Thoughts on Unsung

Having been away from Lawrence since October, I was pleased to be drawn back last week for the Wilco concert and other events. From the moment I arrived in town it seemed there were more things happening than I could possibly take in. That's Lawrence in the Spring, I guess.But I tried to see and do it all. Here are my highlights:First things first, I had to stop by to see my friends Casey and Eric at their new [Wonderfair gallery][1], which is great if you haven't been. I bought a small print and was able to get it framed right there in the shop, which I think is pretty badass. I already [wrote about how great the Wilco concert was][2].On Friday, I spent the afternoon working from The Pig and couldn't help but hear people buzzing about the [big opening][3] taking place across the way at the Lawrence Art Center that night. I'd always planned on attending, but as the day and conversations continued, I just became more and more convinced of this fact. I messed up and missed MIA, I wasn't going to mess up and miss this. So, we went. And it was awesome. Upon entering, you were greeted with the improvisational sounds of Snuff Jazz's bursting from within the tent they had erected inside the gallery space. That was enough to stop me in my tracks, as I scanned my surroundings to take it all in. A huge blue crab was nearby and seemed ready to attack passersby with its massive pincers. Behind that, my eye was drawn to a larger-than-life dress suspended by a rope and hanger that was designed by Betty Timmer. Paintings and photograph lined the surrounding walls. In the other room Dave Lowenstein was showing his "[Short Stories][4]", which I love. My [favorite is highlighted on his blog here.][5]NOTE on the videos: If you let them load before viewing, they should play smoothly. Otherwise, it may be a bit choppy if you view it as it loads.
[Unsung: Snuff Jazz pt. 1][6] from [tackett][7] on [Vimeo][8]Rather than having a jazz trio playing soft background music from a far off, out-of-the-way corner, SnuffJazz had become a part of the show, transforming a cheap camping tent into a loud, psychedelic flashing orb of mesh and jazz-loving animals that if looked at from just the right vantage point resembled an inter-galactic arc suitable for Noah poised to take off into orbit. Or it was just a really weird and awesome way to put on a concert. :) Whatever the case, I couldn't help but film some clips so I'd have something to show those that were unfortunate enough to miss the opening.
[Unsung: Snuff Jazz pt. 2][9] from [tackett][10] on [Vimeo][11].
[Unsung: Snuff Jazz pt. 3][12] from [tackett][13] on [Vimeo][14].Obviously it wasn't just the music that made it cool. The art was fantastic, but I'm not an art critic, so I don't want to comment too much on that. However, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk with artist TJ Tungpaz about his neat crab sculpture. Here he is demonstrating it at the request of Tom King:
[Unsung: TJ Tungpaz demonstrats his crab sculpture][15] from [tackett][16] on [Vimeo][17].And here he explains the inspiration behind the idea:
[Unsung: TJ Tungpaz explains the blue crab][18] from [tackett][19] on [Vimeo][20].Since the event was sort of a "you had to be there" type of night, I wanted to hear what others thought of it. A contributing artist and curator of the show, Molly Murphy, was generous enough to share with me (and you) her thoughts after allowing the dust to settle for a few days. Here's what she had to say about the evening: _"I feel the night could not have been more fun from my standpoint. The response to the opening party was almost overwhelming. I had so many people throughout the night express their excitement for not just the art, but the energy of the opening. Snuff Jazz, who voluntarily made themselves captive performers inside their tent of zoo-rave-jazz-performance were the talk of the town as I made my way downtown later in the night. Even more people, who could not attend due to the many many events of graduation weekend have since gone to the show due to the buzz of the impromptu afterparties. I could truly not have been more proud than when I heard a group at the Replay discussing the work of Betsy Timmer, and one of the bartenders mentioned they had people walking in all night talking about the show.I hope the energy of the exhibit and opening can pull through to other shows at the Arts Center. This night brought many many people who had never even stepped through the door who will be returning now. Lawrence has such a wealth of talent, I feel there should be more nights like this one that bring together younger parts of the community with the more initiated artists and arts supporters in Lawrence. It can't be anything but good for everyone to keep this kind of support running through the entire arts community rather than separated generations and venues."_Art is obviously different to different folks. But I was left thinking "well, this was officially the coolest art opening I've ever seen."Were you there? What'd you think? [1]: [2]: [3]: [4]: [5]: [6]: [7]: [8]: [9]: [10]: [11]: [12]: [13]: [14]: [15]: [16]: [17]: [18]: [19]: [20]:


Chris Tackett 14 years, 1 month ago

oh cool, i didn't know about that. i'm out of town now, so if you go and get some video, lemme know and i'll post it.

Chris Tackett 14 years, 1 month ago

anyone see the discussion? curious what would have been discussed.

tomking 14 years, 1 month ago

Chris,Great job of documenting this fun event. Molly and Dave did a great job of pulling things together, and all the artists exhibited excellent work. It took a few decades, but it's good to see young local artists getting the recognition they deserve. And Snuff Jazz... the icing on a beautiful cake.

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