2014 Nearly Spring at the Free State Brewery (Lawrence, KS) I was commissioned to make this mosaic mural for the front stairwell of the Free State Brewery (downtown) in Lawrence, Kansas. Red-winded Blackbirds, crows, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, the Kansas landscape, cattails going to seed, and water are visual elements in the mosaic. I used broken ceramic dishes, donated tiles, rocks, shells and hardware to make the mosaic. I adhered these materials to panels with mortar and then grouted. While not a community mural per say, a small community of people assisted with the creation of this mosaic and I welcome you to read all about them right here.
2008 Glasco: Historic Downtown District, Artist Residency (Glasco, KS) I spent a weekend with Glasco community leaders learning about the history of the businesses that comprised Glasco’s downtown, from 1890 – 1948. I painted five moveable mural panels in my Lawrence studio (see photo) to celebrate Glasco businesses throughout this period, as well as the fifth year that Glasco’s historic district was placed on the National Register of Historic Districts. The panels, exhibited in the town’s Community Center, were placed in buildings along Main Street.
2001 Cranes (Lawrence, KS) I painted this mural in the Jack Hope Design-Build building (now Reed and Dillon Associates, 1213 E. 24th). The mural is a dynamic interpretation of symbols often used in Japanese art, including cranes, pine trees, water, the moon, and bamboo. (The photo shows a detail of the mural.)
Â 2001 Langston Hughes Mural (Lawrence, KS) Artist Dave Loewenstein and I led this project with students from Lawrence High School. The participants brainstormed images based on the Langston Hughes poem, Let America Be America Again, and then painted a moveable mural that was displayed at the Langston Hughes symposium at the University of Kansas, and at the Lawrence Public Library.
2001 Bathroom Mural, East Heights Afterschool Program and the Lawrence Art Center (Lawrence, KS) I led this weekly afterschool art class with children who drew, made sculptures with wood, and created playful puppets with styrofoam balls and found materials. During the last half of the program, the children drew imaginative animals and playful creatures, enlarged them onto big paper, and then arranged them into a lively mural in the girls bathroom of East Heights Elementary School.
2000 Mural at the Boys and Girls Club (Lawrence, KS) Artist Jane Wegscheider and I helped children translate their small drawings into large-scale group compositions on four walls of the art room at the Boys and Girls club. The theme for this mural was mixing up work and play.
2000 Stories of Triumph, Celebrate! Mural (Women Tell Their Stories Conference, Bethel College, North Newton, KS) I invited conference-goers to mail in their stories and artwork about “triumph.” The response was overwhelming. The stories and images were visually, thematically, and emotionally diverse, ranging from stories of career successes to poetry about perseverance to a narrative about overcoming sexual violence. I then incorporated these into a moveable mural that was exhibited at the conference. (The photo shows a detail of the mural.)
1999 Silhouette Festival Calendar, Smoky Hill River Festival (Salina, KS) For the span of a day, I documented festival goers, by age, on a giant time line wall, by tracing around their bodies and helping them to print their hands within their silhouettes at the place where their hearts would be. The buildup of the hand prints on the wall over time, and the abundance of body outlines throughout the span of ages, represented the passage of time and the emergence of an aesthetically rich community portrait.
1998 Community in Conversation, Artist Residency (Glasco, KS) I interviewed Glasco residents about the history of Glasco, and then helped residents to paint silhouette murals of themselves on buildings around the community, to draw attention to the importance of people in Glasco. The project was part of a larger dialogue about Glasco and its future.
1998 Weathering the Storm: Stories of Perseverance (Lawrence, KS) As part of my exhibit of drawings and collages based on stories of perseverance from friends and family, I created an installation of donated winter clothing for free distribution to people in the Lawrence community, after the show was over.
1998 Art Car with the kids of Van Go Mobile Arts (Lawrence, KS) These junior high kids participated in a series of brainstorming exercises, led by Jane Wegscheider and me, before painting their colorful designs on the sides and top of this huge, white, stretch-limo. The kids road in the car in our local Art Car parade.
1991 Conversation and Community, Humanities Building Gallery, UW-Madison (Madison, WI) I invited friends, student-colleagues, and acquaintances to have conversations with me about “community” and to document these conversations by making art as we talked. The art was exhibited in an animated and noisy installation, with subtle silhouette-painting on the walls, and conversations written all over the floor.