Lawrence KS

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

Wayne Propst - Artist Top 5

Artist Top Five Question 1/5

CG:  How did you come up with the idea to produce the sledgehammer paintings:

WP:  “We had been doing machine-generated art for a while, using all kinds of different tools and I had tried just hitting, I think it was a jar of paint with a hammer, and it was just SPECTACULAR, but it wasn’t very directed.  Then, in my shop I had a bunch of old-school dixie cup cone cups, and I thought, well if I put some paint in one of those, then the paint could only go in one direction.

 Eventually, I constructed a clam-shell device, to rapidly squeeze one of those dixie cups, and of course the paint came out pretty good.  Then, sometimes those dixie cups would burst and get away from me and so I started covering those cups with modified file folders.  At one time, file folders were valuable {but} right about the same time, the notion of files, because of computers, was becoming more and more obsolete.

Then we also experimented with using compressed air, and that is still in progress.  It works, but just not the way I want it to.  The contraption that is hanging in the gallery, you can control it a lot more, {there is} a lot more control over how much paint comes out, by adjusting the amount of paint that is in it…to describe how hard to hit it is…silly.

That’s what I think is so intriguing about it, at once it is seemingly just totally random, but of course it’s not.  It’s a learning process, anybody that has a bit of mechanical experience could get into it pretty fast.  The other variations are how viscus the paint is – if it is really thick versus really thin – all of those things come into play.”


Artist Top Five Question 2/5

CG:  What inspires the colors that you use?

WP:  “I don’t think the colors are random at all.  I choose the colors…I’m pretty interested in where it looks like it might be on fire…reads, yellows, things that suggest fire…they are the most interesting-looking ones, I think.”



Artist Top Five Question 3/5

CG:  What should the viewer keep in mind when looking at the sledgehammer paintings:

WP:  “I’m not trying to diminish myself, {but} everybody can make something.  It’s not overwhelming.  The point of it might be that everybody could make something.  That’s a sad part of our culture, people feel so unempowered that they look outward.  Whatever the mission is, you better be really really good at it.  {That said,} I hustled my ass off to get to this spot…”

Wayne Propst 4.jpg

Artist Top Five Question 4/5

CG:  What is your favorite thing about The Bourgeois Pig?

WP:  “Well, my cronies.  That’s an easy one.”

Wayne Propst 3.jpg


Artist Top Five Question 5/5

CG:  What is your all-time favorite location on the planet?

WP:  “At the moment, I’d say, right now, I love my screened-in porch.”

Wayne Propst.jpg

Robert McNown's Final Friday show


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!

Sinatra party attire ideas: fella's edition

Joining us the evening of December 16th to celebrate Frank Sinatra’s birthday? Unsure about what to wear? If you want to dress up (and we strongly encourage it), you don’t have to break the bank to channel Ol’ Blue Eyes and his crew.

For a classic Sinatra-era look, all you need is a simple suit (either navy, black, or gray) with a skinny black tie or bowtie. And don't forget the classic white button-down. For accessories, we recommend a pocket square, a cocktail in your hand, and a fedora, and don't forget to "Cock your hat -- angles are attitudes."

For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, visit frank-sinatra-event.


Security 1st Title - Cinco De Mayo Customer Appreciation

Showing your appreciation is one of those values we never tire of.  When a company shows their appreciation to their loyal customers it goes a long way to build their reputation.  Security 1st Titl went above and beyond for their Cinco De Mayo Customer Appreciation Event at Cider Gallery.  Free Mexican lager, margaritas, smoked meat for tacos, and a live mariachi band.  Have you thought about celebrating your fantastic customers?  Reach out to to plan your customer appreciation event today!