Early January always holds such great optimism. A new year. A fresh start. A clean slate. This fades of course as the daily grind, well, grinds away. But until then, reveling in the newness of the year feels great. And with this excitement, I look to what Wichita has in store for the arts in 2013.
This Final Friday, Go-Away Garage on South Commerce offers the show The Function of Form: New Works by Emily R. Brookover. The show is an eclectic collection of intimate drawings small enough to be doodles-- but they are so highly rendered, it would be a shame to call them that.
As family comes into town for the Thanksgiving holiday, show them the creative side of Wichita. Many of the city’s museums will keep normal business hours next week-- except for the holiday itself-- which gives Wichitans a chance to show off their city.
On Friday, the Wichita Art Museum debuts a new series of events they’re calling “Art Chatter.” In collaboration with WAM Contemporaries and the Young Professionals of Wichita, this event offers a fresh way to learn about projects, happenings, and current thoughts on the local art scene. It’s a renewed effort to make the museum a dynamic place for the community; a place that reflects the range of creative spirits in Wichita.
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.
Wichita State University Contemporary Art History Professor Dr. Royce Smith has organized and curated a small, yet potent show titled, Response to Provocation: Living Memoirs of the Culture Wars. Installed in the McKnight Art Center at WSU, this is a mature-themed show that draws connections between the Culture Wars of the 1990’s and today’s on-going social and cultural debates. The University serves as the ideal environment to have these productive discussions.
The Ulrich Museum exuberantly reopened last weekend with a refreshed space that may appear the same, but is actually full of major upgrades that really make the space feel polished. But the delight of the Ulrich reopening begins well before entering the gallery space.
The Ulrich’s huge yarn bomb effort can been seen campus-wide and is a tremendous success. Even though I was skeptical about the concept of sanctioned graffiti, this project convinced me that yarn bombing, authorized or not, will always be delightful.
The art world tends to lull during the summer. But around this time, as (hopefully) cooler temperatures approach, that lull grows into quiet anticipation as the museums, galleries, and other art institutions begin to turn up the heat with heavy-hitting fall exhibitions.
As Wichita enters into the fall season, there are some changes to the local art scene. Regrettably, some key contemporary art galleries have lost their spaces, most notably Tangent Lab and NakedCity Gallery.