Collaborative exhibit seeks to reflect on Quantrill's raid through art

Some themes of Quantrill’s 1863 raid on Lawrence, and its lasting effects on the town, can be challenging to fully explore through words alone.

The Percolator and the Watkins Community Museum of History are inviting Lawrencians to tackle those subjects with art.

A collaborative art exhibit called “Modern Views of Quantrill’s Raid” will feature works on display at both the Percolator, 913 Rhode Island St., and the museum, 1047 Massachusetts St. The exhibit is scheduled to open Aug. 15 and run through October.

Show organizers are looking for submissions in all artistic media, potentially including live performance.

“I think going through the creative process allows you to engage with questions you have,” says Rachael Perry, chairwoman of the board for the Percolator. “I think that definitely allows you to see these events in new ways, and in a fresh way.”

The Percolator was founded on the idea that everyone is an artist, Perry says. What comes out during the art making process can be emotional or intellectual, she says, and ideas don’t have to be concrete — art doesn’t require a thesis statement.

Quantrill’s Raid wasn’t Lawrence’s proudest moment, but it’s a subject that touches many people here.

The Percolator and museum devised these questions that potential artists might consider responding to with their work:

How do we honor the victims of Quantrill’s Raid? Have changing attitudes toward race influenced the way we think about Quantrill’s Raid today? What role do you think Quantrill’s Raid had in forming the city’s identity over the last 150 years? How far would you go to stand up for your beliefs? Many women, widowed by the raid, decided to stay in Lawrence rather than to return to their families back East; How should their bravery be remembered?

To submit artwork, contact museum education and programs coordinator Abby Pierron at 841-4109 or Organizers will begin accepting works later this month and into early August.


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