ALBUM REVIEW - THE WICHITA FLAG - SELF TITLED

Album Review by Torin Andersen Written & Performed by The Wichita Flag Recorded by The Wichita Flag Mixed & Mastered by The Wichita Flag Released November 24th, 2017 Thunder Kick Records

Album Review by Torin Andersen
Written & Performed by The Wichita Flag
Recorded by The Wichita Flag
Mixed & Mastered by The Wichita Flag
Released November 24th, 2017
Thunder Kick Records

Synth pop unease— THE WICHITA FLAG. That sentence may confuse the late-coming enthusiasts of this cities' 80 year old image. This self-titled album released by Les Easterby— better known as The World Palestine, which also released Dik Dik Sounds on the same day as THE WICHITA FLAG. The Wichita Flag is his christian music debut. The repeating chorus “187, We’ll go up to heaven” has afterlife squarely on it’s mind amidst the paranoid frenzy of the 9/11 terrorist-promoting haven that is Easterby’s America. Arranged with electronic beats and dense synth work, the first song “187 (we’ll go up to heaven)” works a creepy juxtaposition between the poppy melodic vocal and its content, which may be a reference to the California penal code “187"— a sort of slang for murder, which in this case the victim(s) go up to heaven? The lyrics and melody won’t quickly be forgotten, unlike the DJ-ish scratching over the continuously slowing tempo.

“I’m Gonna Give My Life to God” seems like an insincere title. Like, why haven’t you already? The purpose of a christian release is to say you already have, no!? The lyrics, “I'm trying to find myself” seem wholly appropriate. The funky guitars and wah-wah bass certainly sound in jubilation.  Just embrace what’s coming, right?  Easterby sings, “You're my best friend. I'm never going to sleep again.” The spiritual dissonance is quickly realized part way through the this bouncy escapade. The lyrics are hard to make out through the heavy use of vocal effects and being low in the mix, but “I’m Gonna Give My Life to God” picks back up from it’s disjointed broken drum machine vibe. The song eventually slows to a halt in similar fashion to “187.”

The lyrics are simple. “I am pure. I am clean. I am sure. I am free. I won't go down.” Squashed in a post-synthwave gush of pop simplicity, “I Won’t Go Down” is short. In and out in 80 seconds. A siren-like call gives way to a jangly guitar warble and is gone just as quickly as it came in.

“Jesus is the One I Need” closes this strange foray into Christian paranoia and God fandom. An aggressive and claustrophobic electronic organ beat continues into a fervor of synth grinding and vocal “oohs” and “ahhs.” The singing is drenched in reverb. “I'll be your Christian friend. Jesus is the one I need. Jesus is the one for me.” The statements are simple. Mostly to the point and all-out-new for Les Easterby, the driving force for christian experimental synth wave on THE WICHITA FLAG self titled debut.

Self-written, performed, recorded (in under two weeks), mixed and mastered, The Wichita Flag is also self released on Thunder Kick Records. Available November 24th on all your streaming services. THE WICHITA FLAG debut is odd and worth a listen.

ALBUM REVIEW - THE WORLD PALESTINE "DIK DIK SOUNDS"

Album Review by Torin Andersen Written & Performed by Les Easterby Recorded by Les Easterby Mixed & Mastered by Les Easterby Released November 24th, 2017 Easter Bee Home Recordings

Album Review by Torin Andersen
Written & Performed by Les Easterby
Recorded by Les Easterby
Mixed & Mastered by Les Easterby
Released November 24th, 2017
Easter Bee Home Recordings

An intoxicating slurry of washed out guitars over sometimes choppy and abrupt rhythmic changes permeate THE WORLD PALESTINES's newest release, Dik Dik Sounds. Like a doe wading through the prism of a sludgy rainbow-colored waterfall—a not-to-far reference from the cover art by Les Easterby, the front man of THE WORLD PALESTINE. This four song E.P. released November 24 is a dredge for a modern pop mini-opus.

Opener “This Is a Bill” warbles and chimes over a shuffled hazy drum beat performed by Easterby. Some of the riffs act like a goo is pulling them back from where they started, then ending in surprising resolve leading to an increasingly surprising chorus of an altogether new arrangement style. Recognizably Easterby’s beast, there is still uncharted territory this artist is willing to journey through to continually find a unique mark. He sings, “it's so dramatic with a manic concierge” on the opening line and continues from there.

“Ono” Follows with much more bounce and dreamscape vocals. In a more standard pop format, Easterby shines, vocally cutting through the fuzz of guitars and finding an almost feminine backing vocal for himself, “where did it go.” Not to be confused, Dik Dik Sounds is written and performed in its entirety by Easterby. Taking it a few steps further, Easterby decided to also record, mix and master everything on his own. The structure of “Ono” continues, but makes an abrupt change toward the end, sounding as if enraptured by a whole new band rehearsing an idea for an upcoming song.

“No Way” breaks ground in harmonic dissonance over a catchy riff-oriented salute to a sometimes overt reference to squiggly guitar master band Polvo. Never too out of focus from his masterfully loose grip on pop-sensible rock-band-format song structure, Easterby wields emotion in a context that is solely his own. Easterby orchestrates mounds of guitar experimentation over the closing vocal melody, “I'll be fluent in all gay.” It elicits a strange response at first, but this taste acquires quickly. Like a scotch distilled in discarded tuna cans, his perfume wafts and stains the ears quickly, resulting in repeat listens. It’s hard to know where this came from and it’s almost mythological in where it has been.

Dik Dik Sounds closes with jarring chords, then picks up the pace and wanders in to what is like swimming through sheets drenched in molasses behind a vocal melody from the outer realm. Singing, “Into the fall. Into the fire and burn away”, Easterby makes clear he’s in to the “wow wow.” Making rhythmic use of this wang bar deluge, “Wow” continues into the depths and ends just as curiously as it started, in a time signature related to standard but sounding far from it.

Dik Dik Sounds is a wicked launch into the abyss of a solo musician that has no fear. Buy the ticket, take the ride—but the latest release by THE WORLD PALESTINE may require a whole new type of passport in order to explore these sonic vistas.

Self-released on Easter Bee Home Recordings, you can listen to it through all your major streaming outlets and you can inquire about physical copies at your local record shop.

PARKER'S PICKS - SUPER SPECIAL DECEMBER 1st EDITION

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

 

WADE HAMPTON
©Wade Hate Hampton Bunny Rabbit Art Show & Sale Holiday Extravaganza

Vortex Souvenir
1640 E 2nd St N

Friday, December 1st
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Saturday, December 2nd
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

 

Wade Hampton (AKA Wade Hate) is a graphic designer, illustrator, filmmaker and painter. In February, Wade created an Instagram account called drawabunnydaily and every day he posts a new drawing of a bunny. The bunnies are drawn in a wide variety of styles using various combinations of graphite, copic markers, sharpies, colored pencils and ink. The drawings are bold, colorful and bursting with energy. The drawings are often very humorous and playful. Wade has created a world full of colorful characters. A world where bunnies play jazz, smoke cigarettes, drink black coffee, love pizza and hate carrots. A world full of doting mothers, goth girls, creepy monsters, punk rockers, superheroes and sassy old ladies that love Jesus. A world that isn’t afraid to be weird or silly. A world that is fun to visit. You can visit this world of bunnies this Friday, December 1st at Vortex Souvenir.

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For the past 3 years Wade has hosted an annual holiday art show at his home, which has become a much cherished and celebrated holiday tradition in the Wichita art community. This year Wade is hosting his holiday art show at Vortex Souvenir, located at 1640 E 2nd ST N, (The corner of 2nd and Hydraulic). The show is called “©Wade Hate Hampton Bunny Rabbit Art Show & Sale Holiday Extravaganza” and it will feature all of the drawings that Wade has drawn for his Draw A Bunny Daily project. The show will be on display on Friday, December 1st from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm and on Saturday, December 2nd from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. There will be 300 bunny drawings available for purchase. Sales are first come, first served. I highly encourage you to arrive early on Friday because Wade’s drawings tend to sell very quickly. And the first 50 people through the door will receive a FREE 2017 ©Wade Hate Christmas Ornament (one per household). Wade will also have some t-shirts and hoodies available for purchase. The early bunny gets the carrot. You don’t want to be late for this very important date! Don’t miss this show!

Artist Q&A with Wade Hampton
Can you please describe your creative process?
The older I get the rougher my process is. I rarely have a plan when I start a drawing or a painting. I like to just start making marks and see where it goes. I don’t like to feel boxed in when I work. So if I’m not worrying about anatomy or perspective, etc., I can be free and just see what I come up with. I think the best art for me is when I really allow myself to approach the making of art differently all the time. Like purposely trying to make something look bad AND THEN something beautiful might come out of it, something new, because you allowed yourself to just make art without letting your brain get in the way. I call this “art from the gut”.

What inspired you to start your Draw A Bunny Daily project?
I saw a documentary series on Netflix called “The Art of Design” and the illustrator Christoph Niemann talked about having an Instagram account where he posted a new drawing every week. I had just completed 3 annual art shows where I had done over 100 drawings a year and I kind of wanted to just keep making art even if I had no intentions of having a show. So I thought about doing a little drawing every day and I decided to make it a bunny or a rabbit because they are fun to draw. I’ve been putting rabbits in my work for almost 30 years now: drawings, paintings and film work. And NO I am not inspired by “Donnie Darko,” I get asked that all time. My film group, Art Brut Film (which has a bunny for a logo), has a motto, which is “Fuck Donnie Darko”. Besides the best rabbit in cinematic history is the Apocalyptic Rabbit from “Sexy Beast” anyway.

Who or what has been inspiring you lately?
Well David Lynch will always be number one. I was blown away by Twin Peaks: The Return. Lynch is so damn fearless as an artist and that has inspired me my entire adult life as an artist. I really want to spend the next couple of years focusing on filmmaking so I’ve been watching a ton of films in general and YouTube clips on the craft of filmmaking. I saw Return of the Living Dead recently and that film spoke to my soul. I think it’s everything I would want Art Brut Film to have in it’s first feature film. It’s so damn entertaining and you can really see the filmmaking, from the zombie makeup to set locations. It’s not a film that takes itself too seriously but it’s “world building” on a low budget and that inspires me as a filmmaker. Plus ALL the characters are fuckin’ perfect. Everything about that film is perfect. And I should mention that Fever Ray is a constant inspiration for me also. I love her.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
I draw a lot at home with my little turntable next to me…and I mostly just play The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Darklands” and the soundtrack to “Return of the Living Dead” over and over again. And on Spotify it’s Fever Ray’s “Plunge”, Soviet Soviet’s “Endless”, Ryuichi Sakamato’s soundtrack to “The Revenant” and Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch’s soundtrack to “Blade Runner 2049”.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
My friend’s art shows, Wichita Art Museum and to the movies. And fuck Donnie Darko.


 

Charles Baughman
Abstract Impressionist Landscapes 

Riney Fine Arts Center - Friends University
2100 W University Ave

Final Friday, October 27th
5:00pm - 7:00pm

 

Charles Baughman is a sculptor, painter and art instructor. Charles and his wife Kate Pepper are the owners of the The Art Park and the Monart School Of Art where they both teach a variety of art classes to children and adults. Charles has also been an art instructor at Wichita State University, Friends University and the Wichita Center For The Arts (now known as Mark Arts) to name a few.

Charles is exhibiting a new series of paintings in an exhibition called “Abstract Impressionist Landscapes” at The Riney Fine Arts Gallery at Friends University on Friday, December 1st from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm. There will also be an artist talk and painting demo on Friday, December 8th from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. The exhibition will feature 11 works on paper and 16 paintings. The paintings depict fields of flowers, water lilies, rows of trees and burning fields. His colorful landscapes are constructed using multiple layers of drips and splatters and poured paint. The paintings are bright and expressive. The paintings verge toward abstraction and have more in common with artists like Jackson Pollock, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh than artists like Winslow Homer, Frederic Edwin Church or Bob Ross. In other words, Charles is using the techniques of abstract expressionists and action painters to create landscape paintings rather than using traditional painting techniques. The end result is a bold and refreshing take on landscape painting.

I highly encourage all of you to stop by Friends University on Friday to see this amazing exhibit. 

The Riney Fine Arts Gallery is located on the south side of the Riney Fine Arts Center and Sebits Fine Arts Addition on the East side of the Friends University Campus. You can find a map to the gallery here - https://goo.gl/maps/GiB17y9DuEw.

Artist Q&A with Charles Baughman
Can you please describe your creative process?

I think creatively all day long. It is a way of looking and thinking about life and the world around me. I think observation and reflection are the start of my creative process. I want to get into my studio every day but I have a job and other responsibilities. So I think about how I can use what I see around me. I look at color and form. Light and shadow. It’s a conversation I have with myself and when I do get in the studio I want to process that conversation as I paint. That is my time of reflection.

What inspired you to start painting abstract impressionist landscapes?
Teaching. Students constantly push me to answer questions and explain things to them in new ways. It really is a creative process of its own. I was teaching a class and I wanted to push them past their realistic expectations. We had painted so many of those representational images. I wanted to do something more. Show them the possibilities of making marks with drips splatters and pours. The structure of painting and the composition is the same but letting it be open to happy accidents brings a new energy and vitality to the image. I realized at that point that I didn’t want to go back to traditional painting. The spontaneity of playing with the paint brought the images to life. So after 25 years of teaching traditional painting I realized I didn’t have to prove that I could draw anymore. I could just make art.

Who or what has been inspiring you lately?
Fall has a huge impact on me. I love when the colors change and come to life. I love nature, from tending my garden to backpacking in the mountains. I find beauty all around me. I’m inspired by the colors of the impressionists and the fauves and the exploration of Jackson Pollock and Grace Hartigan. I want to combine my love of the outdoors with my love of painting.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
The music in my studio changes day to day. Lately it is been the B-52s, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Offspring, Cake, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King and John Coltrane. It’s a crazy mix.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
I love to just walk outside in gardens or parks. But what really gets my juices going is Final Friday and seeing other artists work. I’m always inspired by how much talent we have here in Wichita. Just stopping in a place like Reuben Saunders gallery can get me jazzed up to go make more art.

ALBUM REVIEW - Milmine "So Long and Thanks"

Album Review by Kevin Wildt Album Released November 14th, 2017 Listen/Download Bandcamp Apple Music Spotify

Album Review by Kevin Wildt
Album Released November 14th, 2017

Listen/Download
Bandcamp
Apple Music
Spotify

Surprises— they come around, but not often. It’s the rarity that catches you off guard. The jolt that wakes you up. When an unsolicited email comes in suggesting you look into something, you get used to it being a bit of a let down. Then a message comes around from a stranger about a local 18 year-old’s new full-length album. Curiosity sets in, your ears perk, your eyes shift, your head turns on its axis. A wash of perplexity overcomes. “Who is this? What’s the story here? How did I not already know about this? His voice sounds great… he’s 18?!” Too often, locals might presume we know of all Wichita has to offer, but there are still sucker punches still there. And damn, if it doesn’t feel good to get knocked out every once and a while.

I’d give you the backstory of Milmine, but to be honest, my internet sleuthing came up pretty empty-handed. There’s a Soundcloud, tracks on YouTube, and all the other music streaming platforms, a photo or two, his first name MIGHT be Oliver and Milmine MIGHT be his last name, but who is this guy? Is it just him? Did he record this himself? Is he still in High School?! SHUT UP BRAIN, JUST LISTEN.

So Long and Thanks is 14 tracks smothered in reverb, often held together with sticky little bass lines. “Problems”, the album’s first real track, demonstrates this recipe elegantly. Its catchy chorus debuts without much delay, unapologetically proclaiming the album's embrace of hooks from the jump.

“So Long and Thanks”, the album’s title track, brings us back to earth with a tempo and groove that inspire a relaxing slump in your favorite armchair. It’s this pacing that hangs around through the next track, "Emerald Bay”, which introduces a psychedelic swirl to the vocal mix, triggering comparisons to Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruban Nielson.

In fact, the vocals are what make this entire record. They’re the sugary-sweet taste of a soda shop. And at the half-way point, the track “Vieil Amour” revels in this nostalgia. It’s wishy-washy verse sounds like your stomach churning as you build up the nerves to ask your crush’s hand at the school dance. With a pre-chorus drum fill that cinematically flips the switch on the warm spotlight washing over you both as they shake their head “yes”. This chorus… THIS CHORUS, is your partner's head on your shoulder as you sway side to side. It’s your chaperon's fond gaze as they reminisce over their own youthful innocence—or at least that’s what this chorus is to me.

Milmine

I’ll spare you the rest of this review as I don’t normally take on writing, but there is so much more to this record, and it’s vibes deserve your attention much more then these words do. 14 tracks is a lofty challenge to hold a listener’s attention, yet Milmine succeeds. With a healthy range of instrumentation and expression, there is a soulful and consistent smoothness throughout “So Long and Thanks”. If you enjoy British exports such as the Arctic Monkeys or contemporary-crooner King Krule, you’ll most likely find the appeal of this tasteful debut.

Familiarize yourself, tell a friend, send it to that publication or booking agent out of town. This “kid", Oliver, whoever he is, he has that "something” that takes one places. Be the random person to share his music unabashedly and help him get wherever he's going. Thank you Parker Hanna for sharing it with me.

PARKER'S PICKS - FINAL FRIDAY - OCTOBER 27th, 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

 

18th Annual
Arts Council Juried Exhibition

CityArts - Main Gallery
334 N Mead St

Final Friday, October 27th
6:00pm - 8:00pm

 

One of my favorite annual traditions is the Arts Council Juried Exhibition, an annual exhibition sponsored by the Arts Council and hosted by CitArts. Artists ages 18+ from Kansas are invited to submit their work for consideration into the juried exhibition. This year the exhibition was juried by Harvester Arts founders Kristin Beal and Kate Van Steenhuyse. Kristin and Kate selected 68 works from a pool of 500 entries. The work they selected is a great sampling of contemporary Kansas art and offers a wide variety of flavors to suit every taste.

Q&A with Jurors Kristin Beal and Kate Van Steenhuyse

Can you explain the selection process for the Arts Council Juried Exhibition?

KVS: The submissions are organized in such a way as to remove all identifying information-- we didn’t know names, backgrounds of the artist, and even the images are mixed up so that we weren’t viewing work by the same person all in any sort of sequential order. We worked together to each compile a list of pieces we liked, compared our lists, discussed, debated, edited--rinse & repeat until we got down to a workable number. It was a very difficult but rewarding process.
KB: All of the entries were compiled into a powerpoint. We reviewed them separately and only had title, medium, scale info about each piece. We each made a list of around 60 works.

Was it easy to reach an agreement on which pieces should be selected for the exhibit? 
KVS: Not at all. In some ways it may have been easier to be a sole juror, and yet it was also nice to be able to discuss and bounce opinions off someone else. Especially since the goal of a show like this is to choose an accurate overview of the submissions--so to have another person to keep your natural biases in check was really great.
KB: No. I think we only agreed on 20 works at first.

Did you notice any common themes or trends in the work that was submitted?
KVS: There really was a wide variety of themes and mediums submitted, it was a pleasure to be able to see so much artwork happening in our community.
KB: No. There was really a variety of work.

Do you have any advice for artists that may wish to submit their work to the Arts Council Juried exhibition next year?
KVS: The images have to be good quality, well-lit and cropped to just the image with no clutter in the background.  Since that’s the only thing we have to go on, make sure it’s the best possible representation of your work!
KB: Get good quality images of your work! If you can’t hire a professional take the time to educate yourself on how to get the best documentation possible. Make sure the images are well lit and cropped to give the best representation of your work.

Artist Statements

Denise M. Irwin
"Ungrounded 1-Amphora"

"Travels to Roman ruins in southern France as well as indigenous cultures of the American Southwest have informed my recent work.  Vessels have depicted the feminine throughout history and I have been exploring their depiction in art and culture. 

Whether seen as the human body or a man-made artifact, vessels accept, hold and preserve. As a classic symbol of the feminine, the vessel has been revered across cultures and time. When speaking about a clay vessel we talk about it as if it were a person. We use terms such as its foot, neck, belly, lip, shoulder and body.  My vessels take this anthropomorphism and accentuate the feminine form without overtly depicting it. I work to emphasize this beauty in the volume and movement of my forms.

But vessels also constrain and limit. Constrained by the family and the culture in which we live, our ability to see the possibilities in front of us is limited. We are shaped and misshapen by the expectations of those near us, our cultural beliefs, and our personal fears and aspirations.  With this in mind, my vessels reflect this constraint in their limited utilitarian functionality to hold liquids or solids."

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Kirsten Shannon
"I Feel Glorious"

"While I stand in front of a vast barren canvas, my bluetooth is crooning, the studio door is open, and I exhale.  This is the time I have set aside to make my mark.  I have had this color palate in mind for weeks and am filled with emotion.  There is a vibe of carefree ecstasy or a sentiment of melancholy worry.  Often it is Joy.  Somedays its the space in between.   I am inspired by the Peace that transcends and artists I admire.  Joe Bradley, Joan Mitchell come to mind and there are countless others.  I  want the work that I do to cause the viewer to feel those same feelings.  To make feelings tactile.  And I Feel Glorious and Worry Tic Tac Toe do that.  Through bold colors, confidently loose strokes, and paint as frosting, the viewer and I; we are free.  If even for a moment."

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Erin Raux
"Inhume"


 

"My work is an instinctive progression of gathering. I collect objects and sort them in order to associate them with my own memories and try to relate them to the viewer. Using a wide range of mainly domestic and mundane found objects, I explore their captivating qualities and sense of tactility in a manner that addresses humanity without utilizing the human form. I create meaningful object oriented installations surrounding topics of connection, death, history, and mourning, and in particular how our culture copes with these topics through nostalgia and object based memory.

Materials such as pantyhose and wax give the viewer a feeling of skin and body. By acquiring and uniting contrasting materials, a new identity is created. The original products I use achieve new meaning, and are the bridge between the viewer and the new ideas or questions I propose. Objects are physical proof of our lives, and therefore allow viewers to connect with the work by way of their existing, past, and fantasy relationships with ordinary things.  I seek to evoke a sense of loss, connection, memorialization, and wonder through inherently understated objects."

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Matthew Leahy

"My inspiration for the ‘Effigies’ series comes from multiple directions. My usual style is a very refined and carefully composed magical realism expressed in painting or drawing, which I approach from a meditative and introspective mindset. After I experienced a profoundly negative life event a few years ago, that ‘meditative place’ has been very difficult to find, and my output declined.

One of the more enjoyable opportunities offered to art students at Highland Community College (where I teach) is a monthly ‘First Friday extra credit’ artwork, which requires each participant to use a specific media, theme, or material. On the First Friday students hang their work in the hallway. Art department faculty often join in the fun as well. The first Effigy was born from this activity, which required that each person use a thin wooden Popsicle stick in the artwork somehow. 

The Effigies are liberating to some extent because they are removed from my typical artworks in form and method. Primitive and amusingly quaint aspects are drawn from my admiration of folk art. The Effigies’ naïve appearance, manipulation of simple materials, and incorporation of found objects allows me to tap creativity, randomness, and whimsicality again- all the while exhibiting my long-term fascination with the human subject or figure substitute."

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Ryan Howerton
"Nana Nana Boo Boo, Stick My Head In Du Du"

"This piece has to do with an inner struggle and how it can always seem like you're fighting with yourself and holding yourself back from being the best you can be, or reaching your goals. Although there is this more serious underlying meaning, I try to handle it in a comedic way much like I do with everything else in life."

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Torin Andersen
"Red Rocket Rover"

"The two works on display at City Arts represent a small part of larger series entitled ADVENTUREMOBILE.  These particular vehicles and the environment in which they’re found were directly inspired by my work and research into creating sound design for Patrick Duegaws recent “Pierced by Dogma” exhibition at the Ulrich Museum of Art.  In my quest to create a carnival-esque sonic atmosphere I ran across images of ferris wheels, roller coasters and even drew inspiration from the Kansas State fair grounds.  These ADVENTUREMOBILE watercolor paintings are meant to represent the varying lifestyles of those who choose to live life on the road.


 

Emily Brookover
The Broken Winter

Riney Fine Arts Center - Friends University
2100 W University Ave

Final Friday, October 27th
5:00pm - 7:00pm

 

Emily Brookover, the super amazing Artistic Director at CityArts, is exhibiting a new series of graphite drawings at the Riney Fine Arts Gallery at Friends University. Her drawings are calm and quiet and elegant. They are also masterfully drawn. They are often simple and minimalist and favor large areas of negative space. One drawing features a contour drawing of a hand holding a single leaf surround by a large field of white space. The leaf is drawn in a more photorealistic style. Other drawings verge more towards abstraction and hint at mountain filled landscapes or stormy skies. The shapes remind me of the swirling clouds and mountain forms in Georgia O’Keeffe’s work.

Emily won’t be present at the Riney Fine Arts Gallery on Final Friday because she will be doing the lords work at CityArts but she will be having an artist reception on Friday, November 3rd, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. 

Artist Q&A with Emily Brookover

When did you first begin creating art?
For as long as I can remember, I was making something – drawing, painting, writing, whatever. And I think I was making art long before I knew that’s what I was doing. I took some art classes in high school but I’m from a rural community and I didn’t see my first art museum until I was in college. My definition of “art” growing up was limited to Bob Ross and a few 19th century art history books. This was pre-internet, remember. Looking at my work now, I can absolutely see how my upbringing in southwest Kansas and my minimal exposure to traditional art has influenced me.  

Can you please describe your creative process?
This is tricky because I don’t really have a typical “process.” I see in images, if that makes sense. If I have a question or an idea or a story, I rarely have the words, but I can draw it. It’s my mode of communication. I think that is why my work inherently carries a sense of intimacy, because they truly are intimate.  I’m sorry I can’t elaborate – I’m not so good with words sometimes.

Who or what has been inspiriting you lately?
I draw an enormous amount of inspiration from nature – wildlife, plants, the sky, landscapes in general. My fiancé and I took a trip up to Wyoming a few months ago, I’d never been to that area, and I just absolutely fell in love. I was taking pictures and documenting everything! This new series of work definitely has moments from my trip.  I could go to a completely foreign landscape or bop out to the Flint Hills which I’ve been to a million times – it doesn’t matter.  As a wise woman once told me, when in need, return to the trees.

How has your role as the Artistic Director at CityArts influenced or inspired your own work?
Am I lucky, or what? I am surrounded by art every day at my job and that art changes every month! I mean, get outta here. It is amazing. I love seeing what all of the artists are doing. I love seeing their processes, how they handle presentation, their new materials. It’s constantly Christmas here. I can’t say I’ve been consciously influenced, but I’m sure it’s happening on some level. I’m definitely inspired every month by artists’ talent and work ethic and creativity.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
I love Spotify. Loooooove Spotify. Those daily mixes they do, just too much. And I have this playlist that is lamely titled “working” – I know, original – that I just add songs to regularly. John Craigie, Drive-By Truckers, Middle Brother, Gregory Alan Isakov all make appearances. If it has a sad sounding fiddle, I’m into it. It’s a rather depressing list of songs, but it gets me to where I need to go.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
My answer is going to be underwhelming and not very cool or hip. Surprise, surprise. I go home. I’m a homebody to my core. So when I need to recharge and regroup, I hunker down in my warm, wonderful home. I wish I could say something cool like a coffee shop or café but I can’t. Because it is my home I go to.


 

Brady Scott

Gallery Alley
616 E. Douglas Avenue

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

 

Brady Scott is a graphic designer, an illustrator, a painter, a muralist and banjo player. I first discovered Brady Scott’s incredible work in July of 2016 when he exhibited his paintings at Justin McClure Creative, a motion design studio based in Old Town. It was love at first sight. His paintings were bold and colorful and vibrating with energy. His portraits of Marlin Monroe and Biggie Smalls left a lasting impression. Brady skillfully juggles a wide variety of mediums and techniques including spray paint, airbrush and traditional drawing and painting techniques. His work is a wonderful mix of graffiti, cubism, pop art, and traditional American tattoo art. His work has an urban aesthetic but often depicts the flora and fauna of the midwest. It is common to see birds, bees, turtles, snakes, owls, coyotes, squirrels, buffalo and other prairie critters exploring a colorful sea of swirling lines and paint drips. His illustration style hovers in that mystical space between “realism” and “cartoony.” His illustrations of animals are rendered with smooth, realistic shading but he often exaggerates their features to create a more expressive and dynamic image. I’m a huge fan of Brady’s work and I highly encourage all of you to stop by the Gallery Alley on Final Friday to see his amazing paintings. Brady will also be doing some live painting during the event.

Artist Q&A with Brady Scott

When did you first begin creating art?
I’ve been making art my entire life. I can’t remember a time when I was not drawing, painting or making something.

What inspired you to create murals?
Murals are the best! You really have to bring your A game. The wall is never smooth. There is always some pipe or electrical line in the way. Crawling up and down a ladder, and getting the proportions right on a large scale can be super frustrating. However, there is nothing more invigorating than creating in the great outdoors in full view. Everyone who passes by becomes part of the process. People honk and stop to watch. I meet all kinds of people and hear so many interesting stories. There is nothing like it, and I honestly believe that this is OUR art movement. Street Art & Mural festivals are happening all over the planet and artists from all kinds of backgrounds are crafting incredible works of art on an amazing scale. Future generations will be reading about this time in the history books.

Can you please describe your creative process?
I start everything with rough sketches. I hated them when I was in school, but sketching out a composition and really developing an idea is crucial. I also love to research an idea. It’s important for me to wrap my head around an idea and to read back stories, browsing the google for imagery to reference my drawings and add authentic details to a piece. 

You use a wide variety of different mediums in your work including graphite, markers, acrylics, colored pencils and spray paint. What is your favorite medium to work with and why?
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have an amazing art instructor. Mrs. Robin Himes had us create in every medium under the sun and explore which one is best for a particular outcome. I love having that arsenal to draw upon to get the exact look or mark I am striving for. My current favorite and obsession is spray paint. It is one of the most difficult and unforgiving mediums, but it’s so fun and primal. There is no cheating or tricks in spray paint. If you don’t know what you are doing it is immediately noticeable. I’ve only been using it for 1.5 years, but I feel like a kid again every time. Learning new techniques and really finding that fire in my creative heart that has driven me to dedicate my life to being an artist.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
Dude! Everything. It is such an amazing time to be an artist. I feel humbled and inspired every time I get on Instagram and explore the amazing work that so many artists are creating out there. I also love nature and good stories. I walk outside every chance I get. Kansas is an awesome place to watch the weather change. I feel fortunate to live in an area that is so close to nature. I see wild turkeys, pheasants, hawks and deer all the time. There is nothing more inspiring than feeling that rush when you cross paths with a wild animal.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
Good tunes are crucial! I did’t spend allot of time in the studio this year though. I spent my summer traveling and painting murals. My top 3 have been anything by The Steel Drivers, Town Mountain and Rancid. The first 2 are more traditional fast, driving bluegrass bands and Rancid is one of my all time favorite punk rock bands. Those 3 bands always get me pumped up and excited to create. I also love just listening to the sounds of the city. If you turn the music down and listen, each city has it’s own unique audio footprint.

As winter approaches I will be spending more time in the studio and I absolutely LOVE audio books. Currently re-listening to “Land of Echoes” by Daniel Hecht. He writes some incredible ghost stories. I also recommend anything by James Lee Burke and Charles Fraizier.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
Spending time with my family is the perfect creative reset. My wife and I enjoy parking somewhere downtown and just walking the streets. There are so many good spots to grab a bite to eat, or a fresh cup of coffee and tool around downtown checking out the shops. I also love taking the kids to ice sport. I grew up ice skating ponds in rural Greenwood County, but it often doesn’t get cold enough now for the ice to freeze thick enough. Ice sport is a great spot to skate around and share those memories with my kiddos.


 

Richard Davies
"Fate" 

Reuben Saunders Gallery
3215 East Douglas Ave

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

 

Richard Davies is a masterful painter who employs classical techniques to create stunning paintings of people, places, and things. A common subject of his work is Wichita landmarks, many of which can be discovered along Douglas Ave. Familiar places like the Orpheum Theatre, Traditions Home, The Anchor, Mead’s Corner, The Bicycle X-Change, The Spice Merchant and many others are immortalized in expressive strokes of luscious oil paint. His paintings encourage you to take a closer look at those familiar places and develop a deeper appreciation for them.

Richard employs the same mastery of light, color and form when painting a bowl of fruit, a landscape or a portrait. He renders just enough detail to capture an accurate likeness of his subject but he allows his paintings to stay loose and expressive to give them more emotional impact. He is an incredible portrait painter. His portraits are vibrant and full of life. He captures the heart and soul of his subjects.

Richard is the real deal. Go see his wonderful work at the Reuben Saunders Gallery. 

Artist Q&A with Richard Davies

Can you please describe your creative process? 
My creative process is based on classical techniques. Because few people have the time to sit for portraits, I take source photos using bracketing to capture what no camera can capture. After getting accurate images, I create a drawing using proportional measurement. I adjust the drawing to better capture the emotion. Humans are very sensitive to the slightest changes in features, so I use micro changes to get what I want. I try to make the surface interesting, using beautiful marks that unify at a distance but are interesting up close. My landscapes and still lifes are similarly carefully orchestrated to achieve the exact emotion wanted. If the painting doesn’t work, I scrub it down and start over.

You’ve created several paintings of Wichita street scenes, what inspired you to create paintings of Wichita and how do you select the subjects of your paintings?
I paint our reality. Wichita is my reality. Every moment is a perfect moment where beauty, mystery, loneliness, or any emotion can be elicited in what T. S. Eliot calls objective correlative. Hopper achieved these feelings in his landscapes. 

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
Lately, I’ve been intrigued by Vincent Desiderio’s work. He uses unusual materials and explores difficult human emotions. 

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
I don’t listen to music. I’m pretty much entirely visual. When I do listen to something, it is lectures like the Yale Art History series, but mostly I listen to artist interviews on The Suggested Donation podcast.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
To renew myself, I like to take in a live theater production, one of Wichita’s hidden treasures. More visual artists should attend theater. Actors often attend openings and purchase local art. The Fisch Haus puts on theatrical performances on occasion, and they are wonderful!


 

IDOLOGY
Artist Cooperative

Vertigo 232 Art Gallery
232 N Market St

Final Friday, October 27th
6:00pm - 10:00pm

 

Idology is an artist cooperative founded in 2004 by David Christiansen, Chris Frank, Greg Johnson, Ted Krone, Ed Langston, Greg Turner and Mark Walker. This Final Friday Idology is hosting their 10th art exhibition “Not Too Old To Scratch The Itch” at the Vertigo 232 Art Gallery. They are joined by guest artists Margaret Sweeton and Tara Hufford Walker. It is an extraordinary feat for an artist cooperative to last 13 years without imploding or losing original members. This is a cause for celebration!

The exhibition features a wide variety of work including elaborate Celtic motifs by Margaret Sweeton, drip paintings by Chris Frank, pour paintings by Greg Johnson, brightly colored found object assemblages and paintings by Greg Turner and a delightful recreation of Pee Wee’s Playhouse by Tara Hufford Walker to make a few.

ALBUM REVIEW- Team Tremolo "Intruder"

Album Review by Torin Andersen Produced by William Erickson and Micajah Ryan Recorded at Air House Studios Engineered & Mixed by Micajah Ryan Mastered by JJ Golden at Golden Mastering Album Cover Photograph by Sam Salinas Album Cover Layout & Design by Kristyn Chapman Released August 29th, 2017 Listen/Download Bandcamp Apple Music Spotify

Album Review by Torin Andersen
Produced by William Erickson and Micajah Ryan
Recorded at Air House Studios
Engineered & Mixed by Micajah Ryan
Mastered by JJ Golden at Golden Mastering
Album Cover Photograph by Sam Salinas
Album Cover Layout & Design by Kristyn Chapman
Released August 29th, 2017

Listen/Download
Bandcamp
Apple Music
Spotify

Wasting no time getting to the weightiest of guitars, Intruder, the debut EP by Team Tremolo, makes like their forefathers, Hum, and break for a melodic verse.  Sung with a vulnerable flutter, Jenny Wood breaks the clouds of distorted guitars layered by songwriter and band founder William Erickson, guitarist Kristyn Chapman and additional guitarist Thayne Coleman.  “Slipping the Noose” starts the release seemingly melancholic and gives rise to an optimistic tone.  Bassist Caleb Drummond adds splashes of color to the dense walls of distorted guitar.

Heavily referencing early nineties shoegaze, but not stuck in the darker melodic themes of Grunge-Rock, Team Tremolo allows for occasional jubilation.  The soft/loud dynamic constructed by pioneers The Pixies and honed by their successors like Shiner, is evident on Intruder.  The low-tuned guitar dredge is noticeably inspired by the wonderful production on Failure’s 1996 release, Fantastic Planet

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The second song, but first single off Intruder, “The Waif” reveals more hook-laden vocals over a repeated chorus and outros with a thick, dissonant guitar architecture that builds tension while somehow simultaneously resolving.  Guitar melodies poke out of the corners and recede back into the walls, some fighting each other, others complimenting.

“Safe Intruder” starts like a Sunny Day Real Estate song and slowly crawls to some of the more tantalizingly produced vocals on Intruder.  Sounding both like a whisper and distant yell, Wood's vocals make way for slamming guitars and rise above the almost cement-like riffage.  "Safe Intruder" sounds like a typical pop arrangement, until the second chorus builds to the album's closest nod to Dinosaur Jr.  Dissonant and surprising, the bridge climax ultimately lands on a cloud of bass-driven melody, only to return to the main chorus.  The inventive songwriting provides a bed for some wonderful guitar production, but comes off a bit wanton.

“Blood Moon” Is intricately detailed and wonderfully orchestrated, making room for almost synth-pad-like guitar swelling over transient guitar trickles.  The most joyous sounding song overall, “Blood Moon” is a perfect canvas for Wood to design some of her most heart wrenching vocal melodies.  A Perfect Circle is a quick reference for most listeners over the age of thirty, but that would be selling this song short on representing Team Tremolo’s most unique song on Intruder.

Closing song, “Worship You”, seems to cull the whole of what Team Tremolo is aiming to provide and express to their audience.  The ambition is big and the payoff is wonderful.  Starting with gentle guitar work over ethereal vocals, the verse sounds like it was drawn from a Malkmus playbook and arranged specifically for Team Tremolo.  The set-up is genius, considering the amount of guard let down leading into the bridge.  The explosive and chunky guitar is both gratifying and bludgeoning.  The distortion fades and the final recall of the opening melody closes Intruder like that of a bedtime story—intimate and soothing.

Recorded at Air House Studios with Micajah Ryan and David Lord, Erickson worked closely with Ryan on the production of Intruder. Mastered by JJ Golden, this release will grab broad attention and will attempt to hold listeners by treating these guitar laden, darkly atmospheric songs with an ear keen to produce pop worthy hooks and melodies. Buy Intruder August 29th by any means you consume digital music.

PARKER'S PICKS - FINAL FRIDAY - AUGUST 25th, 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

 

Marc Bosworth

KMUW
121 N. Mead, Ste. 200

Final Friday, August 25th
6:00pm - 8:00pm

 

The faithful listeners of local NPR affiliate KMUW are well aware that Wichita has a thriving art scene because they have a kitchen cabinet full of KMUW coffee mugs adorned with art by Wichita artists. Twice a year, KMUW hosts a pledge drive to raise money so they can continue to bring you amazing programing like Strange Currency, All Things Considered, Science Friday, This American Life and Fresh Air. Since 2004, KMUW has been offering mugs and t-shirts designed by Wichita artists as pledge rewards. The KMUW Artist Series has become a cherished biannual tradition that has introduced KMUW listeners to 27 local artists. The featured artist for The Fall 2017 Pledge drive is Marc Bosworth. His artwork titled “My Happy Place” will be one of many incredible works by Marc Bosworth that will be on display at the beautiful KMUW office in Old Town this Final Friday. 

Bosworth is a painter and printmaker with a long history in the Wichita Art Scene. As a founding member of the Famous Dead Artists artist co-operative, he helped play a vital role in the creation of the Final Friday gallery crawl. He I also an art director at Greteman Group and teaches printmaking at Friends University. 

Bosworth’s work features overlapping layers of imagery and gritty textures. His work is inhabited by childlike doodles, floral patterns, technical diagrams, vintage comic book panels, maps, vintage cars, birds, airplanes and automobile parts. Marc’s work has always been nostalgic about childhood. The earthy colors and retro aesthetic often remind me of the idealized world depicted in 1950s advertising. A world where boys play baseball, read comic books and play with toy planes. A happy place where childhood never ends.

Go to KMUW this Final Friday and find out why Marc Bosworth is one of my favorite Wichita artists.  

ARTIST Q&A with Marc Bosworth
You created "My Happy Place" for KMUW’s 2017 fall pledge drive. What was the inspiration behind the artwork?
KMUW is a great source for news and information. But I began working on ideas for the art back in January, during the run-up to the inauguration, and the news and information of the moment was honestly dragging me down. So I really just found myself going to my happy place, wanting to use images of things that I love. And I think it makes sense, because despite the sometimes depressing news, I still think of KMUW as my happy place on the radio dial.

Can you please describe your creative process?
I generally start with only the gist of an idea, put something down, look at it and think about it, put something else down… It’s a complicated dance of planning and spontaneity, trying to keep it fresh without allowing the whole thing to collapse into absolute chaos. It goes on like this until I decide it’s finished. The important thing is to allow unexpected things to happen along the way, because I’m most happy with a piece that has a lot of mystery in it, even for me.

You often use found materials and collage in your work. Where do you go to hunt for these materials and what are you looking for when you are on the prowl for collage materials?
I love garage sales, estate sales and flea markets. I have a great library of old maps, comic books, home-repair manuals and elementary school textbooks. In fact, I’m at a point where I need to either stop acquiring things, or make more art.

How has being a graphic designer/art director influenced your work as a fine artist?
I think it’s an important way of keeping me in tune with the latest trends, especially in this day and age where art, design and technology are so interrelated. My extremely knowledgeable and talented colleagues really keep me on my toes.

Who or what has been inspiring you lately? 
Since we bought our house about 12 years ago, I’ve been trying to maintain some semblance of an acceptable yard. In doing that I’ve become more aware of and interested in plants, flowers and trees. That, in turn, has made me more aware of the cycles of the seasons and how a changing climate affects everything around us. Those flowers and trees have been showing up in my art more and more. 

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
Earlier this year, I splurged and bought Ryan Adam’s Prisoner, the Old 97s’ Graveyard Whistling and Son Volt’s Notes of Blue, which all came out about the same time. I like a lot of different kinds of music, but these three great albums have recently kept me focused on alt-country (or Americana, or whatever the kids are calling it these days.)

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
Lately it’s been the WAM. I live just a few blocks away, so I don’t really have any excuses about getting over there to peruse what’s on view on a regular basis. They’ve been doing a great job lately with both the programming in the galleries and the variety of other activities they’re offering.

Bonus question - What is your favorite program on KMUW and why?
I really like Jedd Beaudoin’s Strange Currency. For me, it’s the right mix of old, familiar tunes, new music by my favorites, and a lot of music by bands I’ve never heard before.


 

Kacy Meinecke
  There's No Place Like...

Kacy Meinecke Photography
100 S Market Suite 101

Final Friday, August 25th
7:00pm - 10:00pm

 

Kacy Meinecke is a local photographer specializing in corporate and executive photography. Kacy was voted “Best Photographer” in The Wichita Eagle 2016 Readers’ Choice competition. Many of you might know Kacy for her monthly “Portrait Day” charity events where she uses her incredible photography skills to raise money and awareness for local non-profit organizations like Heartspring, ICT Trees, ICT S.O.S., and The Sedgwick County AFSP. For only $10 you can help support a local non-profit and get a really amazing photograph of yourself by the amazing Kacy Meinecke. I not only admire her incredible photography skills and her charitable spirit, but I also greatly admire the positive energy and enthusiasm she brings to everything she does. Kacy does everything big and bold and colorful. Her first Final Friday exhibition is no exception. The exhibition will showcase ten 40x60” photographic prints which tell a story about a girl running away from home. 

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ARTIST Q&A with Kacy Meinecke
What inspired you to pick up a camera and become a photographer?

My inspiration to do photography actually came from my Grandma Sherry in Topeka. She was an expert gardener in her day and also an avid Canon shooter. I got my first Canon 35mm when I was 17 and started exploring my options way back when. I also knew so many talented friends in photography straight out of high school that it was a no brainer for me to join that crowd.

What is the inspiration behind the There’s No Place Like… series?
The Inspiration behind There's No Place Like... came from that constant working artists' struggle. I recently traveled to Scotland for work and while I was there I just kept constantly saying in my head how nice it would be to just drop everything and go, or in that case stay there. Freeing my brain from all of the constant stress of working 60 hours a week. Being constantly bombarded with phone calls and messages made me so anxious and tired of the barrage of people who needed me. When I returned though, there's something about Wichita, and being home that no feeling can replicate. So I decided to create that feeling in print (or at least tried to anyway). And, I just really, really adore vintage things in general. Having this out of my brain, and on a large format, really helped in a cathartic, therapeutic way.

How does your work as a commercial photographer influence or inspire your personal work?
This is a great question! Now it mostly completely influences me to create, and create well. Working on commercial work is the BEST decision I have made, albeit it's hard work. It is demanding in a completely different way, and usually clients have a very specific vision that you are trying to replicate vs being hired specifically to use your creative mind and have free reign on said vision. It has very much enhanced my detailed orientation on every aspect of photography, because there's a higher standard held for all images to be perfect. In a way, I believe that it forced me to start creating for myself in a way I never had the balls to do. Because I am so tied up in client work in the corporate sector, I HAVE to start doing these "brain children" of mine, or I will go crazy. There was a quote I heard recently: "I create to not become mad." And that is the fuckin' truth.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
Lately? Definitely lots of things: working too much, Tyler Shields, all of this crazy political crap going on, young artists and entrepreneurs in Wichita going HARD even with obstacles, the community of photographers (in both a good and bad way), and, believe it or not, my top two have been traveling and concerts. For some reason this year I have traveled more miles than I ever have, and it has opened my eyes on so many things. Culture, community and the pace in which a city breathes has me getting the goosebumps skin in a great way. Concerts, man, there's something about a live band that has always pushed me to keep hustling hard, whether that performance is in front of a crowd of 15 people or 15,000. Seeing musicians in their element always has that effect on me.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
OOOOH, man. I am pretty sure everyone in Wichita knows that I have been listening to After Laughter by Paramore in the studio every day. But, I think some surprises would be that I've also been running the new Manchester Orchestra ragged, plus a hoppy power punk band called Openside out of New Zealand. Another girl band out of LA whom I love is Bleached. Also Science Fiction by Brand New. That one I am still trying to figure out whether it's on my Deja Entendu level of like or The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me level. I feel that with the resurgence of all of our favorite emo bands touring again (like it's 2006 all over again), I've been brought back to college. And occasionally on days when Emo/pop Punk isn't cutting it, I've got to go old school rap.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
Since I am centrally located, I do a morning stop at Espresso to Go Go, and a mid afternoon at 86 Cold Press. Seeing the locals daily always helps to keep me on my toes. I really like a bike-by of all of the fantastic murals that have been set up throughout the area too. When I am feeling particularly dull and lacking inspiration though, the rooftop of the parking garage by my office, or exploring the beautiful half decrepit abandoned buildings downtown. There's a great deal to learn about the past of Wichita whether in photographs of old Douglas St, abandoned skyscrapers and historic buildings full of decay, versus where we are headed as a city. THAT & Final Fridays of course. When I get to see other people busting their ass, producing some of the greatest local art I've seen, that will always top the cake.

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Kevin Mullins
   The Long and the Short and the Tall

CityArts
334 N Mead St

Final Friday, August 25th
6:00pm - 8:00pm

 

Kevin Mullins creates his paintings using a combination of painting and serigraphy (screen printing). His work is about repetition and process. His work features repeated patterns and overlapping layers of shapes, colors and textures. Sometimes these patterns take the form of floral imagery reminiscent of wallpaper patterns. Sometimes the patterns are repeated across several paintings with slight variations in color or composition. The work is both mechanical and organic. A sea of ben-day dots and crisp geometric patterns contrast against faded auras of color. The paintings appear to be eroding away like an old metal sign left outside to battle the elements. It appears that the layers are fading away to reveal the many layers below. Kevin isn’t throwing and dripping paint. You won’t see bold expressive brushstrokes. He isn’t using paint like an abstract expressionist would. But if you are curious what that may look like I would suggest checking out David Reed’s work, whom Kevin has often cited as an influence. Reed’s work is similar in terms of composition, medium and format but his work looks like a painting. Reed’s work is more painterly. You see the artist’s hand. You see the strokes and drips and splatters. Kevin’s goal is to create something beautiful that appears to be untouched by human hands. I think Reed’s work helps demonstrate Kevin’s success at accomplishing this task. Go see his beautiful and incredibly well crafted work at CityArts on Final Friday. And don’t forget to check out the 3 other exhibitions on display at CityArts. colorGrok by David Danao in the Main Hall Gallery, Edit by Desiree Warren in the Balcony Gallery and Meandering by Adri Luna in the Boardroom Gallery. Just take the elevator or the stairs to the 2nd floor to see the shows in the Balcony Gallery and Boardroom Gallery. 

ARTIST Q&A with Kevin Mullins
Can you please describe your creative process?
My work is a combination of painting and screen printing. My desire is to produce pieces that are beautiful and unclear as to how they are made. The Renaissance notion of “untouched by human hands” is very important to me. I usually start with a simple idea in mind and work in series, meaning numerous pieces of the same theme. Currently, this is trying to replicate information passing through the ether of radio transmission and making it visual. There are two pieces in the show titled “Traffic to Follow”, and there are four 2x8” paintings in the works from the same series. The title means that you are signaling that more information is about to be communicated via the radio. How would that look?

Serigraphy has been your primary medium for many years. What inspired you to begin using serigraphy in your work?
Throughout my education I have always studied both painting and printmaking. In the late 80’s I realized that the paintings I was trying to produce, the look I was after, could best be accomplished by printing on the painting. Both disciplines meshed. My prints looked like paintings and my paintings looked like prints. Having worked in the commercial printing industry taught me how to print on anything.

Your work often features repeating patterns and shapes that are often reminiscent of wallpaper or textile patterns. What inspired you to use these types of patterns?
Coming of age in the 60’s, and first studying at a college that was very Bauhaus-orientated in philosophy made me very interested in Utopian societies. Also I grew up very close to the Oneida Community, another utopian society.  The Arts and Craft movement was another, and their production of design work that was a synthesis of nature, in essence an abstraction of nature appealed to me.  Also, in the early 70’s I began practicing Transcendental Mediation…. a few years after the Beatles (who I saw at Shea Stadium in 1966). Meditation is all about repetition.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?
Every summer we return home to escape some of the summer heat.  This year we went to MASS MoCA and the work by Anselm Kiefer, “Narrow are the Vessels”, “Velimir Khlebnikov” and “Les Femmes de la Revolution” was one of the most profound installations I have ever seen. The work deals with themes that that interest me — history from the 1930’s and the Second World War. The wonderful thing is that this doesn’t inform my work but encourages me to simply make more work. Paintings of “Das Boot" — unbelievable.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
During the season its Royals on the Radio but on off nights The Kinks’ The Village Green Preservation Society, Ray Davies' Other People's Lives and Donovan’s Barabajagal.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
Lawrence Dumont Stadium. 

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Julius DC Bautista
   APEX

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

Final Friday, August 25th
6:00pm - 10:00pm

 

Julius DC Bautista, a Chicago based painter, is visiting Wichita to exhibit some of his incredible portrait paintings at the HUE Gallery of Contemporary Art. His work reminds me of other great contemporary portrait painters like Phil Noto, Kent Williams, Andrew Salgado and Jonathan McAfee. Like those artists, Julius mixes expressionistic brushwork with a pop art sensibility. His brushwork is loose and expressive. His colors are bold. His compositions are filled with stars, ben-day dots, emojis, word balloons and other artifacts of pop culture. Many of his paintings feature the same type of bold and expressive line art that you might see in modern comic book illustrations. You can also see some anime/manga influence in his work. His work is a collision of many different influences and styles, but he balances these elements to create very dynamic and compelling portraits. His work is a delicious stew. This is a must see exhibit. 

A Statement from Julius DC Bautista
Hello everyone! My name is Julius Bautista, and I'll be coming in from Chicago to meet with you all at our opening at HUE Gallery.

Being a Chicago resident, I don't currently know many of you over in Wichita, so I thought I'd share some of my background with you in the coming weeks.

Though much of my visual focus has been on aesthetics and theories of design, psychology has been central to the motivation behind the thematics of work. The ways in which I explore the relationship between the heart and the mind are heavily based in the creation of tension between values on myriad layers, visually and conceptually.

It's as much about conflict as it is resolution. After all, conflict is something we face every day, every hour, every moment. We're constantly making decisions, willingly, consciously, or otherwise. At times, it can be overwhelming. Yet, we always reach a point of catharsis in resolution. And we press onwards.

I look forward to speaking with you all. Share the word about our opening night, and thank you!


 

Dustin Parker & Hannah Scott
   Crazy Face

Demo.
617 W Douglas Ave

Final Friday, August 25th
6:00pm - 10:00pm

 

***Editor's Note***
Dustin Parker is too modest to mention his own show with Hannah Scott tonight at DEMO, so it's up to me to tell you NOT TO MISS IT! Their show is titled Crazy Face and it features brand new works of art from both of them. I highly suggest you make this show a "MUST SEE". These two are incredibly talented.   - Kevin Wildt

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."

Carolynn Shultz.jpg

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.