Arts notes


'River City Chronicles' focuses on historic act

Jonathan Earle, Kansas University assistant professor of history, sheds light on the significance of the Kansas--Nebraska Act at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday on River City Chronicles" on 6News.

The boldest legislative stroke leading to "Bleeding Kansas" and the Civil War occurred 150 years ago today when, on May 30, 1854, President Pierce signed the act into law.

Not only did the act nullify the 1820 and 1821 Missouri Compromise that had banned slavery in states entering the union whose southern boundaries were north of 36 degrees 30 minutes (Missouri's southern border), but it also instilled a sense of urgency in the rush to settle Kansas by anti-slavery and pro-slavery advocates alike.

"River City Chronicles" is a weekly feature in honor of Lawrence's sesquicentennial and will run each Monday through Sept. 13.

New exhibition

Olive Gallery opens show by kid-at-heart artist

Lawrence artist Geoff Benzing thinks animals look good with wheels. So he sometimes paints them that way.

Thus the name of his exhibition, "Elephant Trike," which opens Saturday and remains on view through June at Olive Gallery and Art Supply, 15 E. Eighth St. A reception will be from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, with musical guest Matt Rice.

"This show is my attempt to pack as many colors and cute characters into one space as possible," Benzing says. "I want each piece to look like a page from a children's picture book."

Benzing studied art at Wichita State University and now paints houses, murals and custom portraits. He plans to write and illustrate children's books as well.

Artwork by Elias Beeson will be on display in the gallery's Kid's Corner.

Gallery hours are noon-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday.

Acoustic folk artist to play at Unity Church

Singer-songwriter David Roth will take the stage Saturday at Unity Church of Lawrence for the next West Side Folk concert.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the church, Ninth and Madeline. Tickets are $14 for adults and $11 for students.

Roth won the Kerrville New Folk award in 1986 and was the top vote-getter in the Falcon Ridge (N.Y.) Folk Festival's "Most Wanted" competition in 1996.

The Chicago native has been called original, hilarious and thought-provoking.

His new double CD is called "Think Twice."

More information is available at, or by calling 865-FOLK.

Haskell playwright receives award

Haskell Indian Nations University instructor Dianne Reyner recently received first place in the Grant K. Goodman Playwriting Awards at Kansas University.

The award recognizes Reyner's play "Weaving the Rain."

Reyner is working with Haskell's Thunderbird Theatre and KU's English Alternative Theatre to produce her play during the 2004 fall semester at Haskell.

A member of the Kiowa Nation, Reyner earned her baccalaureate degree in American Indian studies at Haskell and her master's degree in indigenous nations studies at KU. She teaches English at Haskell and theater through UCLA's Project HOOP Summer Workshop.

Reyner is also slated to begin work this fall with internationally acclaimed director, playwright and choreographer Ping Chong at the Lied Center.

English landscape painters to give gallery talk

Painters Sara Hayward and Paul Powis will give a gallery talk at 7 p.m. Friday at Signs of Life Gallery, 722 Mass.

"New Colors/Slow Sunrise," an exhibition of paintings by the pair, is on view at the gallery on an ongoing basis.

Hayward studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England, and the Royal College of Art in London. She has exhibited regularly throughout Britain. She uses vibrant heightened color to paint landscapes, seascapes and formal gardens.

Powis is trained as an abstract painter but became interested in landscape painting in the late '80s. His work for Volkswagen advertising campaign has appeared across Europe and has been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Illustration in New York.

The talk is free and open to the public.

Signs of Life Gallery artist wins top prize

George Wingate, a Wenham, Mass., artist represented by Signs of Life Gallery, 722 Mass., recently won the Emil and Dines Carlsen Award for best still life in the Annual Exhibition at The National Academy Museum in New York City.

Signs of Life has several of Wingate's still lifes and abstract paintings on display and in storage.

In an April 2003 review, The New York Times said Wingate's paintings were "odd yet believable." Although he paints still lifes and landscapes from life, Wingate also sites abstract painter Franz Kline as a major influence.

Wingate studied at the University of Rochester and the Syracuse University School of Architecture. He got his master of fine arts degree in 1993 from Vermont College. past year and was recently awarded the "Emil and Dines Carlsen Award" ($5,000) for the best still life in the current Annual Exhibition at The National Academy Museum in New York City.

Topeka festival features artists from 11 states

Topeka -- Artists from 11 states will display and sell their works at the 12th annual Mulvane Mountain/Plains Art Fair Saturday and June 6 on the lawn area near Whiting Field House, 18th and Washburn, on the Washburn University campus.

The event also will feature live entertainment, food vendors and hands-on art projects for children.

Works at the fair will range from oil, watercolors and pottery to jewelry, photography and fiber. Lawrence artists scheduled to sell work include Toni Brou, mixed media; Travis Hinton, ceramics; Catherine Hale Robins, bronze; Celia Smith, acrylic; and Barbara Solberg, mixed media.

Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 6. Admission is $4. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

For more information, call (785) 231-1124 or go to

Youth theater offers workshops for kids

Mission -- Theatre for Young America will offer summer drama workshops from June 14 through Aug. 2.

Workshops run from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for four days -- Monday through Thursday each week. In July, the theater also will offer four-day workshops from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Saturday classes meet once a week from June 12 to Aug. 7.

All the classes are taught at Theatre for Young America, a working professional theatre for young people, in the Dickinson Top Two Theatre at 5909 Johnson Drive in Mission.

Themes vary by age group and include "Dora, The Explorer," "Curious George," "Charlie Brown," "Harry Potter Onstage" and "Scenes from 'Lord of the Rings.'"

Tuition for each four-day workshop is $92. Tuition for the session of Saturday classes is $80.

For a complete schedule, call (913) 831-2131 or visit


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