If you’re wishing to reconnect with more of our community, I hope this info offers you a stronger sense of the artists that make Lawrence thrive as a creative place. In 2019 I was Celebrating the Arts & Artsy News in Lawrence, Kansas, opens a new window. And now I'm revisiting several of these creative Lawrencians and including even more to share new artworks, shows, and happenings. I also asked everyone to share their favorite recent reads to keep a bookish vibe in this library blog; read on and enjoy!
Checkout this list of favorite fiction and nonfiction reads from artists based in Lawrence, including books written and illustrated by local artists and a few choices to inspire your own creativity: A Collection of Artists' Reading Recommendations, opens a new window!
Calendar of art shows and happenings:
- July 30: Final Fridays Art Walk, opens a new window, 5-9pm - visit art displays Downtown, including: Watkins Museum of History, Lawrence Visitor Center (812 Mass. St.), Lawrence Arts Center, Phoenix Gallery's Phoenix Underground, the new sculpture outside of the Senior Resource Center at 8th & Vermont St., and in East Lawrence: Cider Gallery, and SeedCo Studios.
- August: Lawrence Arts Center Fall Classes, opens a new window - enrollment is open for cool classes taught by Ann Dean (photography & documenting diverse history), Mona Cliff (fabric applique), Louis Copt (painting), Lora Jost (drawing stories), Rachael Sudlow (jewelry), and more!
- August 14: East Lawrence Warehouse Arts District Open Air Art Market, opens a new window, 9 am to 2 pm - visit artful places on Delaware Street, between 8th & 9th St., includes: Rural Pearl (Angie Pickman's studio), Seedco Studios, and Art Emergency. And mark your calendar for this happening each month on the 2nd Saturday!
- August 27: Final Fridays Art Walk, opens a new window, 5:30-8pm - visit Do's Deluxe Hair Salon (416 E. 9th St.) for art by KH (silk screened pieces) and Susan Peters Ashley (machine embroidery). Phoenix Gallery is featuring a preview of artworks before Art in the Park, see below. And see more art displays in East Lawrence and Downtown locations.
- September 4: Artist Reception with Lora Jost's exhibit Sound the Climate Alarm, 5-7 pm at Lumberyard Arts Center, opens a new window in Baldwin City, exhibit dates: August 20 – September 14
- September 18 & 19: Art in the Park, opens a new window at South Park (12th & Mass. St.), includes Ursula Minor, Angie Pickman, and many more artists!
If you visited the library in July, you may have admired a new series of posters for the See Douglas County Parks & Green Spaces art project, organized by Library Friends & Foundation board member Mary Gage. These vibrant WPA-style images may be viewed and prints and postcards are available to purchase from the Parks & Green Spaces site, opens a new window; proceeds benefit the library and the artists.
See Douglas County Featured Artists and Green Spaces:
Lana Grove - Wells Overlook
Lora Jost - Prairie Park
Jenni Leiste - Black Jack Battlefield, Baldwin City
Alex Olson - Buffalo at Clinton Pkwy Trail
Angie Pickman - Sandra Shaw Park
Kassidee Quaranta - CPA Park, Eudora
Torren Thomas - Japanese Friendship Garden
Janella Williams - Potter Lake
In August these artworks are moving to the Sports Pavilion, opens a new window. And the entire set of images are presented in the printed 2022 Douglas County Newcomer's Guide, available in August. I am looking forward to seeing the whole collection, which includes the two additions: Clinton Lake by Shannon White and Lecompton's Scenic River Road by Darin White. Spouses Shannon and Darin White will have these posters and other prints available at https://havastudios.square.site/, opens a new window.
Lawrence has so much great public art to enjoy! A few pieces that I recommend visiting include: Natives Now murals by Mona Cliff (enrolled member of the Gros Ventre Tribe (A'aninin / Nakota Nations) of Ft. Belknap, MT); these powerful murals which celebrate Indigenous resilience are on the south and west walls of Dragon's Hoard at 11th & Pennsylvania.
Also, the Icarus sculpture by Charles Umlauf is located behind Nichols Hall on KU's West Campus and nearby is the Salina Piece by Dale Eldred. Find more public art on the KU Campus; link to info from Spencer Museum of Art, opens a new window.
The Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau created a guide to tour more art in our community; you can pick up a copy of this brochure, Art in the Open, at the Visitor Center at 812 Mass. St. or view it here online, https://issuu.com/foferlawrence/docs/arttour_bro_web, opens a new window.
There is more to reveal from artists and their varied artworks in our community; watch for another post with more information and images shared by local artists. In the meantime, I hope you will explore all of the above possibilities!
I am inspired to acknowledge traditional Native lands. In our region near the Kansas (Kaw) and Wakarusa Rivers, I want to honor the Dakota, Delaware (Lenape), Kansa (Kaw), Kickapoo, Lakota, Osage, Sac and Fox, Shawnee, and actually hundreds more tribes who find connection here with Haskell Indian Nations University. As Ken Lassman (author of Wild Douglas County, opens a new window and Kaw Valley Almanac, opens a new window) noted: “Haskell Indian Nations University is the United Nations of tribes, with members of hundreds of tribes coming here over the lifetime of its existence.
Appreciation to Denise Low, opens a new window (Delaware (Lenape) and Cherokee heritage) for helping me make sure I acknowledged each Native American tribe by their preferred name.
My gratitude to each artist for sharing generously with images and thoughtful notes about their work and reading.
Thanks to Carrie Cornelius (Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin and Prairie Band Potawatomi) for big-heartedly sharing information and photos!
Thanks also to Kathleen Morgan, Mary Gage, and Nathan Pettengill for kind assistance.
Credit to Richard Kershenbaum for highlighting Icarus, the Salina Piece and more.
Cover image credit: We Never Needed Words, courtesy of the artist Angie Pickman
- Shirley Braunlich is a Readers' Services Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.
Be sure to check out these recent books by artists based in Lawrence, Kansas!