Events Calendar

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

September 22

Activity

BACKYARD BASH

1PM – 4PM
MARVIN GROVE

Get your grove on! Kick back with your friends and neighbors in the Spencer Museum's backyard, Marvin Grove, for an artful celebration of the autumnal equinox, the end of summer and start of fall. Explore nature, culture, and the character of our communities through performances, games, and hands-on activities by more than 20 partners and artists. This event is FREE and FUN for EVERYONE! Dogs are welcome, too, but must be on-leash. Performances by African Drum Ensemble at KU (ADEKU), Bad Alaskan, BLACK Lawrence, KU Jazz Combo, and The Last Carnival. Artist installations by Nazanin Amiri and Juniper Tangpuz. Activities by City PlayCorps, The Commons, Friends of Lawrence Area Trails, Mary Kirkendoll of Eudora Yoga Center, KU Field Ecology students, KU Museum Education students, KU Natural History Museum, KU Print Club, KU Visual Art Education students, Lawrence Public Library, Monarch Watch, Natural Grocers, Anoosha Redd and Geeta Tiwari, Kenneth KU Libraries Spencer Research Library, Student Union Activities, and Watkins Museum of History. Pack a picnic or purchase tacos from La Parilla food truck and snowcones from Air Summer Snow. Funding generously provided by Student Senate | University of Kansas, the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission, and Friends of the Art Museum.

September 25

Talk

KENNETH A. SPENCER LECTURE JONNY SUN

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

Jonny Sun is the best-selling author and illustrator of “everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too” and the illustrator of “Gmorning, Gnight!” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. He is a writer for the sixth season of “BoJack Horseman,” and is writing a movie for 20th Century Fox. Tweeting as @jonnysun, he was named one of TIME Magazine's 25 Most Influential People on the Internet of 2017. As a doctoral candidate at MIT, he studies social media, virtual place, and online community. His latest art installation, The Laughing Room, was exhibited at MIT in 2018 and TED in 2019. Recently, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2019, and is a 2019 TED Talks speaker. Jonny Sun's presentation will feature a talk and an on-stage interview with KU Associate Professor of Journalism, Yvonnes Chen, followed by a book-signing. Tickets are free and available here: https://www.universe.com/events/kenneth-a-spencer-lecture-jonny-sun-tickets-lawrence-4WYC0J.

Sponsored By: The Commons

September 26

Talk

SENIOR SESSION ART ON CAMPUS

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

Join Director Saralyn Reece Hardy to discover the history and role of art across the KU Lawrence campus. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

September 26

Activity

VOTES AND VIEWS: EXPLORING DECISIONS

3PM – 5PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, THE PANORAMA, NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, DYCHE HALL, 1345 JAYHAWK BLVD

KU students are invited to get to know KU’s museums at this event offered in conjunction with the 2019 KU Common Book, Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation. Which works of art would you display in the White House if you were President? Which species would you vote to protect? Exercise your right to vote and explore what influences your choices. Refreshments provided.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art, Office of First-Year Experience, Natural History Museum

September 29

Talk

SLOW ART SUNDAY TWELVE DRIVE-INS I

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 September, get to know “Twelve Drive-Ins I” by Jeff Brouws.

October 02

Activity

ART NIGHT

5:30PM – 7PM
307 RECEPTION ROOM, SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Enjoy evening of crafts and artsy fun and a chance to get to know the Spencer Student Advisory Board.

Sponsored By: Student Advisory Board

October 08

Talk

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE'S DAY AN EVENING WITH REPRESENTATIVE SHARICE DAVIDS

6PM – 8PM
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS MEMORIAL UNION, WOODRUFF AUDITORIUM, 1301 JAYHAWK BLVD, LAWRENCE, KS 66045

The University of Kansas is pleased to welcome Representative Sharice Davids to campus as part of our celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. When Rep. Davids was sworn in to the 116th Congress, she became one of the first two Native American women to serve in the United States Congress. An Army veteran, first-generation college student, lawyer, and former White House Fellow, Rep. Davids has dedicated her career to equity, advocacy, and economic and community development.

Sponsored By: Native Faculty and Staff Council Indigenous Studies Program Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity & Equity CLAS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion KU Libraries Office of Admissions Lied Center Spencer Museum of Art

October 10

Talk

SENIOR SESSION COMMON WORK OF ART

10:15AM – 11:15AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Learn about KU’s Common Book and Common Work of Art program, a campus-wide initiative to build community and foster shared experiences and intellectual engagement. Spencer Curator Kate Meyer discusses this year’s Common Work of Art and related works that complement themes in this year’s Common Book, Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

October 18

Talk

RED HOT RESEARCH NO. 57 PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP

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 another during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons

October 19

Activity

ART CART LIGHT IT UP!

1PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, DOLPH SIMONS FAMILY GALLERY, 316

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. Experience the wonder of work by artist Danielle Roney in the exhibition knowledges and create your own freestanding light sculpture.

October 20

Talk

UP CLOSE: KNOWLEDGES

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, SIMONS GALLERY, LONG ELLIS GALLERY

Delve into the exhibition knowledges with Spencer Curator Joey Orr and discover how works by four featured artists challenge and expand ideas about knowledge creation. Up Close gallery talks reveal the personal stories behind exhibitions.

October 23

Activity

HAUNTING HUMANITIES

6PM – 9PM
ABE AND JAKE’S LANDING, 8 E 6TH ST, LAWRENCE, KS 66044

This unexpected humanities fair brings art, literature, history, classics, theater, and more out of the shadows and into downtown Lawrence for a night of haunting fun for all ages. Stop by the Spencer Museum station to take part in an ancient samurai ritual and test of courage—if you dare. Our version of the ghost story game Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai or “Gathering of 100 Supernatural Tales” starts with 100 candles. One by one, the flames disappear as you share a haunting haiku inspired by images of Japanese prints on view. Throw down your last spooky syllable to extinguish one candle. When the last candle goes dark, will the spirits appear?

Sponsored By: Hall Center for the Humanities

October 24

Talk

SENIOR SESSION FOUNDLING

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

PhD candidate in art history and former Spencer intern Pinyan Zhu discusses Foundling, a series of 100 portraits of children adopted from overseas created by artist Megan Rye, and related works of art from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition prompts questions about the meanings of home and immigrants’ civil rights. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

October 27

Talk

SLOW ART SUNDAY HOMECOMING

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

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 October, get to know “Homecoming” by Bunky Echo-Hawk.

October 28

Talk

SAWYER SEMINAR RACE CORRECTION OF LUNG FUNCTION: ERASING LIVED EXPERIENCE- LUNDY BRAUN

5PM – 6PM
THE UNIVERSITY OF KANAS MEDICAL CENTER, HEALTH EDUCATION BUILDING, ROOM G109; 2146 W 39TH AVE, KANSAS CITY, KS 66103

Lundy Braun (Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Africana Studies, Brown University) will discuss the role that science and medicine have played in producing racial hierarchies in the United States and South Africa. Her research adopts an interdisciplinary approach to analyze the epistemological dimensions of structural racism, colonization, and the naturalization of human difference in medicine and public health. This lecture is part of KU’s Sawyer Seminar; to learn more, visit: https://.chronicconditions.ku.edu.

Sponsored By: Hall Center for the Humanities, Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas African Studies Center, Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine—University of Kansas Medical Center

November 05

Talk

KNOWLEDGES COLLOQUIUM MONIQUE RENEE SCOTT: EXHIBITING AFRICA: ANTHROPOLOGY MUSEUMS AND THE PERISTENT WESTERN IMAGINATION

3:30PM – 5PM
HALL CENTER FOR THE HUMANITIES CONFERENCE HALL, 900 SUNNYSIDE AVE

Museums have long reduced Africa to a seemingly static, dark, and dusty prehistory. Through the pernicious lens of early race science, many African people were bestialized in the Western imagination, and this stigmatization has left persistent residues in museums as well as in popular culture and national politics. This talk rethinks the representation of race in museums and our national monuments to combat anti-Black racism, reimagining new possibilities for people of the African Diaspora. Registration for the colloquium is free: https://deptsec.ku.edu/~spencerart/forms/form/22

November 06

Talk

KNOWLEDGES COLLOQUIUM SARAH HUNT LECTURE

9AM – 10:30AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, AUDITORIUM, 309

Sarah Hunt is professor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She will be giving the inaugural lecture for the IARI knowledges colloquium. Registration for the colloquium is free: https://deptsec.ku.edu/~spencerart/forms/form/22

November 06

Talk

KNOWLEDGES COLLOQUIUM DANIELLE RONEY AND ANDREW S. YANG: ARTISTS AND RESEARCHERS TALK

11AM – 12:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Exhibiting artists in knowledges will be in conversation with researchers working in the same field to discuss how different methods reveal different opportunities and challenges. Registration for the colloquium is free: https://deptsec.ku.edu/~spencerart/forms/form/22

November 06

Talk

KNOWLEDGES COLLOQUIUM ASSAF EVRON AND FATIMAH TUGGAR: ARTISTS AND RESEARCHERS TALK

2PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Exhibiting artists in knowledges will be in conversation with researchers working in the same field to discuss how different methods reveal different opportunities and challenges. Registration for the colloquium is free: https://deptsec.ku.edu/~spencerart/forms/form/22

November 06

Talk

KNOWLEDGES COLLOQUIUM RON MORRISSON: BLACK GEOGRAPHIES + THE POLITICS OF DATA

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

Artist and designer Ron Morrison discusses mapping strategies. Registration for the colloquium is free: https://deptsec.ku.edu/~spencerart/forms/form/22

November 07

Talk

KNOWLEDGES COLLOQUIUM, A2RU NICHOLAS MIRZOEFF: WHITENESS: WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

10AM – 11:30AM
KANSAS UNION, WOODRUFF AUDITORIUM

This keynote by visual culture scholar Nicholas Mirzoeff investigates whether art spaces can serve as sites to decenter whiteness and stimulate social justice. In the context of highly visible social symbols, such as colonial monuments and border walls, Mirzoeff prompts us to consider how we can understand and engage with issues of race, hierarchy, and political power. He urges white people to recognize their complicity within current power structures, and asks: What can white people and predominantly white institutions do to foster mutual and productive exchange?

November 14

Talk

SENIOR SESSION JAPANESE PAPER AS OBJECT AND TOOL IN ART CONSERVATION

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

Join Associate Conservator Jacinta Johnson for a discussion about the treatment of the iconic Japanese woodblock print The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai. Johnson will share how Japanese paper is made and discuss its important role in the field of art conservation. Senior Sessions are designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

November 15

Talk

RED HOT RESEARCH NO. 58 ANTHROPOCENE

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 another during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons

November 16

Talk

UP CLOSE FOUNDLING

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

Experience the exhibition Foundling through the eyes of PhD candidate in art history and former Spencer intern Pinyan Zhu. Foundling features 100 portraits of children adopted by American parents by artist Megan Rye and explores ideas about home and immigrants’ rights. Up Close gallery talks reveal the personal stories behind exhibitions.

November 21

Performance

VOYAGER

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

Inspired by NASA’s Voyager mission and recordings of music on the Golden Record, a time capsule placed onboard in the event the spacecraft are discovered in the future, this concert-length work for percussion octet invites new encounters with art and music and ways of understanding our cosmic neighborhood. Explore the Museum as members of the KU Percussion Group perform this piece by Ben Justis, 2019 doctoral graduate in music composition.

November 22

Talk

RED HOT GRADUATE RESEARCH NO. 13

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

November 23

Activity

ART CART HOME-HOLDER

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. Create a mixed-media “home-holder” by using materials to visualize what home means to you.

November 24

Talk

SLOW ART SUNDAY

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

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.

December 06

Talk

RED HOT RESEARCH NO. 59 ACROSS BORDERS

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 another during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons

December 07

Activity

TAILS AND TRADITIONS FAMILY FESTIVAL

9AM – 12PM
WATKINS MUSEUM OF HISTORY, 1047 MASSACHUSETTS ST

Visit the Watkins Museum to create and celebrate holiday traditions with your family at this free annual event. The Spencer Museum will be on hand to lead a special art activity.

Sponsored By: Watkins Museum of History

December 29

Talk

DIRECTOR’S HOLIDAY TOUR

1PM – 4PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT, 317

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. Tours are offered at 1:00PM and 2:30PM. Join us and make this Spencer Museum tradition your own.