Events Calendar

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

January 22

Talk

Slow Art Sunday Slow Art Sunday

2PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 407

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. Tea and cookies will follow. In January, get to know Crazy Quilt by Emma Hurd.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

January 28

Activity

Art Cart Kansas, To the Stars!

1PM – 4PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 407

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. Celebrate the upcoming birthday of our state by creating a Kansas landscape for Kansas Day.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

February 02

Activity

International Jayhawk Festival

4PM – 7PM
DAISY HILL COMMONS, 1620 ENGEL RD

The International Jayhawk Festival is a celebration of KU’s incredible international opportunities and global community. The event features the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Spencer Museum of Art, international area studies, the international student community, internationally-focused student organizations, cross-cultural courses, and study abroad opportunities. Join us for food, art and cultural activities, a globally-focused teach-in, entertainment, free t-shirts, and much more! The festival highlights the diversity of the KU student body, the importance of global citizenship, the value of international education, and the need for global awareness.

Sponsored By: Office of Study Abroad, Multicultural Affairs, International Programs

February 02

Film

Snowpiercer

5:30PM – 8PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART AUDITORIUM, RM 309, 1301 MISSISSPPI ST

Set in a future where a failed climate change experiment kills nearly all life on the planet, this 2014 sci-fi epic from director Bong Joon Ho follows the final survivors who board the Snowpiercer, a train that crosses the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. When cryptic messages incite the passengers to revolt, the train thrusts full-throttle toward disaster. Running time: 126 minutes. Rated R. Screened in conjunction with Temporal Turn: Art & Speculation in Contemporary Asia.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

February 03

Talk

Red Hot Research Activism

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

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. Emcee: Dave Roediger, American Studies and History. Presenters: Jonathan Peters, Journalism; Betsy Esch, American Studies; Chuck Epp, Public Affairs & Administration; Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Aerospace Engineering; Maria Velasco, Visual Art; and Clarence Lang, African and African-American Studies.

Sponsored By: The Commons

February 05

Talk

Up Close The Object Speaks

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

As vessels of meaning, works of art communicate in varied ways. Join Spencer curators Cassandra Mesick, Kate Meyer, and Celka Straughn for an in-depth discussion about works of art that speak to questions of cultural values and shared narratives, the passage of time, sources of origin, and the ways we conceptualize life and the afterlife. Informal and Intimate, Up Close gallery talks reveal the personal stories behind exhibitions.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

February 08

Activity

Read Across Lawrence Activist Art

2:30PM – 4PM
LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY, 707 VERMONT ST

You have a voice! Get inspired by amazing activist art from the Spencer Museum, then create your own poster taking a stance on an issue you think is important. Take it home or put it on display at the Library. This program for teens is presented in conjunction with Read Across Lawrence and the book Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez.

Sponsored By: Lawrence Public Library, Spencer Museum of Art

February 08

Talk

Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture The Hidden City: Landscape, Urban Design, and the Microbial Universe

7PM – 8PM
THE COMMONS, SPOONER HALL, 1340 JAYHAWK BLVD

Scientist Jessica Green inspires people to think about bacteria in new ways. In her teaching and research at the University of Oregon and the Santa Fe Institute, Green explores how the microbial blueprints of our bodies, homes, cities, and forests impact our world, and our future. As co-founder of Phylagen, a DNA data harvesting and analytics company, Green envisions a future for urban design that promotes sustainability, human health, and well-being.

Sponsored By: The Commons

February 09

Talk

Coffee @ The Commons Coffee @ The Commons

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

Coffee @ The Commons is an opportunity to have a conversation with visiting guests. Jessica Green envisions a future for urban design that promotes sustainability, human health, and well-being. She will speak to these concerns as they relate to a university campus. Dialogue with the audience is a key component of the program.

Sponsored By: The Commons

February 09

Talk

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program Numbe Whageh

5:30PM – 6:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART AUDITORIUM, RM 309, 1301 MISSISSPPI ST

Sculptor, writer, and filmmaker Nora Naranjo Morse discusses her public art project “Numbe Whageh,” meaning “the center place” in Tewa Pueblo language, and how it was received by non-natives and institutions in Albuquerque and beyond. The controversial project focuses on the historical treatment of Pueblo people by Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate during the late 1500s and raises questions about who makes monuments and why, challenging historical narratives.

Sponsored By: Office of Diversity and Equity; Office of First-Year Experience; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; University Honors Program; Department of English; Indigenous Studies Program; Spencer Museum of Art

February 15

Activity

Art Carnival!

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

From farms to Fabergé, eggs and chickens inspire this program led by the Spencer Museum and presented in conjunction with the 2017 Read Across Lawrence for Kids book Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones. For ages 7–11.

Sponsored By: Lawrence Public Library, Spencer Museum of Art

February 16

Film

Ex Machina

5:30PM – 7:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART AUDITORIUM, RM 309, 1301 MISSISSPPI ST

In the 2015 cerebral thriller Ex Machina, a programmer at an Internet search giant wins a competition to spend a week at the estate of the company’s reclusive CEO. Upon his arrival, he discovers he is tasked with evaluating the capabilities and consciousness of a new experiment in artificial intelligence—a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated and deceptive than the two men could have imagined. Running time: 108 minutes. Rated R. Screened in conjunction with Temporal Turn: Art & Speculation in Contemporary Asia.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

February 16

Talk

Read Across Lawrence In the Time of Butterflies

6:30PM – 8PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART

Join Spencer Museum and Lawrence Public Library staff for a discussion of the 2017 Read Across Lawrence book In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. The discussion begins with a tour of the galleries, exploring works of art that complement themes in the book. The conversation continues over refreshments. You can also Bring Your Own Book Club (BYOBC) to the Museum in February or March for a guided tour inspired by In the Time of the Butterflies and reserve a gathering space for further discussion. Call the Education Department at 785.864.0137 to register your book club’s visit.

Sponsored By: Lawrence Public Library, Spencer Museum of Art

February 17

Talk

Coffee @ The Commons Change within a University

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

Coffee @ The Commons is an opportunity to have a conversation with visiting guests. Sarah Schulman speaks to her work on activism within a university setting. Dialogue with the audience is a key component of the event.

Sponsored By: KU Libraries, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Department of English, University Honors Program, Department of American Studies, The Commons

February 18

Performance

Soundwalk: Temporal Turn

2PM – 3PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 317, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT

Five composers/collectives lead listeners through the exhibition Temporal Turn with a concert of new music that meanders through the galleries along a prescribed path. Each composition amplifies one of the five exhibition themes. Presented by the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance, the program features new works by Hong Hong Hui, Frank Nawrot, Cody Kauhl, Seth Davis and Tim Harte, and Trio Defecta (Jeff Borowiec, Christina Butera, and John Chittum).

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance

February 19

Talk

Slow Art Sunday Slow Art Sunday

2PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 401, LESTER "DUSTY" LOO GALLERY

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. Tea and cookies will follow. In February, get to know Nuns in the Certosa Cloister, overlooking a Moonlit Sea towards the Faraglioni, Capri by Franz Ludwig Catel.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

February 24

Class

Career Close-Ups: Developing a Career in the Museum World

2PM – 4PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 318, JACK & LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING, SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 307, RECEPTION ROOM

University students are invited to explore how any major can lead to a career in a cultural organization. A panel of museum professionals will share how they got their jobs, followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of the inner-workings of museums. Advance registration is required through the Spencer Museum’s website: www.spencerart.ku.edu/career-closeups.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art, KU Natural History Museum, University Career Center

February 24

Talk

Red Hot Research Health & Wellness

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

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons

February 25

Activity

Art Cart It's About Time

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

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. Explore ideas about time in the exhibition Temporal Turn: Art & Speculation in Contemporary Asia, then create a unique timepiece.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

March 01

Talk

An Evening with Artist Willie Cole

5:30PM – 7PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART AUDITORIUM, RM 309, 1301 MISSISSPPI ST

In conjunction with the 2016 KU Common Book, the Spencer Museum of Art selected three prints from Willie Cole’s Beauties series as the Common Work of Art. Cole is perhaps best known for his assemblage sculptures composed of irons, women’s shoes, and hair dryers, which he transforms into objects resembling West African sculpture. Join Cole for a discussion about his artistic practice and the themes he explores in his work.

Sponsored By: Office of First-Year Experience; Spencer Museum of Art; Office of Multicultural Affairs; University Honors Program; Kress Foundation Department of Art History; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Department of African and African American Studies; Department of American Studies

March 02

Film

Behemoth

5:30PM – 7:30PM
309 AUDITORIUM

Beginning with a mining explosion in Mongolia and ending in a ghost city west of Beijing, political documentarian Zhao Liang’s visionary 2015 film details the social and ecological devastation behind an economic miracle that may not yet prove illusory. Running time: 90 minutes. Not Rated. Screened in conjunction with Temporal Turn: Art & Speculation in Contemporary Asia.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

March 03

Talk

Red Hot Research Graduate Edition

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

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha-inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features graduate student research.

Sponsored By: The Commons

March 08

Talk

Antique Lace

6PM – 7PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 318, JACK & LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING

Lace expert and historian Elizabeth Kurella shares insights from her years of experience collecting, studying, and curating antique lace from across Europe. Kurella is a consulting expert on the Spencer Museum's collection of lace in preparation for the upcoming exhibition Civic Leader and Art Collector: Sallie Casey Thayer and an Art Museum for KU.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

March 11

Activity

Art Cart Make it Miniature

1PM – 4PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 401, LESTER "DUSTY" LOO GALLERY

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. Explore small-scale works of art in our Cabinet of Curiosities then join artist Traci Furan as she shares her skills at making miniatures from Sculpey clay.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

March 12

Talk

Slow Art Sunday Slow Art Sunday

2PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 406, JOHN AND LINDA STEWART GALLERY

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. Tea and cookies will follow. In March, get to know "Et Toujours! Et Jamais!" by Pierre Eugène Emile Hébert.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

March 15

Talk

Black Literary Suite

12PM – 2PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 318, JACK & LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING

This program highlights the "Mississippi Renaissance," a regionalist literary tradition influenced by the socio-political history of Mississippi race, sex, and class politics emphasized by black writers from Mississippi. This is the fourth and final panel in the series.

Sponsored By: Project on the History of Black Writing, KU Department of English, Spencer Museum of Art

March 23

Talk

Senior Session Expanding the Canon

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

Cassandra Mesick Braun, curator of global indigenous art, explores works in the exhibition The Object Speaks that fall outside of traditional artistic canons. Outsider art from the American south, Central Europe reverse-painting-on-glass, art populaire from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and engaged activist art from minority populations will be featured.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

March 31

Talk

Red Hot Research The Future University

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

Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha-inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks.

Sponsored By: The Commons

April 02

Talk

Up Close American Dream

2PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 318, JACK & LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING

Join Spencer Director of Academic Programs Celka Straughn and KU students Kassandra Valles and Gabby Ale-Ebrahim for a discussion about "The American Dream" through a range of artistic interpretations. American Dream is organized in conjunction with the KU Common Book, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and features the KU Common work of Art from the Beauties series by Willie Cole. Informal and intimate, Up Close gallery talks reveal the personal stories behind exhibitions.

April 09

Talk

Slow Art Sunday Slow Art Sunday

2PM – 3:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 401, LESTER "DUSTY" LOO GALLERY, 307 RECEPTION ROOM

Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great workk of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. Tea and cookies will follow. In April, get to know A Picture Gallery by Gillis van Tiborgh.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

April 13

Talk

Senior Session Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World

10AM – 11AM
307 RECEPTION ROOM

David Cateforis, professor of American art and modern and contemporary art, and chair of the KU Department of Art History, explores the story behind Andrew Wyeth's signature painting, Christina's World, as well as the reasons for its popularity and its status as the defining work of Wyeth's career, which was marked by an unusual combination of public acclaim and critical scorn.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

April 14

Talk

Chaekgeori in Korean Art History

5PM – 6PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART AUDITORIUM, RM 309, 1301 MISSISSPPI ST

A keynote talk by Dr. Burglind Jungmann opens Paintings in Brilliant Colors, a conference on Korean chaekgeori screens of the Joseon Dynasty. Jungmann is a professor of Korean art at UCLA, where her teaching and research focus on early modern Korean painting, positioning it in an interdisciplinary context of the cultural and intellectual exchange within East Asia and with Europe. The keynote lecture, reception immediately following, and conference are free and open to the public.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art, Kress Foundation Department of Art History

April 15

Talk

Painting in Brilliant Colors: Korean Chaekgeori Screens in the Joseon Dynasty

8AM – 5PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART AUDITORIUM, RM 309, 1301 MISSISSPPI ST

Organized in conjunction with the exhibition The Power and Pleasure of Possessions in Korean Painted Screens, this conference brings together art historians and curators from the United States and abroad to forge new inroads into the burgeoning scholarly field of color painting traditions. The conference provides a valuable public forum to enhance understanding and appreciation of this important field to University scholars, students, and the general public. The conference is free and open to the public. Register for the conference on the Spencer's website.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art, Kress Foundation Department of Art History

April 26

Talk

Up Close The Power and Pleasure of Possessions in Korean Painted Screens

5:30PM – 6:30PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 315, ESTELLE S. AND ROBERT A. LONG ELLIS FOUNDATION GALLERY, SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 316, DOLPH SIMONS FAMILY GALLERY

Delve into the exhibition The Power and Pleasure of Possessions in Korean Painted Screens with Spencer Curator Kris Ercums and learn about the recent conservation of a Korean screen in the Museum's collection. Informal and Intimate, Up Close gallery talks reveal the personal stories behind exhibitions.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

April 26

Social

Student Night and Juried Art Show

6:30PM – 8PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 320, FLEX SPACE, SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 317, SAM AND CONNIE PERKINS CENTRAL COURT

This spring's Student Night, planned for and by KU students, celebrates the opening of the Student Juried Art Show. Art, music, refreshments, and good times with friends will all be part of the festivities.

Sponsored By: Student Advisory Board

April 27

Talk

Senior Session The Power and Pleasure of Possessions in Korean Painted Screens

10AM – 11AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 316, DOLPH SIMONS FAMILY GALLERY

Kris Ercums, curator of Asian and global contemporary art, discusses the traveling exhibition of Korean screens called chaekgeori.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

April 29

Activity

Art Cart Painted Screens

1PM – 4PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 406, JOHN AND LINDA STEWART GALLERY

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. Explore the exhibition of Korean still-life paintings and create your own symbolic screen painting.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

May 09

Activity

Finals in the Flex Space Study Breaks

1PM – 4PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 320, FLEX SPACE

Take a break during finals for some art and coffee to calm your mind and energize your thinking.

Sponsored By: Student Advisory Board

May 10

Activity

Finals in the Flex Space Study Breaks

1PM – 4PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 320, FLEX SPACE

Take a break during finals for some art and coffee to calm your mind and energize your thinking.

Sponsored By: Student Advisory Board

May 11

Talk

Senior Session Heart of the Andes: Alexander von Humboldt's Science in the art of Frederic Edwin Church

10AM – 11AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 307, RECEPTION ROOM

Frank Baron, retired professor of German language and literature, discusses how renowned 19th-century scientist Alexander von Humboldt's work inspired the Hudson River School artist, Frederic Edwin Church, to paint a comprehensive view of nature, resulting in his painting Heart of the Andes.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art

May 11

Activity

Finals in the Flex Space Study Breaks

1PM – 4PM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, RM 320, FLEX SPACE

Take a break during finals for some art and coffee to calm your mind and energize your thinking.

Sponsored By: Student Advisory Board

May 25

Talk

Senior Session Mary Huntoon: Topeka painter, print maker, art therapist, author, administrator, lecturer, and teacher

10AM – 11AM
SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART, GALLERY 318, JACK & LAVON BROSSEAU CENTER FOR LEARNING

Mary Huntoon, Topeka's own Renaissance woman, and some of her prints are the topic of this program presented by Spencer Museum docent and art historian Sharyn Brooks Katzman.

Sponsored By: Spencer Museum of Art