Sunday, September 30, 2012

New show at the Blue Planet in Topeka

I've got a new show of stencil prints at the Blue Planet, 110 SE 8th, in Topeka. It'll be up for the whole month of October. The work comes from two different series I've been working on over the last couple of years. One is a series of portraits of Kansas politicians gone awry, including...

Secretario De Xenofobia
Inspired by the new Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who is best known as the architect of anti-immigration laws in Arizona. Back here in Kansas, he’s been fanning the flames of immigrant paranoia in legislation that would require proof of citizenship if someone looked “suspicious.”

 The Feral Senator 
Another Kansas original, state senator Virgil Peck who, during a March 14, 2011 senate hearing, said (when referring to a state program to manage feral hogs) that "If shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem." 

 Reject Brownback
After enduring one horror after another, from a draconian tax-cut plan that will cripple the state to the elimination of the Kansas Arts Commission,  I came to the conclusion that our governor was powerless to stop the destruction he is wreaking. Like some giant movie monster, he flails around pleading for someone (us) to stop him from doing more damage.

The second series in this show comes from work I've done in support of the Occupy Movement. These prints were used in rallys, protests, and as illustrations related to Occupy. I'm proud to have been a contributor to the Occuprint  group which has been the main venue for getting my posters out to the public. 
My poster as an illustration for a Barbara Kingsolver 
essay in the Occupied Wall Street Journal.
The most widely circulated of these was "Tip of the Iceberg." This was my response to the dismissal by many of Occupy as just a New York thing. It’s based on both a metaphor, that Zuccotti Park is an iceberg, and on a veiled analogy to the Titanic disaster. What’s not spelled out in the image, but helped drive my process, is the story of the Titanic and the hubris that led to its sinking. In early versions, I had a little ship about to hit the Zuccotti iceberg, and even tried out text like “Beware Captains of the 1%”. In the end I felt like I was complicating my main idea – that the movement is much larger than the encampments -  so I took out the Titanic references.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kansas arts funding in jeopardy - AGAIN

Artists, Educators, Arts Advocates, and Arts Administrators, 

The future of public support for the arts in Kansas is in jeopardy. Your action is needed now.

In order for Kansas to receive funding in FY14 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) from the National Endowment for the Arts and Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Dept. of Commerce must submit an partnership application to the NEA by October 1st. If they do not, Kansas will not be eligible for this funding until FY15 at the earliest. We must demand that Secretary of Commerce, Pat George, submit this application by October 1st.

There is a second problem. Although the legislature appropriated $700,000, there has been no plan given or public accounting for how these funds have been or will be used. We must demand an accounting for these funds and insure that a large portion is going to non-profit arts programs around the state. If these newly appropriated funds are not used for arts programs, the governor and others may cite this inaction as cause to move the funds to another agency and kill the possibility of renewing public support for the arts in the foreseeable future.

Please contact Secretary of Commerce, Pat George, immediately and urge him to:

1) Submit the partnership application to the NEA by October 1st.

2) Account for the $700,000 appropriated by the legislature for the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission in the current fiscal year. Demand that it be used for non-profit arts programs.

Secretary of Commerce Pat George

email -
phone - (785) 296-3481
Kansas Department of Commerce
1000 S.W. Jackson St.
Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66612