Posts tagged with Watkins Museum Of History

May 2016 Final Friday Preview: ‘Soundshapes’ in North Lawrence, blacklight art, ‘Sideshow Serenade’ and more

Among the attractions at this month's Final Friday: circus-themed creations, blacklight art, "Soundshapes" and a romp through Catherine Reed's textile "jungle" at the Percolator.

All events are from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Check out for a complete listing.

The Brewhaus, 624 N. Second St.

The Brewhaus works double duty this Final Friday, hosting not one but two events, both slated for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

First item on the agenda: The public debut of Independence, Mo., artist Jason Sinsley’s (also known as Goghtea) mysterious “blacklight creations.” We’re not sure exactly what that entails, but word on the street (or in the city’s Final Friday listings) is that the coffee bar’s rooms will be converted into a black-lit display space for the show. Visitors will receive UV reactive wristlets, and there’s also the chance of a “creation station.”

Also going on at the Brewhaus: an artists’ reception for the Ballard Community Services’ “Soundshapes and Silos” public art events. Funded in part by a grant from the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and by the National Endowment for the Arts, this exhibition showcases the work of local students who spent three weeks exploring the “art, science and technology of sound” under the guidance of public artists Shannon and Darin White. As its name implies, the show will also feature color-changing “Soundshapes” artwork projected onto the grain silos next to the Lawrence Pacific Union Train Depot (402 N. Second St.) from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Independence, Mo. artist Jason Sinsley will debut his blacklight artwork at the Brewhaus, 624 N. Second St., at 6 p.m. Friday.

Independence, Mo. artist Jason Sinsley will debut his blacklight artwork at the Brewhaus, 624 N. Second St., at 6 p.m. Friday.

Phoenix Underground, 825 Massachusetts St.

The circus is coming to town this Final Friday — or, rather, Thomas Sciacca’s exhibition of circus-inspired artwork at the Phoenix Underground. The whimsical display, dubbed “Sideshow Serenade,” will also include live painting by Sciacca himself, plus circus-themed baked goods by Kansas City artist Betsy Barrett.

Thomas Sciacca's circus-themed "Sideshow Serenade" exhibition will open at the Phoenix Underground during May's Final Friday, slated for 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

Thomas Sciacca's circus-themed "Sideshow Serenade" exhibition will open at the Phoenix Underground during May's Final Friday, slated for 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

Lawrence Percolator, 913 Rhode Island St. (look for the yellow building with the green awnings in the alley behind the Lawrence Arts Center)

Guests are invited to “walk into the depths of a jungle made from yarn, cloth, paint, light and sound” at artist Catherine Reed’s installation opening. What you’ll find once inside has yet to be revealed, but we know for sure that all ages are welcome at this quirky arts-and-crafts event.

Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.

Last year, the Douglas County Historical Society partnered with local artists and arts organizations across the state to document the overlooked and untold stories of Kansas’ past through a series of colorful posters.

Friday’s exhibition opening, slated for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., includes a first look at the Kansas People’s History Project Portfolio printed by Lawrence artist Justin Marable. Project director Dave Loewenstein and original Celebrate People’s History Project organizer Josh MacPhee will also join the festivities.

Yantra Financial Technologies, 840 Massachusetts St.

The young artists of Hang12 (the local art collective brings together local high schoolers interested in how art intersects with public engagement and relevant social issues) unveil “Collaborative Canvases” this month at downtown’s Yantra Financial Technologies.

The exhibition is a series of abstract collaborative pieces created by six groups of young people through the community, curated and installed by Hang12.


Watkins Museum invites public to ‘Know Your Antiques’ at Saturday event

If you've ever wondered about the potential value of an estate sale impulse buy (can one really have too many coasters? ... is a question I have been asking myself to no avail for years now) or family heirloom, you might find some answers at this weekend's "Know Your Antiques" event, hosted by the Watkins Museum of History at 1047 Massachusetts St.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., history buffs, "Antiques Roadshow" fans and lovers of old stuff can have their antiques appraised by local experts, then participate in presentations on caring for family heirlooms and behind-the-scenes tours of the Watkins collections. (All for a small fee, of course.)

Experts include: quilter and quilt historian Barbara Brackman (quilts and textiles), Ernie Cummings of Kizer Cummings Jewelers (jewelry), Mass Street Music Store owner and "Antiques Roadshow" appraiser Jim Baggett (musical instruments), Patricia Graham, owner of Asian Art Research & Appraisals (Asian art); Dirk Soulis, owner and principal auctioneer of Dirk Soulis Auctions (fine and decorative art); and Soodie Beasley, art and antique appraiser (fine and decorative art).

Tickets cost $5 per item or $12 for 3 items if you're a Douglas County Historical Society member, and $10 per item or $25 for 3 items if you're not. They can be purchased at the door or online. All proceeds benefit the Watkins Museum.

Check out for details.

The Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.

The Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St. by Mike Yoder


Watkins Museum to host introductory genealogy workshop Saturday

Beginners are welcome at the Watkins Museum of History’s introduction to genealogy class Saturday.

Slated for 10 a.m. to noon at the museum, 1047 Massachusetts St., the class will be led by genealogy veterans Richard Branham, a professor of industrial design at Kansas University, and his wife, Alisa Branham, a licensure officer at KU’s School of Education.

The two, who boast about six decades of research in family history, will provide participants with the basics in genealogy sleuthing, including which tools to use and how to recognize credible information.

Registered participants will also receive materials to peruse before the class. There’s no deadline to register, but the class will cap at 30, says Abby Pierron Magariel, education and programs coordinator at the Watkins.

To register, visit or email with your name, email address and phone number. The cost is $10 per person or $5 for Douglas County Historical Society members.


Spooky events abound on Halloween weekend in Lawrence

Whether you're a kid (or a kid at heart), you won't find a shortage of fun and creepy things to do this Halloween weekend in Lawrence.

Here are just a few ideas — check out our Datebook for more.

A Festival of Magic & Mystery

5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Theatre Lawrence, 4660 Bauer Farm Drive

Not in the Halloween spirit yet? This family-friendly event at Theatre Lawrence should get you there.

Among the attractions: magic shows from renowned illusionist Tom Burgoon (he’s performed in all 50 states, and even for President George W. Bush) and Kansas City’s own Korso the Curious.

Also, shadow puppetry for younger kids, a jack-o’-lantern contest and display featuring the work of Van Go Inc., Pinot’s Palette and local artists, and plenty of grub ranging from sweet treats to barbecue.

General-admission tickets cost $10, or $5 for kids 5 and under.

For more information, including where to buy tickets, visit or call 843-7469.

Kansas University Symphony Orchestra Halloween Concert

Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Lied Center of Kansas, 1600 Stewart Drive

A beloved tradition returns Friday evening with the KU School of Music’s Halloween Spooktacular.

On the program this year: plenty of magical and macabre music, from “Night on Bald Mountain” by Modest Mussorgsky to Richard Wagner’s “Overture to the Flying Dutchman” to “Suite from The Fellowship of the Ring” by Howard Shore.

Festivities begin with an “instrument petting zoo” for kids at 6:30 p.m. in the Lied Center lobby. The annual children’s costume contest will be held during the concert, with prizes for the winners.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children, seniors and students, though kiddos (we’re talking up to 18 here) wearing their costume get in free.

For more information, call 864-3436 or visit

Spooktacular Four-Person Scramble

1 p.m. Saturday, Eagle Bend Golf Course, 1250 E. 902 Road

Join in on some sporty yet “spooktacular” fun with this four-person, nine-hole golf scramble.

Being that this is Halloween, costumes are encouraged, and teams with all members in costume will receive a five-stroke advantage. Prizes await, both for top performers in the golf portion and in the costume-judging contest.

The cost is $100 per team, and includes green fee, cart and prizes. Call 748-0600 for details.

In this file photo, Jordan Noller assists her 13-month-old daughter Scotlyn across the street during the 2013 Downtown Lawrence Halloween Trick-or-Treat.

In this file photo, Jordan Noller assists her 13-month-old daughter Scotlyn across the street during the 2013 Downtown Lawrence Halloween Trick-or-Treat. by Mike Yoder

Trick or Treat at the Watkins

5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.

“Meet the ghost of J.B. Watkins as you make your way down Massachusetts Street,” this kid-friendly (and free) event promises.

We’re not sure how the late Lawrence financier plans on making his appearance Saturday, but the museum that bears his name should remain lively long after closing time with trick-or-treating and a special scavenger hunt. And yes, prizes will be awarded.

For more information, visit or call 841-4109.

Downtown Lawrence Halloween Trick-or-Treat

5 p.m. Saturday, along Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence

Celebrate Halloween in the heart of Lawrence (i.e., along Massachusetts St.) with this family-friendly event. Downtown merchants will hand out treats from 5 p.m. until the candy runs out.

Cast members, from left, Kirsten Paludan, Devin Burns and Marah Melvin run through a scene during a dress rehearsal for "Midnight Visit to the Grave of Poe: A Grotesque Arabesque" on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.

Cast members, from left, Kirsten Paludan, Devin Burns and Marah Melvin run through a scene during a dress rehearsal for "Midnight Visit to the Grave of Poe: A Grotesque Arabesque" on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St. by John Young

Lawrence Arts Center productions

Various showtimes Friday and Saturday, Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.

The Arts Center’s spooky stagings of “The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers” and “A Midnight Visit to the Grave of Poe: A Grotesque Arabesque” both close on Halloween.

Catch them while you still can with showtimes Friday and Saturday: 7 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, for “Shivers,” and 7:30 p.m. both nights for “Midnight Visit.”

“Midnight Visit” tickets range from $10 to $25; “Shivers” tickets range from $8 to $12. For more information, visit or call 843-2787.


October Final Friday preview: Day of the Dead celebrations, solar-powered flutes and ‘A Series of Fortunate Events’

On the docket for this month's Final Friday: Day of the Dead celebrations, solar-powered flutes and "eye candy a go-go," among other happenings.

And a little Halloween fun, too. All events, unless otherwise noted, run from 5 to 9 p.m.


“A Series of Fortunate Events”

Former Borders building, 700 New Hampshire St.

This star-studded show titled “A Series of Fortunate Events” (a nod to the Lemony Snicket series, perhaps?) features the work of several prominent local artists.

Stan Herd, the “crop artist” and painter whose work has often been called “living sculpture,” is the headliner (Herd's been featured on "CBS Sunday Morning," "Dateline NBC," "Good Morning America" or CNN News, among other programs) but he’s got some good company in this show — John Sebelius, Jo Renfro, Bill Kutilek and Lori Norwood, to name a few.

It's also likely Herd's last exhibit before heading to Brazil, where the artist plans on creating a 3-acre piece of Earthwork in Sao Paulo in anticipation of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

Using the plants, rocks, mulch and soil that have become his signature mediums over the last four decades, Herd aims to produce a permanent work in partnership with environment regeneration project Green My Favela and James Lloyd of the Sao Paulo-based Sweet Films that will also double as a sustainable community garden for residents of the surrounding urban slum, or favela.

If realized, the design, entitled "Young Woman of Brazil" would be seen by more than a million people per year in its location near the runway of Sao Paulo's Guarulhos Airport.

To make it happen, Herd is seeking funding partners through an Indiegogo campaign, which as of Friday has less than two weeks left.

Herd is set to share more details on the project at the Final Friday event. You can also check out his website or Indiegogo campaign to learn more.

Halloween Party at Lawrence Community Photo Studio

Lawrence Community Photo Studio, 720 E. Ninth St., Suite 6

Costumes are recommended (but not required) at the Lawrence Community Photo Studio’s first-ever Halloween Party.

Dress up and have your picture taken (that’s where the costume comes in) and/or check out the studio’s new exhibit of local photographers. Festivities run from 6 to 10 p.m., and yes, there will be refreshments.


'Shared Spirits'

Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.

Celebrate the Day of the Dead (the Mexican holiday begins Saturday and ends Monday) with a “Shared Spirits: Exploring Dias de los Muertos” event from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Watkins Museum of History.

Presented in conjunction with the Spencer Museum of Art’s At Large programming, this joint exhibition traces the origins of the two museums’ Day of the Dead artifacts, their cultural significance and how the pieces have been shared with the Lawrence community.

Friday’s event will include a talk by Spencer staffers, chips and queso from the Salty Iguana and a chance for visitors to decorate their own sugar skulls.

Artwork by Rebecca Dreyfus

Artwork by Rebecca Dreyfus


Mana Tea Bar, 1111 Massachusetts St.

In “NATURE/FORM,” Kansas native Rebecca Dreyfus pairs photography negatives of “textures found in nature” with images of skyscrapers, creating double exposures in the darkroom to illustrate the struggle between wildlife and industrialization.

Friday’s event, slated for 6 to 9 p.m., will also feature live music from Kansas City trio SOLLUS. Apparently, this quirky outfit employs solar-powered flutes (sollusflutes) “as a means to emphasize the universal language of waveforms through long-tone compositions based on the orbital patterns of our solar system.” Heavy stuff, man.

Art of Traci Bunkers and Uncle Andy

Downtown Upstairs Studio, 824 1/2 Massachusetts St.

“Trip the light fantastic upstairs into a magical space that is just as interesting as what the artists are showing,” reads the description of this whimsical art happening.

The exhibition and sale promises plenty of “eye candy a go-go” from local artists Traci Bunkers (of Bonkers Handmade Originals) and Uncle Andy.

Among the offerings: Bunkers’ mixed-media paintings, photographs, hand-dyed scarves, cards, quirky pin-back buttons and pocket mirrors, plus Uncle Andy’s “squished acrylics on found objects” — it’s his specialty.

'Reinventing the Wheel' Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St.

“Reinventing the Wheel: New Works By Matt Ridgway” features the Lawrence artist’s recent ventures in ink on paper and carved wood.

The pieces juxtapose explorations of numerology and sacred geometry with personal history and social criticism. Using the circle as a template and symmetry as a guide (but not a rule), Ridgway presents these divergent themes as a single body of work representing harmony in balance.