Cosmos Indian Store & Cafe to celebrate new sculpture

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A ribbon-cutting will be held to celebrate a new sculpture at Cosmos Indian Store & Cafe, with free henna art offered to community members who attend.

Lead artist Mona Cliff, artist assistant Kaushika Panchal and concrete chair builder Matt Bellomy created the sculpture, according to an email from People’s Markets Program Project Coordinator Connie Fiorella Fitzpatrick. Store owner Amrutha Ravikumar thought of the idea to make the sculpture a chair.

Cliff is a multidisciplinary artist who explores contemporary Native American identity through use of traditional Native crafting methods like seed bead embroidery and fabric appliqué, according to the Kansas Department of Commerce website. Locally, she also recently participated in a temporary exhibition called Roadside Inappropriations and completed a mural in East Lawrence. 

Panchal, who’s a Kansas City-based henna artist, used a henna cone to assist in creating the sculpture, Fiorella Fitzpatrick said. Rather than use henna dye, she chose to use acrylic paint.

“[Panchal] is truly bringing her culture to public art,” Fiorella Fitzpatrick said. “It is beautiful.” 

Robert Hicks/Contributed Photo Artist assistant Kaushika Panchal works on a new sculpture for Cosmos Indian Store & Cafe. Panchal makes use of a henna cone with acrylic paint.

The event is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 30 at Cosmos Indian Store & Cafe, 3115 W. Sixth St., Suite H, in Lawrence. The three artists and the store owners will cut the ribbon at approximately 5:30 p.m. Panchal will offer free henna art to attendees as part of the event.

The sculpture is in conjunction with the People’s Markets Program, an initiative in which artists are paired with local retailers to highlight “diverse Culinary Arts through prerecorded cooking demonstrations using ingredients found at these retailers,” according to the Kansas Chamber of Commerce website.

Other retailers participating in the People’s Markets Program include African Caribbean Grocery, Mediterranean Market & Cafe, La Estrella Tienda Mexicana and F-Mart Asian Market

Kaushika Panchal/Contributed Pho There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate a new sculpture at Cosmos Indian Store & Cafe, Friday, June 30, 2023.

Note: This post has been corrected from a previous version.

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Caroline Zimmerman (she/her) interned for The Lawrence Times in May – August 2023. She has also covered crime and public safety for the University Daily Kansan, and the Eudora City Commission for the Eudora Times.

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