and technology company called The Circle.  The Circle has a monopoly on public and private information.  At first, Mae is thrilled with the opportunities and innovations of The Circle.  However, soon we see the darker side of The Circle where slogans include "Secrets are lies" and "Privacy is theft."

4. Amber Hansen's Self Portrait
We love this drawing that Amber posted on FB.  She is currently doing a residency in New Hampshire.

Amber Hansen

4. Jason Barr's New Look
We love Jason Barr's new sexy skinny look.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Look at This! Alley Art

Photo posted by Pat Slimmer

One of our favorite Facebook sites is MAN, LOOK AT THIS THING I SAW IN A LAWRENCE, KANSAS, ALLEY!!  The FB page is dedicated to posting unusual things found in the alleys of Lawrence. Objects and art include road kill,  graffiti,  and confessional garbage.  Photos document the beauty in the mundane and trash treasures.  The walls of the alleys provide a canvass. 

Photo posted by Lisa Miller 
located behind Urban Outfitters

Photo posted by Steve Dahlberg

Photo posted by Creed Shepard


Drawing Tonight at Fatso's.
And, don't forget to see our good friends The Theives Guild tonight for drawing at Fatso's.  Pirates are the theme for Arrrrrt, Matey!
Drawing is from 7:0-10:00.  Bring drawing supplies.
Check out the facebook page here:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Talkin 'Bout Taco 'Bout It

The art place to be on Friday night was the Love Garden for Taco 'Bout It.  The opening for Taco 'Bout It  had every aspect of a great opening including tasty themed food and delightful art work.

Taco zone served free tacos as part of a promotion for new food that will be available at The Replay.   Once we tried the tacos, we knew that future Friday dinner plans are now taken care of with these tacos,  an early show,  and a beer.  Taco Zone's art street cred is improved by the fact that they hired local artist Jeff Eaton to screen print their  cool flyers.   Jeff Eaton used his signature recycled PBR cardboard to print on.

Yummy Tacos from Taco Zone

Artist Jeff Eaton

And, let's talk about the art!  we loved many pieces in this show.

Here are our party pics for this event:

Artists  Kenneth Kupfer, Jason Barr, and Eric Dobbins

Line for tacos

Tick Taco by Eric and Casey Dobbins
Screen Print and Tear Away Pad

Where is the Love? Final Friday Numbers Drop

We went Downtown last night to check out February's Final Friday.   Word on the street is that Lawrence's Final Fridays has lost its luster as of late. In contrast to summer months, fewer artists are showing work and fewer people are attending events for the winter Final Fridays.

At the Love Garden for Taco 'Bout It

Perhaps it is just too cold for art. The Journal World reported in August that the Final Fridays atmosphere was "buzz worthy," Additionally, the article says that FF boosts exposure for local artists as well as increases "the kind of vibrancy that attracts visitors and new residents to town."  Although this Final Friday was promoted through a FF blog with map, and article in the Journal World, the streets were not crowded and many previous business hosts were not participating last night. 

We talked with Final Friday patron Jasper Teel during the Taco 'Bout it art show at the Love Garden. Among other things, he wants to see more solo shows. He lamented that artists feel compelled to price work that can be affordable for a FF event, but in doing so, produce work that is often made quickly as opposed to works created over a period of months. Additionally,  he estimates that the same "Downtown" people at FF events are pretty much the people who would be there on any Friday.  In other words, the winter Final Fridays are not drawing crowds of residents or out of town visitors as planners had hoped.

Another complaint among artists and hosts is that an event is a lot of work for one night. Ames Burdett, who has been showing art work at her business The Blue Dot Salon for the past seven years,  has chosen to call a quits for Final Fridays art shows.  She presented her last Final Friday last night.  Ames told us that while the past events have been successful and rewarding,  they've also been time consuming.

Taco Inspired Art at The Love Garden
Detail of Taco
by Adam Lott

Making Secret Order Cards at Wonder Fair with a press during February Final Friday

Read More
The Journal World reported in August that The Final Friday Event was growing and many businesses participating. 

Final Fridays is an event that people have come to expect, which fulfills a major goal, said Susan Tate, executive director of the Lawrence Arts Center, which established the event with the city and Downtown Lawrence Inc.
“We are all committed to it and committed to its growth,” Tate said.
Read more of the August Journal World Article Here: