The Kansas River, originally called the Kaw River, is the longest prairie based river in the world. It runs for 171 miles from Junction City to Kansas City. The river has advocates in an organization called Friends of the Kaw (FOK). It’s leader and the Kansas Riverkeeper, Laura Calwell, led folks on a 5 mile trip today. She loaned me her kayak and I floated gently down the slow moving, muddy river. Mostly I luxuriated in the ribbon of light that surrounds a boat in water, but I also learned some area history and met some nice folks. It was a heavenly day.
I am one of several artists who have a page on the FOK website on the Life on the Kaw page. You can support FOK by buying prints of my work through their organization. I donate a portion of the price to FOK.
Today I attended a viewing of the XY exhibit at the Spencer Museum of Art. It was special because there were lots of interesting women, cucumber martinis, sushi, and most importantly, the exhibit’s curator. He was the only male in the group, full of good humor and very gracious as he led the female entourage through the show pointing out subtle things that only the curator could point out: The Leighton sculpture of an ideal young man stretching was set in front of the Mapplethorpe photos of the exact same sculpture; A 1950s Jewish painting of a physically ravaged man is next to a painting of a 1930s Japanese full figured youth; A 20th century magazine engraving of a men’s department store faces a much earlier engraving of the circumcision of the Christ child. Men are shown clean, polished, pumped, war ravaged, deflated, young, middle aged, and old.
This exhibit is well designed, giving viewers an excellent reference point to discuss sexuality, which is so difficult in our culture. The social, political and cultural forces on male sexuality are shown through a variety of works, some forceful, some poignant, some beautiful, all shedding light on what it means to be a man. Bravo Spencer Museum of Art!
We’re in the final weeks of summer. Begonia pinks and greens inspired this patio painting. Naomi and I make a good team. She’s in charge of color. I’m in charge of supplies. We both lay down the paint.