October Final Friday holds in store two incredible one-night-only shows that should not be missed. The first is at Diver’s Studio with a show titled Watch and Adsorb. That is adsorb with a “d” – a scientific word that refers to a surface-based process of molecules adhering together. This limitless process of surface tension sets the perfect tone for the work of James Porter and his collaborators, Franklin Ackerly and Texas artist Jeff Wheeler, for their Kansas debut exhibition.
Their collaborative pieces are a melding of art icons, Americana symbols, West Texas landscapes, 1960s hair and Dada text held in tension, like molecules, on the surface of the page. The process of collaboration is initiated by one artist inscribing an image on a page. The work is then mailed to the other, where additions and augmentations are made. This mailing back-and-forth continues until the work is complete. The result is a pastiche with distinct yet harmonious visual vocabularies that deliver a narrative of social commentary.
The second show is Secret Identities, a co-curated endeavor by Brad Ruder of Tangent Lab and Dustin Parker. Utilizing a vacant retail space in Old Town, Parker and Ruder have assembled more than 20 Wichita artists, mostly graphic designers, with work inspired by comic books. Andrew Stephens, Bob Burdette, Lauren Fitzgerald, Wade Hampton, and several others contribute to the wide variety of graphic styles with subject matter that spans familiar beloved super heroes to more obscure sources of graphic illustration.
These are the two hot spots for Final Friday. Both are must-see exhibitions. If you have to choose one, choose wisely because after Final Friday, they’re gone.