PARKER'S PICKS - FINAL FRIDAY - JULY 28, 2017

Since I am the creator and caretaker of the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group, I am often asked which Final Friday events I recommend attending. I'll start by saying that I am NOT a Final Friday expert, and that my recommendations are based on my own personal preferences and tastes. I want to say, "go to all of them", but that would be an impossible task. Having too many awesome Final Friday events is a good problem to have.

Every month I will shine a spotlight on 3 or 4 exhibitions that I recommend seeing. These are the exhibitions that I am most excited to see myself. I should also note that I haven't seen any of these exhibitions yet. My recommendations are based on previous works by the artists or on promotional materials released by the artist or gallery. I encourage all of you to join the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group to see the full list of Final Friday events happening in Wichita, Kansas.

- Dustin Parker

 

Wichita State of Mind

HUE Gallery of Contemporary Art
430 S. Commerce Street, Suite 200
Final Friday, July 28th
6:00pm - 10:00pm 

 

Featured artists: Kathy Besthorn, Alex Browne, Bri Butts, Diana Carbajal, Dallas Dodge, Anthony Dozier, Nick Drake, Angie Evans, Sarah Evans, Kelsy Gossett, Kat Green, Matthew Hilyard, Marissa Kucharek, Vicki Mcilroy, Erick Nkana, Autumn Noire, Dana Palu, Kelly Remacle, Kelly Rundell, Jim Simpson, Hannah Somes, Monica Soutter, Cornell Bell-Steele, Garrett Matthew Swearingen, Jeanne Ward, Sean Christopher Ward, Stephanie Ward, Tasha Wentling, Lindy Duguid Wiese, Jack Wilson and Tara Wilson.

The majority of the exhibitions hosted by the HUE Gallery of Contemporary Art showcase the work of out-of-town artists, but this Final Friday it are hosting a juried art exhibit featuring an impressive collection of Wichita Artists. The exhibition is called Wichita State of Mind and it offers a diverse sampling of the Wichita art scene. The work ranges from non-objective abstraction to abstract expressionism to pop art to figurative painting and everything between. This exhibit has something for everybody. 

Q&A with Sean Christopher Ward, co-owner of HUE Gallery of Contemporary Art
What inspired you to open an art gallery?
Lindy and I were in a co-op gallery years ago when Jo Zakas opened Artist Central.  We were learning the ropes of exhibiting from her, and we noticed a that widespread “standard” of artwork being displayed around town was consistently the same groups of artists, with limited variation. While exhibiting at the Friends of the Wichita Art Museum Art & Book Fair, we got our first glance at just how wonderful it is to see a plethora of artists from near and far. That’s what inspired our business model for HUE.  We wanted to take out of the equation the need to travel to see new and interesting artists, and bring them to us instead.

The majority of the exhibitions at HUE Gallery of Contemporary Art showcase out-of-town artists, why do you think it is important to showcase out-of-town artists in Wichita?
This is best explained in two ways. The first reason behind this is that we wanted to give artists, like ourselves, the ability to learn new styles, processes and details about works that are not typically found in Wichita. Every artist that we bring in, we research and examine from afar, or travel directly to their studios. When we begin a conversation about bringing their work to town, we start to learn what advantages having that artist’s body of work here would bring to the community of artists, as compared to just having open access to their works online. We wanted to give local artists the ability to network with these national artists, much like Harvester Arts successfully does, so that the word of mouth of the local artist’s work might spread throughout the country and not be stuck within the bubble of our city limits. We provide full contact information for every artist we bring in, so that everyone that might enjoy their works and could also have access to ask the artists questions directly.  The second reason we did this was because we were tired of constantly having to travel to bigger cities like Kansas City, Santa Fe, Dallas, etc., just to see the “odd” or “uncommon” variations of artwork that would be typically found in contemporary art galleries in larger cities. 

What inspired you to host a juried exhibition featuring Wichita artists?Much like my constant desire to research new processes and techniques and bring them to Wichita, the reason we wanted to host a local exhibition like this was because we are not alone in the desire to learn and execute new styles of art from all the galleries and museums around town that have inspired us with their bodies of exhibited works. This exhibition was created to show just how much you can learn from artists right here in your own city, and show the wide variety of styles the artists in this city bring to the table, which has expanded greatly over the years. Wichita is on the cusp of becoming an art destination, if it isn't already. There is a wonderful reason behind that, which is that the artists of Wichita are producing masterful works on such a broad scale that it benefits artists from outside the city and state to come visit and learn from these artists. Just as we have been learning from the artists we bring in from out of state. We are very proud that our city offers such a wide variety of talent.

What qualities do you look for when selecting art for a juried exhibition like “Wichita State of Mind”?
As we explained in the inspiration for this exhibition, the qualities we looked for when selecting the artists was inclusiveness of artists young and old, aspiring artists and master artists. The works had to be presented in a professional manner. They had to peak our interests and not be reproductions of old masters’ works. They had to be uniquely Wichita, which I define as a melting pot of ideas that creates new visions for our fellow peers to enjoy and learn from.

Do you have any tips for artists who are seeking gallery representation or want to exhibit at an art gallery?
I would suggest keeping a booklet, either in mass-printed form or a digital PDF, that showcases your best 4 to 10 artworks, your statement/bio that explains what makes you unique as an artist from your peers, and a page with your established pricing structure so the gallery can tell you what sizes fit the market at the current time.  I cannot tell you how many times the works of an artist have been incredible, and the discussion with them is going very well up until the point of knowing their pricing structure.  Decisions to host your artwork are so much quicker if we have everything easily accessible in a single document without requiring the gallery to contact you for additional information.

What are some of your favorite places to go in Wichita when entertaining your out-of-town artists?
I am a food lover, so I enjoy showing them my favorite restaurants that I go to on a near-weekly basis, like The Anchor, District Taqueria and Picasso’s.  These restaurants bring in some of the best tasting, locally-sourced ingredients that just show how lucky our city is for having access to such a wide variety of menu choices.  When I’m not taking them out for food, I take them on a crawl of local breweries. Central Standard and Wichita Brewing Company are my two local favorites, but there are so many more wonderful choices! Now, regarding entertainment, this varies upon the artists’ taste in activities, but I have been truly blessed with being a part of a local electronic music scene, ICT Rave Crew. Any chance I have an opportunity I will take them to a LTD, Karetaker or TimePiece show. It’s a must.  If they are into exploring local museums, then a trip to WSU for the Ulrich Museum and the campus sculpture crawl is always on my list. Finally, and this is ultimately the most touristy thing Wichita offers… I make sure to let them see the 9:00 p.m. lighting of the Keeper of the Plains. If we walked there, then it’s a must that we pay our respects to the troll by Connie Ernatt, as well.

Artist’s Statements

Kelly Rundell
Far and Away

"This is one of my paintings in the Wichita State of Mind show. It is called 'Far and Away'. My acrylic paintings focus on color, shape and depth."

Lindy Duguid Wiese
Evening Encore

This is an oil painting on canvas that is 24"x36" made primarily with a palette knife. I use a thick application of paint to add depth and dimension to my painting.

Angie Evans
Geode Paradise

"This piece, entitled 'Geode Paradise' is filled with colors from nature, with depth and movement that mimics natural geodes. This piece is layered Acrylic and Resin on wood panel. The glossy finish and bold colors have to be seen in person to truly appreciate."

Kelsy Gossett
Tick Tock

"This is a still from a video, 'Tick Tock', that will be in the show.This video is one from a series exploring the expectations of womanhood. In this video, specifically, the expectation that women become mothers."

Jim Simpson
Black Rocks in Spring.

"This piece is titled 'Black Rocks in Spring.' It is typical of many of my pieces that begin with a spark of an idea that is explored further on the canvas—in this case some black paper rock shapes, abstracting natural forms and patterns into a flowing composition. Refining the details into bolder shapes."

Jack Wilson
Morning On The Patio

“Oil on canvas, 12”x16”. Like in this work, I rarely have a worked-out narrative in mind when I begin painting. It evolves with the paint. It started out kind of like the old nursery rhyme, “Mother Hubbard”, and then evolved into the feelings I have sitting with my wife, in our family room, in the morning, watching wild birds at the feeders, our pets and other critters, just out side our patio door. Every morning and evening we are uplifted and delight in the peaceable kingdom."

Hannah Somes
Melina

"Oil on canvas, 24"x 30". In general 'Melina' represents the body of my work, which is inspired by people, and our spiritual and physical interconnectedness with all creation and how everything transforms and keeps transforming. Personally, 'Melina' represents the transformation of someone close to me. I wanted to capture her strength, perseverance and kindness.

Matthew Hilyard
Untitled

"I consider myself a formalist and as such constantly face the struggle to create compositional balance. The very idea of balance helps give clarity and purpose to my life as an artist. My work is response to, and is an attempt to understand the chaotic world around me. I seek the Rarity of the Profound."


 

"Bibs & Forks" Food Invitational

CityArts
334 N Mead St
BALCONY GALLERY - 2ND FLOOR
Final Friday, July 28th
6:00pm - 8:00pm

 

Featured artists: Brad Ruder, Richard Crowson, Rachel Foster, Kelsy Gossett, Christian Taylor, Ernest Vincent Wood III, Jack Wilson, Wade Hampton, Charlotte Martin, John Pirtle, Dane Jones, Ian Blume, Michella Tripoli, Brady Scott, Charles Baughman, Lauren Fitzgerald and Torin Andersen.

This show is literally a Parker’s Pick! I helped pick the artists in the exhibit.

In August, 2016, Emily Brookover, the Artistic Director at CityArts, asked me to help her co-curate an invitational exhibition about food. The first step was selecting a title for the show. I created a list of title ideas and submitted them to Emily. The list was the result of a 15 minute brainstorming session. The list had titles like “Belch and Scratch,” “Smorgasbord” and “Meals On Walls” to name a few. Emily ended up picking “Bibs & Forks.” 

The next task was selecting the artists. Artists are often unpredictable creatures. Some artists will decline your invitation. Some artists will ignore your invitation. Some artists will enthusiastically accept your invitation but fail to meet deadlines. You have to be prepared for rejection and flaky behavior. It helps to start with a list of superstar artists that have a history of meeting deadlines and delivering killer work. It also helps to over-invite, knowing that a small percentage of the artists will decline your invite or fail to meet the deadline. With this in mind, Emily and I created a list of 40 potential artists. From that list, Emily selected the 25 artists that were invited to participate in the exhibition. We ended up with 18 artists in the exhibit.

I came up with the idea to structure the show like a 3 course meal. Each artist was assigned one of the 3 courses: Appetizers, Entrée/Main Course, and Dessert. For example, Lauren Fitzgerald was assigned dessert. She created a wonderful series of cut paper collage paintings of Popsicles and ice-cream cones. I thought the 3-course structure would be a fun way to further explore the food theme and would also give the artists a little more structure without making them feel restricted by rules and limitations. Artists don’t like to be told what to do, and I like to give artists the freedom they need to create their best work. The artists did an amazing job. The exhibit is a really wonderful collection of work.

Q&A with Emily Brookover, Artistic Director at CityArts
What inspired you to curate an art exhibition about food and what compelled you to ask me to co-curate the exhibition with you?
I love group shows, I love invitational shows. I was really excited to put one together at CityArts and was inspired to do a food-themed exhibit after seeing a painting done by Manhattan, Kansas artist Ginny Young of a microwave dinner. It’s the most beautiful painting but it made me laugh. The subject matter is so silly and ironic yet she painted it so beautifully and with such a wonderful palette. It made me smile to think of the many ways an artist would approach the concept of food. I really like and look forward to collaborations, so I knew I wanted someone to co-curate this invitational with me. I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to work with you and thought this was a great opportunity to trick you into a project. It totally worked.

Where do you go when you want to fill your belly with some delicious Wichita cuisine?
My current obsession is Noble House. Their macaroni salad is made of magic. And have you tried Dempsey’s Biscuit Co? Good grief.

What is the grossest/weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
I took a survival class in middle school and we had to eat fried snake and turtle. I remember feeling terrible about it, plus it was not particularly tasty. When I was a kid, I also tried a fresh oyster at a country club golf tournament. I ran away and spit it out in the toilet. Of course, the bathroom overflowed. I was less concerned with that and more concerned with the atrocity I had just put in my mouth. I haven’t had one since, and still have nightmares. I wouldn’t say I’m a real adventurous eater, so I’m short on good food stories.

Who is your favorite celebrity chef and why?
My favorite is Iron Chef Cat Cora. She’s a badass.

Are you disappointed we didn’t call the show “Taco Farts”?
Uh, no. I’m good with it.

Do you have any tips for artists who are seeking gallery representation or want to exhibit at an art gallery?
My best advice is to do your research. First, follow the guidelines laid out by the gallery. People are generally, awesome so don’t hesitate to ask questions. But once you understand the process, respect it. Please don’t ever walk into a gallery and start showing someone pictures of your work on your cell phone. Ask them how best to submit your work for consideration and follow their instruction. Choose galleries that show work complimentary to yours. If you are an abstract painter, it’s probably not the best idea to approach a gallery that specializes in mid-century landscape photography. Don’t be afraid to look outside of your community for opportunities. There are so many galleries and art centers across Kansas and the Midwest. Branch out and show wherever you can. and remember that rejection is all part of it. Art is painfully subjective and not everyone is going to be interested in what you do. That’s ok. It really is. Keep going. What’s that sales quote about getting 9 no’s before a yes? I think that’s true and probably pretty generous. It’s all about the hustle. Work through the no’s and find a yes. It’s out there.

What do you enjoy the most about the Wichita Art community and how do you think it can improve?
I love the love. The claws come out on occasion but we, as a community, are really supportive of each other. I love popping on to social media and seeing explosions of celebration when a local artist receives a grant, is featured in a publication or is putting together a new event. We are really good cheerleaders for each other.

I think there are a lot of ways we can improve the art community here, and it starts with funding and opportunity. I won’t delve too deep, but I will say that everyone can help. Buy local and handmade as often as possible.  And when you’re in the market for some art, buy from an artist or a gallery rather than a national chain. You’re not only supporting that artist, you are getting a piece of work that no one else in the world will ever have. And, if you think original art is always too expensive, think again. Buying art in Wichita is overwhelmingly affordable and we have artists that make work in every price range imaginable. If you need some tips, just let me know!

Artist’s Statements

Rachel Foster
Cheese and Crackers

"Oil on canvas, 36"x36". By borrowing from 'The Last Supper', I alluded to the sacrifice that some caregivers go through to feed their children, and created a humorous depiction of the nurturing quality of men."

Lauren_Fitzgerald_Mint.jpg

 

Lauren Fitzgerald

 

Grape

"It's summer. It's hot outside. Sweat is dripping from your face in the sweltering heat. As if in a daze, you wonder what, if anything, can offer some relief... and then it hits you like a snowball to the face. Ice cream! Ice cream is the one true cure for the summer heat, and everyone likes ice cream. As Joseph Epstein once said, 'Not to like ice cream is to show oneself uninterested in food.'"

John Pirtle

"Sitting down for a quality family meal may be considered an old fashioned notion nowadays. Conversation and the sharing of one's day are now replaced by technology at the table or the demands of a busy schedule.

This piece serves as a reminder of a time when we didn't have status updates, we conversed with one another. And when we didn't take pictures of our food. We just ate it."

Brady Scott
Nature's Dessert

"Temptation is all around us, but mother nature has given us the perfect treat. Taking a conscious approach to how I fuel my body has positively effected many aspects of my life. Choosing a bowl of fruit over an ice-cream cone is not always easy, but my body says thank you every time. Eat with your heart and you shall reap the rewards!"

Brad Ruder


Janga

 

"This artwork was inspired by a recent vacation to Jamaica where spiced crayfish were sold at roadside stands. The bright colors and handwritten type were influenced by the buildings and signs found in small fishing villages along the highway. Screen printed in three colors on French Paper."

Ernest Vincent Wood III

"The piece is a mixture of the traditional and the contemporary that celebrates and raises the dignity of the varying elements. Painting food or drink within a still life allows us to enjoy food for it's aesthetic properties not merely it's utility. We may think about what it is to hold it, to feel the weight, the texture. We may appreciate it's color, gaze into deep reds, pale waxy neutrals and cavernous darks. To not be lost in consumption gives us a moment to contemplate the real fullness of the gift."

Carolynn Shultz.jpg

Christian Taylor
Summer Portrait (Tempered by Disaster)

"I approached this painting with the goal of creating an unconventional portrait. So it's a portrait of ice cream, but it's also a portrait of the viewer. If the lighting is just right you can catch your own reflection in the painting. The painting is also situated on the ground so as the viewer is looking down at it. It's as if they are participating in the "scene", as if they're the one who just spilt ice cream on the floor."

Torin Andersen

 

"Why not put a swiss swirl there? If its already in a landscape, why not make it the size of a vehicle. Well, why not put another pastry in the tundra?  How about a tart?  Why did I agree to this, again?"

ALBUM REVIEW- Aaron Lee Martin "Learned Behavior"

Album Review by Torin Andersen All Songs Written by Aaron Lee Martin Recorded at The Cabin by Danny Brewer Recorded at Track House by Torin Andersen Engineered & Mixed by Danny Brewer Mastered by Doug Van Sloun Photograph by Jessica Noelle Martin Design by Andrew Stephens Release June 30th, 2017 Listen/Download Apple Music Spotify

Album Review by Torin Andersen
All Songs Written by Aaron Lee Martin
Recorded at The Cabin by Danny Brewer
Recorded at Track House by Torin Andersen
Engineered & Mixed by Danny Brewer
Mastered by Doug Van Sloun
Photograph by Jessica Noelle Martin
Design by Andrew Stephens
Release June 30th, 2017

Listen/Download
Apple Music
Spotify

Aaron Lee Martin is not afraid to embrace that man’s nature is steeped in darkness but what sets his music in the sunnier side of life is his ability to wrangle and direct those demons into the light.  In search of joy and peace, Learned Behavior, is a celebration of life's lessons and Martin’s journey to transform dark into light.

With lines like, “If my enemy’s not real, tell me who am I supposed to fight?  If my enemy’s myself, tell me how am I supposed to fight?” on the album opener, "The Beast", — finding the struggle in this record is not difficult and Martin’s voice is determined to find salvation. Starting with Martin and his acoustic guitar, Learned Behavior opens to a cacophony of friends joining to help orchestrate this beast of an album.  

Recording started three and a half years ago with Martin’s friend Danny Brewer, using an off-the-grid recording studio in a remote part of north Georgia. Using a solitary solar panel for power, Martin and Brewer found ways of adapting to overcast or rainy days.  Experiences like this probably birthed the lyric from "Something Beautiful", the second track on Learned Behavior, which repeats “Let it go, let it go, letting go.”

Unique recording spaces not being the first of challenges getting Learned Behavior prepared for release, both Martin And Brewer experienced some magnificent life changes, which pushed the release further back. Later, Martin experienced both ends of the life spectrum nearly simultaneously. Losing his mother found him crying out, likely not too different from the lyrics on the third song, "The Lonely One". “I can be lonely all by myself, I don’t need to be lonely with anybody else.” That experience was followed by his wife informing him they were expecting.

Learned Behavior excels at surfing the scope of life’s biggest experiences, while delivering them in a package as personal as meeting Martin himself. His charm and yearning to connect is evident throughout this seven song release. An experience many people from Wichita are familiar with, through experiencing his music live, Learned Behavior translates his charisma well through 2 speakers, whether in your ear or resonating from the corner of your favorite morning coffee chair. There are moments, as on song "Best Laid Plans", where it’s as if your surroundings as a listener are suddenly occupied by Martin and friends, singing directly to you, “I’ll keep singing the same old song, though the music it will change around me.”

Martin is adept at creating a mood and environment for his sonic tales of darkness. "Bloody Murder" evokes a scene dripping with humidity and surrounded by weeping willows. The mood is thick, though somewhat complacent — an attitude that something terrible has happened but not enough to let time go by without noticing. Not too different from what I recall of the follow up track, "Seven", to be in mood and context but without the murder part.

"Seven" too heart-wrenching a song for this reviewer to listen to again, places the listener square at the seven year mark of a marriage in demise. Don’t listen if you’re at the six-year mark of your marriage.

Album closer and namesake, Learned Behavior, gets even more personal. Moments feel like Martin’s hand is hovering nearby, while reaching out with his voice, contemplating, “I try to love like I wanna be loved. Is it all just learned behavior? Is it nurture versus human nature?”

There are many moments on Learned Behavior, that will raise the hair on your neck, illicit a smile, conjure a tear, recall a memory or delight in melancholy. There is a full range of emotion, and your story teller isn’t afraid to take you there because he has survived being there himself. 

The release of Learned Behavior was celebrated June 29th at Abode Venue, Martin put together a special band just for the occasion. Welcome this gem of an album into the world, and don’t forget to grab a copy for yourself. http://aaronleemartin.com

PARKER'S PICKS - FINAL FRIDAY - JUNE 30, 2017

Since I am the creator and caretaker of the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group, I am often asked which Final Friday events I recommend attending. I'll start by saying that I am NOT a Final Friday expert, and that my recommendations are based on my own personal preferences and tastes. I want to say, "go to all of them", but that would be an impossible task. Having too many awesome Final Friday events is a good problem to have.

Every month I will shine a spotlight on 3 or 4 exhibitions that I recommend seeing. These are the exhibitions that I am most excited to see myself. I should also note that I haven't seen any of these exhibitions yet. My recommendations are based on previous works by the artists or on promotional materials released by the artist or gallery. I encourage all of you to join the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group to see the full list of Final Friday events happening in Wichita, Kansas.

- Dustin Parker

 

Judy Dove
60 Year Retrospective

Tessera Fine Art Gallery
412 E Douglas, Suite C

Final Friday, June 30th
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

 

Judy Dove has always been one of my favorite artists at Gallery XII. I’ve always felt a deep connection to her work and always greatly admired her mastery of color, texture and composition. I especially love the gritty textures and earthy colors of her collage paintings. Her work is always evolving and changing. After 60+ years of creating art, she is still experimenting and exploring new techniques and ideas. 

Judy has been a member of several arts organizations including, the National League of American Pen Women, Wichita Women Artists and the Artists Guild of Wichita. She is currently a member of the Gallery XII Artist’s Cooperative and frequently exhibits her work at Tessera Fine Art Gallery. 

Tessera Fine Art Gallery is hosting a retrospective of Judy Dove’s incredible work called “Judy Dove - 60 Years Retrospective.” The exhibition will feature work Judy created when she was a student at Pittsburg State University in the ‘60s as well as work she created while earning her MFA in Printmaking at Wichita State University in the ’70s. This exhibition will be a very special treat because it provides a rare opportunity to see the full evolutionary path of an incredible artist. 

Artist Q&A with Judy Dove
How has putting together a retrospective exhibition of your past work influenced your more recent work?
My husband suggested I do the retrospective. He wanted me to see how much I have done over the years and the many exhibits I have been in. Because of age who knows how much longer I can work. I do intend to work until I drop. I don't plan to drop anytime soon. No influence on or for work I plan to do in the future. I have a featured artist show at Gallery XII July 2018 and at this time plan to go back to highly textured and large work. 

Where do you go to collect collage materials? 
I find collage material everywhere. Picking plant material and drying them, picking up things off the street, pulling pieces of posters off walls and sometimes eBay. The latest material I used was a piece of newspaper that I found while on a morning walk, it'd been rained on and run over for many days. Inspiration comes from whatever is around me.

How has being a member of Gallery XII influenced your work? 
Being a member of Gallery XII gives me one reason to keep producing artwork and I can keep in touch with other artists. The influence is being with other artists and sharing what creating means to each of us.

Can you explain your creative process? 
Basically I just do. I think about images and what to do or how to go about it. With a good grounding in the elements and principles of design I can critic my own work.

What has been inspiring you lately?
I am a person who likes the processes used to create art. There was a new process using National Geographic magazines and citrasol to bleed the inks. Going online gave me the how to. My latest collages use these papers.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
When I had a studio outside the home I listened to Josh Groban (old lady music). Working at home there is enough going on that I can just filter it out.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
When traveling I always go to art museums and art galleries. I sometimes find that my art isn't much different than other artists. I actually find this encouraging. Seeing the exhibit of the Hudson River painters at the Wichita Art Museum was a jump start.
 


 

Modern Venus: The Female Perspective

Finishing School for Modern Women
340 S Main St

Final Friday, June 30th
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

 

Featured artists: Hannah Beam, Heather Byers, Melanie Cloud, Lena Dreher-Heflin, Lindsey Ernst, Denise Grays, Alisha Gridley, Barbara Haynes, Rachel Hermes, ONOH, Kira Hutchens, Trishelle Jeffery, Casey Joy, Marlys Keenan, Jordan Kirtley, Levering Lewis, Jenny Long, Katie Moore, Jessica Nellis, Autumn Noire, Molly Noon, Amanda Pfister, Zoe Porazka, Whitney Powell, Angela Rangel, Karen Scroggins, Carolynn Shultz, Thomas Joanna, Michelle Tripoli, Stacy Walker, Tasha Wentling, and Tyleciea Zachry.

This month The Finishing School for Modern Women has jumped into the Final Friday fray by hosting an all-female juried art exhibition titled Modern Venus: The Female Perspective. The exhibition was curated by Jamie Ford and Emily Loy and features an impressive collection of work by 32 local and regional artists. The Finishing School for Modern Women, founded by Jill D. Miller, offers a variety of classes designed to help women learn professional and personal skills such as negotiation techniques, public speaking, money management, time management, goal setting and other important skills that are essential to being happy and successful in the modern world. The Finishing School for Modern Women seems like the perfect place to host an art exhibit that gives women a platform to share their stories and talents. I hope this is the first of many shows hosted by The Finishing School for Modern Women. 

Artist Q&A with Curators Jamie Ford and Emily Loy
What inspired you to curate an all-female juried show and how were the artists selected? 
Jamie:
After the women's March, I had been looking for a way to channel that energy into more women's and minority rights advocacy. I’m really inspired by the Guerilla Girls and their work for equality in the arts community internationally. I wanted to emulate that by supporting and celebrating female voices in the art community. We have so many talented artists here in Wichita, so I knew we would have plenty of great work to choose from. 

Emily: I have always been interested in the academic approach to art. Being that my background is within the fields of art history and anthropology, I have discovered there are many theories within these interdisciplinary fields that touch on the topic of gender in relation to art. This show was a way to further explore and navigate through those theories to possibly create a dialogue from female artist to the viewer.

Jamie: It was important to us not to require a certain theme or expectation of the submitted works. We wanted to see what kinds of art female artists were doing and if there were any common themes or patterns that might emerge. The chosen pieces were so introspective and thoughtful. They provide a strong insight into women’s points of view. 

Modern Venus: The Female Perspective is the first exhibition that the Finishing School for Modern Women has ever hosted, What influenced your decision to host the show at Finishing School for Modern Women rather than an established art gallery? 
Jamie: I work part time at the Finishing School and Headmistress, Jill Miller, has been talking about hosting art shows for a while.
When Emily and I were brainstorming for the show, we had been talking galleries, but it just kind of occurred to us, what better place to share women's stories than a place for and by women. 

Emily: I have been friends with Jamie for a number of years now and she has always been a really strong and inspiring female figure and artist in my life. I could not have brainstormed this exhibition idea with a more perfect female artist. The Finishing School was the perfect fit. Not only does Jamie work there but, Jill is also a powerful female figure in Wichita. Therefore, the location was a no-brainer really.

Do you plan to curate more shows in the future? 
Emily: I do hope that I can curate many other exhibitions in the future. This falls right into my line of work and future career endeavors. It only makes sense to continue to work towards something you are passionate about.

Jamie: Definitely! I think there are many more projects for the future! And while I’ve really enjoyed curating and giving a platform to others, I am, first and foremost, a creator and I look forward to showing more of my own work as well.  

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
Jamie:
We’ll, we came up with the idea for the show at Espresso To Go Go. 

Emily: We love any place that serves coffee and provides the right atmosphere to chat and explore ideas. Espresso To Go Go really fit the bill for the brainstorming session we had. It was peaceful and had plenty of coffee. 

Jamie: Then we had a celebratory beer after the reception at Central Standard. Definitely two of my favorite places in town! 

What do you enjoy the most about the Wichita Art community and how do you think it can improve?
Emily:
The Wichita Art community is its own little world. It is growing every day and becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Which is exactly what we want! The artists in Wichita are strong together and support each other; it is amazing really how connected everyone is to one another. There is always room for improvement, which I feel most people find to be a type of negative. But, no one is perfect and the beauty of a community such as this is that any sort of change or improvement can help to create a dialogue that this art world can run with.

Jamie: I always tell people that Wichita has a lot of room for people's great ideas. If you're inspired by something you've seen in a bigger city, chances are Wichita is just waiting for you to create something like it, most likely with little to no competition. In the past few years, I've seen many new businesses and organizations, like the Finishing School for Modern Women, who have taken advantage of this potential which makes me feel proud to live here. At times I feel that the art community can get a little cliquey which might alienate newcomers. It’s worth reminding ourselves that we can always benefit from engaging and collaborating with those outside of our inner circle.

Artist’s Statements

Denise Grays.jpg

Denise Grays
Monument Rocks in Red

"Kansas has many diverse and beautiful landscapes, but you must make the trek out of the city, off the interstate to find them.  I wanted to show that Kansas is a place like no other, like another world, in a good way. I decided to shoot Monument Rocks on 35mm redscale film to give it a 'different planet' feel. Captured as the sun was setting, the light through the opening made me feel hopeful about what's next for me and for my home state."

Tasha Wentling
Adolescent Treasures

"I am interested in how one's concept of "treasure" changes over time. “Adolescent Treasures" is inspired by objects I treasured as a child. Interesting rocks and trinkets always seemed to make their way into a drawer in my nightstand."


Heather Byers

 

Blank Page

"For me, this piece is just that deep breath before starting something new. I don't create with much pageantry. There's no magic in getting started, just a comfortable spot and some basic tools."

Autumn Noire

"My drawings are representations of my personal struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. They are intended to convey the experiences of anxiety, depression, and unhealthy coping techniques that being a survivor of abuse has left me with."

Karen Scroggins
First Impression of Colorado 1985 Estes park, Trailridge

 

"This mixed media artwork is about my memory of seeing mountains for the first time. I wanted to reflect on the intense color and beautiful shapes that the mountains and flowers created. The process for this artwork is built on different materials creating layers, using a sander to remove or partially remove materials to create texture and dimension, layers were manipulated to create a unified image. My hope for this mixed media piece is that in transports the viewer to view the world with fresh vision and examine ideas in a nonlinear form."

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Carolynn Shultz
Lost in Thought

"I was inspired to create melted wax art initially by my children doing a craft project. But I saw potential to create a new form of art and wax is an amazing and very technical medium to work in this way. In all my pieces I try to convey movement and emotion and for “Lost in Thought” I was inspired by an old woman standing by a road."

Jordan Kirtley
Face with a View
 

"My works are constructed with paper and found objects inside cigar boxes. I see them as dioramas, and more explicitly as receptacles for my intimate thoughts and memories. Real places and experiences are embellished with my personal neuroses, and contained in a space that's easily shared. I'm saying, "Here, have a look inside my brain, and close the door when you're done."

Casey Joy
Bringing A Healing

"Bringing A Healing" was inspired by the unique performance of Overtone singer Natascha Nikeprelevic. I saw a video of her perfoming and was mesmorized by the way her hands moved as well as her strangely beautiful voice. I had never heard or seen anything like what she had done before and there was something very healing about it all. I felt like that is what she was trying to do in her performance, bring a healing. Normally I paint from my dreams, but I knew I had to paint her. Each piece I do is like a painting from the diary of my mind. It heals me. It lifts burdens I wouldn't know how to lift any other way. It is my hope that my paintings inspire others and bring them a sense of healing as well."

Michella Tripoli
Raven

"When I created "Raven", I wanted her to be as enchanting as she was eerie. She entices the viewer with her delicate, feminine features, but also looks like she could steal the soul of those who dare to gaze into her eyes for too long. She perfectly personifies the dark, mysterious, yet uniquely beautiful raven."


 

Mika Holtzinger: The Garden

The Fiber Studio
418 S. Commerce St

Final Friday, June 30th
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

 

Mika Holtzinger’s brightly colored paintings are a celebration of nature. Her paintings often depict birds, bees and butterflies swarming around luscious flowers or honeycomb. The vibrant colors often cascade like a waterfall of warm honey. Her paintings have a dreamlike quality and often display multiple layers of subtle textures and shapes. The images she creates are striking but delicately constructed. Her mark making is soft and elegant and expressive. I’m reminded that nature is a bold and beautiful marvel, but it is also a delicate treasure.Her birds and bees are often drawn in a simplified fashion and lean more toward abstraction than photorealism. But her birds and bees flutter and buzz with energy. Mika also has a masterful command of color and composition. In her “Queen Bee” series, images of the Madonna and Child are obscured by images of bees, flowers, honeycomb and layers of cascading colors. These images of the Madonna and Child further emphasize the themes of fertility and our connection to nature. Mika’s beautiful paintings remind us not to take nature for granted.  



Artist Q&A with Mika Holtzinger
Your work often features images of birds, bees, butterflies and other forms of wildlife, what compels you to create images inspired by nature? 

It's not just because they're beautiful, although I feel there is power in a "pretty picture". In many ways, flora and pollinators make up the foundation of the natural world. They are an integral part of our survival on this planet. I want to bring attention to the bees/pollinators and the issues that are they're facing. I also want to invoke deeper reverence in people for nature. in general, which is why I use human forms in many of my nature pieces.

I’ve noticed that many of your paintings play with Symmetry/Asymmetry and your paintings are often divided into 2 or more panels. Can you explain the significance of those elements in your work? 
I think part of that is my natural aesthetics. But symbolically it represents balance and strength. In nature it takes two sides to thrive, two parts supporting each other. I'm interested in making art that works the same way. 

Can you explain your creative process? 
Ha, organic?! Dedicating yourself to an artistic process is in many ways understanding how your brain is wired and my brain is over-active to say the least. I like to work on several pieces at once, this allows the series to develop and grow as a unit. Being an mixed media artist, I use a plethora of materials: paints, inks, pastels, pencils, glues, fabrics, plastics, etc... The work is made in many layers, so as one layer dries, I can work on another piece. I need to experiment in the studio, using different materials and techniques keeps me curious and engaged. There is a big misconception that an artist has a vision and then creates it. It has never been that way for me. I have an idea, somewhat of a vision and I start a 'dialogue' with the materials, I tell them what I want, they in return tell me what they want to do. Art making is a wonderful compromise.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?   
Environmental issues inspire me. My love for being outside and Nature in general. People inspire me. My unique spiritual perspective keeps me going. Music of all kinds. 

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
I like 1920's/30's music, it puts me at ease, brings a smile to my face. I listen to Alt-J more than is normal and Moby's Innocents album has looped a few hundred times, lately. I'm a music fanatic, I feel there is perfect music for each mood. In another reality, I'm not holding a paint brush, I'm strumming a bass.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
The Library. I like to wander around in my favorite sections and let books find me. One of my true inspirations is allowing Serendipity to play it’s part in the work.

PARKER'S PICKS - FINAL FRIDAY - MAY 26, 2017

Since I am the creator and caretaker of the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group, I am often asked which Final Friday events I recommend attending. I'll start by saying that I am NOT a Final Friday expert, and that my recommendations are based on my own personal preferences and tastes. I want to say, "go to all of them", but that would be an impossible task. Having too many awesome Final Friday events is a good problem to have.

Every month I will shine a spotlight on 3 or 4 exhibitions that I recommend seeing. These are the exhibitions that I am most excited to see myself. I should also note that I haven't seen any of these exhibitions yet. My recommendations are based on previous works by the artists or on promotional materials released by the artist or gallery. I encourage all of you to join the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group to see the full list of Final Friday events happening in Wichita, Kansas.

- Dustin Parker

 
 

Event Schedule:
5:30 pm -5:45 pm Remarks
5:45 pm - 7:00 pm Explore the Alley
7:00 pm, - 9:00 pm - Musical Performances from Kill Vargas, Tideway and The Cavves. on the Gallery Alley stage, presented by Barleycorn's

Thanks to a $66,504 grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation, the Wichita Downtown Development Corp was able to create a new multifunctional space called the Gallery Alley at 616 E. Douglas (next to 86 Cold Press). The Gallery Alley will be the home of several sculptures and murals by local artists, a portable concert stage for live music and theatre events, a screen for movie screenings, and permanent bistro-style tables for outdoor dining and leisure. The Gallery Alley will also host monthly art exhibitions in conjunction with the Final Friday gallery crawl. This Final Friday will be the grand opening of the Gallery Alley and will feature artwork by Cornell Bell-Steele, Marc Durfee, John McCluggage, Mike Miller, Garet Reynek, Lisa Rundstrom and a mural by Lupoli (Josh Tripoli and Rebekah Lewis). The new Lupoli mural will not be finished in time for the Final Friday event but Lupoli is inviting the community to participate in the creation of the mural on Sunday and Monday. The Final Friday event will also feature some amazing live music by Kill Vargas, Tideway and The Cavves

It is incredibly exciting to see the local community finding creative ways to transform and revitalize the underused and neglected urban spaces in downtown Wichita. It is also wonderful to have a new space where visual artists, filmmakers, musicians and thespians can come together and create something magical. This is a really exciting time to be an artist in Wichita, KS. 

 
 

 

Michael Pointer
INSTAGRAMICA

Fiber Studio
418 S. Commerce St
Final Friday, May 26th
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

 

Michael Pointer is a photographer. In recent years, Michael has explored the relationship between photography and painting by creating abstract photo collages using photo chemicals and acrylic paint. He uses photo developer and fixer the same way an abstract expressionist painter like Joan Mitchell or Robert Motherwell would use paint. Dreamlike images emerge from a sea of splatters and drips. The images are both melancholic and beautiful, dark and mysterious. The images are mostly black and white, with the occasional touch of blue or yellow. His images often remind me of Robert Rauschenberg’s photo collages. Michael calls his technique “photoexpressionism”, which is the perfect way to describe this perfect union of photography and painting. 

Michael’s “Instagramica” series explores similar imagery, but instead of throwing photo chemicals he is creating abstract digital collages using a computer. The images in the “Instagramica” series are often more colorful and experimental than his “photoexpressionism” series. It is common to see overlapping photographs defaced by scribbles, splatters and gritty textures. The series maintains the haphazard quality of his “photoexpressionism” series, which is often difficult to achieve with digital tools. The computer gives an artist more control and happy accidents are less likely to happen. But Michael’s digital images show an artist who is eager to experiment and allow the unexpected to happen. 

Michael continues to be one of my favorite photographers and it is always a joy to see his work. 

Artist Q&A with Michael Pointer
The work in “Instagramica” are digital collages, what inspired you to create digital images? 
"Instagramica" began when my nieces said I should put my work on Instagram. I decided to take all of the brakes off and use whatever digital tricks, manipulations, and cheap apps I wanted — that there would be no rules. I call the work “new media” because it involves much more than just collaging images, I draw, paint, and erase digitally as well. Hockney began an exploration of digital art at the world level and I think there is a new digital media proceeding, in part, from that. Instagramica was born out of all that and the 25 pieces are selected from the 1,000 Instagram posts I made which are the more popular-crowd funded, crowd curated.

I have become completely intrigued by producing a body of work that only exists in cyberspace and my mind. The printing of the exhibit then becomes the distillation of the process, a physical manifestation of the electric mind.

I have used old images and new and re-used elements of them to create a conversation within the body of work along with compositional elements. The reproducible print then becomes part of the communication and repetition rather like Rauschenberg does in his later prints. It is an exploration that has to be made for me because that is where the intrigue is now. Nothing under the sun is new, but it has never been digital before. The techniques and styles are just beginning to make themselves known. It is certainly a long way from acceptance by the general public.

What apps/equipment  are you using to create your digital images? 
I use anything to create these pieces. Cheap phone apps, cell phone camera, film camera, DSLR, Photoshop, Camera 360, PicsArt, ANYTHING. I wish I could spit digitally.

Can you explain your creative process?  
I start with a poetic phrase that enters my head or an image I have shot that hangs around and let it percolate through the day. The final work is a response to my day be it good, bad, or indifferent. I follow the completion of the image by writing a short poem that responds to the image sort of…somewhat…maybe. I might go back and edit the image a bit. I frequently have a strong urge to scribble on them, if that pressure is relieved then I leave it on the image and if not, I erase it.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
I love antiquarian photo processes and have use many of them. I see interesting compositional elements and colors in the work being produced now, but they are mostly replicating old work or making it look old. I see these images and think about other ways they could be used in a contemporary art conversation. I continue to produce large scale gelatin silver prints, but I tear them and paint on them, maybe draw a little to expand the possibilities.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
I just discovered First Aid Kit and there is always some Tom Waits in the Mixed media gelatin silver monotype print, usually “Mule Variations.” Although I love to be sung to by a woman, the musician becomes a muse of sorts so I can pour my sexual energy into my work.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
The Wichita Art Museum has a tremendous collection. I grew up with it. Ben Shahn’s “Blind Botanist” was my father’s first example of visual metaphor to me when I was nine or ten. I also like to drive down alleys in downtown Wichita. Lately I have been inspired by the strong graphics of all the construction crews working around town.

 
 

 

Chiyoko Myose
Movements of Thread

CityArts
334 N Mead St

MAIN GALLERY - 1ST FLOOR
Final Friday, May 26th
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

 

The paintings in Chiyoko Myose’s “Sojourning” series all share 3 visual elements. The bottom layer is a field of hazy color, reminiscent of Mark Rothko’s color field paintings. This field of color is often split in half, hinting at a landscape — a landscape that is defined by color and mood rather than natural landmarks. The colors trigger thoughts of oceans of wheat and endless skies, or a field of green grass feasting on the first ray of sunshine. The next layer is defined by a series of lines segments that twist and turn to form the shape of flowers and geometric patterns. The patterns remind me of constellation charts, crochet patterns and Joan Miró paintings. Is it a maze? Or a map? If you allow your eyes to wander from point to point, you quickly become lost in the journey. The final layer is composed of brightly colored geometric shapes. Sometimes the shapes float around the space and sometimes the shapes live inside the spaces created by the line segments. The paintings are beautiful abstractions that exhibit a mastery of color and balance. 

In another series of paintings called “Iridescence,” the clean and elegant lines of the “Sojourning” paintings are replaced with chaotic strings of thread. The thread is alive. It twists and turns across the canvas. The thread cannot be contained by the boundaries of the canvas. The thread dances inside an explosion of color and texture. These paintings are more raw and emotional. Unlike the the “Sojourning” paintings, the layers of color, shape and thread are all jumbled together into a single layer. The “Sojourning” paintings convey order and the “Iridescence” paintings convey chaos. Both series of paintings express a desire to find connection and purpose. 

She will also have several installations on display that use thread, paper, wood and fabric. Once such installation is called “Threads”, and the viewers are encouraged to contribute to the installation by tying knots with the threads. Each new knot is a reminder that we are all connected and we should treasure that connection. “Threads” remains a work in progress as it encounters new people in new places and becomes more and more complex. 

From left, Kay Buskirk, Daniel Racer, and Cindy Thompson

From left, Kay Buskirk, Daniel Racer, and Cindy Thompson

Daniel Racer, a composer and Professor at Friends University, has composed a chamber music piece in response to Chiyoko’s installations and his music will be performed for the first time in public on Final Friday. The music will be performed by Cindy Thompson (oboe), Kay Buskirk (viola), and Daniel Racer (double bass).

I highly encourage you to see Chiyoko’s beautiful and thoughtful work. 

Artist Q&A with Chiyoko Myose
What inspired you to begin creating art?
When I moved to Kansas from Tokyo about 20 years ago, I was excited about the new life. This vast Kansas land made me feel free to express myself. At the same time, I felt a big loss. I lost my familiar place, my language and cultural sensitivity. I started drawing and painting, hoping to express my little heart and cope with this life change.

Thread is a common element in both your paintings and installations, what is the significance of thread in your work?
For each show, I try to have cohesiveness. In this show at CityArts, thread is the common element. Thread has different meaning depending on the series. I am often inspired by the usage of the Japanese language to create my own visual language.

For example, In the painting series ”Sojourning”, thread is the material for “crocheting”. In the Japanese language, the same character is used for the word “to crochet” (編む) and “to edit” (編集する). With the element of thread, I am editing my subjective thoughts toward the place where I used to live.

The thread in another painting series “Iridescence” means “a clue”, because the threads are guiding me in the process of creating images. Also, the word “thread end” has another meaning, “a clue”, in the Japanese language.  

The thread for the installations in this show means “relationship”. It is because thread is serving as a connecting agent in the works. Also, in the Japanese language, the verbs that are related to thread such as “to tie a knot, to cut, and to get tangled” are used idiomatically to express different condition of the relationship with people.  

Daniel Racer composed original chamber music that was inspired by your installation work. How did this collaboration come to fruition?
About two years ago, my friend Kay Buskirk, viola instructor at Friends University and Bethel College and a friend of Dan’s, asked me if I was interested in collaborating with them on classical music. Kay had been seeing my works for several years. Dan, a composer and Professor at Friends University had composed several classical music pieces inspired by art before. I basically like to see my works being used for or collaborated with other forms of art. I had opportunities to do or be a part of several collaborations involving dance, music, a short film, and even engineering before. I am especially interested in the relationship between music and art, so I said “Yes!” to Kay immediately. I chose four installations that have a common subject so that Dan could compose music under a consistent theme. After seeing my actual work, photos and sketches, and reading the concept, Dan composed a 20 minutes-long chamber music piece with his own sensibility and musical language. In this CityArts show, these four installations are going to be exhibited. The musicians are going to play this piece publicly for the first time at the opening reception. This collaborative experience has been an adventure for me. I am excited and humbled. 

Can you explain your creative process?
For “Sojourning” series, I would say overall planning, layering within layers, embracing happenings, and a lot of contemplating like doing jigsaw puzzles and stacking blocks. 
  
For “Iridescence” series, I would say not much planning, alternating “the unexpected” and “appreciations and questions,” and accepting unpredictable ending. 

For installations, being inspired by the materials, collecting them, a lot of laboring mainly by hand, installing them, and making a space to invite viewers and myself.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
My experiences as a ‘sojourner’ inspire me to make art. Stories of other people who share a similar situation inspire me, too. Lately, my sick mother in Japan has been an inspiration, too.

Visual inspiration for “Sojourning” series includes works by Hiroshi Sugito, Reed Danziger, and Thomas Nozkowski. I always like Paul Klee. Lately, I started to look at Nicholas Wilton and Matisse.

For installations, inspirations include Tara Donovan, Do Ho Suh, Jean Shin, Cornelia Parker, and Annie Strader.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
George Winston’s “December” and “Autumn”, and other instrumental jazz fusion type of music. I like diverse genre of music from classical music to rock and pop music, though.  

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
I enjoy galleries, museums, and outdoor murals. Art in the everyday scenes is kind of surreal, and my life in this foreign land is kind of surreal, too. I can relate to this city through art. I go to music concerts from time to time. I feel tremendous peace when I see musicians playing music. I appreciate artists and musicians for working hard and sharing their passion, persistence, and their life! They remind me of what I have been doing has some meanings, too.


 

Emily Chamberlain
Plated

CityArts
334 N Mead St

BALCONY GALLERY - 2ND FLOOR
Final Friday, May 26th
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm 

 

When you are done admiring Chiyoko Myose’s amazing work, I highly encourage you to venture upstairs to see Emily Chamberlain’s “Planted” exhibition in the Balcony Gallery. I first discovered Emily Chamberlain’s incredible ceramic work in March, when she had a solo exhibition at The Fiber Studio. The gallery was full of brightly colored ceramic sculptures that looked like strange plants that you might discover on a distant planet or deep below the ocean’s surface. These forms felt both familiar and foreign. Many of the forms resembled cacti or corals. Their surfaces were rich with color and texture. These plantlike forms were clustered together to form mini ecosystems that were both beautiful and bizarre. The instant I saw her work I was immediately drawn into the little world she had created. I wanted to explore this world. I wanted to smell the flowers and touch the prickly plants. I began to imagine what other types of lifeforms might be lurking inside this strange new habitat I had discovered. I felt like an explorer discovering a new world. 

The “Planted” exhibit at CityArts is displayed in the Balcony Gallery. Along the wall rests a row of 3 legged tables. The tables are painted chartreuse yellow and the table tops are covered with artificial grass. Emerging from the grass are large plantlike forms. This show is much more intimate, as if these plants were plucked from their natural environment and proudly placed in someone’s home.

Emily’s work is both incredibly beautiful and meticulously crafted and is well worth the journey to the 2nd floor of CityArts.

Many of your forms remind me of cacti or corals. What inspired you to create these plantlike forms?
My inspiration comes from my own experiences within disparate natural environments. I think about the plant life, landscape and foliage of the places I have been to and explored, which informs my decisions in the forms, textures and colors I use.

You recently earned an MFA in Ceramics at Wichita State University, how did that experience influence/change your work?
My work has made many changes through the process of obtaining my MFA in ceramics.  It has forced me to question myself, my decisions and push me in ways I never imagined. I was able to come off the pedestal, build large, explore surface, play with installation and do things I never have before. I have always explored this organic theme but I feel like I have created my own aesthetic and one that is more personal to the work and myself.

Can you explain your creative process?
My process begins through the exploration and examination of my surroundings within environments, collecting a library of images and objects that I reference within the studio where I begin to build.  I love the idea of taking these things that are so small and enhancing them in order to create this one to one relationship with us as humans. My work is constructed through the coil built process where I pinch and push the clay while using additive methods to watch my forms grow and take life. I produce multiple variations of plant like objects to allow for the playful act of combining and arranging my work with one another. 

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
Besides my own explorations, observing other artists and their practices has always been inspiring to me as a maker. Having the opportunity to exhibit work in a site specific manner, whether it be a white walled gallery or an alternative space also provides me with the chance to bring new ideas to life.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
In the studio, I explore a wide range of music and podcasts. My top three Pandora stations would have to be Bon Iver radio, Alabama Shakes radio or Sylvan Esso radio all depending on my mood. At the moment though, I cannot stop listening to the podcast, Sword and Scale which is a true crime podcast that ‘reveals that the worst monsters are real.’

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
I believe that my creative juices flow the hardest while lying in bed before going to sleep.  They also move through the long conversations and discussions with my very talented partner, Joseph Rincones wherever we are; at the park, in the car, or sharing a bowl of Menudo at El Rancho just to name a few.


 

Carly Witmer
Prismatic Effect

HUE Gallery of Contemporary Art
430 S. Commerce Street, Suite 200

Final Friday, May 26th
Color Theory Lecture
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Artist’s Reception
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

 

Abstract Painter Carly Witmer will be exhibiting a series of abstract paintings from her “Prismatic Painting” series at the Hue Gallery of Contemporary Art this Final Friday. She is also making the long trek from Ohio to give a free lecture on color theory at 5:00 pm. The Hue Gallery of Contemporary art frequently exhibits work from out of town artists, which provides a great opportunity for Wichita’s creative community to connect with artists outside of their own creative bubble. It is often these out-of-town artists that help inspire the local artists to explore new possibilities. I’ll never forget seeing Tony Scherman’s incredible exhibit at Ulrich Museum of Art in 1998. Seeing his giant encaustic portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte was a religious experience and a turning point in my own creative development. His work became a major influence in my own work and several of my peers began to experiment with encaustic after meeting Scherman, and seeing his spectacular encaustic paintings. After meeting Carly’s work face to face, I predict that her mastery of resin will inspire many local artists to explore resin as a medium.

I would describe Carly’s work as “Futuristic Diebenkorn.” Her compositions remind me of Richard Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park” series, but her paintings are more mechanical and precise than Diebenkorn’s more painterly approach. Instead of brushy textures you will discover a sea of sparkling glitter and metallic elements suspended in multiple layers of brightly colored resin. Her paintings are clean and intricate and beautiful. Concentric rectangles, created by overlapping fields of color, are a dominate element in many of her compositions. These concentric rectangles create the feeling that the painting is radiating from its center. Line is another dominate element in her work, and the intricate paths remind me of circuit board patterns. Her paintings flirt with light. The light dances across the glittery surfaces and penetrates the layers of resin to reveal all of the subtle shifts in color and shape that is created by the overlapping shapes, lines and colors. The result is a painting that is vibrant and alive.

I highly recommend you see Carly’s amazing work and give her a warm welcome to Wichita, KS. I hope she returns to share more of her wonderful work with us.

PARKER'S PICKS - FINAL FRIDAY - APRIL 28, 2017

Since I am the creator and caretaker of the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group, I am often asked which Final Friday events I recommend attending. I'll start by saying that I am NOT a Final Friday expert, and that my recommendations are based on my own personal preferences and tastes. I want to say, "go to all of them", but that would be an impossible task. Having too many awesome Final Friday events is a good problem to have.

Every month I will shine a spotlight on 3 or 4 exhibitions that I recommend seeing. These are the exhibitions that I am most excited to see myself. I should also note that I haven't seen any of these exhibitions yet. My recommendations are based on previous works by the artists or on promotional materials released by the artist or gallery. I encourage all of you to join the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group to see the full list of Final Friday events happening in Wichita, Kansas.

- Dustin Parker

Emily Miller Yamanaka
Cranes Over Crop Circles

 

 

Tessera Fine Art Gallery
412 E. Douglas Suite C.
Final Friday, April 28th
6:00pm - 9:00pm

 

Emily Miller Yamanaka's exhibition at Tessera Fine Art Gallery is Aptly titled "Cranes Over Crop Circles", because her work is the result of living in both Wichita, KS and Tokyo, Japan. Her recent work often features common midwestern imagery such as sunflowers, roosters, wheat stalks, bison, tornado, crop circles, vast prairie landscapes and beautiful sunsets. These are images that are common to Kansas, but they are depicted with bright colors and patterns that evoke the colorful chaos of the Tokyo cityscape. It is also common to see images of origami birds, Japanese cranes and Chrysanthemums appear in her work. Her paintings are delicate but meticulously crafted with multiple layers of patterns and textures. It is common to see dripping paint colliding with intricate flourishes and floral patterns. She works with both paper and textiles, often using found textiles to create elaborate fabric collages that exhibit the same meticulous detail as her painted works. Her work is both beautiful and impressive. It is fascinating to see familiar Kansas imagery presented with a Japanese aesthetic. If you were born and raised in Kansas you’ve seen plenty of paintings of wheat fields and sunflowers but Emily allows us to see these things with a fresh pair of eyes.

You can also see some of Emily’s Wichita inspired paintings at The Hudson (508 S. Commerce St) this Final Friday.

ARTIST Q&A with Emily Miller Yamanaka

How has living in Japan influenced your work?
In so many ways! I soaked up so much in the almost ten years I was there, going to every exhibition I could and marveling at old Master works, and also just appreciating the tradition that weaves itself into daily life. The materials themselves have been really inspirational to me. Learning traditional Japanese ink painting has forever changed my concept of line and the layering of the mineral pigments has developed the way I perceive and create colors on a fundamental level. It’s all become so integrated in my head and I love it. There’s this idea of “美学,” (bigaku: aesthetics) that everything should be done beautifully, that there is an element of beauty in every part of life, and it has really impacted my art and the “beauty” of it.

You often use found textiles in your work. Where do you find your textile materials and how do you select which textiles are worthy for your art?
The kimono fabrics are all selected from small shops and markets across Japan, mainly in Kyoto and Tokyo. The needlework pieces I use to create echoes of pattern and texture are all hand-made by Midwestern women and I find them mostly at estate sales here in Wichita. I am selective with both, and I only choose the pieces that I can see ten steps ahead to how they will fit into a final piece. I really love the hand-painted silks and remnants/scraps – this idea of taking these thrown away pieces and giving them a new life in my work.

Can you explain your creative process?
I am in love with layers and with celebrating random elements of chance. Lately, I’ve been using lots of spray paint through needlework to build up layers of texture and pattern, then I layer acrylics on top of those and add the vibrant mineral pigments and golds on the surface. I have this library of books I collected in Japan for reference material, and I am always flipping through them for inspiration.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
I am inspired every day by my 3 year old daughter Izora and the magic she brings to everything and I try to paint dreamy interpretations of this constant magic. I am also so inspired by the natural beauty of Kansas, especially the endless sky. I also recently discovered Lorazombie on Instagram and I love her neons and drippy inks.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
I’ve been listening to lots of Korean Pop Music (K-pop) like TaeYang. It feels so technicolor to me. I love singing along really loud to Adele as I paint, and so often Trolls or Moana is playing in the background as I work.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
Especially now that it’s warming up, I love spending time in parks with my daughter – we love stopping at the Donut Whole. Something about the yellow in there… it’s the hardest color for me to work with in my art, but somehow going there always just feels good (even though I don’t even like donuts, but Izzo’s favorite is the Homer J).


Charlotte Martin
Yard Work, Part 2

 

CityArts
334 N Mead St
Final Friday, April 28th
6:00pm - 8:00pm

 

Charlotte Martin’s recent work explores the wonders that can be discovered in your own backyard. You might discover a bird’s nest sitting precariously on a tree branch or a row of birds perched on a telephone wire. You may also find a giant grasshopper or a beautiful flower growing among the weeds. These wonders of nature are drawn and painted in a crude and expressive fashion. The paint drips. The charcoal smears. The graphite scribbles. The colors dance. The Textures beg to be touched. Charlotte’s work is both beautiful and visceral. Charlotte’s mark making, use of color and overall flatness of her compositions often remind me of the work of Jim Dine. Her heavy use of grids often remind of me artists like Richard Diebenkorn or Jasper Johns. If you remove the birds and the sprawling tree branches you are left with wonderful abstract paintings. Large fields of color are interrupted by checkerboard patterns, scribbles, crudely drawn circles and runaway paint drips. Her incredible ceramic work uses the same arsenal of color, line, texture and pattern that she uses in her two-dimensional works. "Yard Work, Part 2” is a really wonderful exhibit and I can’t wait to see Part 3.

While you are already at CityArts make sure you check out the three other exhibits on display in the gallery: "Dichotomies" by Sasha Chapek  in the Main Hall Gallery, "Persona" by Megan Ewert  in the Balcony Gallery and "Inspirations" by Karen Scroggins  in the Boardroom Gallery. The Balcony Gallery and the Boardroom Gallery is on the second floor.

ARTIST Q&A with Charlotte Martin

What inspired you to start drawing/painting birds?
When I was eight, my family moved from a new post World War II surburban house in Dallas, Texas to an older neighborhood in the small city of Little Rock, Arkansas. Behind our house was a wooded area and small creek. I had never experienced anything like it. My knowledge of nature was lawn grass  and small young trees. That was my intro to nature and birds. I drew my first bird book that first year in Ark.

You work with a wide variety of different media, what is your favorite medium to work with and why?
Water soluble media works well for me. There are so many variables available that provide freedom for me. Pastel, acrylic, graphite,  and gouache can all be used together to accomplish different effects.

Can you explain your creative process?
This is a tough one. Sometimes it's like magic happens, and there's a vision completely finished in your mind, and all you have to do is transfer it to canvas or paper. Other times, that vision is hazy and not so easy to copy, so then it's more of a combination between "magic" and the experience that comes with doing – lots of doing.

Who or what has been inspiring you lately?
Nature has always inspired me. I believe nature is the source of inspiration for all we create, whether directly or indirectly. Really, what else do we know? Isn't the entire universe nature?

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
It would be hard to paint without music. I like a variety and I guess it depends on what mood I'm in. This past week I've been listening to Lord Huron, Florence and the Machine, Gotye, and The Black Keys.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
I'm such a homebody, most inspiration comes right out of my yard or from taking a walk around the neighborhood.


Blue Period

 

Vertigo 232 Art Gallery
232 N Market St
Final Friday, April 28th
6:00pm - 10:00pm

 

There once was an art gallery in Wichita called The Firehouse Gallery, and for many years it was the incubator for the “alternative" art scene in Wichita. It was a gallery that gave many of us once young and hungry artists an opportunity to showcase our talents and become part of a larger creative community. There were many memorable exhibitions at the Firehouse Gallery, but no other exhibition has spurred more trips down memory lane than Mark S. Walker’s “Red” exhibit in 2002. The exhibit showcased a couple dozen local artists and featured artwork that was predominantly red in color. The artists were free to create whatever they wanted as long as it was the color red. 15 years later, the “Red” exhibit has finally received the sequel it deserves. The “Blue Period” at Mark S. Walker’s Vertigo 232 Art Gallery is an exhibit featuring over 50 local and regional artists and all of the artwork in the exhibit is blue. “The Blue Period” offers a little something for everyone. The exhibit showcases a wide variety of styles, mediums and themes, and it is a great way to sample the rich diversity of the Wichita Art scene.

Featured Artists:
Aaron Krone, Alex Walker, Amy Warfield, Ann Krone, Brad Ruder, Brittany Schaar, Charles Baughman, Charlotte Martin, Chiyoko Myose, Chris Frank, Christopher Gulick, Chuck Dooms, David Christiansen, Denise Melinda Irwin, Dustin Parker, Ed Langston, Erin Raux, Georgia Andersen, Hallie Linnebur, Heather Byers, Ian Stewart, Jack Wilson, Jim Phillips, Jonathan Wood, Josh Johnico, Josh Tripoli, Kevin Mullins, Kody Ramsey, Lauren Fitz Miller, Lee Shiney, Leigh Wallace, Maia Petroucheva, Marc Bosworth, Marc Marshall, Margaret Sweeton, Mark Walker, Mary Werner, Matthew Hilyard, Matthew Miller, Meghan Miller, Melissa Slates, Michael Pointer, Mike Miller, Paul Hudson, Rachel Foster, Rebecca Hoyer, Rebekah Lewis, Richard Crowson, Sara Crow, Shannon Renee Trevethan, Sonny Laracuente, Stacy Renee, Tabitha Oblinger Bean, Tara Hufford Walker, Ted Krone, Torin Andersen and Victor Alonso.

ALBUM REVIEW - Vehicles "ECHO"

Album Review by Torin Andersen Recorded at Quest Recording Studio Album Art by Andrew Stephens Released April 7th, 2017 Idol Records

Album Review by Torin Andersen
Recorded at Quest Recording Studio
Album Art by Andrew Stephens
Released April 7th, 2017
Idol Records

The band Vehicles sets a standard for guitar tone exploration amidst songs written for an audience keen on hooks and catchy melodies. ECHO, Vehicles' newest release, is a polished production in the musical vein of 80’s rock heroes like Simple Minds and Echo and the Bunnymen, but not far from Vehicles' contemporaries like The Killers and Foals.

More than just an echo of those who’ve come before them, Vehicles are planting a stake and moving forward with their career and sound. ECHO will be a fantastic ambassador and it will represent their first release on Texas-based Idol Records.

The first song, “Young Bombers”, gets the party started. The guitars are simultaneously jangly and fuzzy. The story starts with a moment of love realized only momentarily, while the closing line also ponders, “How anyone could hope to survive.”  “Young Bombers,” a short pop jam, makes way for a more sensitive second song.

“Agora Phoebe” is reminiscent of darker Tears For Fears songs. It features a sensitive vocal performance by Cody Cloud. His vulnerability is palpable with lines like, “I try hard to relate, but the harder I pull, the more there’s pushing” sung over building guitar layers. Continuing through the post-chorus vocal-ether, he asks “who are you talking to?”, then closes with, “I’m afraid to be seen. The two kinds that kill, they surround you and then drown you.”

Opening with a guitar lick somewhere in between Devo and U2, the song “Gorilla Suit” isn’t clear on its lyrical intent and the musical backing is equally unclear. Very hook-oriented, "Gorilla Suit" falls short compared to the slow building and layered song, “Gatecrasher.”

Transitioning from the song intro to an almost disco sounding verse and a somewhat celebratory chorus, the song “Gatecrasher” picks ECHO back up and gets the party going again. Featuring bassist Tony Hull on a fun, bouncy fretboard free-for-all, "Gatecrasher" opens to a vocal and drum solo which highlights the robust production work on ECHO.

Yes, the guitars are dense and there are many-a-tone to explore on ECHO, which exploits its clear, full production. The instrumentation serves to drive the vocal melodies and Cloud’s singing is under the spotlight.  Vehicles intent is to reach as wide an audience as possible and ECHO is not afraid of exposure, though the keyboard is lacking in overall presence. Recorded at Quest Trax in Stillwater, OK, by Andrew Bair, ECHO is an audiophile-worthy listen. Kerry Bainum’s drums sound big and solid, highlighting his no-nonsense approach to songwriting, where he prefers to let the guitars and vocals breath for maximum hook impact.  The guitars sound huge when they’re supposed to and dance in the background, depending on what guitarist/songwriter Cody Cloud intends and guitarist Isaac Pearson expounds on.

The song “Echo Metal” supports the pop construct and delivers it with a quick pulse over delay-guitar syncopation. Bemoaning whether or not “she’d really leave”, ECHO is a release based in loss and in a feeling of disconnection. Although many uplifting melodies and up tempos may suggest otherwise, ECHO is grief-stricken. The next song, “Sweet Honey Run”, while not totally minor in key, is still melancholic.

“UMPA” is upbeat and continues in delay guitar hooks, different from “Pick Pockets”, which starts with a distorted bass and an almost chiming piano guitar tone. Both songs sit in prime timing real estate for radio play at 4-6 minutes in length, further solidifying Vehicles intent of getting to an audience and sinking their teeth in quickly. The rest of ECHO follows suit. “My Baby Was a Shield” is sandwiched between the previous two songs and follows suit.

“Androids Love the Tea,” is a fan favorite that has been around Vehicles' live set for some time and gives way to ECHO’s album closer. “Curious,” is less rigid and more emotional musical performance than the previous 10 songs on this near 50-minute release. Like a dream, “Curious” floats in the clouds, landing softly on what sounds like a train as an outro.

Vehicles' partnership with Idol Records looks to spread listenership of the band, and their touring in support of ECHO will get them even further.

PARKER'S PICKS - FINAL FRIDAY - MARCH 31, 2017

Since I am the creator and caretaker of the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group, I am often asked which Final Friday events I recommend attending. I'll start by saying that I am NOT a Final Friday expert, and that my recommendations are based on my own personal preferences and tastes. I want to say, "go to all of them", but that would be an impossible task. Having too many awesome Final Friday events is a good problem to have.

Every month I will shine a spotlight on 3 or 4 exhibitions that I recommend seeing. These are the exhibitions that I am most excited to see myself. I should also note that I haven't seen any of these exhibitions yet. My recommendations are based on previous works by the artists or on promotional materials released by the artist or gallery. I encourage all of you to join the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group to see the full list of Final Friday events happening in Wichita, Kansas.

- Dustin Parker

Mark S. Walker
Past Present Future

 

Vertigo 232 Gallery
232 N Market St

Final Friday, March 31st
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Vertigo 232 Art Gallery is the Wichita Art Scene’s best kept secret. The gallery is located on the second floor of Hewitt’s Antiques and Shopkeeper Mall and it has quietly hosted some of Wichita’s best art exhibitions for the past 5 years. The man behind Vertigo 232 Art Gallery is Mark S. Walker and he is having a solo exhibition called “Past Present Future” which will showcase work spanning his entire career. The exhibition features photography, paintings, mixed media collages, found object assemblage sculptures, video installations and original music. Walker is also a founding member of the Idology artist cooperative which formed in 2004. The group also includes Chris Frank, Ted Krone, David Christiansen, Greg Johnson, Greg Turner and Ed Langston.  

Walker’s work has a Pee-Wee’s Playhouse aesthetic. His work is like a broccoli stalk covered in chocolate and rainbow sprinkles. At first glance it looks like candy, but once you take a bite, you discover it is actually vitamins for your brain. Beneath the psychedelic colors and silliness you will find thoughtful commentary on culture and politics. The beauty of Walker’s work is that he disarms you with humor and tricks you into eating your veggies. 

His photographic works are digital collages created by layering multiple images, textures and colors in order to create colorful compositions that have a dreamlike quality. 

His found object assemblages are often constructed using recycled materials like Styrofoam and egg cartons, but it is also common to see ordinary, everyday objects like toy cars, playing cards, magazine clippings, plastic eyeballs, McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, old album covers, puzzle pieces, plastic fruit and pieces of real candy.

My favorite piece in the exhibit is a giant robot named Bonzo which is composed of painted Styrofoam, popsicle sticks, circuit boards, a pair of denim shorts and various other found objects. The sculpture is both silly and terrifying at the same time. The denim jeans made me laugh and they serve as proof that anything in Walker’s environment could potentially become part of his art.

This exhibition is special because it is a retrospective exhibition for a unique artist who has played a vital role in the Wichita art scene for many years.

ARTIST Q&A with Mark S. Walker

This exhibition showcases paintings, found object assemblage sculptures, photography, original music and video installations. Do all of these mediums of expression share a singular creative philosophy? 
I haven’t had any formal artistic training–consider myself self-taught. I have played guitar for 40+ years, taking photos for about that long too. I’ve been interested in video since 1982 and once I brought guitar into the mix, I began to consider myself a Multi-Media Artist. Working in theater and at an art museum broaden the picture. I think a toothbrush is a work of Art. I try to disregard boundaries and look at familiar situations in new ways, trying to apply certain freedoms and not be defined by a single art form. The assemblages are more a vessel for storytelling. Videos are mostly pure escapism with rhythm and pattern in music and color stimulation. Music is my search for an original tone and exploration of what certain guitar effect pedals can do. I enjoy arranging loops and original sounds for the movement of the videos, plus playing live events such as silent horror and altered films. It’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none approach

What are some of the common themes or ideas you like to explore in your work?Humor, Political, Nature, Color, Contrast, Opposites (Left- Right, Light-Dark, Yin Yang).

Where do you find materials for your assemblages and collages? 
Computer packaging, recycled materials, dumpsters, dollar stores, photos.

Can you explain your creative process?
Many times I am re-arranging the materials into a balanced form or design, then imagine an idea and a name for the piece. I then imagine what color I’d like to see it. I sort of strive to make it simple with first impression playfulness. I use altered and original images for the videos, then create and produce music to go with it. The music has changed through the years, from hard rock and jazzy folk to electronica. It's still evolving.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
Music, Culture, Natural Balance, Natural shapes, Abstract shapes, Surreal Alternative Realities.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
ENO&HYDE - "SOMEDAY WORLD"
JEFF BECK - "HAIL LOUDER”
SNARKY PUPPY - "CULCHA VULCHA”
THE COSMIC RANGE - “ NEW LATTITUDES”
PINK FLOYD - “MEDDLE"

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing? 
My Backyard, ANY Museum or Gallery or Garden, and Movies.


Rebecca Hoyer
Bringing the Outside - Inside
 

 

Reuben Saunders Gallery
3215 East Douglas Ave

Final Friday, March 31st
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Rebecca Hoyer is one of my favorite Wichita artists. The subjects of her paintings are often scenes from College Hill, Crown Heights and other Wichita neighborhoods. Her paintings feel both familiar and foreign, like a distant memory that has become distorted by nostalgia. They are tranquil paintings of houses, trees, flowers and big blue skies. The houses and plant life are rendered in simple shapes and flat colors. The compositions are often playful and flirt with abstraction. Hoyer never paints unnecessary details. Her work is powerful because it is simple and simplicity is extremely difficult to master. Her compositions are very deliberate and methodical. I also love her use of color. Her colors are often soft and de-saturated, and she often works with a limited palette. I’ve enjoyed watching her work evolve over the years. I’ve noticed that her work has become more adventurous and more playful. Her work is leaning more and more toward abstraction. And I’m beginning to see her experiment more with texture. I was pleasantly surprised to see her employ some splatters in some of her recent works. And, I was also surprised to discover some little critters inhabiting Hoyer’s Neighborhood. Once again, Reuben Saunders Gallery is delivering a must see exhibit. I hope this trend continues.

ARTIST Q&A with Rebecca Hoyer

What inspired you to paint Wichita neighborhoods / landscapes? 
When we moved here from NYC we bought our first house–a wooden bungalow that needed help. After the apartment buildings and stunted trees of the city, College Hill was beautiful and painting it was a way to learn about our new city. 

Back then the paintings were about the juxtaposition of the man-made house against natural elements. It was about building vocabulary. Can this shape be a tree? Can a circle be foliage? Now it is about pushing the shapes and adding different ways to move the eyes thru a painting.

I’ve noticed that you are starting to use more texture and splatters in your paintings, what has inspired you to introduce these new elements to your work? 
I’m working bigger, and the small variations I was using no longer had the same impact. They were getting lost. I had to find new ways to make the paint shimmer. And I wanted to add something that I couldn’t control, something that might surprise me.

Can you explain your creative process?
Draw, draw, edit, draw, edit, draw, paint. At the meta-level, finding the patterns in the chaos of the view.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
The net. I love that you can read about an artist or see a painting in a magazine and with a search you can see much more. Off the top of my head, I’ve been looking at Jonas Woods, David Hockney and Bill Scott.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
I like to listen to podcasts. Stories, economics, interviews with artists, politics. The hum of voices focuses me on what my hands are doing. 

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
I still like Final Friday and all the other openings. I am fascinated by how other people work and survive here and by watching how they carve out their own place in our art world.


Hannah Scott & Georgia Andersen
SMILE

 

Diver Studio - Downstairs Gallery
424 S Commerce St

Final Friday, March 31st
6:00 pm - 10:00 p

When I first met Georgia Andersen, she was playing keyboards for This Great October. At the time, one of my favorite Wichita bands. For many years Georgia was the girl that was in all of my favorite local bands. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that Georgia is also a very talented visual artist. She creates letterpress posters and linocut prints featuring inspirational quotes and quirky illustrations which she sales on her ETSY shop The Big Harumph. I love her prints because they are simple and direct. The prints often have simple illustrations of insects, musical instruments, elephants, bicycles, robots, ray guns and people. Georgia is the type of artist that isn’t afraid to try different things and explore different mediums. She is the type of artist that is always reinventing herself and creating something unexpected. The “SMILE” exhibition at Diver Studio showcases a new series of portraits that are a departure from the crude and stylized illustrations she has done in the past. The new portraits are drawn in a more photorealistic style but they still maintain some of the humor and quirkiness of her The Big Harumph prints. The subjects are wearing silly hats, big sunglasses or fake beards. 

Georgia is sharing the walls with Hannah Scott. Hannah has created several incredible murals in Wichita including the Shocker Fan Wall at Wichita State University, the interior and exterior murals at Lululemon, and the “Take Your Pick” mural on the west dock of Crown Uptown. Hannah has also created several illustrations for local bands like Kill Vargas and Travel Guide and designed logos for the Douglas Design District’s Avenue Art Days, Central Standard Brewing’s Lunacorn, and Rock & Roll Camp for Girls Wichita. Hannah also has a knack for drawing portraits, a skill she has used to create over 3,000 hand-drawn portrait stamps for her company, Stamp Yo Face!. Her contribution to “SMILE” will be a series of graphite drawings of weird faces that she constructed using silly putty. The drawings are a continuation of the series she exhibited at Peerless last December. This series is a departure from the highly detailed pen and ink stippling technique that has become common in her work. Hannah’s drawing skills are always impressive regardless of the style or medium. 

While you are at Diver Studio, I highly encourage you to trek upstairs to see Kristen Shannon’s solo exhibition “Rose Colored Glasses.”

ARTIST Q&A with Georgia Andersen

What inspired you to draw this series of portraits? 
Well, I like drawing portraits because portraits are serious. And I like drawing my friends because my friends are hilarious. Sometimes these worlds collide. Serious humor is gold. Sarcasm is key. 

How does your experience as a musician influence your work as a visual artist? 
I play the saddest and most depressing music you've ever heard. On the contrary, my visual art tends to be quirky and playful. There is an appropriate time and place (and medium) for everything. These worlds never collide.

Can you explain your creative process?  
I get very obsessive in projects. My husband describes my creative binges as me having "gone away for a while" because I tend to be so focused and "in" the project that I sort of socially shut off. With visual art, I take over every work surface in the house. When I have an idea and a deadline, I turn into a robot until the project is done. Yeah. It's probably not "healthy." 

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
Time and space. People! The white part of the eye that reflects the light source. Asymmetry. Face wrinkles. Hot coffee every morning. Honest critiques. Friends. Rachmaninoff. Triangles. A good source photo with dramatic lighting. All the folks who have paved the way here in Wichita. There are many. 

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
Do Make Say Think (& Yet & Yet).

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
Lunch at My Tho with Torin always leads to some really great conversations. But I mostly just stay at home. By the piano. Or on the deck out back. Or in my studio downstairs. Diver. Fisch Haus.

ARTIST Q&A Hannah Scott

Are you sick of drawing faces yet? How do you avoid creative burnout without sacrificing your impressive creative output? 
Not quite sick of it, yet. I try to keep my creative practice varied and fresh, not fixating on one idea or style for too long before I run it into the ground. I kind of try to look at it from a spinning plate perspective; I keep several projects or ideas going that interest me and cycle through them, keeping them all afloat and feeling fresh when I come back around to each one. 

How does your commercial illustration and mural projects influence how you approach your personal work?
I’ve learned to be more free with the personal work I make. There’s pressure and restrictions that come with commercial work that can start to weigh on any sense of creative freedom, so I tend to lean towards experimentation and really letting my mind loose on an idea.  

Can you explain your creative process?  

First: coffee. Second: sitting down at my desk to brainstorm (which can look like sketching), browsing through photos or work from artists I admire, flipping through reference books, etc. Once an idea starts forming there’s a lot of hours in between that and the final product that are filled with (more) coffee, lots of music, and lots of crumpled sheets of paper. But I’m most comfortable bearing down and working until it’s finished. Gluing myself to my drafting table is my safe space. 

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
This might sound lame, but there is a treasure trove of artists on Instagram who are really inspiring, and there are just SO MANY OF THEM. I’ve been finding lots of political cartoonists and illustrators who make it easy to feel inspired and fired up about using your art to make a statement. Brendan Loper, Woodrow White, Adam Zyglis, Chris Piascik to name a few.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
“The Party” by Andy Shauf, and the new Minus the Bear album “Voids".

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
The downtown library (to flip through endless inspiration), Reverie (to mull over an idea with some coffee and a cookie), and City Blue Print (never underestimate the power of new art supplies).

 
 

Patrick Duegaw
STUDY

 

Fisch Haus
524 S Commerce
Final Friday, March 31st
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

In 1990, Patrick Duegaw co-founded the Fisch Haus artist cooperative with John Ernatt, Eric Schmidt and Kent Williams. The Fisch Haus began as a series of hit-and-run exhibitions that transformed abandoned spaces in downtown Wichita into temporary gallery spaces. In 1993, the Fisch Haus found a permanent home at 524 S Commerce, which is now a multi-disciplinary art facility that hosts art exhibitions, live music, theatrical performances, film screenings and dance performances. It also provides studio space for Patrick Duegaw, Eric Schmidt, Elizabeth Stevenson, Jamie Tabor and Kent Williams. The Fisch Haus is a magical place and it has been a vital part of the Wichita art scene for many years. Without the Fisch Haus and it’s inhabitants, we wouldn’t have a commerce street arts district and we wouldn’t have the Final Friday Gallery Crawl. 

Patrick Duegaw is hosting his first solo exhibition at the Fisch Haus since 2007. The exhibition is called “STUDY” and it will showcase a series of study drawings that he created for a series of paintings called “The Innumerable Anxieties”, which will be on exhibit at The Ulrich Museum of Art this Spring in a solo exhibition called “Pierced by Dogma.” These study drawings will range from sketchbook concepts to more detailed and refined drawings on paper. I have always greatly admired Duegaw’s work and consider him to be one of Wichita’s most important artists. In recent years, he has been exhibiting in museums and galleries outside of Wichita, such as the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Lawrence Art Center, The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art and Paul Mahder Gallery. I’ve missed seeing his work on display at the Fisch Haus. He is a master of presentation and his work always has impeccable craftsmanship. He presents his sketches with as much care as his finished paintings. The frames always look beautiful. The lighting is always majestic. Seeing a Patrick Duegaw show at the Fisch Haus is always a special treat. If you’ve never been to the Fisch Haus this Final Friday would be the perfect time to visit.

 
 

ALBUM REVIEW - Kill Vargas "TUNNEL VISION"

Album Review by Torin Andersen Recorded by Scott Spriggs @ Naughty Dog Studio Album Art by Andrew Stephens Release March 10th, 2017 Naughty Dog Records Listen/Download Apple Music Spotify

Album Review by Torin Andersen
Recorded by Scott Spriggs
Naughty Dog Studio
Album Art by Andrew Stephens
Release March 10th, 2017
Naughty Dog Records

Listen/Download
Apple Music
Spotify

Charged up and ripping out the speakers, Kill Vargas' newest release, TUNNEL VISION, spreads like a wildfire from your ears to the extent of your limbs. Immediately catchy and filled to the brim with confidence, this 6 song/24 minute follow up to GOUGE/ITS FOR THE BEST is just as strong and you get 3 times more songs. Not to be confused with getting more of the same—no, it’s of the same quality but this trio is not done pushing the boundaries of their capabilities.

The album opener, “Tunnels”, is a churning, squawking, riff-tastic punk jam that says, "I don’t want you to leave me!” Kill Vargas make it easy to stick around for the rest of TUNNEL VISION.

Like the album's name would suggest, Kill Vargas is focused and determined to lodge themselves in your psyche with unforgettable guitar hooks.  A prime example is their single, “Anyways”, which sounds like a ladder-climbing distorted guitar. Keen on harmonies and a pop sensibility, “Anyways” will stick with you from spring break (the weekend of their CD release) through your summer road trip plans.

Combine brothers Griffin (guitar-vocals) and Logan (drums) Bush with bassist Austin Engler, and Kill Vargas forms a sum larger than it’s parts and it is a sound to follow.  The production of TUNNEL VISION is loud, in your face and ready to grab your attention, as best exemplified by the racing third track, “I Won’t.”  It’s a 3 minute blast-and-a-half.

“Absolute Zero” works the garage rock angle and “Young Love” conjures a bit of a saloon sound, though none of these youngins are of drinking age yet.  Determined to get out ahead of their the game early in life, Kill Vargas employ extensive tour campaigns in support of their releases and plan to do so for TUNNEL VISION as well.

The album closer “Follow My Head” picks the tempo back up and the rubber hits the pavement smoking.  This must-hear release peels down the road locked in a tunnel vision with nowhere to go but forward.

Be at their March 17th CD release at Mead’s Corner for the best Wichita all ages event to kick off your spring break.

PARKER'S PICKS - FINAL FRIDAY - FEBRUARY 24, 2017

Since I am the creator and caretaker of the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group, I am often asked which Final Friday events I recommend attending. I'll start by saying that I am NOT a Final Friday expert, and that my recommendations are based on my own personal preferences and tastes. I want to say, "go to all of them", but that would be an impossible task. Having too many awesome Final Friday events is a good problem to have.

Every month I will shine a spotlight on 3 or 4 exhibitions that I recommend seeing. These are the exhibitions that I am most excited to see myself. I should also note that I haven't seen any of these exhibitions yet. My recommendations are based on previous works by the artists or on promotional materials released by the artist or gallery. I encourage all of you to join the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group to see the full list of Final Friday events happening in Wichita, Kansas.

- Dustin Parker

SEAN LYMAN
Newman University

 

Steckline Gallery
DeMattias Fine Arts Center
3100 W McCormick St
Final Friday, February 24th
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Newman University’s Steckline Gallery should always be on your Final Friday Bucket List. They consistently have really amazing exhibitions and Sean Lyman’s exhibit promises to continue that trend. Sean creates beautiful graphite drawings of mundane spaces and objects from ordinary life. The drawings have a dreamlike quality. The viewer is often invited to peer through a window only to see an open door or another window giving the impression that this lonely space continues forever. The compositions invite you to move from one space to the next, but those spaces are dark and empty. The drawings are really incredible.

According to Sean’s artist statement, “This body of work deals with the mundane spaces and objects that we use. These places and things have specific functions or roles in our daily routine, and they are easily overlooked and taken for granted. The intention of this work is to focus on that we are both “present” and “absent” at the same time in the all of the spaces we inhabit.”


Testing
Curt Clonts

 

CityArts - Main Gallery
 334 N Mead St
Final Friday, February 24th
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Many of you know Curt Clonts as the Arts Commentator for KMUW’s An Artist Perspective. You should also know that Clonts was also a member of the Famous Dead Artists, an artist co-operative founded in 1993 that heavily influenced the Wichita art scene and played a crucial role in the creation of Final Friday. Without groups like The Famous Dead Artists, The Fisch Haus, Acme Gallery and Gallery XII we probably wouldn’t have Final Friday today. Clonts was also the Artist-In-Residence at Friends University between 2006-2013. I would often visit Clonts in his studio at Friends University and talk shop. In his studio I would see stacks of Monoprints and painted paper awaiting to be cut and pasted onto wood or canvas. I would see colorful compositions inhabited by birds and flowers and leaves. Sometimes I would see funny charcoal drawings of clowns or harmonicas or boys wearing capes. Sometimes the paintings had funny phrases or anecdotes written on them. The art was always full of joy and humor. Those visits to his studio always provided a much needed jolt of inspiration and awe. His show at CityArts is no different. On Friday he will unveil 31 amazing new works. While you are at CityArts you should also check out the other exhibitions in the gallery: Ditch by Conan Y. Fugit, The Rhythm and Power of Landscapes by Pam Hayes and Pulp by Philip H. Nellis


ARTIST Q&A with Curt Clonts

You often talk about the importance of artists collaborating and starting co-operatives. How has being a member of the Famous Dead Artists and the Ginger Rabbits shaped you as an artist? Why should other artists start their own co-operatives?
Becoming a member of The Famous Dead Artists back in the mid 1990's was a really big deal for me!  I was so proud to have been voted in. It was an important step in my career because I was selected by artists who were better than me. They were huge in my book. And they had more experience in exhibiting work than I had. I KNEW I would learn a lot from them, and I certainly did. Being with the Famous Dead Artists introduced me to new ideas and approaches in my painting. They also took me in to my first real attempts at print making, sculpture, multi-media events involving film, animation, live music, lighting, press relations, how to better sell my work, and interaction with future collectors. That's all valuable stuff that I learned at a much quicker rate because I was a part of that group. Plus, it was so much fun to be a part of a family. And, for that time in Wichita, we were rock and roll. We were making shit happen, and we were proud. That was an explosive time of growth for art in this wonderful town. I am so glad I was a part of that. All of that experience was had by me BECAUSE I was a part of a group of like-minded, hard-hitting individuals who just plain dug what they were doing. The energy was electric and very contagious. THIS is why I think it's important for younger artists to form groups. Give themselves a name. They will grow if they work hard, their work will vastly improve, they will create excitement and they will help propel the Wichita scene. I tried it again with The Ginger Rabbits. But as you know, Tanya Tandoc was taken from us, and David Murano chose to split town and live off the grid. So the rabbit done died (so to speak).

You often use cut paper collage and assemblage in your work. What inspired you to begin using collage and why do you continue to use collage as your primary medium?
I got into collage and some assemblage because I loved the work of Kurt Schwitters, Hannah Hoch, Basquiat and others early on. It was also a way to differentiate myself from what the other Famous Dead Artists were doing back in the '90's. I got to a point with collage where I felt like I was cheating when I used pre-printed media and I began to only use my own painted and hand printed cut paper. This direction gave me satisfaction and led to some collaborative work with artists I admire. Charles Baughman and I collaborated using my painted and printed paper and his cutting and pasting techniques. One result of that body of work now resides in the Wichita Art Museum's permanent collection. Around 2013 I wandered back in to almost strictly paint on my surfaces. It's funny though because for my show at City Arts in Wichita in late February and March I have returned to using some pre-printed papers in my new work. So, I guess the circle is complete. However, I still don't think that collage has fully returned as my primary medium as most of my surfaces still involve mostly paint.

Your work is often influenced by children’s art and outsider art. How has your interactions with your grandchildren influenced your work? 
Many artists, including me, have always felt that children are perfect artists, especially before they reach an age where "brilliant" adults begin scolding them for not coloring within the lines. They create with honesty and abandon, and it's all heart. Back when I was a teenager, I remember seeing photos of Robert Kennedy in his office. The photos of Bobby were in LIFE magazine. Here was the Attorney General of the United States and on his office walls were huge, colorful drawings that his young children had made for him. They were all matted and framed and hanging over the fireplace in this majestic space. I remember thinking. "Good Lord, those pieces are SO fresh and gorgeous." The way they were presented lent the work sophistication. I never forgot that. There were lessons in that for me. And now I have four granddaughters—Bela, Olive, Vada, and Hazel and they are great little artists. Hazel's a little young yet, but I actually draw and paint with the other three from time to time. I study their work! I take pictures of their drawings and study the lines! We sometimes do collaborative work together which has actually sold for hundreds of dollars! They, of course, get ALL the money which they use to buy art supplies. And we have their work hanging in our house. Plus, it's all over my studio. It inspires me!

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
I constantly draw inspiration from Wichita artist and close friend John Ernatt. That guy is an AMAZING painter, sculptor, and carpenter. I hang out with John and just soak up his studio environment. I keep going back and checking out a book called "Artists' Handmade Houses" by Michael Gotkin and Don Freeman. I am blown away by how other artists live. I have fallen in love with Mars Lumograph pencils by Staedtler. Wichita artist Chiyoko Myose's brilliant paintings and installation work has inspired me. I have switched from Scotch to Irish Whiskey and that's inspiring! Wichita Curator and art historian Jim Johnson fascinates and inspires me. I am always reading and studying artists new, old, and dead. Seasonal colors inspire me. Hand made/printed cloth from around the world inspires me. Wichita artist Eugene Stucky's pottery has been inspiring me. Wichita painter William Dickerson's old paintings, and the man's work ethic has been inspirational. Wichita Sculptor and close friend Chris Brunner is inspirational. He's a man's man, likes fire, is a master gardener, takes a drink, and doesn't mind hard work. I will forever be inspired by Cy Twombly. My wife, and her unbelievable kindness and gentleness inspires me.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
I have been revisiting and soaking up EVERYTHING by Stephen Malkmus. Pavement, The Jicks, Silver Jews,—everything. The guy is a genius. The guy is art! Perfect abandon. Malkmus was in my ear for my entire new body of work! Still, I will take a break and listen to Pavorotti, Tom Waits, Thelonius Monk and others. The other day, I found myself crying while listening to Luciano sing the Nessun dorma. And then I listened to Tom Waits sing "On The Nickle" and I cried again. It never fails. Those two pieces always tear me up. Music is a constant with me though. I cannot create anything without it. I can go from Moby Grape to some obscure Japanese artists in a heartbeat.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing? 
I love to go to WAM and look at the Arthur Dove and Marsden Hartley paintings (their brushstrokes in particular). I love the Sculpture Collection at the Ulrich and Wichita State. I like to park and watch freight trains! I like to rock hunt in the Flint Hills. I love to cook, so I feel artfully inspired by visiting local restaurants and trying to figure their ingredients. I love to watch ancient movies on TCM. I go to Watermark. I drive this great city and look at buildings and homes. I also get great inspiration by hanging out with my artist friends and collector friends. Their homes are ALWAYS amazing. Somebody should do a book on Wichita artists and art collector's homes because NOBODY else can put together a space like they can.


Wichita Portraits Photographs
Aaron Bowen

 

Demo
617 W Douglas Ave
Final Friday, February 24th
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Demo is a locally owned skate shop that happens to sell some really awesome skateboard decks designed by local artists like Ian Stewart and Christopher Trenary. Demo has also been the host of some really fantastic art exhibitions and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to visit on Final Friday. This month photographer Aaron Bowen is exhibiting a series called Wichita Portraits. The photos are gothic and melancholic. They are aged with grain and grit and scratches and drips and other imperfections. They convey beauty and sadness in equal measure. It is some of the best work I’ve seen from Aaron and I hope to see more.



LUPOLI
Josh Tripoli and Rebekah Lewis

 

Reuben Saunders Gallery
3215 East Douglas Ave
Final Friday, February 24th
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

I first met Josh Tripoli when he asked me to participate in his Artless: a Community Art Experience event at CityArts. Artless gave the general public an opportunity to create art with several local artists in a makeshift studio at CityArts. I was amazed by the work that Josh was able to create within that environment. Collaboration is a common element in Josh’s work. Josh has created several murals in partnership with Arts Partners, including a brand new mural he created with the students at Hamilton Middle School. While most artists create art in isolation, Josh is painting murals with kids from Ortiz Elementary. When he works alone, he creates incredible murals such as "Air" located at Douglas Photographic Imaging and "Fire" located on the east-facing wall of Mike's Wine Dive next to Aspen Boutique. His work often reminds me of artists like Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Alphonse Mucha and Peter Max. 

Rebekah Lewis is a graphic designer and illustrator and her work often exhibits hand drawn typography, flat colors and simplistic line art drawn with bold lines reminiscent of Linoleum Block Prints. 

When Josh Tripoli and Rebekah Lewis combine their mighty creative powers they become LUPOLI. The dynamic duo is responsible for several local murals including the Wichita-themed mural adorning College Hill Deli and a mural titled "Two Olives (and One Ripe Tomato)" at Two Olives. LUPOLI’s latest masterpiece is the Riverfest 2017 poster design which draws inspiration from old pulp movie posters and golden age comic book covers. It also happens to be one of my favorite RiverFest posters.  

The LUPOLI exhibition at Reuben Saunders Gallery will showcase the individual work of Josh Tripoli and Rebekah Lewis and their collaborative efforts as LUPOLI.

ARTIST Q&A with Josh Tripoli

What is your creative process and how does that process change when you collaborate with Rebekah? 
My personal process is mostly autonomous (albeit self-alloyed) and actively works to keep space pristine and intact through chiaroscuro. As such, my personal work tends to take on a life of its own, but when working with Rebekah, that force is reigned-in, softened (often flattened!), and embraces a far greater breadth of activity and visual appeal.   

You often collaborate with other artists, students, or the general public to create art. How does working with other people influence your personal art projects?  
Working with others has completely transformed how I approach my art and life in general. Most importantly, it has prioritized living and expanding love and the golden rule. Embracing and lionizing “error” is a big part of it, as is ever-cultivating patience, flexibility, and understanding; led by example. 

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
God, Rebekah Lewis, and Spanish artists like Gaudi, Goya, and Picasso.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
I’ve been eagerly awaiting Thundercat’s Drunk, but in the meantime I’ve been listening to a lot of Animal Collective (most recently The Painters EP), The Ink Spots Anthology, D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, and Daft Punk’s RAM. 

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing? 
Rebekah and I really enjoy the Riverwalk, Oak Park, and walking around Sleepy Hollow when we need a break from our creative juices. 

I also noticed you both are doing something for the confluence community center Final Friday. What exactly is going on with that? 
LUPOLI is thrilled to be bringing a new mural to Commerce Street for the Confluence Community Center. At the moment, the mural is just a pencil outline but it is planned as a part of Confluence’s indoor Farmer’s Market and should be completed sometime late March or early April. Confluence is hosting an Open House this Final Friday (at 520 Commerce), so if you’re out and about, stop in and check it out!

ARTIST Q&A with Rebekah Lewis

What is your creative process and how does that process change when you collaborate with Josh? 
My creative process typically starts with a rough sketch and then I scan it into the computer where I create my final piece in illustrator. Projects with Josh use a similar process except I normally have NO IDEA what the final will end up looking like. When I work with Josh, I put a lot of emphasis on the initial research phase and creating mood boards for inspiration so that we get a clear idea of what each person is thinking of for the project. We’re still learning how to work together and continually shaping the process to create new work. 

How does working on commercial illustration and graphic design projects for clients influence your personal art projects? 
Having experience with graphic design and vector graphics, I have a tendency to create artwork that flattens the world around me into the simplest shapes and forms in order to communicate ideas as easily as possible. When I’m not creating on the computer, I try to embrace the human flaws of a piece and often times my work ends up looking like a modern twist on primitive art.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately? 
In no particular order: Frank Mason III, Elizabeth Warren, Toaster Strudels, Pop Music, Dr Pepper, Jim Flora, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Tad Carpenter and Studio Ghibli films. I’ve also been inspired by this quote by President George W. Bush, “‘I am a painter. You may not think I’m a painter; I think I’m a painter.” 

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio? 
1. Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper (80% of the time) 
2. “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Daft Punk is probably the LUPOLI theme song. 
3. I also watch the music video for “Sorry” by Justin Bieber at least once a week. That seems odd but the colors/dance moves/and attitude in that music video are 100% my aesthetic.  

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
I’m having a hard time picking one: 
1. Wichita Art Museum – It’s free on Saturdays and they’ve had some great exhibits lately and the sculpture garden is an exquisite addition to the city. There’s a Stuart Davis piece in the permanent collection that I absolutely love. 
2. I go to antique stores that have an array of old signs and products to study branding and lettering from the past. (Hewitt’s Antiques, Old Town Architectural Salvage, Uniquities Home, etc.) 
3. Josh and I frequently walk down by the river. Watching the flames light up in front of the Keeper is one of my favorite activities in Wichita.



"Beauties, Bubbles, and Beasties"
Jenny Wine

 

Picasso's Pizzeria
621 W Douglas Ave Suite 360
Final Friday, February 24th
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Several new Final Friday venues have joined the fray this month, including Artistic Angles, Positive Directions, Inc. (new location), Confluence Community Center and Picasso's Pizzeria. If I were forced to pick only one, I would have to choose Jenny Wine’s exhibit at Picasso's Pizzeria because you can see some really fun paintings of sloths and  grab a slice of delicious Picasso’s Pizza at the same time. Pizza will always tip the scales. But You should try to see ALL of the shows if you can.

 
 

Piatto: Old World Pizza Close to Home

Piatto
Neapolitan
Pizzeria

Made From Scratch
Hand-Selected Ingredients

1706 E Douglas Ave

Written by Britt Shoffner
 

I've often dreamt of opening my own food establishment. Many people have told me that I should at some point, which gives me the confidence that I would have enough of a following of regulars to keep me open, whatever I would decide to do. And even though I don't necessarily have the clearest vision of what I would offer, one thing is for sure: I would keep it simple. No matter what, I've always admired the reliability of doing one thing, and doing it extremely well. Luckily, I can rely on our newest pizza establishment, Piatto, to do that for all of Wichita.

You may already be aware that the owner, Robert McMullin, travelled to Naples to study at  La Notizia. There, he witnessed old-world technique by the hands of  Enzo Coccia, whom is considered a god in the realm of Neapolitan pizza. McMullin learned, as with iconic dishes, emphasis is placed heavily on traditional technique. You know, like Nonna used to make. Or rather, like Nonna's Nonna's Nonna use to make.

When Robert brought this trade secret recipe back to his home in Wichita, he and his wife (and managing partner), Carolina Tabares, aimed not to bring a new innovation of pizza, but rather to showcase its origins. He sources high-quality classic ingredients to accompany his signature old-world crust. McMullin sources optimal ingredients such as organic California-grown Bianco di Napoli tomatoes in his simple, rustic sauce. He uses specialty flour from Antimo Caputo and high-end cured meats from La Quercia in Iowa.

When the dough has been handled properly, it will have the perfect crispy, chewy, and airy texture unlike most pizza crusts you'll ever come across in your lifetime. When I talk with Robert, he's often stressed about the temperature and nature of his dough. Of course, it's obvious to him that the dough had not reached optimal temperature, and thus refusing to stretch out appropriately. But, like opening a restaurant, you have to learn when to work it and when to relax. I interpret McMullin's anxieties as a good sign. He's aiming to share a life-changing experience with pizza

The shop, located in the Douglas Design District has a minimalistic and modern feel. During its construction, the neighborhood was in quite a stir. When it came time to bring the oven into the shop, it couldn't just be strolled in through the front door. The three-ton gleaming, artisan-built brick oven had been installed with a massive forklift. Soon after the restaurant's new facade appeared, which updated to a dark rugged stone, with distinct pillars and a broad window view. The interior is a shining white with dark accenting cabinetry and tables.

The attention of certain details are apparent. This, in combination with the outstanding food only gives the guests of Piatto a recognizable experience every time. The menus are even made out of 1/4"-thick wood planks, which I'm guessing is an homage to McMullin's background in woodworking.

When you first walk in, you immediately notice a half-moon granite counter standing tall in the back of the dining room. It serves as bar-seating for diners who want a seat up front to admire the mastery. Behind it, you'll see Robert and his kitchen aides assemble well-organized mise (a kitchen-phrase for everything in its place) on top freshly hand-stretched dough over glistening marble. The team work quickly to fire each order with ticket times running close to 3 minutes.

Pizza is pretty much perfect food, so I wouldn't stress too much about making the right decision from the menu. You might be more adventurous and try the "Fresca." This white-style pizza comes with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, pancetta, and fresh lemon slices. Or you might give their popular Francesca a chance with crushed pistachios, rosemary, red onion, fresh mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, and olive oil. Either way, the flavor combinations are tried-and-true, so you shouldn't be led astray with outrageous flavors.

After several visits, I've had the pleasure of trying a quite few creations of which they offer two distinct styles: Red and White. My favorite of the red variety is the Diavola, with spicy Borsellino salami, fresh mozzarella, garlic, olive oil, and rustic tomato sauce. It has an unctuous mouthfeel, heavy on the garlic and savory flavors. My other favorite of the white variety is the Manzoli, featuring Berkshire prosciutto and fresh lemon peel.

Because some of the pizzas have a wetter nature, they tend to be a little messier, too. Of course, you and I can delve into the politics of how to properly hold a slice of pizza, or we can just forgo tradition all together and use a fork and knife - if you can handle the controversy, that is. Also if you can't imagine pizza without a red sauce, feel free to ask for a side of it.

I'd also like to press the important subject of dessert. Two options are offered, both of which I've had the pleasure eat. One is tiramisu locally-made by friends at MilkFloat, which is a new bakeshop in Delano specializing in made-from-scratch goodies. The other option is my personal favorite, the Saltimbocca con Nutella. It's quite literally their pizza dough folded over with oozing, hot nutella on the inside. I honestly wasn't sure that I was going to be blown away by much more than bread and chocolate alone, but the dough is so spectacular, it really can adapt to sweet as well (if not better) as it does to savory. It truly is a wonderful dessert.

Piatto is only open for dinner, as to not to draw away from the Design District's other busy lunch spots. Besides, who wants to compete with Tanya's Soup Kitchen, anyway? To say the least, I am very grateful Robert and Carolina have brought something truly iconic to a neighborhood that already has become so renowned for it's foodie-loving establishments. Keep up the great work!

Learn more about PIATTO NEAPOLITAN PIZZERIA by visiting their website at PIATTOICT.com

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Britt Shoffner has helped many newer restaurants and bakeries find their footing with her expertise. Known as the "Avid Snacker" (@avidsnacker), she writes with an aim to highlight Wichita's food culture. Read more of Britt's writings on her blog, avidsnacker.wordpress.com.

PARKER’S PICKS - FINAL FRIDAY - JANUARY 27, 2017

Since I am the creator and caretaker of the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group, I am often asked which Final Friday events I recommend attending. I'll start by saying that I am NOT a Final Friday expert, and that my recommendations are based on my own personal preferences and tastes. I want to say, "go to all of them", but that would be an impossible task. Having too many awesome Final Friday events is a good problem to have.

Every month I will shine a spotlight on 3 or 4 exhibitions that I recommend seeing. These are the exhibitions that I am most excited to see myself. I should also note that I haven't seen any of these exhibitions yet. My recommendations are based on previous works by the artists or on promotional materials released by the artist or gallery. I encourage all of you to join the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group to see the full list of Final Friday events happening in Wichita, Kansas.

- Dustin Parker

Fallout Shelter
Kody Ramsey

 

CityArts - 334 N Mead St
Final Friday - January 27th
6:00pm - 8:00pm

 

For years, I knew Kody Ramsey as the drummer for bands like Ricky Fitts, Spirit Of The Stairs, and Divorce Corpse. However, I recently discovered that he is not only a monster drummer, but also an extremely talented and prolific painter. I'm impressed with Kody's craftsmanship, presentation, work ethic and his mastery of color. Kody creates abstract paintings that are heavily influenced by mid-century design. The paintings are often composed of multiple layers of squares, rectangles and trapezoids that have been distressed with an orbital sander to reveal the layers hiding underneath. Often times these geometric shapes are cut out of wood and screwed onto the wood panel giving the paintings a three-dimensional quality. His paintings feel both modern and retro. The color palette and the use of geometric shapes feels nostalgic, but the layers of geometric shapes often resemble pixelated images on a computer screen.
 

ARTIST Q&A with Kody Ramsey

It seems like you're always in your studio constructing things out of wood. What are some of your favorite tools and what role does carpentry and craftsmanship play in your work?  
My favorite tool I use on every single piece is my orbital sander. I had to replace mine while I was working on this show because I wore the motor out. I've started to use my router more and more lately for creating layers in plywood. My miter saw is probably my most important one though. I build all of my panels, and frame each piece. If I had to cut it all by hand, I'd give up real quick. 

Can you explain your creative process?  
I'm a big fan of making things difficult for myself. When something is flowing too easily, I'll purposely find some way to sabotage it. I like the challenge of trying to figure out how to fix it. Some of my favorite pieces were created that way. 

Who or What has been inspiring you lately? 
I have an unhealthy obsession with Fallout 4. I don't play video games that often, but I got sucked into that one. It takes place in the future, but still has a 1950s-60s vibe to it. I've stopped the game many times, because something in it has inspired me to make a new piece. Many of the pieces in this show were inspired by the design in this game. 

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio? 
Fantastic Planet, by Failure is in constant rotation. It's one of my favorites of all time. Ok Computer by Radiohead gets about as much play. If I put on anything by Man or Astroman?, it's certain that I'll be very productive. If I'm working late, I'll listen to Strange Currency on KMUW.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
I love architecture and mid-century design. I feel like I discover something new every time I drive downtown. Century II has always been one of my favorite buildings in town. I've always wanted a house in Benjamin Hills, so it's nice to drive through that neighborhood whenever I get the chance.


PLUTONIAN NIGHTS
Big Mention (Ian Stewart) and
JessBFresh

 

Harvester Arts - 215 Washington
Final Friday, January 27th
7:00pm - 11:00pm

PLUTONIAN NIGHTS is a psychedelic art show and dance party developed in response to October resident artist and DJ Jimmy Trotter. Local artist Ian Stewart, aka BIG MENTION, and up and coming local DJ Jesse Nichols have joined forces to create an immersive art, music and dance experience. The night will feature multiple visuals, including video projections from Ian Stewart. It will also be Jesse Nichols' (jessbfresh) inaugural performance as a live DJ! The exhibition will additionally feature a "5th Dimension Photo Booth", with props created by Ian Stewart. PLUTONIAN NIGHTS is a must see exhibition, because Ian Stewart never fails to put his full arsenal of talents to good use. His past work had an urban flavor and he often employed a mix of punk rock and graffiti aesthetics, along with with a healthy dash of Robert Rauschenberg. His new work promises to bring a more psychedelic vibe, with kaleidoscopic video collages projected over black and white digital collages, inspired by LSD imagery and inter dimensional travel. You never know what to expect from Ian and that's why his work is always fresh and exciting.

ARTIST Q&A with Ian Stewart

You often use found objects or imagery in your work. How do you find or select objects/images for your collages and assemblages/installations? 
There's no particular method to finding source material for my pieces. I just keep my eyes open and be willing to pick up trash or dig in dumpsters if something looks promising. I source a lot of stuff from antique stores as well. Hewitt's Antiques on Market has a nice collection of postcards, photographs and old magazines that are sorted and priced right.

PLUTONIAN NIGHTS is a response to Jimmy Trotter's LOVE, PEACE & POWER exhibition at Harvester Arts. How did Trotte's work influence your work for PLUTONIAN NIGHTS?
Jess and I came up with the concept together, based on his colorful, somewhat surreal take on pop culture imagery. Initially I was planning to do catalog details of a few of his pieces, but after landing on the psychedelic dance party idea I decided doing collages based in the realm of the "unreal" or psychedelic would be more fitting. The references to LSD are intended to be both literal and silly. Taking inspiration from the era of the acid kool aid tests and the cultural movement that spread after experimentations with such mind altering drugs became available.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
Like with any given time period I'm heavily influenced by society in general. Politically the past year and a half have felt surreal. With the election having taken so many wild turns, and the nation's reaction being what it was, it created a strange energy that affected me more than I would have thought. But then I also fed off the energy of Jess as she has an infectious amount of motivation to get to work. So that's extremely helpful to stay focused. And almost always as well, my wife Sarah who undoubtedly pushes me to keep going and gives me honest, constructive feedback on whether I'm making a beat, a picture, a design or a whole show. Without her I'd definitely not be anywhere as successful as I am. Not that I'm saying I'm hugely successful, but you get it.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
This is pretty lame, but I listen to a lot of my own beats. Listening to things I want to change or whatever, but also for pleasure. You're supposed to enjoy your own work right? Jess also made a Spotify playlist for tracks in vein of what she'll be DJ'ing at the show. So that definitely gets heavy rotation as well.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing? 
I like to go to the yard for ideas when I'm trying to figure out how to present pieces. Or Hewitts. Or in all reality I guess my best ideas come when I just drive around. Not with any specific destination, but just to drive and think. I like to go up 135 to 254 and go east towards El Dorado or drive down south to Haysville and then just turn around. A huge waste of gas, but it's a nice break from the studio. You're bound to see something you hadn't noticed previously.


Sensitive Search
Tim Stone

 

Reuben Saunders Gallery
3215 East Douglas Ave

Final Friday, January 27th
5:30pm - 9:00pm

 

Tim Stone was the Artist-In-Residence at the Reuben Saunders Gallery during the fall of 2016, where he worked in a makeshift studio space in the front window, which allowed passersby to watch him work. Tim Stone paints mundane suburban scenes from everyday life. The paintings look like fuzzy memories coming in and out of focus. Pieces of the puzzle are often missing, and the viewer is left to piece it all together. His paintings are minimalistic and brightly colored. Architectural structures are often depicted by flat shapes or silhouettes. His paintings are impressions of something more complex. The paintings convey a feeling of loneliness and isolation, which is compounded by the large open spaces depicted in the paintings. I'm a big fan of his work and what I've seen of Sensitive Search is really impressive.

ARTIST Q&A with Tim Stone

You were recently an artist-in-residence at Reuben Saunders Gallery and worked in a make-shift studio space in the front display window. What type of feedback/interaction did you get from the public and how was it helpful? And how did it influence your work?
At first it worried me a little because they have a very nice looking gallery and I didn't want to accidentally get paint on everything. I got very positive feedback from people coming in and out of Reuben Saunders Gallery though. It was a unique experience for the public to be able to see the middle of my painting process. Watching a painting come together live, you can see the dilemmas the artist is trying to solve. It makes viewing the finished piece more rewarding. My work was inevitably influenced visually from all of the artwork I was surrounded by, I could see it surfacing in bits and pieces in the work I created there.

Describe your creative process. 
I take pictures of moments from my day that cause me to snap out of my ordinary routine. The imagery reflects what I'm looking at during these epiphanies; trees, concrete, natural and artificial color. Some of what is depicted is by design, but much is haphazard, just like in real life. I paint what is liminal and often over looked. I paint on large, hand made canvases using acrylic and oil paint. My process is flexible and subject to change, each painting, although similar, evokes different feelings. I'm not creating commodities, I'm creating art and thats part of the drive for me. In more recent work, I have been expanding on the idea of painting as process, pushing painting's spacial boundaries toward installation. Tape becomes just as important as canvas in the hierarchy of this work. The canvas is now a tool of the process and the tape is the vehicle upon which the work is delivered. The material quality of tape provides a lack of permanence for the painting, mirroring the lack of permanence in these moments that I capture and repurpose. 

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
Just getting better. Whenever I experience an amazing piece of work like James Turrell's "Breathing Light" or examining the color used by Birger Sanzén, I think to myself, "I can do that". I can't automatically, but with continued practice and tremendous dedication, I can. This Is why I am dedicated to being an artist and teacher. I see a need for art now more than ever. My work is born out of my everyday experiences, with the people I interact with during my job delivering medication. If my painting can inspire someone to stop for a moment and think about something else besides their own tasks that day then I've accomplished something significant.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
Lately I've been listening to Endtroducing by DJ Shadow while finishing up the last piece for Sensitive Search. Its been a mainstay of my music library for 11 years.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing? 
Wichita has many great artists. The best thing I can do for replenishing my creative juices is chatting with as many of them as I can. I like going to Reverie Roasters or The Donut Whole for coffee and conversation. Central Standard Brewery or Wichita Brewing Company is where I would go for beer and art chat. It's awesome to belong to this arts community and to continually be challenged by the work I see coming out of our city.


8th Annual
Crazy 8's Small Works Invitational

with Ceramics by Brandon Smith

 

Gallery XII - 412 E Douglas Ave Suite A
Final Friday, January 27th
5:30pm - 10:00pm

The Crazy 8's Small Works Invitational is an annual exhibition at Gallery XII, featuring a grid of 79 8x8” and 12x12” paintings created by a wide selection of Wichita artists, including: Hugh Greer, Marcia Scurfield, Michella Tripoli, Carolyn Denver, Angie Evans, Iris Fletcher, Ann Krone, Ted Krone, Diane Curtis, Tracie Lyn Huskamp, Cheryl Lindstrom, Dennis McKay, Jill Stromberg, Callie Seaton and many others. This exhibition is always a special treat because it offers a sampler platter of the rich diversity and talent in the Wichita art scene. It also gives patrons an opportunity to purchase affordable works of original art. This exhibition also offers a great opportunity for emerging artists to exhibit their work in a gallery. Artists can submit one painting into the exhibition for a $10 entry fee and a 25% commission. Also on view will be some ceramic works by visiting artist Brandon Smith and several works from Gallery XII members. If you've never been to Gallery XII before this is the perfect time to pay a visit.

MEAT FEST 2017

MEAT FEST, an annual event that brings together the local scene through music and meat kicks off this weekend! We caught up with organizer Alex Thomas to give us the juicy details. Note: A full breakdown of locations, dates, bands, and estimated times is listed at the bottom of this page.

What are the origins of MEAT FEST?
MEAT FEST originated with Albert Alfonso a local Wichita musician around 15 years ago. It was a Kirby's tradition for all but one year. 

What is your role in regards to MEAT FEST?
My role is coordinator and Adminstrator of the WSU foundation scholarship and booking the event. 

What is the importance of MEAT FEST? Why have you kept it going?
It's a chance for the community to come together and donate towards a good cause and help fellow young artists. We've established an endowment at WSU for the arts. The money donated at MEAT FEST will go towards Kirby’s Steve
Schroeder Memorial Scholarship.

What is different about this year's MEAT FEST?
This year we are doing something for the vegans. Friday at Kirby's will be a vegan potluck. This year we've also expanded the donation base and have included Zack Roach's Free Music ICT program. The money made at the door Friday at Barleycorn's will go directly to his cause.

What is one of your favorite memories from MEAT FEST?
I have no memories of MEAT FEST. They have all been washed away in a blur of flesh and bones. Or maybe it was Carrie Nation, The Cubes, and Spirit of the Stairs all being on the same bill. One of the two.

If one is not careful it may be easy to overload on meat, what are some tips for those looking avoid the "meat sweats"?
Embrace the meat sweats. Load up on meat. Tip the donation bucket and make sure and drink lots of fluids.

Friday, January 13th at Barleycorn's
6:00 - 6:45pm - Cy Rogers
6:45 - 7:30pm - Ryan Windham
7:45- 8:45pm - Herd of the Huntress
9:00 - 10:00pm - Jenny Wood Band
10:15 -11:30pm - Spirit of the Stairs
11:45-12:45pm - Kill Vargas

$5 donation at the door. Light apps provided.
All proceeds to benefit FREE MUISC ICT


Saturday, January 14th at Kirby's
12:15 - 12:45pm - Piranhas
1:00 - 1:30pm - Maria Elena
1:45 - 2:30pm - Julian Davis
2:45 - 3:30pm - Albert One Man Band
3:45 - 4:30pm - Bad Hombres
4:45 - 5:30pm - False Flag
5:45 - 6:45pm - New Imperialism
7:00 - 8:00pm - Sun and Stone
8:15 - 9:15pm - Candy Lords
9:30 - 10:30pm - The Travel Guide
10:45 - 11:45pm - Divorce Corpse
12:00 - Close - Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy

All donations to benefit the Kirby’s Steve
Schroeder Memorial Scholarship

Friday, January 13th Vegan Fest at Kirby's
6:00 - 630pm - Saint Cecelia’s Jubilee
6:45 - 7:15pm - Kill It With Fire!
7:30 - 8:30pm - Filius Sol
8:45 - 9:45pm - Godhat
10:00 - 11:00pm - Living Ghost
11:15 - 12:15am - Domestic Drone
12:30am - Close - King Slug


Sunday, January 15th at Lucky's 6pm
Art Auction

All donations to benefit the Kirby’s Steve
Schroeder Memorial Scholarship

MEAT_FEST_2017

ALBUM REVIEW - Snowchild "Age of Change"

Album Review by Torin Andersen Produced by Glenn Baughman and Larry Donaldson Co-produced by Paul DeCeglie Mixed and Mastered by Eric Harrison Release November 27th, 2016

Album Review by Torin Andersen
Produced by Glenn Baughman and Larry Donaldson
Co-produced by Paul DeCeglie
Mixed and Mastered by Eric Harrison
Release November 27th, 2016

Thick as mud, yet as crystal clear as a super moon on a cloudless night, Snowchild releases Age of Change in a haze of fuzzed out psychedelic doom rock. The cast includes some of Wichita’s most prized rock and roll experimenters: Larry Donaldson, Chad Duncan and Dustin Roberts.  

When you see them live (heavily encouraged), Dustin will be mostly on guitars, Larry will likely be singing and playing bass with a bit of synthesizer and Chad will be on drums. However, these guys are not limited to just those instruments. I’m sure there was a fair amount of instrument swapping during the process of recording this four song, so called, Age of Change.

Hitting play and hearing the opening song, which the EP is named after, is like being hit by a fuzz avalanche. Thick and inescapable, it is easy to get swept up in this down-tempo sludge-fest. Heavy doesn’t begin to describe Snowchild but the immoveable object/riff does. "Age of Change", the song, comes in over 9 minutes and it even spans a few different tempos. Churning and evolving, the song erupts at the end, sending audio tracers into an appropriately patient and equally weighty epic song breakdown.

"Born in Flames" has an unexpected start. Beginning with tame drums and a Fender Rhodes electric piano lick, ala The Doors, it continues to build over the next almost ten minutes. An extended guitar solo consumes the opening two minutes before Donaldson’s signature howling vocal melodies seem to emerge from a misty horizon. Snowchild makes for an easy Black Sabbath reference. But, if you’re going to pursue creating music in this genre, it would be a mistake to not reference those who conceived it’s origins. And no, this is not replication. Snowchild is building and expanding on the idea.

On the subject of expanding, Roberts has championed the use of augmenting the electric guitar sound as much as possible. Age of Change brings your ears directly into the experiment, sounding more complete now than ever. Not to be outdone, Donaldson opens "Kings of Koch" with a dynamically-filtered bass solo. Then, at around the one minute mark, the rest of the band punches a hole through it. These riffs are like mountains, cut only by the constant pounding of a river—or in this case, Chad Duncan’s relentless drum pummeling. Few will appreciate the patience needed to be this steady at this tempo. Less wise men would fall to the temptation of filling space where Duncan’s minimal approach anchors the barge.

The imagery that Snowchild conjures up isn’t too far from what some of the lyrics suggest, but it may be a little closer to home than you expect. A few lines from "Kings of Koch": “I’ve seen your truth and I know your kind, serpent's kiss and a prophet's rhyme.” Followed by, “Choke the world with a fist vengeance from the ivory towers of the plains." One could make the connection about the Koch Industries offices towering from amidst the Wichita landscape. Couple that with the closing line, “Trade today for the promise of an easy future, and don’t be surprised when your darkest dreams come to rise”, and you have a rich bed of political and lifestyle commentary.  

For those of you waiting for synth, the song "Boudica" does not disappoint. Coming in at over 16 minutes long, this is a journey you may need to prepare for. Spanning what feels like the uncharted cosmic territory of primordial man, the opening three minutes give way to the weight, and this train starts on the journey of a lifetime. "Boudica's" reach is dense yet easy to follow, but the real trip doesn’t start until after eight minutes. Then the blotter starts to kick in. Words won’t do it justice—trust me. Put on your shades and walk into the sunset, but beware the night—the Age of Change is upon us.

To download or stream Snowchilds's Age of Change, please visit their Bandcamp.

ALBUM REVIEW - Ben Dipper "Burrowed in the Bedroom"

Album Review by Torin Andersen Written, Recorded, Produced, and Mixed by Ben Snook Mastered by David Lord & Micajah Ryan Album Photo by Madeline Niemackle Album Layout and Design by Ben Snook Release November 29th, 2016 Air House Records

Album Review by Torin Andersen
Written, Recorded, Produced, and Mixed by Ben Snook
Mastered by David Lord & Micajah Ryan
Album Photo by Madeline Niemackle
Album Layout and Design by Ben Snook
Release November 29th, 2016
Air House Records

Spinning, twirling and bouncing with a focused beat, Ben Dipper opens Burrowed in the Bedroom like a quick blast through the milky way before landing in an energetic, lo-fi, solo exploratory jaunt with opener, "Shattered Saturn".

Using heavy electronic production effects, Burrowed in the Bedroom will grab your attention while these pop songs caress the ear.  Writer, producer, recording engineer and mixer, Ben Snook (a.k.a. Ben Dipper) likely burrowed himself in the bedroom producing this pop cornucopia just in time for the holidays.

Following "Shattered Saturn", "Skinsplitting" is similar in tone, with bouncy acoustic guitars over electronic beats. However, this song opens a little more personally. "I am as futile as the fingers I own, I have a lot of little places that I don’t like to show," sings Snook, revealing an artist who isn’t afraid of a little exposure. Although some production techniques in "While They Shoot Sharply" may appear to cloak Snook's performance, the layers are stripped on the fourth track, "7x This Mourning."

Sweet and almost like a lullaby, "7x This Mourning" has a bit of walking bass line over a skipping sound and finger snaps. Snook's vocals are vulnerable and open. Repeating the chorus, "Do you want to mean this much?", Snook avails himself. "My head’s tunneling the colors of everything, spread my body all around the blanket on my head."

Losing the acoustic guitar, "Said, Smiling" employs a slightly more expansive song form. A heavy kick drum that breaks wide to open sonic expanses falls to an abstract found-sound recording for an ending. "Said, Smiling" comes off like a sketch and is an excellent tool for transitioning into "Here’s to Entering Tomorrow."

Track six on Burrowed in the Bedroom seems like the biggest stylistic departure for Air House Records, but the rest of Ben Dipper's release fits snugly into the rest of the catalogue. Booming bass and hip-hop-like beats thunder in this angelic choir-like vocal performance about lost love, "I’m not seeing you, adios, every love leaves."

"Feels to Feel Sure" sounds like a period piece. I recall English painter Jack Vettriano of the famous "The Singing Butler." Stylized, heavily constructed and with just the right amount of romance, "Feels to Feel Sure" is class wrapped in an old tin can guitar.

"Picture Prison" is lyrically lengthy and potentially the most deeply felt track on this debut release by Ben Dipper.  A fun release, Burrowed in the Bedroom resides within a heavily constructed world that can easily be imagined with long lost friends and lovers together in a bedroom that has seen its share of pillow forts alongside pillow talk. And not to be taken too lightly, "Sun in Your Jaw" adds some weight.

Still a fun pop performance, lyrics like "When you're losing your grip on it, don't withdraw, pull the moon out from your tongue and put the sun in your jaw, and when your body is laying there, whirring on disregard the distance and don't worry, Mom" are haunting. The track "Sun in your Jaw" has a chilling opening line: "You're not afraid to die and it makes me scared you sat in your car in the cold so impaired" seems to recall a dark image and story to match.

Continuing into the depths, "Cement On My Semantic Feet" conjures more dark imagery, only now with a darker melodic structure. While retaining the bouncing electronic drums and acoustic guitars, a minor sounding melody begins to creep in to Burrowed in the Bedroom, giving a whole new look at the album title.

"Chasing Tape" speaks about divorce over stumbling electronic beats and psychedelic steel drum synths, in contrast to "The Hours", which is a simple passage sung between a man and his guitar. Heart wrenching and lonely, the lyrics "We're wondrous, wondering the now, I'll take care to you, it's the hours that melt me, melt me anew" hurts a bit in contrast to the majority of this release, and most closely resembles the cover image of lonesome disco ball lights against a vacant bedroom. "The Hours" is a stand out song even in its brevity.

"Blondly Funs" is not as fun as the title may lead one to think. The song is churning and stark. Distorted, crackling and momentarily squelching, the structure lends itself to lines like, "I hardly know your name, your nature can turn quick to a flame, for a while you were mine but you’ll never be my dame."

"Drinking in the dreams that still seem like reveries," is a line pulled from album closer "Often Poppies" and seems to sum up Burrowed in the Bedroom well. At first glance the album appears to exclusively contain sugar infused melodic ear candy, but upon closer review we find an artist who is willing to expose himself, even if only while burrowed in the bedroom.

To hear Ben Dipper's Burrowed in the Bedroom in its entirety, please visit bendipper.bandcamp.com

Weekend Six Pack

Founder of The Labor Party and Software Development Director of Ennovar at Wichita State University, Kenton Hansen (@Kentonh), brings a weekly selection of links and events he believes should be on our radar. Part round-up, part heads-up... look-up, for this week's Weekend Six Pack.

ABC's World News Tonight interviewed Freddy, who's frozen custard and steakburgers have been served in Wichita for 14 years. More recently, they've been served all around the country. 

There's a buzz over Wichita. It's Doc, a WWII era B-29. The plane has been restored by an army of volunteers and veterans. CBS Sunday Morning came out a few months ago to capture the first flight in a long time.

The funniest person in Wichita is going to be crowned next week.

I'm sure you've seen the Mannequin Challenge videos, this Sunday a group of over 1,000 people are interested in making what could be the biggest one yet.

The weekend is the best time for Pizza, and Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria sounds like the place to get it this weekend

The Wichita Public Library is hosting International Games Day.

Dempsey's Pub

 

DEMPSEY's
PUB

Gourmet Burgers
Craft Beers
3700 E Douglas #78
 

Written by Britt Shoffner

Since the arrival of Dempsey's Pub, getting a parking spot in Clifton Square has been a tight squeeze. The vitality of new businesses have brought a crowd the area hasn't seen in years. You can find most anything one could be craving such as pizza, ice cream, and coffee. But the American classic is epitomized at Dempsey's: the Burger. Known for their high-line burgers, this little pub is one of a growing number of locations whose origins began in Lawrence, Kansas.

Fresh off their win in the "gourmet" and "inventive" categories at the ICT Burger Battle, the accolades have been piling alongside being voted the "Best Burger" by the Wichita Eagle's Readers' Choice Awards. Sebastian Gordon oversees daily operations of the restaurant and bar, while Dillon Narcisi takes the reign in the kitchen. With a young, fresher perspective and diverse talents, it's easy to see why things are always poppin' at the shop. Twelve craft beer taps, a porch deck patio, and a dinky kitchen grill line, Dempsey's is a seemingly unassuming neighborhood eatery.

See, I've been haunting Dempsey's for some time now, and it's clear to see why they are so successful. Dempsey's provides hand-crafted cocktails, a constant rotation of microbrews (some local, even), and a menu that can please even the pickiest of eaters. Burgers are the main draw for most, but some solid options exist to vegetarians and non-red meat eaters.

Beer cheese dip, with crispy fries and warm, soft pretzels. - Photo by Britt Shoffner

Beer cheese dip, with crispy fries and warm, soft pretzels. - Photo by Britt Shoffner

Chef Narcisi (who admittedly hates being called "Chef") keeps a close eye on his kitchen staff, making sure his crew is qualified to fire a patty to the correct temperature without flinching. In my experience, my burger has almost always been cooked to the correct specification asked, which is often medium rare. And for those who need clarification: medium rare is a hot red center, medium is a hot pink, and well done is a hot hockey puck. Choose wisely. If your burger doesn't come out to your specification, Chef Narcisi will make it right. And possibly ridicule the cook who made it wrong.

The fries are immaculately crispy and crunchy, and run very high in my rankings around town with a clear use of the double-fry method at play. I also love how they offer their fries with various seasonings, giving the customer the opportunity to play with burger/fry combos. I'm a personal fan of the "Fire Fries," which are doused in red chiles. Take your pick: duck fat fries, truffle fries, and queso fries; the options are unlimited.

Every week, Chef Narcisi comes up with a weekly special drawing inspiration from classic recipes to spotlighting trendy ingredients. Even the names can get creative. An example being the "Demigorgonzola," a blue cheese burger and a nod for fans of the Netflix series Stranger Things. To switch things up the special sometimes will be fried chicken as opposed to a burger, making it easy for regulars to try new creations frequently. The latest concoction is the Boneshaker Espresso Burger featuring a rub made from local coffee roaster, Reverie, and local greens from KanGrow.

I also need to mention the chocolate-caramel tart. If you can't take advice from a pastry chef/sugar fiend that this is one of the best housemade desserts you will come across in Wichita, then I can't help you. I've even written about it before, here.

 The Up N Down Burger (with bacon added), a rendition of the classic In N Out style. - Photo by Britt Shoffner

 The Up N Down Burger (with bacon added), a rendition of the classic In N Out style. - Photo by Britt Shoffner

With as busy as this place can be, make sure to make your next visit to Dempsey's without rush. I've had an overall positive experience when it comes to service as the entire staff is very young and fairly earnest. I've had occasions where it took no time to get a beer, order food quickly, pay the check, and head out the door. However, on other occasions I've been the last to be seated in the dining room for a dinner rush. Ultimately, that situation will always extend the amount of time spent here. I usually go to have a great time with friends, regardless if it takes half-an-hour to an hour-and-a-half to accomplish the same task.

What's clear is that Dempsey's gives off a sense of camaraderie the same as the spirit a futbol league may possess. Operations manager Sebastian Gordon, shares his secrets to their success: staying relevant to the community, being humble, care and thought in product and execution, and pride in staff. There is a family-friendly aspect as well. I love that I can take my whole clan there dog included! My 110-pound mutt loves a plain slider on the patio after a short walk from our house in College Hill. Even as the days grow colder, football games must be watched with a good brew and a great burger!

Learn more about Dempsey's Pub by visiting their website at dempseyswichita.com.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Britt Shoffner has helped many newer restaurants and bakeries find their footing with her expertise. Known as the "Avid Snacker" (@avidsnacker), she writes with an aim to highlight Wichita's food culture. Read more of Britt's writings on her blog, avidsnacker.wordpress.com.

Weekend Six Pack

Founder of The Labor Party and Software Development Director of Ennovar at Wichita State University, Kenton Hansen (@Kentonh), brings a weekly selection of links and events he believes should be on our radar. Part round-up, part heads-up... look-up, for this week's Weekend Six Pack.

six-pack.jpeg

This week, an orangutan at the Zoo exercised it's freedom and escaped from the enclosure. And speaking of exercising one's freedom, you should head over to My Ballot before Election Day to build your perfect ballot, even local races. 

Tonight is Final Friday, and you shouldn't miss the debut of the Commerce Arts District lighting of the new Project NeoPrairie installation. The part-sculptural-part-streetlight will have the switch officially flipped at 7pm. 

Quickdraw Studios is revamping the Pac Wichita game, and this time with a noble purpose. The Joy of Voting project, with support form KMUW and the Wichita Community Foundation, picked four Wichita projects to make voting fun again. Join them on Saturday at the Sedgwick County Zoo to play Ballot Battle, available on the Google Play and the App Store.

After a walk around the Zoo, head Downtown to Century II for the 2016 Asian Festival. The event is filled with culture, art, and foooooood. Stage performances include a Chinese dragon dance, a Vietnamese fan dance, a Chinese ribbon dance, and Japanese percussive music from Three Trails Taiko.

I think one of the best things in life is dessert. Today, a new dessert restaurant, Milkfloat, is opening in Delano. I'm really excited for the house-made soft serve ice cream.

In future news, the Grinning Goblin Gamin Tavern sounds like a great place to share a drink and a game. While it's opening is some time away, you can get an immediate taste at Fireshark Gaming with a Halloween twist.

Weekend Six Pack

Founder of The Labor Party and Software Development Director of Ennovar at Wichita State University, Kenton Hansen (@Kentonh), brings a weekly selection of links and events he believes should be on our radar. Part round-up, part heads-up... look-up, for this week's Weekend Six Pack.

I moved this week, and I wouldn't dare get rid of my roommates, but if you want to get rid of yours, turns out you're in the right city.  

The Orionids meteor shower peaked Friday, head to Lake Afton Observatory Saturday to catch the show.
Delano is going to change.
Vote for your favorite local brewery. One of the options won the beer oscar.
Noble House is getting a permanent location in the Douglas Design District.

As you may have noticed, this edition is shorter. That's due to the aforementioned move, as well as the 13th birthday of the best kid I've ever met, who happens to be my son.

Weekend Six Pack

Founder of The Labor Party and Software Development Director of Ennovar at Wichita State University, Kenton Hansen (@Kentonh), brings a weekly selection of links and events he believes should be on our radar. Part round-up, part heads-up... look-up, for this week's Weekend Six Pack.

Avenue Art Days is a initiative of the Douglas Design District to bring color, a voice, and a sense of place to Douglas Avenue starting from Washington Street and, since this weekend, extending all the way to Oliver. I absolutely love the new work in my neighborhood. You can grab a map of all the new art and previous installations at the project's website. Thanks to Alex Pemberton for the pictures.

On Wednesday night, the 14th Tallgrass Film Fest kicked off, and it will continue until Sunday. This might be my favorite week of Wichita's year. Seriously, some of my best memories in Wichita happened during Tallgrass. There are so many great films to see, but you don't have to buy a single ticket with the free events available. Although, I would highly recommend seeing any one of the films being show in a myriad of great downtown venues.

The Labor Party and devICT are asking you to contribute to open source projects that make Wichita better. It's called Hacktoberfest ICT, and with four pull requests on any of the approved projects before the end of the month you can earn yourself something great. Contributing doesn't have to be code, you can fix a typo and still be a part of the improvements. If you'd like to learn how to make a pull request, take a look over hereWomen Who Code is hosting the second #ApplaudHer event tonight. The event is an opportunity to meet local women in tech, learn more about the organization,  and share triumphs in your career.

It's the middle of October, which means Food Truck Season is coming to an end. To celebrate, there are a bunch of food truck rallys coming up before the end of the month. Tonight, catch A Night At The Fountains before you catch Eat That Question or Old Stone at Tallgrass. Next week there's Truck or Treat  and Street Food Night Market at WSU. So if you missed Blocktoberfest ICT last weekend, you can make up for your lack of outdoor eating in the coming weeks.

Wichita's best hole-in-the-wall restaurants were profiled in the Eagle this week. Denise Neil visited Bomber Burger and Thai House. What do you think? Did they get them all? Or is there a hidden gem that's better?

Speaking of food. Have you ever heard of lumpia? Apparently, its really good. Parsnipity Cafe in the Epic Center has been doing some experimenting, and their going to share the results later this month.

There was a pretty funny sign on the Prairie Fire Marathon course last Sunday.

Weekend Six Pack

Founder of The Labor Party and Software Development Director of Ennovar at Wichita State University, Kenton Hansen (@Kentonh), brings a weekly selection of links and events he believes should be on our radar. Part round-up, part heads-up... look-up, for this week's Weekend Six Pack.

Reverie Coffee Roasters became Luke's Diner of Gilmore Girls fame for just one day. The event was part of a nation-wide promotion for the four-episode return of the show on Netflix. People lined up for hours to get in, and even dressed as characters.

This Sunday, runners will be making their way through Wichita for the Prairie Fire Marathon. I mentioned this last week, but make sure you set your alarms on Sunday morning. Pick a spot on the course. I'd suggest somewhere in Riverside or near the Boathouse. Remember, you'll be there to cheer on the runners, so grab some noisemakers and/or a bluetooth speaker. To make it more fun, keep an eye out for some really fast runnersthe Local Joes like Brad Batemon, the Pace Team, and more than a few people you already know. The people running are your neighbors and visitors. Let's show them what "We are Wichita" means.

Recycling made some news this week, and we got to find out where our recycling goes after it is picked up. I find this really fascinating for some reason. Speaking of the Three Rs, Bike Walk Wichita got some love for the new program connecting the homeless with abandoned bikes.

This week, the Wichita startup scene hit the spotlight. Accelerate the Heartland hosted more than 13 pitches from founders. Many more exhibited promising technology and business. During the day, my team and I said we would build a startup in a day. We came pretty close with DateNightGenius.com, which promises no more boring date nights.

Want some things to do this week? Tonight, make your way to the Wichita Art Museum for Wichita Art Chatter. How about the ICT Blocktoberfest tomorrow? It'll have sausage, beer and wiener dog races.  Get into the Halloween spirit and raise some money for Make-A-Wish with GUTS, a family-friendly event with pumpkin-artistry. Catch some live music in Old Town with KMUW's third and final event in this year's Old Town Concert Series. Like tabletop games? Check out Tsunamicon all weekend. On Thursday, find out how the ICT is being promoted.

It's important to vote, and Election Day is just about a month away. You're registered, right? Sedgwick County in need of Poll Workers. Maybe you could take a vacation day in support of Democracy? You would get paid for your civic service and get that warm, fuzzy feeling the forefathers talked about.