Art Review

Nadya Faulx

I attended Sedgwick County’s budget proposal meeting on Monday, and it was sobering. Chief Financial Officer Chris Chronis laid out the proposed budget, and it’s clear the county is focused on debt reduction and funding what they call “core” functions, like roads and bridges. They are not interested in taking loans, or bonding, or increasing revenues.

The Wichita Art Museum currently has an exhibition of five local artists called Art’s Pure Voice: Abstraction in Wichita. The title is lifted from artist and educator Hans Hofmann.

I am wary of the word “pure” in the title. “Purity” for Hofmann, and art critic Clement Greenberg, was a specific notion in Modernist thought that promoted specific criteria for art. Artists then eventually turned purity into plurality, which marked the transition from Modernism to Postmodernism. The five artists included in the show are Postmodern artists.

Jose Alvarado / Ulrich Museum of Art

    

When was the last time you saw an art show? I mean really saw. 

courtesy of the artist

  

The Wichita Art Museum recently opened three spotlight exhibitions: Liza Lou Gather (one million), Stuart Allen: Kansas, Low Resolution and Shawn Decker: Prairie. I expected these shows were going to be housed in three separate galleries, but all are installed in the museum’s large second floor gallery.

Harvester Arts

I have lived in Wichita for nearly five years and never been to Riverfest. I’ve never really wanted to go - until this year. And there is a major reason why.

Lamphouse Photo Co.

Some of my most treasured photographs come from two local photo booths: Lamphouse Photo Co. and Linnebur & Miller. These are two distinctly different operations, but both provide unconventional experiences for truly remarkable photographs.

Lindsey Herkommer DeVries

With April’s Final Friday came the opening of Fisch Haus’s women’s invitational XX/7. Originally, the show began with the selection of five female artists, all Wichita-based.

From there, each artist selected the next, and then that artist selected the next, creating a curatorial structure of chance encounters.

Paris-based Dorthée Davoise fractures stone in her Untitled black and white collages of outcroppings, and crystallizes new geological forms - as if distilling memory - on a pristine white pages.

Lindsey Herkommer DeVries

    

March Final Friday was incredible! Yet, there was one show that people raved about, The Six Machinations of Art Expo at Diver Studio—and for good reason.

The exhibition was put on by: Brady Hatter, Nam Le, Mike Miller, Chiyoko Myose and the ever-enigmatic Linnebur & Miller.

Brady’s giant spider robot with 8-foot legs captivated audiences, and will later be installed at Shocker Hall. Playful sculptures like An Alternate to Biology - Wasps on Parade tickled the tops of peoples’ heads, making them squee and smile.

 

If you’ve been to the Wichita Art Museum to see the daguerreotype exhibition Photographic Wonders but did not go downstairs, you missed a significant show.

Typically, WAM does a call-and-response structure with the main attraction upstairs and a response show downstairs. But this response show, Five Alchemists: Contemporary Photographers Explore 19th-century Techniques, marks three important landmarks for WAM:

wichita.gov

I attended the Mayoral Candidate Forum hosted by The Arts Council last week, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what happened.

With few exceptions, the mayoral candidates leave much to be desired when it comes to their understanding of the arts.

The candidates discussed art as: an education issue, a funding issue, a branding issue, a worker retention issue, or a tourism and entertainment issue. This is all art in the service of another cause, which is not inherently bad, just misguided – especially for the audience sitting across from them.

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