Curt Clonts

Art Commentator

Curt Clonts was raised in Wichita, Kansas. He left in 1977 for Los Angeles where he spent time surfing, making art, and immersing himself in the punk music scene. He then moved to Okinawa, Japan, where he met, married his wife, Taeko, and they had the first of their three children. After leaving Japan Curt moved with his family to New Orleans where he started the monthly punk rock musical publication Public Threat, and also created and sold art. Curt then took a job in the coffee business in Dallas, Texas, where he also made and sold his art. After a move to El Paso, Texas, Curt then decided to relocate his family to his hometown of Wichita where they have lived since 1991.

After moving back to Wichita, Curt founded the College Hill Coffee Company, which he eventually sold. He then began to paint and create art on a daily basis. Curt became a member of Wichita's Famous Dead Artists (a Wichita art co-op). He founded Art Soup in which he would curate art exhibitions featuring working artists of the '90s. He co-founded The Tractor Factory, one of the seminal art studio/exhibition sites in Wichita's explosive '90s art scene. Curt also regularly contributed articles on art and music for Wichita alternative newspapers SEEN and F5.

In 2006 Curt became the Artist-In-Residence at Friends University and held this position until 2013. He also founded The Ginger Rabbits arts co-op during this time. Articles on Curt have been featured in The New Orleans Times-Piccayune, The Dallas Morning News, The Wichita Eagle, Juxtapose Magazine, and Punk Globe Magazine, among others.

Curt's art is included in the collections at the Wichita Art Museum, Emprise Bank, Center for the Arts, and many personal collections.

Curt paints daily in his College Hill home studio while listening to music at blaring decibels. He exhibits his work on a regular basis. He enjoys scotch, cooking, collecting art and books, grandchildren, and having regular coffee and discussing art with artist friends. He has a disdain for politicians, broccoli, and spending any money with national chains. He avoids telephone conversations at almost any cost.

"Pierced By Dogma" is the name of painter Patrick Duegaw's exhibition currently on view at the Ulrich. Upon entering the show of Duegaw self-portraits, I found what is, essentially, the artist stripped bare.

Kelsy Gossett is off like a Saturn Five rocket with her new exhibition called "For Your Viewing Pleasure" at The Diver on Commerce Street.

People sometimes ask me how I make some of my paintings.

Last Final Friday was colossal. There were wonderful events happening all over the city and artists and collectors were out in full force.

The late artist Robert Smithson said that "Cultural confinement takes place when a curator imposes his or her own limits on an art exhibition, rather than asking an artist to set his or her own limits."

Curt Clonts

"I want to collect art, but I can never afford it!"

I hear this from frustrated folks all the time. Tight budgets can get in the way of art purchases, but there are other ways!

Surely by now you have purchased and are flying your Wichita flag! You feel the current and see how we, the Wichita people, are on fire and looking out for our city's growth and welfare. I hope you share these facts with your out-of-town friends as well.

Wichita Art Museum

Author Sondra Langel wrote the recent book Wichita Artists In Their Studios. The book of colorful photos and crisp essays features 50 Wichita-based artists and the studios in which they each create. The popular book is a great tribute to just 50 of the many great, hard-working artists in Wichita.

Wichita Art Museum Director Patricia McDonnell had the idea to invite each of the 50 artists featured in Ms. Langel's book to collectively curate an exhibition. 

A painter wishes to take a subject matter, render that image, and then capture the viewer. But when a painter can make the viewer truly pause and soak the image up while considering deeper meanings and feelings, the painter has become--or at least is on the road to becoming--a master. And this is a rare thing.

Jordan Kirtley


Jordan Kirtley has made me proud.

She has taken her WSU art degree, earned in 2013,  and put it to work here in Wichita with an exhibit on City Art's 2nd floor.

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