Monday, February 9, 2015

A Day for Sending Love: Discovering Unique Valentine Cards

The staff at Larryville Artists admit that we are suckers for Valentine's Day.  Reporters are nibbling on decadent chocolates as we type.  The aroma of roses is in the air.   Our staff is on the frenzied hunt to find unique Valentine cards to send to loved ones.

During a card hunting excursion, we spotted fabulous Valentine cards at the Wonder Fair Gallery. Some of our favorite cards at Wonder Fair are made by Kansas City's Hammer Press.  Hammer Press uses a letterpress to make their cards.  The cards have subtle colors, slight embossing, and made with heavy weight paper.

Wonder Fair's Merideth holds a card designed and printed by Hammer Press

Card by Hammer Press

Card by Hammer Press

Sip and Shop February 13

Be sure to check out the Sip and Shop event on February 13.  Local artists will have Valentine cards and gifts.  Starting at 6:00 at The Roost, The Sip and Shop hosts local artists and will feature hand painted cards, jewelry and more.
See the Facebook Event here:

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Looking for a Drink

Dusty Dog
at The Eighth Street Tap Room

Valentine’s Day is a time for love.  During this season, our staff is investigating what love means.  What is love?  Does love lead to happiness? Can we find Love?

In pursuit of this enduring and incessant philosophical inquiry about love, we asked our persnickety Larryville Artist Food Critic to help us in an expedition.  We visited The Eighth Street Tap Room in search of love in a drink.

An Easy Beats record played as we entered The Taproom. Our bartender, Mitch, accepted our challenge to create love in a drink. After conferring with others sitting at the bar, Mitch mixed a Dusty Dog.

Made with vodka, lemon, fresh squeezed ginger, angostura bitters, and crème di cassis, the drink is sweet without tasting syrupy.  The ginger and lemon give a slight bite. A lovely shade of pink that doesn’t taste pink, our cocktail lacks frills (in a good way).

Is the Dusty Dog puppy love? We gave Mitch extra points for creating a love drink that isn’t sickeningly sweet.

Cost for our love: $4.00

Our bartender Mitch
He is also an illustrator
Check out his art here: 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Our Last Farewell Drink at Pachamamas

Aviation at Pachamamas

We visited our favorite Pacha bartender, Paige, and asked her to make us a cocktail.  After many cocktails served to us while lounging on comfy couches at Pachamamas, this may be our last. Pachamamas closes its doors after Valentine's day.

What send-off drink did Paige make us? Paige created an Aviation consisting of gin, luxardo, and crème de violette topped with a cherry.  

Aromatic, floral, and light, the Aviation is tart and smooth.  With a touch of sophistication, this cocktail is for pondering over the latest  New Yorker Magazine while sitting on penthouse balconies.

We accompanied with Pommes Frites sided with a kicked up homemade ketchup. Companions drank Red Stripe in tall cans. 

Au Revioir! Pachamamas. Take care.


Companions drinking Red Stripe while lounging on a couch

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Film Screening: Burroughs The Movie

Burroughs in New York in the 1970's.  Punk meets the counter culture conscious mind.

Liberty Hall is showing the digitally restored Burroughs: The Movie on Thursday at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m..  The movie is currently being distributed for worldwide screenings through Janus Films.

Capturing a 1970's Burroughs, documentary film director Howard Brookner shows Burroughs when he was on a wave of influence on New York artists, musicians and writers.  The film contains interviews with NYC contemporaries Allen Ginsberg, Terry Southern, and Patti Smith.

Burroughs is candid about his controversial personal life in the film.  We see a personal life that is shattered;  Burrouhgs shot his wife and killed her, and his relationship with his only son is fragile. 

Roger Ebert writes in a June 1984 review of the movie: ;The most painful passages in the film deal with his son, Willie Jr., an alcoholic and speed freak – “the last of the beatniks” – who wrote a couple of books and then committed suicide during the filming. Father and son are awkward together; although they are both anti-establishment rebels, it gives them nothing in common.

Burroughs: The Movie will be added to The Criterion Collection.

More information about the screening at Liberty Hall can be found herehttp://www.

More Burroughs: 
 This American life has a nifty take on Burroughs in their recent podcast Burroughs 101. Iggy Pop narrates.  Listen to Burroughs 101 from This American Life Here:

Photo via Maggie Allen

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Newsy: K.C. Grant Funding Workshop

Deep Goes the Weasel
David Cedillo

The second of six different arts funding workshops takes place in InterUrban ArtHouse on Thursday February 5th at 7pm, when grants administrators and grant recipients from Charlotte Street Foundation's Rocket Grants will present a workshop on this regional arts funding opportunity.

Arts Funding Series 2015 aims to outline the arts grants available to individual artists, artist groups and small organizations across the Kansas City Metropolitan Region, and further afield. Granting bodies include ArtsKC Regional Arts Council, Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commision, Charlotte Street Foundation, Mid-America Arts Alliance, and Downtown KC Council's Art Loop. Projects eligible for funding across this broad scope of grantors include public art projects, performances and exhibitions, community arts activities, strategic development, capacity-building and career-advancing opportunities.

“Artists across the Kansas City Metro have a unique selection of funding opportunities available to them,” says IUAH Assistant Director Nick Carswell. “Our hope is that more artists can explore grant funding as part of their portfolio of revenue streams, and as a vehicle to create engaging and sustainable art projects that benefit not only the individual artists, but the entire community.”

Each workshop will feature a presentation by a granting organization, and will cover details about grant guidelines, eligibility, timelines, budgets and successful narratives. Workshops will also feature successfully funded projects from previous grant recipients, and will be followed by discussion and Q&A.

Local performance artist David Cedillo attended a similar workshop by IUAH in March 2014, which resulted in his experimental project Mondo Deep being rewarded a $6,000 Rocket Grant with interactive performances at local drive-in movie theaters. David says: “I talked to Nick Carswell after Julia Cole’s [Rocket Grants coordinator] presentation about reshaping Mondo Beep to make it eligible for a Rocket Grant, and he suggested teaming up with a visual artist like a sculptor. We were just brainstorming that night, but a few ideas came to me in the days that followed.”

The aim of these workshops is to connect individual artists with funding opportunities, to increase the quality and success of future applications, and to support the development of future art projects that are both suitable for arts funding and benefit the community through artistic excellence and community engagement.

For more information, visit or contact InterUrban ArtHouse on (913) 432-1916

Text provided by Press Release,  InterUrban ArtHouse

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Plugging into the Folk Alliance Conference

Composer David Amram playing jazz with a country band at the 2014 conference

By Anne Tangeman

Bluegrass, ragtime, old-time, country, blues, jazz, rock and more will be showcased at this year’s Folk Alliance Conference and the new-this-year Music Fair at Kansas City’s Crown Center Westin and Sheraton hotels Feb. 18-22. Attendees will find multiple music stages and open jams, music camps for adults and kids with lessons from locals to icons like guitarists Redd Volkaert, Andy McKee, Bill Kirchen, and Bela Fleck. There’s also a music related film festival, art gallery and expo hall.  Lawrence will make its presence known with several bands playing the local showcases on Wednesday night at the Westin as well as a full Friday night showcase at the Sheraton.

Much like South By South West, the conference is a gathering of international musicians, agents, festival bookers and fans with seemingly endless stages of music. While you’ll run into what you might think of as traditional ‘folk’ music, you’re just as likely to come across Lawrence native Chuck Mead rocking his Nashville honky tonk in one room and down the hall see 80 year old composer and world music expert David Amram throw down some jazz with a young country band. 

The ‘industry’ side at the Westin Crown Center has a steep SXSW-like entry badge fee of $275-375 which gets you entry to keynote speeches and gets ambitious musicians in front of agents and festival bookers. The new, public Music Fair portion at the Sheraton next door is just $25 per day or evening or $125 for the week and gets you access to six stages of music, the film festival, art gallery, expo hall and music camp.

If you play, bring your instrument (there’s even an ‘instrument check’ if you want to put it away for a while). You’ll find folks playing in the hallways, the alcoves and if you’re lucky enough to have a Conference full-on badge, you’ll find a Winfield-like experience of late night jams into the wee hours in blocks of hotel rooms turned into (really) small venues at the Westin.

Not to be missed:
Wednesday - All local lineup public show at the Westin 
$20 for ten stages of music from funk/soul group the Phantastics to Hembree to Lawrence’s own Carswell and Hope, along with Schwervon, the Latenight Callers, KC’s Rural Grit folks, Betse Ellis and more.

Thursday – Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Billy Strings & Don Julin

Friday – Lawrence KS Live stage (Ashes to Immortality, MAW, Tyler Gregory. Brody Buster, Nicholas St. James, Carswell & Hope and 40 Watt Dreams). At midnight The Hillbenders TOMMY: A Bluegrass Opry (yes, that TOMMY).  Also don’t miss guitar icons Bill Kirchen & Redd Volkaert

Saturday – David Amram, Betse Ellis, Kasey Rausch and more.
Be sure to check out the Art Gallery & Poster Show with works from Daniel Johnston, Tim Kerr and more. 

Chuck Mead and his Grassy Knoll Boys at the 2014 conference

Anne Tangeman is a Lawrence freelance journalist who has written for the Lawrence Journal-World, the Kansas City Star and several zines.

Party Pics: January Downtown Final Friday

Preview Party for Souper Bowl 
Lawrence Arts Center

Lawrence Arts Center

Make Love at The Percolator

 Matt and Susan in in front of Matt's work at The Percolator

Make Love at The Percolator

Lisa with her work at the Phoenix Underground

Elizabeth in front of her work at Phoenix Underground

work by Barry Fitzgerald at Wonder Fair

Taryn playing a dreamy set with CS Luxem at Love Garden

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

January Final Friday Picks

Make Love at The Percolator
The Percolator
Alley, 913 Rhode Island

The Percolator is hosting the annual themed exhibition relating to all matters of the heart. 
Matt Williams along with several other Lawrence musicians will provide aural stimulation to tickle your ears and delight your senses: in tune and harmony! 

The Percolator opens at 5:00 and the music starts at 7:30!
See the Facebook Invite Here:

Barry Fitzgerald In Between
Wonder Fair
803 1/2 Massachusetts

Wonder Fair celebrates the Fine Art of Illustration with "In Between," a new series of original drawings by KU professor and industry veteran Barry Fitzgerald. 

"In Between," texture and tone form a soft background to a series of vivid black ink drawings: lines curvaceous and sharp, vividly suggesting parables grown from the artist's imagination...but left tantalizingly open to our interpretation. 
See the Facebook Invite Here:

Art, Music, Romance
Love Garden Sounds
822 Massachusetts

This final friday, January 30th at Love Garden a group of artist will be brought together to offer you quality art for afforable prices to give to your sweetheart.
Not only will the night bring you some beautiful art, but also---Sweet tunes.
Dean Monkey and the Drop Outs will be crooning right in your ear holes while you hold your baby!


There will also be an open mic type set up for dramatic readings of romantic/erotica novels. 
If you have not prepared a reading... novels will be provided...with passages marked and highlighted.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Where is Life Drawing in Lawrence?

Models at a Thieves Guild drawing session

Lucky for us, there are many life drawing opportunities in Lawrence.  Not only are sessions available to anyone, they are affordable.  All have one simple rule: Bring drawing supplies.  Here are three with our description.

Open Drawing at KU
4th Floor of Art and Design
Price: Free
Our description: Traditional academic poses, big drawing easels, and natural lighting characterize Open Drawing. A sink provides water for watercolor or clean-up.  Sessions are good for building a portfolio. Open Drawing, facilitated by KU grad students who sometimes "space off" their shift, is spottty in availability.
Dates: Open drawing is from 11am to 2pm on February 7th, March 7th, April 4th, and May 2nd.

Thieves Guild Open Drawing
Price $5.00
Our Description: The Thieves Guild meets at Fatso's every first Monday night of the month. Drawing sessions have a theme encompassing a decorated stage, costumed models, and music.  A drawing contest is at every event. Photographers are welcome.
The Thieves Guild is an alternative to academic drawing.  Socializing is acceptable.
See The Theives Guild Facebook Page here:

Life Drawing: Lawrence Arts Center
Price: 8 weeks $275-$315
Our description: Want to study with an instructor? Louis Copt and Jeff Ridgeway both teach life drawing classes for many levels at The Arts Center.  The current session has started for these classes, but new ones will be available after spring break.
See the Arts Center adult education classes here:

Winners of the October Thieves Guild Drawing Contest

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Last Days of The Glenwood Arts

The beloved Overland Park independent movie theater Glenwood Arts at The Metcalf South Shopping Center will close its doors for good on January 25th. It will merge with the Leawood Theater to become Glenwood Arts at 95th and Mission Road.

Home to the Kansas International Film Festival, Glenwood Arts shows indie and arts films. Stand-out features of Glenwood include a quality sound system and retro lobby.

We asked film critic Eric Melin, editor in chief of Scene Stealers Movie Reviews, to comment about the closure. Eric told us, "With the recent Oscar nominations, its clear that the indie film world is alive and kicking. There's no shortage of audiences to see the kind of films Glenwood Arts showed, so wherever it goes, the struggle will still not be in competing against blockbusters but rather in trying to get people out of their homes to see movies!"

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pilgrimage to Truckhenge: We're Just Trying to Have Fun Out Here

By Special Correspondent Richard Noggle

People make the pilgrimage to Truckhenge from all over the world.  Well, from all over the world except for the Topeka and Lawrence art scenes.  Those people tend to steer well clear.  Or so claims Ron Lessman.

This is one of the many (no doubt well-rehearsed) complaints you’re likely to hear if you visit Ron’s odd and fascinating art-filled farm in rural Topeka.  You’ll also hear a lot about the evils of the local government and the various corporations who have tried to push him off his land. Make sure he tells the story about driving away city officials by blasting 2 Live Crew on “eight giant speakers.” (He may also show you the speakers and sing you a bit of the particular tune).

On my recent afternoon at Truckhenge, I got the feeling that Ron rather enjoys playing up the crackpot persona (“Best review I ever had,” he tells me, “was a woman from London who said that I was the craziest fuckin’ person she ever met but that my farm was an absolute must-see.”).   Yet after spending an hour with Ron traversing the grounds, I came to think of him not as a raving madman but more as a playful and prolific and often sweet artist who’s genuinely happy to show his work to anyone who seems interested and makes the effort to seek it out.

The whole thing IS a little intimidating, though, at first. With the aid of Google Maps I rolled up on a gravel road to a locked gate and sat in the car while Ron and three friendly (but not friendly-looking) dogs loped up to greet me.  Technically one needs to make an appointment to visit, but I was unannounced and after a brief interview of sorts (perhaps ascertaining if I was city or government-affiliated?) Ron invited me to pull into the drive and offered to give me the grand tour.

The most well-known aspect of the farm is, of course, Truckhenge, where a collection of semi-truck cabs have been planted upright, rooted by massive concrete foundations.  If I followed Ron’s explanation (which is not always easy, as he talks fast and furious), Truckhenge is the result of him being told by the county, somewhere around 2000, that a mighty flood was coming and his old trucks might well float down the river and “wipe out Lawrence like torpedos.”  The county demanded that he must “pick them up.”  So he “picked them up”…and planted them in concrete as a big screw-you.

The story seems to well-illustrate two characteristics of Ron’s art: resistance and playfulness.  “We’re just trying to have some fun out here” was a constant refrain on our journey that afternoon, which covered the following (and more):

Boathenge: similar to Truckhenge, but with boats.

The trees of “lost soles”: trees full of shoes hanging from branches.

Beer Bottle City:  art made with beer bottles, including an effort to recreate the “monolith” from Kubrick’s 2001.

A collection of ancient animal bones housed in (I think) a train car.

His chainsaw carvings, many of which seem to be based on films (Halloween, Nightmare Before Christmas, a random alien that Kirk encounters in one of the Star Trek movies)

And, finally, Ron’s house, where he’s pulled a “reverse Sistine chapel” and painted the floor with a picture of a woman painting a floor: very meta.

By the time I left later that afternoon I had even met Ron’s wife (inside the more “normal” part of the house, a friendly woman, quietly washing dishes) and been given a lucky feather from one of the peacocks that roam the grounds along with the dogs.

Truckhenge is only thirty minutes away but, really, it is worlds removed from a Final Friday art walk in Lawrence, Kansas. And all the better for it.  Ron wants you to visit.