Events Calendar

All events are free and open to everyone unless otherwise noted. See individual listings for events that require registration.

December 16

Talk

Slow Art Sunday Medicine Buddha

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, JOHN AND LINDA STEWART GALLERY, 406

Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In December, get to know the "Medicine Buddha" from China.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

December 30

Talk

Director's Tour Gifts to KU, Gifts to You

1PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Every year, Spencer Museum Director Saralyn Reece Hardy spends an afternoon in the galleries welcoming visitors and leading informal tours to celebrate the holiday season. This year's tour features works of art that have come as gifts to the Museum. Focusing on the motivations for gifting and their continued impact on creativity and education at KU, conversations will include the ways that gifts continue to contribute to what makes our university art museum a treasure for all. Tours take place from 1:00-2:00PM and 2:30-3:30PM and free refreshments are available before and after each tour. Join us and make this Spencer Museum tradition your own.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

January 24

Talk

Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture Jose Antonio Vargas

7PM – 8:30PM
LIBERTY HALL, 644 MASSACHUSETTS ST

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and a leading voice for the human rights of immigrants, Jose Antonio Vargas shares his own story and the struggles of countless other undocumented immigrants in America to explore one of the most divisive questions facing our country today: how do you define “American”? Vargas is a founder and chief executive officer of Define American, the nation’s leading nonprofit media organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling. A book-signing for his new memoir "Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen" (HarperCollins, 2018) follows the program. Reserve free tickets at www.thecommons.ku.edu.

Sponsored By: The Commons

January 26

Activity

Art Cart Still Life

1PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, LARRY AND BARBARA MARSHALL FAMILY BALCONY, 404

The Art Cart is a drop-in activity station where children and grown-ups enjoy hands-on art projects together, taking inspiration from original works of art on view. Explore various types of still life prints and drawings and create your own. Staff members from KU’s Natural History Museum will bring specimens to add to a still life display. The Art Cart is supported by: Midco

Sponsored By: Natural History Museum, Spencer Museum of Art

January 27

Talk

Slow Art Sunday

2PM – 3PM

Slow down at the Spencer on the last Sunday of each month and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

February 05

Performance

Fatimah Asghar & Safia Elhillo

7PM – 8:30PM
LIBERTY HALL, 644 MASSACHUSETTS ST

Co-editors of the anthology "Halal If You Hear Me" Fatimah Asghar and Safi Elhillo present a poetry reading in two acts. Asghar’s debut collection of poems is "If They Come For Us" (2018) and she writes for Brown Girls, an Emmy-nominated web series. Elhillo is the author of "The January Children" (2017), a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a recipient of the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize and the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. Reserve free tickets at www.thecommons.ku.edu.

Sponsored By: The Commons, The Raven Book Store, Office of First Year Experience, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, Office of Research, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of the Provost

February 15

Talk

Red Hot Research

4PM – 5:30PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from different disciplines to deliver six-minute flash presentations about their research. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and one other during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons

February 20

Activity

Read Across Lawrence Art Magic

4PM – 5PM
LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY, 707 VERMONT ST

Explore themes of magic in the book A Tangle of Knots and create artwork inspired by optical illustions and magic as part of the Read Across Lawrence series. Designed for kids age 7–11.

Sponsored By: Lawrence Public Library, Spencer Museum of Art

February 22

Class

Career Close Ups: Developing a Career in the Museum World

2PM – 4PM
309 AUDITORIUM, SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

All students are invited to explore how any major can lead to a career in a cultural organization. A panel of museum professionals will share their personal experiences, followed by a networking reception and behind-the-scenes tours of KU’s museums. This year’s panelists include Jancita Warrington (Haskell Cultural Center and Museum), Jade Powers (Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art), and Karen Griffin (American Jazz Museum). Advance registration through the Museum’s website is required by February 15th, 2019.

February 23

Activity

Art Cart Australian Dreamtime Painting

1PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, JOHN AND LINDA STEWART GALLERY, 406

The Art Cart is a drop-in activity station where children and grown-ups enjoy hands-on art projects together, taking inspiration from original works of art on view. Learn about traditional Australian Aboriginal bark painting and the belief of “Dreamtime,” then paint your own story with symbols and dots. The Art Cart is supported by Midco.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

February 24

Talk

Slow Art Sunday

2PM – 3PM

Slow down at the Spencer on the last Sunday of each month and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

February 28

Talk

Read Across Lawrence Book Discussion and Tour: Sourdough

6PM – 7:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Join staff from the Lawrence Public Library and Spencer Museum to explore ideas in this year’s Read Across Lawrence book, "Sourdough" by Robin Sloan, through works of art on view in the galleries, then continue the conversation over complimentary soup and sourdough. Call 785.864.0126 or email aduke@ku.edu to RSVP or request an alternate date to bring your own book club.

Sponsored By: Lawrence Public Library, Spencer Museum of Art

March 01

Talk

Red Hot Research Graduate Edition

4PM – 5:30PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Red Hot Research brings together graduate researchers from different disciplines, speaking for six minutes each. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and one other during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons

March 02

Class

Rocket Grants Application Review Session

10:30AM – 12:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RECEPTION ROOM, 307

Are you an artist applying for a Rocket Grant? Get your questions answered at a free one-on-one coaching session with Program Coordinator Julia Cole. Come prepared with your application materials on a laptop, tablet, or jump drive, and your written materials typed in a text-based program. Reserve a 30-minute timeslot between 10:30 and 12:30 by emailing rocketgrants@charlottestreet.org. For details on Rocket Grants, visit www.rocketgrants.org.

Sponsored By: Charlotte Street Foundation, Spencer Museum of Art

March 02

Talk

Up Close Camouflage and Other Hidden Treasures from the Eric Gustav Carlson WWI Collection

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, KEMPER FAMILY FOUNDATIONS BALCONY, 408

Get to know the history of the Eric Gustav Carlson WWI Collection and explore the surprising selection of works concerning camouflage with Curator Steve Goddard. Up Close gallery talks reveal the personal stories behind exhibitions.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

March 03

Performance

Lizst and the Art of Paraphrasing

3PM – 5PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

Liszt-o-mania returns to the Spencer Museum with a talk about the art of piano arrangement by preeminent Franz Liszt scholar Alan Walker, and KU’s own Steven Spooner performing Liszt’s Bel Canto paraphrases and more on a piano custom-made in 1885-86 for the great master himself. Seating for this free program is first come, first served. RSVPs are requested for planning purposes. Call 785-864-4710 or email fam@ku.edu to RSVP.

March 05

Performance

Hieu Minh Nguyen

7PM – 8:30PM
LIBERTY HALL, 644 MASSACHUSETTS ST

Hieu Minh Nguyen is the author of "This Way to the Sugar" (2014), a finalist for both the Minnesota Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award. A queer Vietnamese-American poet, Nguyen is a Kundiman fellow and a poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine. Reserve free tickets at www.thecommons.ku.edu.

Sponsored By: The Commons, Raven Book Store, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, Office of Research, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of the Provost

March 14

Talk

Senior Session World War I in Art and Song

10:15AM – 11:15AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, LARRY AND BARBARA MARSHALL FAMILY BALCONY, 404

Neal Long, DMA candidate in vocal performance and Spencer Museum tour coordinator, illuminates the art of World War I on view with a recital of wartime songs. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

March 20

Performance

Musical Places of the Mind

12PM – 1PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

Susan Goldenberg, a violinist with the Kansas City Symphony, and William Goldenberg, distinguished professor of piano at Northern Illinois University, perform a selection of music from around the world to complement current exhibitions, including works by Jean Loeillet, Antonin Dvorak, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, and Leonard Bernstein.

Sponsored By: Kansas City Symphony Community Connections Initiative (CCI), Spencer Museum of Art

March 22

Talk

Red Hot Research

4PM – 5:30PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from different disciplines to deliver six-minute flash presentations about their research. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and one other during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons, Office of Research

March 23

Activity

Art Cart Puzzling Places

1PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

The Art Cart is a drop-in activity station where children and grown-ups enjoy hands-on art projects together, taking inspiration from original works of art on view. Learn about artist Edgar Heap of Birds, and create a puzzle-like mixed media artwork with decorative paper that connects environmental and human elements in our world. The Art Cart is supported by Midco.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

March 28

Talk

Senior Session The Power of Place

10:15AM – 11:15AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

Portrayals of place can provoke emotions, personal stories, forgotten histories, and more. How have numerous important artists who earned degrees at the University of Kansas thought about the power of place? Join Curator Susan Earle for a look at works that answer this question in a major exhibition on view. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

March 31

Talk

Slow Art Sunday

2PM – 3PM

Slow down at the Spencer on the last Sunday of each month and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

April 05

Talk

Red Hot Research Graduate Edition

4PM – 5:30PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Red Hot Research brings together graduate researchers from different disciplines, speaking for six minutes each. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and one other during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons, Office of Research

April 06

Activity

Annual First Nations Student Association Powwow & KU Indigenous Cultures Festival

12PM – 9PM
LIED CENTER OF KANSAS, 1600 STEWART DR

Celebrate Native American culture and enjoy children’s activities, food and craft vendors, presentations, workshops, and demonstrations led by Indigenous artists, scholars, and craftspeople, including Navajo muralist Steven Grounds and Seminole-Muskogee filmmaker Sterlin Harjo.

Sponsored By: First Nations Student Association, Lied Center of Kansas, Haskell Cultural Center and Museum, Spencer Museum of Art, Office of Multicultural Affairs, KU Native Faculty-Staff Council, KU Film and Media Studies, KU Indigenous Studies

April 07

Talk

Up Close Politics, Race, and Celebrity in the Esquire Collection

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, LARRY AND BARBARA MARSHALL FAMILY BALCONY, 404

What does a collection of photographs used in Esquire magazine tell us about the political, racial, and cultural climate at a particular moment in American history? Join Curator Kate Meyer for a fresh look at selections from the Esquire collection. Up Close gallery talks reveal the personal stories behind exhibitions.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

April 11

Talk

Senior Session Zen Temple of Techno

10:15AM – 11:15AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAMUEL H. KRESS FOUNDATION GALLERY, 407

Curator of Asian and Global Contemporary Art Kris Ercums discusses the recent acquisition Zen Temple of Techno by Chinese artist Du Kun. This painting is part of a series that portrays contemporary musicians as embodiments of East Asian religious temples and grottos. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

April 17

Social

Student Juried Art Show Opening

6PM – 8PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 320, FLEX SPACE, SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 317, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT

This event, planned for and by KU students, celebrates the opening of the 2019 Student Juried Art Show. Enjoy an evening of art, music, refreshments, and good times with friends.

Sponsored By: Student Advisory Board, Spencer Museum of Art

April 19

Talk

Red Hot Research

4PM – 5:30PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from different disciplines to deliver six-minute flash presentations about their research. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and one other during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons, Office of Research

April 25

Talk

Senior Session Picturing the Dead in Ancient Palmyra

10:15AM – 11:15AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, JOHN AND LINDA STEWART GALLERY, 406

Join educator Rachel Straughn-Navarro for a discussion of a bust of a woman in the Spencer’s collection, focusing on its original context and what it can tell us about funerary practices in ancient Palmyra (present-day Syria).

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

April 27

Activity

Day of Creativity

1PM – 4PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Explore creative processes in different disciplines and awaken your creative side. This community event includes performances, demonstrations, and hands-on activities that celebrate creativity. Free and fun for all ages.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

April 27

Activity

Art Cart Hidden Messages

1PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, KEMPER FAMILY FOUNDATIONS BALCONY, 408

The Art Cart is a drop-in activity station where children and grown-ups enjoy hands-on art projects together, taking inspiration from original works of art on view. Discover the art of camouflage and develop your own secret code using invisible ink or symbols so you can deliver hidden messages. The Art Cart is supported by Midco.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

April 28

Talk

Slow Art Sunday

2PM – 3PM

Slow down at the Spencer on the last Sunday of each month and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

May 18

Activity

Art Cart Plants, Lizards, and Snakes

1PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, LESTER "DUSTY" LOO GALLERY, 401

The Art Cart is a drop-in activity station where children and grown-ups enjoy hands-on art projects together, taking inspiration from original works of art on view. Celebrate International Museum Day with staff from the Spencer and KU Natural History Museum by learning about a 16th-century ceramic platter from France that is covered with plants and reptiles cast from real critters. Then create your own platter from clay. The Art Cart is supported by Midco.

Sponsored By: Natural History Museum, Spencer Museum of Art

May 23

Talk

Senior Session Photography and the Esquire Collection

10:15AM – 11:15AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, KEMPER FAMILY FOUNDATIONS BALCONY, 408

Join curator Kate Meyer for a discussion about the Spencer's extensive collection of art used in Esquire magazine, and the ways this archive reveals intriguing aspects of American attitudes toward race, celebrity, and history.

May 24

Activity

Art Cart at Large: Marine Life

10AM – 12PM
THE PANORAMA, NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, DYCHE HALL, 1345 JAYHAWK BLVD

Join Spencer staff for an Art Cart at Large in the Panorama of the KU Natural History Museum during their Discovery Day.

Sponsored By: Natural History Museum, Spencer Museum of Art