Lawrence Arts Center to celebrate three new exhibitions with reception Friday

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The Lawrence Arts Center will debut three new art galleries this Friday with themes covering race, culture, heritage and Hank Williams.

The three displays will all kick off with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8 and remain displayed until Oct. 21.

One of the displays, “In This Body, I Persevere,” was curated by Blanca Herrada, exhibitions coordinator for the arts center. It includes works from 12 artists who identify as BIPOC and whose art showcases their lived racial and cultural experiences across America. 

The exhibition showcases a wide variety of artistic processes, encompassing printmaking, painting, sculpture, and performance-based creations.

Blanca Herrada / Contributed image “In this Body, I Persevere”

According to the Lawrence Arts Center website, the exhibition “testifies to the courage of the artists to explore and share their experiences while living in a world that consistently contradicts, exploits, and denies the lives and lived experiences of BIPOC people.”

Participating artists include Summer Brooks, Mona Cliff, Dadisi Curtis Jr., Josie Del Castillo, Hiromi Iyoda, Matthew Kirk, Chandler Martin, Jada Patterson, Joey Quiñones, Mei Lam So, José Villalobos, and Pablo Villicana Lara, according to the website. 

Herrada will give an INSIGHT Curator Art Talk at 7 p.m. Sept. 28. The exhibit will also include a performance piece, “El Agua Que Nos Carga,” by José Villalobos, at 2 p.m. Oct. 7.

Another exhibition turns its attention to the history and legend of the renowned musician Hank Williams. Curated by program director Ben Ahlvers, each participating artist delves into Williams’ life story and musical legacy to craft their unique artworks.

This Hank Williams tribute, aptly named “Lonesome: Hank Williams’ 100th,” celebrates what would have been the artist’s 100th birthday on Sept. 17.

The Lawrence Arts Center website describes the event by saying that “Much of the mystique and interpretation of Williams has grown over the 70 years since his death. The participating artists in this exhibition are each exploring the work and mythology of Hank Williams.”

Blanca Herrada / Contributed image “Lonesome: Hank Williams’ 100th”

Participating artists include Ash Atterberry, Alessandro Gallo, Ellen Greene, Maggy Rozycki Hiltner, David Hughes, Michael Krueger, Max Kuhn, Keenan Nichols, Stephen Powers, Bruce Lee Webb, and Wayne White, according to the website.

Ahlvers and country music historian Patrick Huber will both give INSIGHT Art Talks, set for 7 p.m. Sept. 12 and Oct. 2, respectively. 

The exhibit also includes a tribute concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29. The concert is a ticketed event; find more information at this link.

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In the front gallery of the arts center, a young Indigenous Mexican artist named Osbaldo Gonzalez-Reyes will be featured.

Gonzalez-Reyes’s exhibit, “Ma an Tsabāl- Desde la Tierra- From the Earth,” showcases his clay creations. He digs and processes his clay from deposits across Kansas.

“He makes his pieces using coil and scrape hand-building techniques. He decorates his pieces with clay slips and mineral paints,” according to the website. “Afterward, they are fired outdoors in a traditional adobe kiln or a pit fire.”

Blanca Herrada / Contributed image “Ma an Tsabāl – Desde la Tierra – From the Earth”

His artwork draws inspiration from his family’s heritage and his upbringing as the child of immigrant parents in Kansas. His family originates in the Huasteca region of Mexico.

“Using locally dug Kansas clay and employing traditional techniques to make his pieces, Osbaldo feels connected to both lands that shape his identity,” the website states. 

Gonzalez-Reyes will give an INSIGHT Art Talk at 7 p.m. Oct. 19. 

All three galleries will also be celebrated during a Final Friday reception set for 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. All events will be held at the arts center, 940 New Hampshire St.

Visit the arts center’s website, lawrenceartscenter.org, for more information about all three exhibits and more.

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