Events Calendar

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

February 29

Activity

PAST FORWARD RECORDING SESSION

9:30AM – 12:30PM
LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY, 707 VERMONT ST

Can a work of art prompt memories of your past that resonate with life today? Chat with Spencer Archivist Robert Hickerson and explore works of art from the Museum’s collection that might spark personal meaning for you. Then record your story to share in our app and in the exhibition "Past Presence."

February 29

Activity

COMMUNITY INPUT SESSION: COMMUNITY SESSION

10:30AM – 11:30AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

We want to hear from you! In preparation for reinstalling our fourth-floor collection galleries, we hope to learn more about what our audiences want to experience at the Spencer Museum of Art. Join us at this community input session to share your thoughts about what the Spencer can do better and differently to improve experiences in our spaces. You can also provide feedback in the galleries the next time you visit.

March 04

Talk

VOTES FOR WOMEN: A VISUAL HISTORY

5:30PM – 6:30PM
KANSAS UNION, KANSAS ROOM, 1301 JAYHAWK BOULEVARD

In celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, Amanda Burdan, American art specialist and curator at the Brandywine River Museum, discusses visual culture of the suffrage movement in the United States.

Sponsored By: Kress Foundation Department of Art History, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Spencer Museum of Art

March 04

Talk

SAWYER SEMINAR RENDERING THE INVISIBLE, VISIBLE: WRITING ABOUT BLACK WOMEN’S BODIES

5:30PM – 6:30PM
THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS MEMORIAL UNION, MALOTT ROOM (LEVEL 6); 1301 JAYHAWK BOULEVARD, LAWRENCE, KS 66045

Playwright and teacher Charly Evon Simpson shares the ways that her work centers Black women’s bodies and how Black bodies have been viewed and treated differently in medicine. She was recently named the 2019–2020 recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award from the Vineyard Theatre, and is a co-recipient of the Dramatists Guild’s Lanford Wilson Award. To learn more about KU’s Sawyer Seminar visit chronicconditions.ku.edu.

Sponsored By: Hall Center for the Humanities, Kansas African Studies Center, Spencer Museum of Art

March 05

Talk

THE FLIPSIDE THE ANATOMY AND AFTERLIFE OF PERFORMANCE ART

5:30PM – 6:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

The Flipside takes you behind the art to explore the anatomy of performance and what remains to tell its story. Join artistic collaborator Joel Sanderson, Professor Maki Kaneko, and Spencer Curator Kris Ercums as they pull back the curtain on the choices that artists, curators, collaborators, and art historians make about staging, documenting, preserving, and interpreting the original experience and enduring artifacts of performance art.

March 06

Activity

COMMUNITY INPUT SESSION: KU FACULTY AND PARTNERS

3PM – 4PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

We want to hear from you! In preparation for reinstalling our fourth-floor collection galleries, we hope to learn more about what our audiences want to experience at the Spencer Museum of Art. Join us at this community input session to share your thoughts about what the Spencer can do better and differently to improve experiences in our spaces. You can also provide feedback in the galleries the next time you visit.

March 11

Activity

COMMUNITY INPUT SESSION: COMMUNITY SESSION

5PM – 6:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

We want to hear from you! In preparation for reinstalling our fourth-floor collection galleries, we hope to learn more about what our audiences want to experience at the Spencer Museum of Art. Join us at this community input session to share your thoughts about what the Spencer can do better and differently to improve experiences in our spaces. You can also provide feedback in the galleries the next time you visit.

March 12

Talk

SENIOR SESSION PAST PRESENCE

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

Sara Stepp, a PhD candidate in art history and curatorial intern at the Spencer Museum, offers insights into the ways that artists reckon with, reflect on, deconstruct, and reimagine history to make connections between the past and the present. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

March 16

Talk

SAWYER SEMINAR THE FACES AND FACETS OF BELONGING: THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN IN SCIENTIFIC VISIONS OF GENETIC HUMAN DIFFERENCE

5:30PM – 6:30PM
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS MEMORIAL UNION, ALDERSON AUDITORIUM (LEVEL 4), 1301 JAYHAWK BLVD, LAWRENCE, KS 66045

Duana Fullwiley (Stanford University) presents her research on the increasing intersections of social identities, health outcomes, and molecular genetics, exploring questions of privacy, informed consent, information ownership, and ethics. Fullwiley’s current work focuses on ancestry genetics and how scientists use this data to create new technologies for personalized medicine, genealogical ancestry tracing, and DNA forensics. To learn more about KU’s Sawyer Seminar visit chronicconditions.ku.edu.

Sponsored By: Kansas African Studies Center, Spencer Museum of Art, Hall Center for the Humanities

March 18

Activity

READ ACROSS LAWRENCE ART PARTY!

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

Join us at the Lawrence Public Library for this Read Across Lawrence event. Inspired by the artistic character Lupe from the book "Front Desk," we’ll draw, collage, and more! You can also learn how to write your name in Chinese with the help of Lawrence Public Library staffer Yilan Zhao. Designed for kids age 7–11.

Sponsored By: Lawrence Public Library

March 20

Talk

RED HOT GRADUATE RESEARCH

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

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

Sponsored By: The Commons

March 21

Activity

ART CART BORN-AGAIN BIRDS

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

Create your own imaginary species of bird that has gone extinct by using “apocalyptic” materials inspired by the exhibition "Audubon in the Anthropocene." Staff from KU’s Natural History Museum share real bird specimens and examples of their nests. 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.

March 24

Talk

STAGING SHIMOMURA LECTURE SERIES

5:30PM – 6:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

Hiroko Ikegami (Kobe University) opens this series of talks with an examination of Roger Shimomura’s Seven Kabuki Plays against the backdrop of his Diary paintings, both of which draw on his grandmother’s diaries from the period of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent incarceration of Japanese Americans. In collaboration with KU Associate Professor of Japanese Art Maki Kaneko, Ikegami conducted an interview with Shimomura for the Oral History Archives of Japanese Art, where she serves as vice director.

Sponsored By: Kress Foundation Department of Art History

March 26

Talk

SENIOR SESSION PROVOCATIVE PERFORMANCES

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

Spencer Curator Kris Ercums explores the role of performance in Roger Shimomura’s artistic practice. In addition to showing digital recordings of performances, Ercums discusses connections with paintings, prints, theatrical props, and ephemera on display. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

March 27

Talk

COFFEE @ THE COMMONS THE EVOLUTION OF IDENTITY

10AM – 11AM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Lissa Rivera is a photographer and curator based in Brooklyn who is fascinated with the social history of photography and the evolution of identity, sexuality, and gender in relation to material culture. She discusses her latest project, Beautiful Boy, which takes her interest in photography’s connection with identity to a personal level by focusing on her domestic partner as a muse.

Sponsored By: Photography Program and the Department of Design; the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity; and The Commons

March 27

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 current research. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and one other during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons

March 29

Talk

SLOW ART SUNDAY TOUCH THE CLOUDS... TAKE 1

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

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. In March, get to know "Touch the Clouds... Take 1" by Chris Pappan

April 01

Talk

READ ACROSS LAWRENCE BRING YOUR OWN BOOK CLUB TOUR

6PM – 7:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Read this year’s Read Across Lawrence selection "The Round House" by Louise Erdrich, and join staff from the Lawrence Public Library and Spencer Museum to wander the galleries while discussing works of art that resonate with themes in the book. Continue the conversation over complimentary refreshments. Can’t make it on this date? You can also schedule a time to BYOBC (bring your own book club) to the Museum for a guided tour and reserve a gathering space for further discussion. Call 785.864.0126 or email aduke@ku.edu to inquire.

Sponsored By: Lawrence Public Library, Spencer Museum of Art

April 02

Talk

STAGING SHIMOMURA LECTURE SERIES

5:30PM – 6:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

Krystal Reiko Hauseur discusses her research for "Masking Identity: The Performance of Roger Shimomura" (2019), the first monograph on the subject. Reiko Hauser is an independent scholar and curator of Asian American art based in San Diego.

Sponsored By: Kress Foundation Department of Art History

April 03

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 current research. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and one other during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons

April 05

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. Visit www.spencerart.ku.edu for details.

April 08

Talk

LIBERATION CONVERSATION WITH OJ SLAUGHTER

6PM – 8PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

A Pop-Up gallery and dialog with artist OJ Slaughter followed by an open photo shoot.

Sponsored By: Office of Multicultural Affairs, The Commons, Spencer Museum of Art, Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

April 09

Talk

INTERFAITH DIALOGUE: FAITH, REASON, SOCIETY

8:30AM – 4PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

This dialogue aims to foster greater understanding and mutual respect for different religious beliefs among faculty members and students, to raise questions about how religious ideas contribute to the work of the university, and to create a greater sense of global citizenship at KU. It also explores ways to have healthy dialogue among people with different belief systems and contribute to the goal of embracing greater diversity on campus.

Sponsored By: The Commons

April 09

Talk

SENIOR SESSION AUDUBON THROUGH THE AGES

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

Join Spencer Curator Kate Meyer to explore three different variations of John James Audubon’s iconic series "The Birds of America" exhibited in "Audubon in the Anthropocene: Works by Matthew Day Jackson." Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

April 10

Talk

RED HOT GRADUATE RESEARCH

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

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

Sponsored By: The Commons

April 11

Activity

FIRST NATIONS STUDENT ASSOCIATION POWWOW & KU INDIGENOUS CULTURES FESTIVAL

12PM – 9PM
LIED CENTER OF KANSAS, 1600 STEWART DRIVE, LAWRENCE, KS 66045

Celebrate Native American culture and enjoy activities, food and craft vendors, presentations, workshops, and demonstrations led by Indigenous artists, scholars, and craftspeople.

Sponsored By: First Nations Student Association, Lied Center of Kansas, Haskell Indian Nations University, Office of the Provost, Native Faculty-Staff Council, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity & Equity, CLAS Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Spencer Museum of Art, KU Film and Media Studies, KU Indigenous Studies Program

April 16

CLIMATE JUSTICE AND CLIMATE COMPASSION: POLICY INNOVATION, PUBLIC SERVICE, AND COLLECTIVE ACTION

9AM – 4PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Through lectures and expert panels, interactive art creation, role-playing games, and mindfulness practices, this symposium addresses questions about how individuals, groups, and organizations can foster transformative policy, planning, and programs to meet the challenges of climate change. The symposium aligns with the City of Lawrence climate change planning process and launches a week of activities leading to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. 9:00AM–4:00PM, April 16 / 9:00AM–12:00PM, April 17

Sponsored By: KU Center for Compassionate & Sustainable Communities

April 16

Talk

SAWYER SEMINAR BLACK MADNESS / MAD BLACKNESS

6PM – 7PM
LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY, AUDITORIUM, 707 VERMONT STREET, LAWRENCE, KS 66045

Therí Alyce Pickens (Bates College) rethinks the relationship between Blackness and disability. Pickens shows how Black speculative and science fiction authors craft new worlds that reimagine the intersection of Blackness and madness. Pickens demonstrates how the theorizations of race and disability that emerge from these works challenge the paradigms of subjectivity that white supremacy and ableism enforce. To learn more about KU’s Sawyer Seminar visit chronicconditions.ku.edu.

Sponsored By: Kansas African Studies Center, Spencer Museum of Art, Hall Center for the Humanities

April 19

Talk

THE FLIPSIDE PAST IS PROLOGUE

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

Shakespeare’s phrase “what is past is prologue” from his play "The Tempest" suggests that history sets the stage for the present. What happens when artists intervene and reimagine the past or illuminate hidden histories? The Flipside takes you behind the art with Spencer intern Sara Stepp for a history-twisting study of key works in the exhibition "Past Presence." Following the talk is an opportunity to record a personal story prompted by a work of art to share in our app and the exhibition.

April 22

Talk

FROM MURDER TO MUSEUMS: ABRAHAM LINCOLN, ADOLPH HITLER AND THE HUNT FOR NAZI LOOTED ART IN AMERICA

5:30PM – 8PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 211, 1301 MISSISSIPPI ST

Join Raymond Dowd, an attorney specializing in copyright litigation and Nazi art looting, for an overview of art theft during World War II and how the sale of stolen works bankrolled large parts of the Nazi war machine. By exploring past and ongoing cases, Dowd discusses laws that were passed to address the looting, and examines the extent to which those laws have been successful in securing the return of stolen art to its rightful owners. The evening opens with an introduction to art law at 5:30PM, followed by Raymond Dowd’s keynote at 6:20PM, and a reception and gallery tours at 7:15PM. Space is limited. RSVP required: visitors@ku.edu or 785.864.4710.

Sponsored By: Federal Bar Association, KU School of Law, Spencer Museum of Art

April 23

Talk

SENIOR SESSION FRAGMENTS OF ANTIQUITY

10:15AM – 11:15AM

Join Spencer educator Rachel Straughn-Navarro to learn about the original context and symbolism of an Egyptian relief fragment showing a hunting scene on the Nile. Senior sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

April 25

Activity

ART CART WRITE ABOUT ART

1PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, JACK AND LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING, 318

Explore the connection between literature and art by making a journal for sketching or writing with decorative paper, stickers, and more. 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. This Art Cart is part of the Paper Plains Literary Festival in Lawrence April 23–26. Visit paperplains.org for the full schedule.

April 26

Talk

THE ART OF BIRDWATCHING

1PM – 2PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Field guide author and wildlife illustrator David Sibley leads a birdwatching tour through the galleries to identify birds in art and share insights from his newest book "What It’s Like to Be A Bird" (2020). This talk is part of the Paper Plains Literary Festival in Lawrence April 23–26. Visit paperplains.org for the full schedule.

April 30

Performance

CHANGING THE TIDES

6PM – 7:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

In celebration of National Poetry Month and the Women’s Vote Centennial, vocal ensemble The Meadowlark Project performs music by women composers, poets, and lyricists exploring ideas of womanhood, mortality, and progress. The recital features the premiere of “There Will Come Soft Rains,” a composition by KU doctoral student Allison McIntosh based on Sara Teasdale’s 1918 poem of the same title. The composition was commissioned by the Spencer Museum in conjunction with the exhibition "Audubon in the Anthropocene," which also draws inspiration from this poem.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

May 01

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 current research. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and one other during breaks.

May 02

Talk

THE FLIPSIDE BIRDING WITHOUT BORDERS

10:30AM – 11:45AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, LARRY AND BARBARA MARSHALL FAMILY BALCONY, 404, NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, DYCHE HALL, 1345 JAYHAWK BLVD

Early birds, start your morning with a study of birds across campus collections. The Flipside takes you behind the scenes with Mark Robbins, ornithology collection manager at KU’s Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, and Kate Meyer, Spencer curator, to examine bird specimens mounted for research and display, historic illustrations, and reimagined interpretations for what they reveal about changes in and threats to avian populations. We will perch at the Spencer first, then migrate to the KU Natural History Museum.

May 07

Talk

STAGING SHIMOMURA LECTURE SERIES

5:30PM – 6:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

Scott Tsuchitani, an interdisciplinary artist and cinematographer based in San Francisco, discusses the influence of Roger Shimomura’s work on other artists, including his own. Tsuchitani’s paintings, prints, performances, and interventions challenge racial stereotypes in everyday life and museum practices.

Sponsored By: Kress Foundation Department of Art History

May 14

Talk

SENIOR SESSION MAKING AND DESIGNING JAPANESE TEA WARES

10:15AM – 11:15AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, JACK AND LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING, 318

Join Rachel Quist, intern for Asian art, for a discussion of Japanese ceramics in the Spencer Museum collection. This talk focuses on the techniques used in making Japanese tea wares as well as the aesthetics that inform their design. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

May 16

Activity

ART CART LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

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

Create a set design for a stage play in your own diorama influenced by the sets featured in the exhibition "Staging Shimomura." 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.

May 28

Talk

SENIOR SESSION EXPRESSIONISM IN GERMANY

10:15AM – 11:15AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, JACK AND LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING, 318

What is Expressionism? Join Celka Straughn, director of public practice, education, and research to delve into the national, political, colonial, religious, and social factors at play in the development and understandings of this art form across the 20th century in Germany. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

May 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.

June 15

Activity

IMAGINARIUM: DREAM YOUR STORY

12AM – 12AM
LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY, 707 VERMONT ST

A program for children ages 7–11.

June 29

Activity

IMAGINE YOUR STORY

12AM – 12AM
LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY, 707 VERMONT ST

A program for children ages 7–11.