Spencer Museum of Art invites community to see renovated spaces, featured artists

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Spencer Museum of Art is celebrating its freshly renovated space and new exhibits with a party on Saturday.

The theme of the party is Level Up!: a play on words highlighting the upper levels that will showcase four new exhibitions composed of several artworks by women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists. 

The Level Up! theme also plays homage to video games, aligning with the game-centric interactive art that will be on display.

Museum staff consulted local groups including B.LA.C.K. Lawrence, a collective of local Black artists, for insight on selecting and arranging the new exhibits. 

Spencer finished installing the new galleries in the fall and wanted to open once the weather was warmer, said Elizabeth Kanost, Spencer Museum’s director of external affairs. She is excited for people to experience the “dramatic changes” to the exhibits and architecture. 

“We’re hopeful to get a lot of people, maybe some who’ve never been to the museum,” Kanost said. “… It’ll be a really exciting time because these galleries will look a lot different than what people are used to.” 

Spencer enacted the changes to better serve audience needs, Kanost said. Museumgoers will be able see the fourth-floor renovations, which include an additional study center designed to enhance user engagement.

Keeping accessibility in mind, Spencer Museum installed a new study room. The study room will be open to anyone who wants to use it, to sit and think or just take a rest, Kanost said.

A new study room is visible through a glass wall in the Spencer Museum. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Waggoner, © Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas)

Kanost is eager to share and celebrate these transformed spaces with the public.  

“I am most excited for people to experience these transformed spaces and be inspired by something they view,” she said.”I want people to feel welcome in these spaces.” 


Artists including Tweesna Rose Mills, Alex Kimball Williams, Anthony Boynton and more will be featured throughout the day. Kimball Williams will also facilitate cut-up poetry for attendees to compose their own poems, according to an Instagram post from B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence.

The event, set for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday (March 4) at 1301 Mississippi St., is free to attend. Parking anywhere but the garages will be free.

In addition, JBs Tacos will have their food truck out front and people can come into the museum to get a voucher for food, Kanost said.

“We would love for people to know that not only is this event free, but visiting the museum is always free for everyone, not just KU students and faculty,” Kanost said. The museum’s regular hours are listed on its website, spencerart.ku.edu.

Here’s a full program:


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Chansi Long (she/her) reported for The Lawrence Times from July 2022 through August 2023. Read more of her work for the Times here.

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