Phoenix Underground Exhibit, Opening June 27, 2014



SteamedAnimals–mostly birds but other critters too–have taken up residence in my art for many years. I didn’t exactly invite them. Like squirrels drawn to my bird feeder, I don’t recall intending to focus on critters but they have been drawn into my art. And yet I did put up the feeder, and I did create these images, Stirand so of course I invited them. Birds, frogs, cats, cicadas, squirrels and other critters are with us in life and so too in my art. In Steamed (2011), a squirrel chatters noisily like so many colicky babies (or whistling teakettles), clamoring for attention. In Stir (2010), birds with human legs spring forth to dance or fly. And in Composition With Goose (2009), a calm cat and a very wound-up goose hold forth and argue.


Frog, My FriendBut more recently, in the past half-year or so, I’ve changed a little. I am thinking more intentionally about critters, my relationship to them, and the impact of human activity and climate change on them. I think of my pictures as a stage and the animals and people in them as characters playing a part. But instead of using birds or squirrels to tell stories that are really about people, the critters I’m drawing now are playing the part of themselves and are part of the story. In Frog, My Friend, for example, a frog, a casualty of the 600.deathwithchickenSouth Lawrence Trafficway, is carried off by “Death.” Or maybe the frog is our pet frog that died because we just couldn’t take care of him right. Either way, the frog in this story is a frog. In Run!, a Prairie Chicken plays its own part, too, on the run from Death due to habitat destruction and Kansas politics. In Passenger Pigeon: Abstract Memory, a cloud of extinct Passenger Pigeons becomes abstract and fades from memory. In Robin, Been and Gone, a robin is depicted along with several robin-silhouettes, symbolizing presence and absence, a reminder of what pesticides can do to birds. These are of course my images for my very human purposes, too. But I hope that by thinking more about the role of animals in my work, I can remind viewers that we have a relationship with animals, and that this relationship is fragile.


Robin, Been and GoneMaking work about the negative impact of humans on critters is a new direction in my art, the beginning of a
Never Coming Back
larger body of work. I was moved to think more about animals in the broadest sense of the word after reading Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction. Her book includes story after story of scientists worldwide documenting the process of animals becoming extinct because of human-caused global warming. Animals are leaving us now, and they are never coming back.


In my new work I am guided too by collaborating with my composer-friend Lynn Gumert, of Hightstown, NJ.  Lynn and I have talked on the phone and we have exchanged emails, images, and sound. We are working together on loosely-related themes in our work, themes that include the impact of climate change on weather, animals, and us.  Lynn is working on a series of related short saxophone quartet pieces, and eventually our work will be presented together.  Her first notes to me depicted a river. Building on her compositions I am also playing with images of saxophones and literally drawing their “sound,” as in River Song. In this piece, a Mourning Dove plays a saxophone-river. This, too, is another experiment in visual storytelling.


Please join Karen Matheis and me for our two-person show at the Phoenix Underground, opening Final Friday, June 27, 2014, 5 – 9 pm, from June 27 – July 23 at the Phoenix Underground (825 Massachusetts, Lawrence, KS). I’ll show these works and others too, and almost all of them include animals.


Going / Home / Coming at the Percolator

This is a detail of "Democrats!" at the Lawrence Percolator.

Everyone is invited to the opening reception for the exhibit Going / Home / Coming on August 13, 6 – 9 pm, at the Lawrence Percolator in Lawrence, KS. The artists whose work will be shown explore the theme of “home” with the following in mind: When do you become aware of home? In what situations do you not feel at home? How does the idea of home change over time?


My piece in the exhibit includes an anecdote from my childhood about growing up as a Democrat in a Republican state — my home state of Kansas. I made the piece by applying and scratching off various inks on a clayboard surface. I hope you’ll enjoy seeing and reading this quirky little piece.


The Lawrence Percolator is located in the alley between 9th and 10th streets and behind the Lawrence Arts Center on New Hampshire St. The exhibit runs August 13 – September 11, 2011, and is open on Saturdays and Sundays from noon – 6 pm, and on the Final Friday of each month from 5 – 8 pm.

“Scratch, Sprinkle, Cut” at the Carnegie Cultural Center

Come see my clayboard drawings in a three-person exhibit called Scratch, Sprinkle, Cut, at the Carnegie Cultural Center in Ottawa, KS. The exhibit features the black-and-white art of Azyz Sharafy (sandtoning), Angela Pickman (cut paper), and me (clayboard).


The Carnegie Cultural Center is at 5th and Main in Ottawa, KS. The exhibit runs August 5 – September 30, 2011, and the hours are Wednesday – Friday, noon – 5 pm, and by appointment on Saturdays. The exhibit reception is open to all on Friday, August 19, 5:30 – 7:30 pm.


I will offer a two-hour Scratchboard Workshop at the Carnegie on Saturday, August 27, from 10 am – noon. The cost is $20. Call to pre-register at 785-242-8478.

New Years Eve Art Party at Hobbs-Taylor Gallery

The Hobbs-Taylor Gallery at 8th and New Hampshire (Lawrence, KS) is hosting a “Final Friday” New Years Eve Art Party! Nineteen artists will be showing work from 5 – 9 pm, including me.  Here’s a couple new pieces that will be in the show:

Jost at the Yost Art Gallery in Highland, KS

My exhibit Linked in Spirit is showing at the Yost Art Gallery from Nov. 16 – Dec. 16, 2010, located at 606 W. Main on the campus of Highland Community College in Highland, KS.  The exhibit includes three new works that I’m showing for the first time:

Linked in Spirit, The Percolator, May 15 – June 27

detail of "Blackbirds"

The public is invited to a reception to celebrate the opening of “Linked in Spirit: an Exhibit of Clayboard Drawings, Mixed-media Collages, and Mosaic,” on Saturday, May 15, 6 – 9 pm, at the Percolator (look for the green awnings in the alley between 9th St. and  the Lawrence Arts Center at 940 New Hampshire, Lawrence, KS.) Keyboard musician Brad Hoopes will play at the reception, and refreshments will be served.

The exhibit runs May 15 – June 22, 2010.  Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday, noon – 6 pm, or by appointment call 785-840-5507.

Linked in Spirit, Bethel College, Mar. 5 – Apr. 2

Linked In Spirit: An Exhibition of Mixed-media Collages, Clayboard Drawings, and Mosaics is on display at the Fine Arts Center gallery, Bethel College, North Newton, KS, March 5 – April 2, 2010.  Hrs. M – F 9 am – 5 pm and Su 1 – 5 pm. This exhibit will be at the Percolator, Lawrence, KS, in May.

1109 Gallery Exhibit (and upcoming shows)

Headwind (available)

Strange birds are visiting my imagination, and although these are caught in a strong headwind, you might also enjoy the bird-oid I made playing in a fountain, on display at the 1109 Gallery (1109 Massachusetts, Lawrence, KS) from November 11 – January 10, 2010.  Everyone is invited to the opening reception on November 14, from 7 – 9 pm.

I would also like to invite you to see my work at Bethel College in N. Newton, KS in March, 2010, and at the Percolator Gallery in Lawrence, KS in either May or June of 2010.  More information on these exhibits will be coming soon

New Scratchboard at 1109 Gallery

Composition with Goose

“Composition with Goose,” a 12″ x 12″ clayboard drawing, will be on exhibit at the 1109 Gallery (1109 Mass, Lawrence), as part of the “Animals & Nature Dog Days Show,” August 5 – September 6, 2009.  All are invited to the opening on August 8, 7 – 9 pm.

Dime Bag Show


This is a new piece that I made for the “Dime Bag Show,” a fundraiser for Lawrence’s Social Service League, at the Percolator Gallery on August 1, 2009, 7-10 pm.  All art is made  from materials purchased at the Social Service League, including the plates and cups that I broke for this piece (12″ x 12″).  All work is priced at under $50, and proceeds go to the Social Service League.