Glass Install


FieldFlow, by Vernon Brejcha 

This is a wall installation in blown glass that we did for the University of Kansas Hospital’s new Cancer Center.  Leopold designed and installed; Vernon Brejcha was the glass artist.  We first installed this in the old cancer center in 2004.  It was moved to the new one this year.  Very difficult to move, but the end result’s pretty good.

Jim Brothers’ Busts of Eisenhower’s Staff

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Omar Bradley and Sir Arthur Tedder, by Jim Brothers

The National D-Day Memorial, who’s been a client since 1998, has commissioned Jim Brothers through me to execute bronze busts of Eisenhower’s allied staff.  These include Bradley, Tedder, Ramsay, Bedell Smith, Leigh-Mallory and Montgomery (pain-in-the-neck though he surely was). 

The busts as they’re completed are being arrayed in this memorial garden, around a monument of Eisenhower, also by Jim.  The first casting of the Eisenhower is in the Capitol Building in DC.  Is all this a great honor?  Enormously.  Only Eisenhower could have brought all these diverse personalities together, both British and American, then elicited great performances from each, often taking back seat to their raging egos.  That is no mean trick.  Remember, he was also the one who warned us against the dangers of the Military Industrial Complex, and how it would lead to corporate wars.  Hmm.

If you’ll look at these busts, and the other pieces on Jim’s page, you’ll see the figurative power that this man commands.  When I opened my gallery in 1991, no one would take him or me seriously because we were from Kansas.  Seems rather amusing now.

Is this work strikingly different from the contemporary work we do?  You bet.  Is just as valid?  You bet. 

KCPT Interview Tonight


Interview this evening on the Program One On One, 9:00, Channel 19.  This is Victor Hogstrom’s show.  He’s the CEO of KC Public Television, and periodically interviews different people in the arts, business, education, etc.  Great guy with surprising questions.  You can tell me later if I blew it.  How he manages to fund public television, which I consider a cultural hub in any region, is something beyond me, but I’m grateful that he consistently pulls it off.  KCPT has fantastic patrons, both corporate and private; indicative of where we’re going in the arts.

I resume writing the Friday Tips Column next week.  Happy New Year meantime.  Go easy on the headaches.

Delivering Meals on Christmas Day


Yesterday my boys and I distributed meals and gifts for elderly folks on the East Side, in a program sponsored by the Salvation Army (note line of others preparing to do same).  The recipients are people immersed in poverty: none of them have cars, many are disabled, the neighborhoods often wicked.  But each year it’s a big deal to them when we show up, bringing things that make their lives a little easier–food, then practical gifts that we provide.

I’ve made a practice of this since the boys were 7 and 9, so that each Christmas after they opened their gifts, we always headed downtown.  It helps them keep things in perspective, and keeps material excess at a sane distance.  But god, where did they get those ugly freakin hats?

Friday Tips: Block Documentary Now Online


Many of you asked last summer when would the  documentary, Art on the Block, be online?  Well it’s recently been loaded onto You Tube, and can be viewed on Our Site.

This is a highly praised short film (19 min) that documents how I took a group of regional artists, and brought together a world-class collection at H&R Block.  I insisted that Block not spend the money at galleries in NY or LA.  Love those towns though I do, my job is to help build culture in the provinces.  If I lived in Hartford, Dallas, or Sacramento, I would have done the same thing. 

My point?  Phenomenal talent exists in all regions; you just have to give it a chance.  The documentary only covers pieces by 10 artists who did site-specific work.  However we acquired works by 65 artists for the structure.

There are also a couple of interviews from my book tour, but those are a waste of time.

Completed Glass for Sumner Academy Artists



These are the Sumner Academy Artists who Tom Bloyd taught to blow art glass, in a program I arranged and that University of Kansas Hospital financed.  These dudes and chicks are a bunch of punks, but as you can see, they’re pretty happy with their glass.  Well, so is the art consultant.  In fact I think you could say he’s very proud.

Tom of course is one of the glass artists who worked on the Sprint Center Project.

Tyler Lyke’s Work, Gay or Not


Installed this in the OP Convention Center a few years back: acrylic over heavy gesso, with an insane amount of in-painting.  Met Tyler in the 80s, and stayed in touch as his career went from undergrad work at KU, to grad work at the Penn Academy, to independent artist in Philly.  He’s gay, though that doesn’t come out in his work directly.

He’s also kind, endlessly passionate, has endured his family woes stoically (since most gays endure family woes), and never ceases to approach the empty canvas with renewed vigor.  Lord I admire his guts.

Saturday Tips



Yeah I know, this ain’t Friday.  But I wanted to remind you gentle readers that I’ll be returning to duty on 1/4.  In the meantime, I was so moved by Gloria Baker Feinstein’s Photographic Journey to Uganda, that I wanted to pass on how she documented it in her blog.

The orphanage where she stayed–St. Mary Kevin–is one where most of the kids have AIDS.  I know I don’t need to elaborate on the challenges they face, in a place where life is harsh enough without the onslaught of this disease.

Gloria took with her several artists to work with the kids, so we can bring the kids’ paintings back, hold an opening at the gallery in conjunction with Gloria’s work, and hopefully raise significant $ for the orphanage.  We raised some decent jack last year; hope to do much better this.

I bring this up in the current season, because so many people around us are obsessing over the material, sometimes forgetting the more enduring issues of life.  This is hardly a novel observation, nor one that any of you haven’t made.  But as I sell art to my clients, and buy gifts for loved ones, I think often of those kids in Uganda–and places similar– then remind myself just how bloody fortunate I am, even with the challenges of an artist.

Article for Art Calendar Magazine


Art Calendar very kindly asked me to write a few articles for them, the first of which came out in the December issue.  It concerns what I look for in new artists, the standards by which I run the gallery, and what kind of bourbon I prefer (the brown kind).

It’s on the newstands now, if you’re curious.  I’d post the article here, but that wouldn’t be fair to the editors.  So I’ll post it in Jan.