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.