Art

Q & A - Wayne Propst on William Burroughs

Q: When have you been most proud of yourself as an artist?

A: “I did a show at the Bottleneck, some years ago, where I really felt like I rocked the house…having a room that size, full of people.  {It was} performance art…more towards ranting.  That was also driven by the person that I used as my gauge…I didn’t have a script, no paper, no cards, nothing, I’m just going.  I was using William Burroughs, who was sitting right where I wanted him, I’m watching his reaction, and based on that, that’s how the performance unfolded.  I felt that he was my great teacher, I felt like my teacher was really helping me.  It’s hard to know what was really in his mind, what he was doing, he’s a really smart guy, {he} was trying to get me revved up - what his true thoughts are, who knows?  I wouldn’t have any idea.  But he did a good job of working me, and then I in turn felt like I had, over the years, learned something from him.  This was like a really friendly room.  This is the kind of show they wanted.”

Q: I understand that you were a close friend of William S. Burroughs – how has that relationship impacted/inspired you as an artist?

A: “I didn’t realize he was my teacher until he was dead.  We were just hanging out, and then after he was gone, I said wait a minute, he was my teacher.  I was fortunate enough…some people would say {I’m} lucky, that’s bullshit.  I had a couple – 3 or 4 – people like that, that I was fortunate enough to hang out with, including Bill.  He was a super smart person if nothing else, of course he’s a maniac in a lot of ways.  Williams was very inadept with anything mechanical, and so a lot of his art, people helped him get ready. One of the ironies of marketing and working rooms, is…people who were famous for something or other, and then took up something more like painting…that’s been a debate…wait a minute, is William really a painter?  There is some truth to that, however, what if you’ve spent your whole life hanging out with artists, or being in gallery after gallery, and museum after museum, and being right there in the room when people are making stuff, and you’re a writer and then at age…north of 70…and then you take up something like that…well shut the fuck up, why not?  Well, this doesn’t look like much.  Well, what do YOU know?  The critics, the artists, I can see the way they might be bitter.  The last few years of Bill’s life, he made more money selling art than he did for all the books, everything.  For a while there, the gallery shows…unbelievable.”

Photo by  Jose Ferez

Photo by Jose Ferez


Robert McNown's Final Friday show

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Join us this Final Friday, March 30th from 5-9pm for Robert McNown's Recent Paintings show! We will have a cash bar and ample opportunity for conversation.

To make an evening of it, you'll need some insider info about our neighbors...

Everyone knows the best way to enjoy art is with a full belly. We highly recommend Bon Bon for fun food and fantastic cocktails, or Lawrence Beer Company for beer and modern (and delicious) brewery fare.

Just east of Cider are SeedCo Studios, Art Emergency, and Rural Pearl - Cut Paper Art by Angie Pickman, where you can see even more marvelous local pieces and artists.

See you tomorrow!

October Final Friday, showcasing John Gary Brown

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Here is a sneak peek of John Gary Brown’s work for our October Final Friday show. We can’t help but gush about the way his work fits so naturally in the gallery.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see it up close and personal tomorrow from 5-9pm!

Here is the artist's statement:

My paintings, although basically non-objective, are often organized around a horizon line, and they are intended to be seen as landscapes, inspired by the prairies of my home state of Kansas, the watery vistas in the Puget Sound area, or the more ordered grounds of rural Europe. The arid regions of the Middle East and Southwest United States provide references to the decayed, full circle magic that seems to reflect the beginnings and the end of earth’s cycles, and lately I have begun to look inward, toward a landscape of dreams and meditation. Whatever the point of departure, the landscape for me is part of that unhurried, inexorable natural process that deserves respect and emulation. Structure or phenomena are sometimes implied but rarely spelled out, so that an air of mystery pervades the imagery and the painting process becomes an essential part of the subject matter. I am an admirer of J.M.W. Turner and the post impressionist artists who flirted with abstraction, but I’m also influenced by modern masters like Mark Rothko and Richard Diebenkorn.

The paintings are executed in layers. A wash of free-flowing “under painting” is applied by brush and allowed to form organic shapes, before the canvas is placed face up in the studio, so that the contours will stabilize and partially dry. When the paint is ready for another layer it will be applied by brush, print brayer or cloth. Some areas of the submerged color will be revealed by paint rag or palette knife, providing an interior luminosity that can’t be attained by painting onto the surface. Oil paint is the only medium I use for this process. Drawing is worked into the image with a brush or the edge of a print brayer and this process is repeated in several layers until the painting is completed. 

I will occasionally make veiled references to natural forces in nature, such as wind and water, or to the transitory works and activity of mankind, but I believe our marks upon the earth are superficial and fleeting. I try to depict and celebrate what is truly elemental on the planet- the endless handiwork of water, atmosphere and light. Many of the canvases are named for places and circumstances brought about by the manipulations of humanity, but the dominant feature in each one is the ongoing celestial process. 

I have been a professional artist since 1970 and my work can be found in over five hundred private, museum and corporate collections. I have shown in thirty galleries over the years, from New Jersey to Seattle, and have participated in almost one hundred exhibitions, many of them one-man shows. In Seattle my work has been featured with Dale Chihuly, Kenneth Callahan and Mark Toby. I keep a studio in Lawrence, Kansas, and Creede, Colorado, and look forward to many more years of painting.

For more information about the artist, please visit http://www.johngarybrown.com/.

New Morse Code Presents: "Simplicity Itself"

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New Morse Code's first album, "Simplicity Itself," is being releasd September 22nd on New Focus Recordings. Come out to the Cider Gallery for a special PRE-Release this evening at the Gallery! This event will celebrate the music and collaborations within the album with musical performances by Tonia Ko, Robert Honstein, and Caroline Shaw. 

So bring a friend to join you in tonight's festivities and listen to New Morse Code's first album.

Artist in Focus: John Sebelius

John Sebelius is a local Lawrence artist who uses his interest in people and their expressed individuality to create artworks inspired by human diversity.

John Sebelius is an interdisciplinary artist currently living in Lawrence, KS. John earned his Masters of Fine Art from the University of Kansas, as well as a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been featured in such magazines as: Harper’s, The Washington Post, and DETAILS, as well as mentions on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He has exhibited his art internationally and locally, including: Gallery Two in Sydney, Australia, Woods-Gerry Gallery in Providence, RI, Kansas City Artists Coalition, and the Chicago Art Institute.

 Not only is he a prolific painter and illustrator, he is also a successful filmmaker. His documentaries have been shown at major film festivals, like the Austin Film Festival and the Free State Film Festival, and at The American School of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Due to his achievements and skill as an artist, Sebelius has been voted the Best Artist of 2014 and 2015 in Lawrence, KS.  Currently, John teaches art at Washburn University and he is the Artist-In-Residence at The Stress Disorder Treatment Program, where he teaches art therapy to those suffering from PTSD.

For this week’s artist profile, the Cider Gallery interviewed the artist about the artistic direction for his most recent work. In this Q&A, the artist provides a personal reflection on his inspirations and his goals as an artist, as well as his current projects. During our discussion, he detailed his sources of inspiration, his current exhibition’s narrative, and his passion for teaching. Following this paragraph is the email correspondence, with minor grammatical corrections, between the Cider Gallery and the artist himself.

 

"Smooch." 2015.

 

CG: What would you say is your primary source of inspiration?

JS:       “One of my largest inspirations is people. A majority of my work focuses on lived experience amongst individuals from unconventional communities. This all began when I followed around Providence cab drivers for a year while at RISD. There was something unfamiliar and intimate about that type of investigative work I was drawn to. That process has continued in my work with investigation of residents of Slab City, CA, the American Biker, and Greek Life at KU.“

John Sebelius and Chris King, "You Had Your Chance," spray paint, acrylic, pen, ink on watercolor paper.

 

CG: Is there an underlying narrative that your current pieces follow?

JS:       “My upcoming show at Cider Gallery this April Final Friday is "Superfans", a collaborative and experimental exhibition with artist and friend Chris King. We were both intrigued by the mania surrounding sports and political fans. It is a “with us or against us” mentality that we all experience, especially in today's caustic political landscape. Merging those two worlds together with color and texture was exciting for both of us. We didn't plan any of the pieces, shipping our large paper works back in forth from KS to Louisiana gave them a life and spontaneity that couldn't be planned.” 

Dorothy XI, spray painting.

 

CG: Is there anything you wished to tell our readers about you or your work? Any recent recognitions you wished to discuss?

JS:       “I am currently teaching Drawing and Design at Washburn University, but my real passion is teaching art to veterans suffering with PTSD at the VA. I created an art course "Artistic Expressions" at The Stress Disorder Treatment Program in Topeka a 7-week inpatient program for veterans who have experienced trauma. Over 200 veterans each year will participate in the course. It was important to provide the veterans with a non-verbal form of expression and establish a safe mental and physical space to explore their emotions and stories through a creative healing process. "Artistic Expressions" was recently awarded ARTSConnect TOPArts Access Grant to expand the program and create a gallery on the unit.”


We wished to thank the artist featured this week, John Sebelius, for this glimpse into his creative process. If you wished to see more of his work, he is featured in collaboration with Chris King in the up-and-coming Cider Gallery exhibition “Superfan,” opening this Friday the 28th. Come by between 5-9pm on Friday and enjoy the show!

All information provided by the artist. Check out his website for more information on his current projects. http://www.johnsebelius.com/index.html

Artist in Focus: Susan Grace

Susan Grace is a local Lawrence artist who uses her immense knowledge of classic literature to express notions of instability, memory, and human communication and connections.

Susan Grace is a professional painter living and working in Lawrence, KS. She has a long and illustrious career exhibiting in art galleries throughout the U.S., including: the ARC Gallery in Chicago, Riverside Art Museum in California, the World Trade Center and an assortment of local galleries. In addition to her frequent showings, the artist has garnered acclaim and various awards for her paintings. Most notable of these are special recognition and honorable mention by The Artist Magazine and the Upstream People Gallery Online in Omaha, NE. She is currently showing in the Re: Solution group exhibition on display at the Cider Gallery.

 While not formally trained, her education on painting began in Athens, Greece. Before becoming a professional painter, she used her education in theater and literature to teach Literature courses to curious students. As such, her life-long study of the works of both American and European authors is considered by the artist to be a major source of inspiration for her artwork. She often describes her works in the form of poems and quotes from famous authors. As seen on her website, the artist draws her major inspiration from the works of Thomas Pynchon and Samuel Beckett, stating:

“In my paintings I explore issues related to disintegration, disorientation, instability, and attempts to communicate using some kind of written sign, including text translations and asemic writing [writing devoid of semantic context]. From shifting perceptions, unreliable memories...we construct an identity and a personal and sometimes briefly shared narrative of the past and a possible future.”

 This notion is reflected in the most recent works of Grace, displayed on the walls of the Cider Gallery. These pieces, which merge and flow with sweeping lines and a muted color palette, are often punctured by swirling script. The script reflects writing, but is not recognizable as such. Instead, the juxtaposition of pastel text over shades of brown and orange expresses the artists ideas of textual translations that are both unreliable and yet fixed, reflecting the imperfection of memory. In the instance of these images, the following passage picked by the artist best describes the tension between recollection and the blankness of unconsciousness.

 

“She could, at this stage of things, recognize signals like that, as the epileptic is said to—an odor, color, pure piercing grace note announcing his seizure. Afterward it is only this signal, really dross, this secular announcement, and never what is revealed during the attack, that he remembers. Oedipa wondered whether, at the end of this (if it were supposed to end), she too might not be left with only compiled memories of clues, announcements, intimations, but never the central truth itself, which must somehow each time be too bright for her memory to hold; which must always blaze out, destroying its own message irreversibly, leaving an overexposed blank when the ordinary world came back.”

― Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)

"Blue Ciggy #2," oil on canvas.

"He's In Town Again," mixed media on canvas.

"Staring Too Long," mixed media on canvas, triptych.

Visit the artists webpage here: http://www.susangracestudio.com/ 

'This Must Be The Place' Troy Moth & Adam Smith

Thank you to everyone who came by this past weekend for Final Fridays! We were extremely happy with the turnout and so excited to continue to have this show up until the end of November.

'This Must Be The Place' includes photography by Troy Moth and Adam Smith. The two artists are good friends that travel the world together while photographing the grandeur of nature along the way.

All of the photographs in the gallery can be purchased in three sizes: 16"x24", 24"x36" and "40x"60".

Cider Gallery. Tuesday-Friday. 1-5pm. 810 Pennsylvania.

The work above is 'Buffalo 01' by Troy Moth.