A hop, skip and a 45 minute jump from the convention center, in nearby Lawrence, KS, you’ll find three exhibitions showcasing the heart of the region.  Midwest Mentors, organized by Bracker’s Good Earth Clays, represents work from artists across the US and internationally, who have presented workshops there since the last Kansas City NCECA.  Although they have created a complete electronic catalog of this exhibition, this is definitely a show you will want to see in person.  Included artists are  Steven BranfmanJim Connell, Paul LewingDavid GambleIan CurrieRobert Piepenburg, Tim Frederich,  David Sturm,  Don Davis,  Pete Pinnell, Angelica Pozo.   Robin Hopper , Lana Wilson, Conner Burns, Linda ArbucklePaul WandlessSue MorseWally AsselberghsLinda GanstromKristin KiefferDan GegenRon RoyEric StearnsAndrew MartinForrest MiddeltonAdam Field & Marcia Selsor

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A similarly themed exhibition also found here in Lawrence is  “701 Louisiana.”  Don’t be fooled by the title of the show, this collection is on display at Lawrence’s beautiful Cider Gallery, at 810 Pennsylvania.  The title of this exhibition references the home address of two incredible Lawrence art patrons.  All of the artists invited to this exhibition have stayed with Bird and Michel Loomis while in Lawrence, Kansas as demonstrators for the Lawrence Arts Center’s Ceramics Symposium. At some point each invited artist has enjoyed spirited discussions and cup of coffee while perched around the Loomis’ kitchen island. Bonds and unexpected connections arise from the warmth and energy in the Loomis’ Victorian home filled with contemporary art.  This exhibition is a ledger, a record, and a signal of paths that have crossed (despite any separation of time or distance).

The common thread in a sense is that “we were here.”

Included artists are: Dan Anderson, John Balistreri, David Hiltner, Mark Burns, Matt Long, Tom Bartel, Christa Assad, Josh DeWeese, Charity Davis Woodard, Pattie Chalmers, Akio Takamori, Chris Gustin, Stan Welsh, Sunshine Cobb, Auymi Horie, Liz Quackenbush, Roberto Lugo, Sergei Isupov, Steve Lee

Back at Brackers, you’ll find another exhibition organized by Marko Fields titled Kansas Clay Connection II.  This show is an encore to an exhibition that harkens back to the last Kansas City NCECA.  This show will feature work by 100 ceramists and potters who are from Kansas, or who have taught or were educated at a Kansas college or university including Andy Brayman, Elaine O. Henry, Linda Ganstrom, Patrick Taddy, Yoshiro Ikeda, Mika Negishi-Laidlaw. Marko Fields, David Hiltner, Ken Ferguson, Scott Dooley, Julie Galloway and many, many other accomplished artists.

While you’re in Lawrence, you might also want to check in and see:

Shakers: Salt & Pepper Shaker Show,  an exhibition that brings together contemporary artists to explore this form. Included artists: Lorna Meaden, Jennifer Allen, Doug Peltzman, Melissa Mencini, Brenda Lichman,Mike Jabbar, Jason Burnett, Beth Robinson, Jeremy Jr. Kane.

GrowlerFest Midwest: Project Art, exhibiting limited-edition growlers featuring decal designs by top artists working graphically on clay. Included Artists: Jessica Brandl, Carole Epp, Kathy King, Lauren Gallaspy, Sergei Isupov, Justin Rothshank, Paul Scott, Vipoo Srivilasa, Jason Walker, Kurt Weiser.

Poetics of Voids: Containers that Anticipate Together we explore the possible instantiations and evolutions of form through utility. It’s ‘void’ exchanged for its ‘contents’ shifts relations/bearings – (in)forming signification and utility; sensuously (re)framing symbolism and use. Included Artists: Jason Briggs, Julia Haft-Candell, Pauliina Pöllänen, Jacob Raeder and Malcolm Mobutu

Richard W. James MFA Thesis Exhibition This exhibition will explore the separation between the internal and external using a combination of both the made and found in clay, fabric, and wood. Artist: Richard W. James

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Also in Lawrence are the three incredible shows at the Lawrence Arts Center that we told you about last week.

Check the NCECA Exhibition Guide for all the addresses and details, or just follow the yellow brick road!  🙂

(please note: that’s metaphorically speaking…there is not an actual yellow brick road to Lawrence, but it sure feels like it!)