LAWRENCE — An exhibition opening Saturday, Feb. 16, features work by 30 artists who received degrees from the University of Kansas. “The Power of Place: KU Alumni Artists” charts ways that these artists experience, interrogate and visualize varied aspects and understandings of place. The exhibition includes works from the Spencer’s collection as well as works on loan, and some works created specifically for the show.
“Many important artists who trained at KU have made significant contributions to discussions of place on a broader scale with their work,” Curator Susan Earle said. “Unifying the work of these artists into an exhibition provides different understandings of how place can be formative for students and artists, and also how past experiences related to place — good or bad — affect us.”
In addition to presenting artwork in a variety of engaging mediums, “The Power of Place” highlights the ways that the Spencer Museum and KU support creative research and interdisciplinary artistic practice. Some of the artists included in the exhibition are current or retired KU faculty members, while others have engaged in collaborations with university departments and the Spencer Museum.
In addition to the exhibition, many featured artists will return to campus to participate in talks, panel discussions and creative performances throughout the show’s run through June 30.
To kick off the exhibition, the public is invited to attend a talk by artist Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the Spencer Museum. Heap of Birds will discuss the themes of place in his work and the five outdoor installations he created for “The Power of Place” that are on view outside the museum along Mississippi Street.
This exhibition and related programs are supported by the Franklin D. Murphy Lecture Fund of the Kress Foundation Department of Art History, Friends of the Art Museum, the Linda Inman Bailey Exhibitions Fund, the Judith M. Cooke Native American Art Fund, the Department of Visual Art, KU Alumni Association, KU Student Senate and Elizabeth Broun, the Henry Luce Foundation.
Artist Talk: Edgar Heap of Birds
1-2:30 p.m. / Spencer Museum of Art, Brosseau Learning Center
Internationally renowned artist Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds will speak about public art and his work in “The Power of Place.”
Artist Talk: A Conversation “The Power of Place” Visiting Artists
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-3 p.m. / Spencer Museum of Art, Perkins Central Court
A dialogue with artists featured in “The Power of Place,” moderated by Curator Susan Earle. The first session features Gina Adams, Rena Detrixhe, Julie Green, John L. Newman and Ryan RedCorn. The second session features Cris Bruch, Emily Hanako Momohara, Catherine Reinhart and David Reisman.
Artist Talk: A Conversation with “The Power of Place” Visiting Artists
5:30–7 p.m. / Spencer Museum of Art, Perkins Central Court
A third and final dialogue with artists featured in “The Power of Place,” moderated by Curator Susan Earle and Department Chair David Cateforis. This session features David Brackett, Marcie Miller Gross, Lisa Grossman, Brian Hawkins, Philip Heying and Stephen Johnson.
Image: Lisa Grossman, "Navigating," 2018, courtesy of the Spencer Museum of Art.