Elizabeth Kanost
Spencer Museum of Art

Spencer Museum’s annual Backyard Bash features student installations in Marvin Grove

Wed, 10/20/2021

LAWRENCE — The Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas announces its sixth annual Backyard Bash, which opens Oct. 21 and remains on view in Marvin Grove through Nov. 12. Part exhibition, part festival, the Backyard Bash celebrates the interplay of nature, culture and the character of community in Marvin Grove.

The monthlong event is anchored by “Understories,” a series of 12 outdoor installations by KU and Haskell Indian Nations University students that reveal stories untold and explore ideas of place. Student projects range from multimedia installations and sculptures to interactive games and performances. Visitors are invited to explore “Understories” at their leisure using a map and guide that is downloadable and available at the museum.

The Backyard Bash kicks off this week with the Spencer Museum’s Open House / Open Grove event from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 21 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 22. This two-day celebration features a number of events including tours of “Understories” and the Spencer’s new exhibition, “Debut,” art-making and science activities and a chance to win a hard hat tour of the ongoing museum renovations. A full schedule of events is available on the museum’s website. Additional events and activities for the Backyard Bash will occur throughout its monthlong run.

The Backyard Bash is generously supported by KU Student Senate, Friends of the Art Museum, Steve Sears & John Lavryssen and the Judith M. Cooke Native American Art Fund. Programming partners include the KU Natural History Museum, KU Painting Club, field ecology students, museum public education students and architecture and design foundations students.

Related Programming

Friday, Oct. 22, 2-3 p.m.
Understories Tour
Meet the student artists behind "Understories" during this special tour, which is part of the museum's two-day "Open House / Open Grove" event. You might spy Baby Jay, too.

Friday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Art in Place: Indigenous Games for Understanding
Meet artist Robert Hicks Jr. "Nokwsi" and learn to play Hand Games, a high-energy hiding and guessing game of "sticks and bones," immersive song and strategic hand signals.

Fridays Oct. 22, 29 and Nov. 5, 4-6 p.m.
KU Painting Club Open Sessions
Enjoy plein air painting as a spectator or bring supplies to sketch or paint with the club.

Saturday, Oct. 30, 2-4 p.m.
Halloweekend in the Woods
Trick-or-treat among the trees with KU's two museums and enjoy art and science activities and take-home kits while supplies last. Decorate a pumpkin and make the sidewalk your runway to debut your Halloween costume. Costumed canines welcome, too.

KU in the news

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
KU Today