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

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

334 N Mead St

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

334 N Mead St

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.