There has been a lot of performance art in Wichita lately: ProjectvRunaway for WSU Shift Space, George Ferrandi with Harvester Arts, and The Bridge Club brought in by the Ulrich Museum.
For those who may not "get" performance art, you are far from alone. But let me offer this brief explanation: Performance artists craft experiences, instead of paintings or sculptures. It is ephemeral, and while there may be photographic documentation, viewing images and experiencing the performance are two separate things.
This is the final weekend for the exhibition FREE TEXTS by Stephanie Syjuco at the Ulrich Museum.
Syjuco is a recent recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and her solo exhibition proves that the re-conceptualized Ulrich Underground is a perfect space for experimentation and contemporary artistic talent.
More than 40 years have passed since the beginning of the modern graffiti movement, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Heightened security in train yards, and technological innovations such as graffiti-proof paints and metals, have moved the scene from subways to the streets. The first writers have either disappeared, or moved their craft from the streets to the art gallery. And an entire generation has grown up in a world that has always had graffiti showing up somewhere in their cities.
On Commerce Street, you can find a number of art galleries, but there is one that I would even hesitate to call a “gallery.” It’s really a restoration workshop with a space for art up front.
The garage-slash-art space seems an unlikely pairing, but every time I walk into Go Away Garage, I’m impressed by either the quality of craftsmanship in the art or the quality of the presentation. Last Final Friday, I was impressed by both.
Or, more specifically, The Great Wall has a graffiti problem.
It’s not really surprising that people have visited the Great Wall for centuries and left their names etched into the bricks—it’s what people do. The Chinese approach to managing this graffiti may be more clever than functional, but it does suggest that we don’t always need buckets of grey paint.
For February’s Final Friday, Fisch Haus hosted a multi-media, interpretative art installation they called Shattered Telephone. The concept is a blend of the grade-school game "Broken Telephone" and, of similar structure, the Surrealist poetic technique called "Exquisite Corpse."
Fisch Haus’ event expanded these ideas to include actors, dancers, artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, video artists, storytellers and a stenographer for big, Michael Bay-esque creative explosions.
America has had a fascination with hobos and hobo culture for nearly as long as these folks have been hitching rides on trains.
The myth of the hobo, like so many other myths, is far more romantic than the reality, but the idealization of the hobo as an essential American character is nonetheless solidly entrenched in much of our music, film and art.
Wichita is full of amazing public art that gives our city character. It belongs to all of us. And when it is vandalized, it hurts. It hurts emotionally, financially and it hurts the culture of our city.