January Final Friday Preview: New year, new venues

The new year brings a number of new venues for Final Friday art lovers.

Alvamar Country Club, 1809 Crossgate Drive, is one of those places, and this month they are hosting a show by Lu Vaccaro. Lu and her late husband, Nick, who was an art professor at KU until his death in 2002, have been part of Lawrence’s art community since the 1970s. While Lu is primarily known as a ceramicist, having spent 50 years as a potter, she recently found her way back to painting.

“My husband left all this acrylic paint after he died, and then my best friend from Oklahoma died, and he left all of these oils,” she said. “So I had all of this paint and I just decided to have some fun.”

Vaccaro will have 20 mixed media paintings on display, which she describes as “abstract impressions of landscapes and feelings.” The reception lasts from 5 to 9 p.m.

Another new venue, IWIG Dairy Local Foods Grocery, 622 N. Second St., is featuring a unique show: “Arts & Technologies of Early Peoples.” Among the works on display are buckskins, willow baskets, tools made from animal bones, and some of the other tools needed for survival by native cultures. These everyday art pieces have been replicated by Marty Falkenstien who, before coming to Lawrence, worked as a cultural interpreter for the National Park Service and director of education at the Marin Museum of the American Indian in California. The store is open until 9 p.m. and will also feature food from local farmers.

Kansas University is also venturing into the Final Fridays fun this month with a show, “The Middle: Photo-Based Works by Artists Living in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska,” which will be on display in the Art and Design Building. Twenty artists have come together for this eclectic show that features the variety of approaches the photographers have taken with their art and craft. The reception, open to the public, is from 5 to 7 p.m.

There are also several live performances this month. Indie rock musician Matt Pryor is headlining a show at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., as part of the ongoing Nine Forty Live series. About 20 performers, a sort of “rogue orchestra,” will accompany Pryor for this performance, the most ambitious he has ever attempted. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8. Tickets are $10, and are available online at the Arts Center.

If you are looking for something a little more intimate, try the Percolator, in the alley behind the Arts Center. Like last Valentine’s Day, the Percolator again invited the public to create works that explore the various forms that love can take. In addition to the pieces they collected from the community, Karen Roberts will read poetry at 6:30 p.m., and Dan Ward will share love stories beginning at 7.

A number of downtown locations are featuring the work of local artists: Henry’s Coffee Shop, 11 E. Eighth St., is hosting a show by ceramist Carolyn Whitaker-Collins, called “Only a Mother Would Love”; the Phoenix Gallery, 825 Massachusetts St., is featuring the work of two Lawrence artists, Liza MacKinnon and Suzanne Perry; and Phoenix Underground is showing the paintings of Mary Brooks and Brett Allen. An opening reception for Maryanna Stark Adelman’s show, “Familiar/Unexpected” will be at Essential Goods, 825 Massachusetts St., and nearby at Ten Thousand Villages, 835 Massachusetts St., the paintings of Jessica Jagerson will be on display.


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