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Give the gift of Lawrence art this holiday season

Maybe remembering shirt and pant sizes is not your strong suit. Or maybe you’re having second thoughts about gifting that one-of-a-kind painting of sunflowers in a vase you made after three glasses of red wine. If either of these are true, it might be helpful to remember that they don’t call Lawrence an arts town for nothing. To help you on your quest of holiday gift giving, we’ve compiled a list of Lawrence artists who might just have have what you’re looking for.

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Chef's Choice: Mediterranean flavors meet Midwestern classics at Culinaria

When Taco Zone owner Brad Shanks opted for visiting Culinaria for this month’s Chef’s Choice, he explained that his affinity for the catering service and Mediterranean restaurant is twofold.

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Theatre Lawrence's 'Beauty and the Beast' a labor of love for set designer, costumer

If you ask costumer Jane Pennington or set designer James Diemer, the most important reviews for the Theatre Lawrence production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” won’t come from a grizzled theater critic. They’re much more concerned about the younger members of the audience — particularly the ones who have seen the movie three dozen times and who have practically memorized every stitch of Belle’s gold dress.

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A look at the 2017 Phoenix Award winners — through the eyes of those who nominated them

For the 22nd year, the city of Lawrence and the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission will present Phoenix Awards to several local artists who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in their field or in promotion of the arts and arts education in Lawrence. The awards ceremony will be today at 2 p.m. at the Lawrence Arts Center. Here’s a look at the 2017 award recipients — through the eyes of those who nominated them.

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Renowned Lawrence sculptor Kris Kuksi releases new book

If you just looked at the floor of artist Kris Kuksi’s North Lawrence studio, the sight provides a pretty clear vision of the kind of disorder an energetic child could create if left unattended for hours. Action figurines lie next to toy motorcycle parts while a disassembled space craft, a toy machine gun and the vertebrae from a miniature skeleton congregate near the steeple of a model church. Although the studio is dusty and somewhat chaotic, all of the disarray comes to a halt when you set your eyes on his sculptures, which are pristinely and meticulously crafted as evidenced by his new book Conquest, which was released in early October.

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Your guide to finding fun on the farm picking pumpkins

If getting your winter boots a little dusty isn’t quite your thing, a nearby grocery store might be the place for you as far as perusing this year’s pumpkins. But if you want to catch a wagon ride, drink some hot cider or momentarily entertain your kids’ fantasies of bringing home a 70-pound behemoth, then the intersection of North 1500 and East 1850 roads is ground zero for the Douglas County pumpkin experience.

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Chef's Choice: Limestone's mushroom pizza is 'go-to' for Ramen Bowls owners

Pretty much the moment a server at a restaurant asks if I’d like to hear about the specials, I nod but usually drift off to a place where words just become sounds that don’t matter. I’m not trying to be impolite, I just have favorite menu items that I really look forward to everywhere I go. So, when Ramen Bowls and Luckyberry owners Shantel and Tim Grace told me they both order the mushroom pizza at Limestone, always, I knew I was in good company.

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As Halloween nears, stained-glass artist's works take on a darker tone

Artist John Niswonger’s stained-glass hawk feathers would look nice in just about any window and might even make a nice gift for a loved one. But here’s guessing that your grandmother would not react the same way if she were to unwrap his one hundred-piece homage to the 1970s low-budget, horror movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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Exhibition of Native American nude paintings hopes to 'tear down' a cultural taboo

Among the upcoming Final Friday exhibitions is a show at the Phoenix Underground, which artist and organizer Brent Learned is sure will offer a unique experience not only in subject matter, but also in its assemblage.

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Musical adaptation of Hanks, DiCaprio film to make debut at Theatre Lawrence

For its opening act of the 2017-2018 season, Theatre Lawrence will present the musical Catch Me If You Can, which director Ric Averill explains goes much deeper than a simple tale of cat and mouse.

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Chef's Choice: Fried chicken from an unexpected source

Just when you thought you’d finished that 800-page novel on fried chicken restaurants in Lawrence, Reagan Petrehn, co-owner of 1900 Barker Cafe and Bakery, decided to write a new page with a visit to an unexpected restaurant. This month for Chef's Choice, we travel to Hank Charcuterie, for — yes — fried chicken.

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Monuments of a different type honor civil rights heroes at Lawrence exhibition

As bronze statues of Confederate figures are creating national controversy, there's hope that a Lawrence exhibition featuring quilts and textiles of civil rights heroes will bring people together.

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Chef's Choice: Pho with Lee Meisel

For this month’s edition of Chef’s Choice, Lee Meisel of Leeway Franks decided that Little Saigon Cafe was his spot for pho. Perhaps that's because Little Saigon owners Steve and Anna Nguyen have mastered the classic Vietnamese dish to the same degree that Meisel has mastered sausages and frankfurters.

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When do moviegoers become pilgrims?

Among the millions of travelers heading out for the summer holidays, some are choosing an unlikely destination: a rusted bus on the edge of the Alaskan wilderness.

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Artist Anson DeOrnery makes viewers a part of his work

Not many artists readily admit that their set intention with their work is to disappoint the viewer. Anson DeOrnery, who goes by the artist name Anson The Ornery, on the other hand, has a show at the Lawrence Arts Center titled Deluge, which is, well, kind of a bummer the more it is explored. According to the artist, that’s precisely the point.

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How a little sweat equity can earn you a bicycle

You know that old junker of a bike that’s been sitting in your garage? The one with all the spiders on it that has two flat tires with punctured tubes and an unattached, rusty chain that’s leaving a stain on the concrete? That’s the one. Now imagine 60 of those in your garage or basement.

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Chef's Choice: La Estrella and 'the perfect taco'

Some might call it serendipitous that Ladybird Diner owner Meg Heriford found her favorite taco in town while searching for a few staples for her restaurant. What’s most likely, however, is that she was lured just a little off the beaten path by a star, shining brightly, even in broad daylight.

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Retired Lawrence police officer dives deeper into acting with film being shown at Free State Festival

It’s possible that the 27 years he spent with the Lawrence Police Department served Paul Fellers well when it came to sniffing out acting roles. In the twilight of his career with the LPD, Fellers began moonlighting as an actor and was cast in two different roles, which must have seemed like natural fits.

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29th Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition kicks off this week

For this year’s Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition, Lawrence residents and visitors will be treated to works by some familiar names such as Kate Dineen and John Rasmussen, but also ODSE first-timers like Alicia Kelly.

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A Chef's Choice tour at Bon Bon! and a healthy dose of 'buns'

For this month’s edition of Chef’s Choice, T.K. Peterson, owner/chef of Merchants Pub and Plate decided that traveling to the “Far East” was a must for eating Katsu Buns. Happy to oblige, I booked my travel, packed my bags and journeyed to far East Lawrence, to eat my “Bunz” off at Bon Bon!.

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