Wednesday, October 15, 2014
When Lawrence ArtWalk director John Wysocki moved to England earlier this year, veteran artists were left wondering if there would be a 2014 ArtWalk, a nearly two-decade tradition.
Wysocki had managed operations and handled publicity from the very beginning, and with him overseas, long-time participant Diana Dunkley wasn’t sure what would happen.
If you go
What: DIY ArtWalk 2014
When: Oct. 24-26. Four artists will open their spaces Friday between 6 and 9 p.m., while the general hours for Saturday and Sunday are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and noon to 6 p.m., respectively. Check out the event's Facebook page for a comprehensive list of artists' locations, hours and more.
Where: About 20 venues in the Lawrence area
“I hadn’t decided if I was I was going to participate or not, but I started getting phone calls asking, ‘What are we going to do?’” Dunkley says. “We all agreed to do what we could to promote, and more and more artists got onboard.”
Dunkley is one of the about 40 Douglas County artists who will open their work spaces to the public Oct. 24-26 during the DIY ArtWalk 2014, a “replacement” of sorts for the annual Lawrence ArtWalk, which Dunkley says organizers hope to bring back for its 20th anniversary in 2015.
The name change comes from the event’s “do-it-yourself” organization at the hands of the artists, who took on the task of promoting themselves with the help of Facebook. Tour maps (it’s self-guided, just as in years past) can be picked up at the Lawrence Arts Center, Cottin’s Hardware & Rental, the Phoenix Gallery and the Lawrence Visitor Information Center.
Unlike previous years, the artists are setting their own hours. Dunkley will share her studio, at 1019 Delaware St., with fellow artist Cathy Tisdale during the tour. She usually gives demonstrations to ArtWalk visitors, but this year, she says, she’s keeping things low-key.
“For me, there’s nothing like the feel of a piece of charcoal on paper or a watercolor brush on a nice watercolor paper,” Dunkley says of her art. “I really like that physical process.”
Dunkley, who works in a variety of mediums including performance art, printmaking and sculpture, will show off some of her newer projects during the tour.
She’s particularly excited about a series of abstract Kansas landscapes that use stained lace paper to create foliage on top of a watercolor background. She'll also show off old favorites like her "Flying By the Seat of My Pants" sculptures — androgynous, paper figures with billowy pant legs that can hang suspended.
“I hope people get an understanding of what an incredibly vital visual arts community we have here in Lawrence,” Dunkley says.
Artist Anne Egitto will show anywhere from 200 to 400 of her ceramic pieces at her studio, 1042 Jana Drive, during the ArtWalk. She’ll host a reception and probably give demonstrations during the mornings and afternoons, she said.
Egitto, an archeologist by trade, draws inspiration from eastern and Islamic art. Her porcelain pottery often incorporates hand-painting and a Korean technique called Mishima, which involves inlaying a slip or paint into a carved pattern on the clay.
Because her work has an Asian influence, she’ll be serving sake alongside her cups, platters, mugs and other pieces. For the sake-phobic, there will also be sangria on hand.
Egitto hopes guests to her studio, as well as other tour stops, will come away with a greater appreciation for the artistic process.
“We’re so used to Walmart and Target and mass-produced stuff that being able to visit an artist’s studio really gives you an idea of what it takes to produce a piece of art. And even though they're cups and bowls, they're still little pieces of art, and a lot of work goes into it," she says of her creations. "I hope they see the value in what we create, especially since we're living in a mass-produced world."