Earlier this fall, I realized that many of the posters I’ve made over the last ten years had never been exhibited in Lawrence - at least not in an inside space. That’s because the first audience for them is on the streets, as they are used in rallies, protests, and campaigns for social justice. Another reason is that it can be difficult to find well-traveled spaces that would take them, as I discovered in 2012 when a portrait I made critical of our (former) Governor . was removed from a show in Topeka. I thank the library, especially Heather Kearns, for taking its mission of free speech seriously and making space for this exhibition.
These days, as we reflexively curate opposing points of view out of our facebook feeds, while our local media disintegrates, using the commons of the street to communicate feels ever more important.
I see my posters as akin to editorial cartoons, and the premonitions of prescient radicals who have stood upon soap-boxes throughout history. They are inspired by a long tradition of artist-activists, from José Guadalupe Posada who etched the dramas of the Mexican Revolution taking place outside his shop into wood and copper, to Emory Douglas’s indictments of racism as the Minister of Culture for the Black Panthers, and Favianna Rodriguez’s unrelenting and beautiful defense of the sovereignty of all migrant peoples. They, and many others, are my mentors from afar, reminding me again and again that, as James Baldwin said, “Artists are here to disturb the peace.”
I’ll be giving a talk about this show and more on Sunday, February 18th at 3pm in the Library Auditorium.
Signed 13” x 19” versions of these posters printed on archival paper are available in my website shop. The originals are available too, just contact me through my website if you’re interested.
The end of the Give Take Give
On a walk this fall with my three-month-old son Andrés, we took the alley past the Farmers Market parking lot toward the Social Service League. As we crossed 9th Street, I could see my friend Earline leaning into the blue metal dumpster behind the League with a homemade prospecting tool in hand. For years Earline has been collecting reusable and recyclable stuff from the dumpster. In the book documenting the project I created about the dumpster called Give Take Give she said, “I’m ready to cut back, but I don’t want to stop until I know that there’s somebody who will do it faithfully – like a job or something. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about all those hangers going to the landfill.”
But Earline was struggling, fighting to keep the lid open so she could search and retrieve, and then I realized why. There was a thick metal chain and padlock that was keeping the lid closed. This was new. It never had been locked before. My heart sank. Why would the Social Service League lock the dumpster, effectively putting an end to the gift economy it had been the center of for more than twenty years? In the days that followed, news of the locked dumpster spread, prompting the League to respond in a lengthy facebook post. They said, in part, that due to people making a mess, getting into and sleeping in the dumpster, “the lock was our only choice.” In my memory, these had never been significant issues. Only since a new board of directors and store manager were put in place did these concerns arise.
Andrés and I were able to walk this route because there’s a lull in construction. The alley had been closed for months, the one where the dumpster I profiled in the Give Take Give project is, and the one adjacent to the Pollinators mural I helped create at Farmers Market. In the last few years, this two-block stretch of New Hampshire St. has been transformed. There are more than one hundred new upscale apartments, a rooftop pool, a Marriott Extended Stay hotel, an expensive wine shop, and a foodie bistro. Looking west from Rhode Island Street, this wall of new five to eight story buildings looms over the houses below them, and stands as a visual and psychological divide between downtown and East Lawrence - on one side, a burgeoning neo-yuppie enclave, on the other side, a historic working-class neighborhood.
Many in East Lawrence opposed these new developments or at least wanted them to be smaller, scaled closer to the aspect of the rest of the neighborhood. And it was this coming wave of construction, and the potential it had to impact the social fabric of the neighborhood, that led me to begin the Give Take Give project. I feared that if the story of the dumpster’s unique gift economy wasn’t captured then, it might be lost forever.
At the end of Give Take Give, I wrote, “Hopefully, this book will not become a nostalgic elegy for something that was. Hopefully, the give take give at the League dumpster continues on where it’s always been.” That was four years ago. The dumpster is still there, but as Andrés and I discovered, now it’s just for trash, locked out of the current of good will that sustained the give take give.
Blowing-up the neighborhood
Changes at the Social Service League are part of an economic and aesthetic revitalization push evidenced by the new building projects spreading out from the intersection of New Hampshire & East 9th Streets and a growing desire among some to see this "corridor" as ripe for Placemaking.
Placemaking is a development tool broadly describing the use of art and artists to increase the economic and social potential of an area often deemed blighted or undervalued. Although it is supported in the field of community development, there is growing body of criticism about Placemaking and how it can contribute to the process of gentrification.
All of this demolition and construction led to talk about whether nearby East 9th Street was about to “Blow-up.” Tourism bureaus and hipsters like to announce that a place is about to "Blow-up" when a formerly uncool (usually working-class) neighborhood sees the influx of foodie food trucks, art galleries and lofts. Lofts!
For a place to really Blow-up, developers often recommend making the desired neighborhood “safer,” so that visitors feel comfortable around the new breweries and coffee shops. This of course is code language aimed at potential investors and real estate speculators signaling that they should get in while they can. And like other redevelopment schemes from the past (urban renewal and manifest destiny to name a couple) a neighborhood that gets blown-up often sees the replacement of established residents and businesses with new ones - in other words gentrification.
Return of the Pollinators
A block north of the Give Take Give dumpster, the original Pollinators mural had already fallen victim to this vision. It was taken down to make room for the new 888 Lofts and rooftop pool, which, no joke, was first occupied by a KU fraternity. Adding irony to this loss was that Pollinators was being demolished at the same time the City was touting its first cultural arts district (which included the Pollinators). This was not lost on neighbors, many of whom saw it as a sign that all the talk of Placemaking was just a way of making the greater goal of upscale development more palatable.
Fortunately, we had some warning about the Pollinators’ fate and were able to organize a response. Although there was no city, state or federal protection for the mural we could point to, love and support for the mural was widespread and folks were not going to accept its destruction as the inevitability of "progress."
After months of negotiation, and with the support of hundreds of Lawrencians, the developer agreed to fund the creation of a new mural in roughly the same place as the original on the new building. That mural, completed in July, pulls no punches. The design team I led was determined that we tell the story of what happened to the original and address the threat posed by the forces that took it down. But I wonder, as I did with the dumpster, if the new mural will become just another elegy, an artifact from a battle lost to gentrification.
In Lawrence, like many cities, when large building or road projects are proposed they must go through a number of reviews including an Environmental Impact Study. This ensures that the proposed activity will not unduly harm protected animals, habitats or public health. We have no review however for how such projects can adversely affect cultural fabric - the ways in which groups of people maintain and practice their culture, including expressions of heritage, language and social gathering. Writer Arlene Goldbard thinks we should. She imagines communities adding a Cultural Impact Study to the review process to make certain that harmful impacts can be addressed and alternatives explored. Proposing such a study, I believe, would start a needed and new conversation about how we imagine Lawrence and what we value as a community.
On our way home, Andrés and I walked east along 9th Street past the Turnhalle, past the old Kansas Key Press, past where Rick “Tiger” Dowdell was shot and killed by police, past St. Luke AME, past the community orchard, and all the while on the traditional lands of indigenous peoples including the Kansa, Ioway and Osage, until we got to one of the most improbable and beloved spots in town. It’s known locally as the Wishing Bench - a place not unlike the League dumpster in spirit (pre-lock and chain), where a current of wishes asked for and granted flows through.
The bench, which began as a KU class project, over time has become an improvised community artwork and Lawrence icon with a simple purpose inscribed on a hand painted sign added to its frame. It says, “Sit and make a wish. You won’t be disappointed.” It’s free, unsupervised and since it’s not owned by anyone but sits on the property of an ambitious developer, it’s vulnerable, like a canary in a coalmine. Andrés was captivated by all of the colors and shapes, the things people had added over the years, which turned the cold metal structure into a kind of shrine to the hopes and dreams of the neighborhood. We sat, and granted ourselves three wishes. Andrés went first (It was something that ended in a ear piercing high-pitched laugh and drool), me next (If I tell, it won't come true) and the last wish we gave back to the wishing bench, cautiously optimistic that it would be undisappointing those who shared their secrets for many years to come.
“So when do we get our own wall?” a ten year old volunteer painter asked from the scaffold.
This had been something I’d heard for years from kids while working on the Great Mural Wall. It wasn’t that they couldn’t participate. They were always part of our design teams and painting crews, but what they wanted was a space of their own. Their ideas, their drawings, painted by them.
This is their mural.
Assistant muralist Connie Fiorella - Fitzpatrick and I started by going to where young people gather after school near Chesney Park. Our first stop was the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library rotunda where we were quickly swamped with young artists. Some drew in response to prompts we gave like, “ What advice would you give to adults?” or “What’s the best thing about being a kid in Topeka?” Others drew their friends, family or imaginary scenes of flying dogs and talking giraffes. A few even made portraits of us.
Later, we met older kids in the library’s Teen Zone. Amidst the chaos of after school freedom, it was tough to pull them away from their phones, but when they finally took a break from texting, the drawings they made burned with honesty and emotion. From questions about bullying, support for Black Lives Matter to heartfelt depictions of loneliness, these kids had a lot on their minds and in their hearts.
Again and again we heard kids say that grown-ups just don’t understand, especially when it came to their conversations on social media in the form of emoji filled texts. Connie and talked about how interesting it was that young people were using the ancient and evocative language of pictograms to communicate. Words are slower, hemmed in by layers of cultural meaning and take up so much space. Pictograms or emojis are the colorful secret shorthand of youth, a constantly shifting language of ideas and emotions out of reach of many adults. They are also the perfect storytelling language for murals, so it just made sense that we ask our young artists to write the conversations their characters were having with each other in the language of emojis.
Lots of younger kids in the Topeka area go to Boy’s & Girls Clubs after school, and one of those Clubs is specifically for youth from the Kickapoo Tribe. With the help of our friend Sara O’Keefe, we got to work with them north of Topeka on the Kickapoo reservation near Horton. Connie gave a presentation about our project, and then in pairs the young artists interviewed each other as the basis for portraits they would make.
Our last drawing workshop took place on a beautiful First Friday in the NOTO Arts District. Swarms of small hands covered yards of paper with their visions, while parents stood back checking facebook or Instagram. The improvised collaboration that emerged among these young passersby was inspiring, reminding us about the power of art to bring people together across difference.
The mural design that developed from these dozens drawings imagines the various characters, portraits, animals and creatures inhabiting a common world, chatting with each other in emoji texts about life.
Painting the mural took take place over two summers (due to Connie and Dave’s new muralista, Andrés, being born :). And in that time, our beloved collaborator, rabble-rouser, critic and Chesney Park cheerleader Frank Hoge passed away at age 91. Frank was infamous too. For the last ten years, he’d been Chesney Park’s best known graffiti artist, spraypainting butterflies over any offensive tag or dull patch of gray. Always young at heart, this new mural is dedicated to Frank.
Thanks to all of the young people who let us collaborate with them in the creation of this mural. You inspire us. Thanks also to the grown-ups who helped us too – Leah Sewell, Sara O’Keefe, Michael Bradley, Hi Stockwell, Tom Benaka, Frank Hoge, the Chesney Park NIA and the folks at ArtsConnect.
A public celebration for the mural and artists is Saturday, November 11th at 2pm at the mural site, 20th & Fillmore in Topeka.
A throw-back in honor of the upcoming eclipse.
Twenty-three years ago I experienced my first eclipse. It wasn’t total. It was annular, meaning, because of its proximity to the earth, the moon didn’t completely cover the sun. Unsure about what was about to happen, my roommate and I stood outside our apartment in Lawrence, Kansas waiting for something to change. It came as an odd, slow dimming almost imperceptible but for the sounds. The rising sounds of birds and insects and dogs, howls and chirps that would normally happen as evening approached. Like the animals we are, I felt my hackles go up. It was eerie and instinctual.
I also remember an unexpected effect of the eclipse. It was how it brought people together. It was a true spectacle, something outside of the everyday we could all witness but were powerless to control. And it was in that liminal moment that a space in time was opened for passersby and strangers to meet and wonder - together.
Six years later.
I was in Grinnell, Iowa, the small town where I’d gone to college in the 80’s and was back to work on a mural with students from both the town and college. Early in the project at a community meeting folks were having a hard time getting beyond flat characterizations of each other - elitist, townie, hippie, red neck - when I recalled that moment of the eclipse and of how it briefly allowed people who might not normally talk to each other to gaze up at the sky and chat.
I thought about one reality obscuring, eclipsing another, what we see and how we adjust to absence. The answer during an eclipse is the wild and beautiful corona, which can only be observed when the moon is directly in front of the sun. When one idea obscures another, sometimes new things are revealed. In awe of the eclipse, we briefly recognize our fragility and connectedness. I shared my thoughts with the mural team and after much discussion and drawing, we chose to represent the Grinnell community coming together during an eclipse.
The design has four parts. On the left a group of people, in front an iconic Louis Sullivan bank decoration from town, come 'to the table' to work on an issue, make a plan, discuss a problem, and listen to each other. On the far right, a group of local domesticated and wild animals take notice of the humans. And in the center of the mural above the intersection/crossing of north-south and east-west train lines, a symbolic figure brings a gesture of good will, inspiration, solace, across the dark blue disc of the eclipse.
The mural was commissioned by the Grinnell Area Arts Council. My friend Karla Niehus who worked at the Faulconer Gallery and served on the Arts Council was the project coordinator. Grinnell student Alex Racho was the assistant. Students from Grinnell High School, New Horizons Alternative High School and College made up the design team. If you’re driving across Iowa on I-80, stop in Grinnell for a meal at my friend Kamal’s restaurant, Relish, and then check out Eclipse the mural at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Park Street.
Earlier this summer, I had a great time leading Baldwin City’s first community mural project. Created with the help of more than one hundred residents, it imagines new murals sprouting from giant maple tree seeds filled with images of the community’s history and culture. Known for their distinctive shape and helicopter like flight, the local design team portrayed stories of Baldwin City through maple seeds, parent to the maple leaf and namesake of the community's beloved fall festival.
The ten giant seeds frame images including the Women’s Bridge, champion brick layer Jim Garfield Brown, Baker University, and Signal Oak. At the center of the mural, downtown’s fountain is illuminated by firefly like maple seeds, and encourages visitors to #wear the wings! Thanks to everyone who helped make this project possible, especially Project Coordinator Jeannette Blackmar, Mural Assistant Nicholas Ward, and Mural Apprentices Ella Conover, Alaina Schiffelbein and Megan Young.
See the mural for yourself at 608 High St. in Baldwin City, Kansas.
After receiving Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission and City Commission approvals, securing liability insurance and getting the ok to use five parking spaces in front of the wall, we finally have begun painting. Over Memorial Day weekend, no less than 130 people helped revive the Pollinators by adding their own brushstrokes.
The design for the mural is based on an intensive community-based process that I led this spring with the help of Nedra Bonds, Janada Birdling, Eugene Sarmiento, Susan Earle and a volunteer design team. We explored the original project, it’s untimely demise and how a new version of the mural could reflect a changed environment ten years later. Our new design engages with those forces that inhibit or threaten pollination, considering questions about what plants and creatures are thought of as pests or weeds and why. And it celebrates the capacity of art and artists to envision a more just and sustainable world.
The new design shows the original artists addressing threats to pollinators by working together to rebuild their mural and create a more sustainable habitat for all. In this new design, Gordon Parks, Hattie McDaniel and Langston Hughes reassemble pieces of the original mural, while Oscar Micheaux documents. Coleman Hawkins saxophone plays more than music now as it releases brilliantly colored pollen grains toward awaiting flowers.
And Gwendolyn Brooks has taken off from the ground with a wave of pollinating creatures (many created by young people at New York School) rushing toward a desaturated landscape hoping to bring color and vitality back. As she flies, she writes a new quote into the sky, “And this is the urgency: Live! And have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind.”
Our team recognized that the original group of artists (Pollinators) all came from a particular time period associated with the Harlem Renaissance, and wanted to add more contemporary figures to help broaden the mural’s meaning. Added in the design is a new generation represented by a boy on the right helping to reconstruct the original mural, a girl on the left receiving A. Douglas’s palette like a baton in a relay, and the musician and actress Janelle Monáe inspiring the group with song.
A public celebration of the (almost) completed mural will be on Friday, June 9th at 5:30.
As part of the effort to achieve justice for my partner Connie's mom, Margarita, I made this limited edition stencil print in English and Spanish. It is available through her Indiegogo Campaign for those who donate $300 or more. A smaller signed inkjet print on archival paper is available for those who donate $20 or more. #justiceformargarita #justiciaparamargarita
In support of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture's national day of action #Revolution of Values, I made these 'postcards' of defunct monuments. They refer to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s April 4, 1967 Riverside Speech when he said,
[W]e as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
It’s getting lighter. Daylight savings time is back. Mural season. Flowers awaiting pollination are beginning to bloom, daffodils and dandelions first. Bees are appearing and monarchs have begun their migration north from Mexico. There’s front-page news in the Journal-World that a fraternity of eighty-seven guys has moved into the 888 New Hampshire building (where our mural will be), while their palatial estate was being renovated. Closing in on the north side of the farmers market parking lot, construction continues on a yet another upscale apartment building shrinking evermore the neighborhood’s habitat for affordable housing.
In the studio a couple blocks away, we began imagining how the Pollinator artists would have responded to the destruction of the original mural, and how they would feel about changes to the neighborhood. Would they act to protect and defend natures’ pollinators against threats to their habitat? How would they respond to the new building on which they would be painted and what it signaled for the East side of Lawrence? Would other artists be compelled to join them in their struggle?
Our initial drawings illustrate a tension between competing ideas about how neighborhoods develop and change, and who or what affects that change. As we worked, we talked about the tools and strategies artists posses to address these issues - how music, poetry, film and painting can shift perceptions and inspire action.
As space for affordable housing shrinks near downtown, so does the habitat for nature's pollinators. Market driven monoculture has replaced many wild and organic backyards and greenspaces in Lawrence with chemically enhanced weed-free sod. Dandelions are the enemy, technology the solution as with these newly developed 'drone pollinators.'
This kind of erasure isn't new. Mural Assistant Nedra Bonds has seen it before. In the 1980's, the historic site of Quindaro, near Nedra's home in Kansas City, Kansas, was nearly turned into a trash dump. No one in power seemed to care that Quindaro had been established by Wyandots and Abolitionists to fight pro-slavery forces until Bonds and others started to make a fuss and tell the story through quilts. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
So what's the antidote to market driven monoculture? Wes Jackson at the Land Institute calls it perennial-polyculture, a practice of mimicking the prairies of central Kansas to produce crops that don't require the soil numbing toxins used in industrialized agriculture. We asked ourselves what a perrenial-polyculture of built structures and human community would look like in Lawrence. Our answer meant aligning the mural design with wind-blown seeds, weeds and migrating pollinators both human and winged who eschew monotone and monochrome for a full spectrum of experience.
Sanctuary: A place of refuge or safety.
Santuario: Un lugar de refugio o seguridad.
Communities across the U.S. are declaring themselves Sanctuaries , and are refusing to collude with I.C.E, in order to protect targeted immigrants and to ensure that families are not torn apart by unjust laws. In a xenophobic rage, the President has promised retribution against any municipality that acts on behalf of people who don't have specific types of documentation. Here in Kansas, the Governor and Secretary of State have doubled down on these threats, proposing to completely defund communities that don't actively search for and detain those they deem unwelcome. This poster is available as a free download at Justseeds.
For many Lawrence folks, especially those that frequent Saturday farmers market, the Pollinators mural and its untimely demise are still fresh in their memories. News that the mural would have a second life was celebrated but also prompted many questions. Where would the new mural be located? Would it be the same size? Who would design and paint it? And most crucially, would the design be the same, including the seven African-American artists and the Gwendolyn Brooks quote, “We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond”?
Answering the first three questions was easy. The new mural would be at the same relative location (the north facing wall adjacent to farmers market), although only about half as large. The muralists, as I mentioned in our previous blog post, would be comprised of both new and old design team members plus a new assistant and two new apprentices. Much more difficult to answer is the last question - how would the design be different from the original, what would remain, what would be changed, and what would be added?
Since early February, our design team has been grappling with these questions. Early on we chose to not merely reproduce the original Pollinators, but to re-imagine it. We committed to honoring the original while adding elements that speak to a new time and new circumstances.
There are a few precedents for re-imagining a mural. The iconic “Wall of Respect” in Chicago, which evolved over the years with some images being replaced with others as needed, is probably the best known.
The idea that a mural does not necessarily have to be static or ever really finished, that it can be a living expression that grows and changes with the times has been a compelling notion for our design team. Because visual art is bought and sold as a commodity, there is less opportunity to change something after it's left the studio, while re-imagining artworks in other media like dance and theater is much more familiar. It’s not uncommon to see reinterpretations or updated versions of well-known stories from the likes of Shakespeare or August Wilson set in new contexts with casts that reflect different points of view. We have that opportunity because the Pollinators is being recreated and we can make changes if we wish. It would be a much different story for folks at the Spencer Museum and City, I imagine, if the original mural was still there and we proposed to change and adapt it.
To ground our re-imagining, we began at the Lawrence Public Library with research about the original Pollinators, it’s subject matter and design, and how the community came together to ensure it would rise again.
The team felt strongly that this story of why the mural was destroyed and the community effort to restore it needed to be depicted in some form. The fate of the Pollinators is connected to the larger story about how downtown Lawrence is changing and who will benefit from those changes. Re-examining the central metaphor from the original mural, we began thinking about the factors, agents, etc. that inhibit or block pollination in nature. This led us to question what factors might inhibit the ability of the artists depicted (and their descendants) to ‘pollinate’, and how analogous forces could prevent cultural cross-pollination in the larger community. Big questions.
So, instead of separating our discussion about the biology of pollination from the African-American artist pollinators in the mural and the cultural impact of new development, we let these ideas overlap, complicate and influence each other. We talked about monoculture in agriculture and how to spot signs of monoculture within the cultural community of Lawrence. We talked about the shape and structure of pollen grains, the persistence, beauty and utility of 'weeds', contemporary African-American artists with roots in Kansas, and we talked about how upscale development is encroaching on the East side with uncertain consequences. Our research and conversations produced a wealth of ideas.
In this way, the re-imagined Pollinators project has become a forum for creatively addressing important issues including affordable housing, food justice, and people’s history. This is intentional. Inspired by the examples of artists Liz Lerman, Augusto Boal and Judy Baca, our approach is founded on the idea that a collaborative creative process can illuminate and articulate community conflicts and aspirations in ways that can lead to equitable and just solutions.
Next, we begin to visualize the mural design…
In solidarity with the International Women's Strike, here are portraits of two incredible women. CJ Brune, who passed in 2015, was one of the original February Sisters and a lifelong activist who I was lucky to know as a friend and mentor. My mom Pamela, still alive and kicking, is pictured on her soap box fighting, as she has her whole life, for women's rights and social justice.
On September 20, 2007 the Pollinators mural was dedicated at Lawrence Farmers Market. On March 6, 2015 it was destroyed. And this week, two years after it came down, and spurred by a remarkable community effort to ensure it would return, we celebrate the germination of the Re-Imagined Pollinators!
This is new territory for me. I have restored old murals, “Seeds” at 9th & Mississippi and “1000 Miles Away” at Cordley Elementary to name a couple. I’ve also lost a few to time and changing priorities, but I’ve never reimagined a mural. Diego Rivera famously recreated his “Man at the Crossroads” at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City after J.D. Rockefeller Jr. tore down the original in New York. The dispute with the monopolist oil magnate centered around a portrait of the Russian leader Lenin which Rivera made sure to include in the recreated version.
The tension between an artist’s politics, a patron’s power and the persistence to tell one’s story in full are all part of what make the process of creating public art so dynamic and democratic. And this story of destruction and resurrection is something that our new design team is keeping in mind as we explore out how to tell the next chapter of the Pollinators.
I am supported on this project by the incredible mural team of: Nedra Bonds, a nationally recognized quilter who’s work is currently on view at the EthnicArt Gallery in Kansas City; Janada Birdling, a Lawrence High School senior who has worked on murals at the Ballard center and at the Full Circle Youth Program; and Eugene Sarmiento, a first year printmaking grad student who has worked alongside the Sour Grapes graffiti crew in Dallas and is currently an intern at the Spencer Museum.
We are joined by an equally committed and creative team of volunteers from the community who are integral to our being able to see the potential of our project from many points of view. They include local artists, folks from Farmers Market and the Spencer Museum, in addition to passionate residents who want to help shape the community they live in. I am grateful for their work and willingness to give their time to this project. And this project would not be possible without the leadership of the Spencer Museum of Art and especially Curator of European and American Art, Susan Earle. You can keep up to date with the Re-Imagined Pollinators on our facebook page, and all are welcome to stop by our workshops to see the process as it unfolds.
It is imperative that we stop this slide into violent ideology, now. Students, faculty and staff from KU and across the state have made their voices loud and clear on this issue – They DO NOT want concealed carry on campus. It's time we support them. Please join others in condemning and stopping this dangerous and irresponsible legislation before it’s too late.
Last year I got to work with folks in Toledo, Ohio on a small mural for the Frederick Douglass Community Center. We chose to include his quote, "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." In light of recent events, these words have an added meaning for me today. The broken men are the president and his gang of ignorant scoundrels.