Paseo Artists in Lexington


On Friday we took a group of 60 young artists from Paseo Academy on a field trip to Lexington, MO. 


Why Lex?  It was the site of a Civil War battle in 1861, and the town is filled with antebellum architecture.  Many of the old houses are still battle-scarred, with even a cannonball embedded in one of the courthouse columns.  The professional artists Brian Slawson and Louie Copt served as mentors, along with the kids’ teachers.


Too few kids, whatever their race, grasp the import of that war, the sacrifices behind it, or the profound impact it had on the nation and, indirectly, their lives.  By taking these rascals there, teasing them, encouraging them, and subtly teaching the history, I believe they grasped more about the war in one day than they have in all their previous years.  I also took them down to the MO River, just so they could get a sense of its immenseness and see the valley from a different perspective.


So they spent their time sketching, photographing, collecting souvenirs, and generally preparing for the gallery show that will follow this trip.  When will that gig be?  First week of Dec.  All in all, one heckuva day.


Mark White’s Kinetic Sculptures


Installed these pieces today by Mark White, two in front of my space and one in front of The Roasterie.  Mark’s a charming dude who’s insanely focused on the detail required to make these kinetic pieces spin in perfect balance.  Here’s a Video of some of his  installations in CO.  They only need a slight bit of wind to be set in motion.


The pieces are not only very well crafted, but mesmerizing.  In fact you might say they have a Zen aspect about them–not that I’m enlightened enough to know about that. 

Garmin Campus


Recently spent an afternoon at Garmin International.  One of their designers wants a large, contemporary sculpture for this courtyard area.  Actually it might result in a few pieces.  Matt Kirby and I will confer and get back to them.  The Garmin Story is pretty interesting, considering they only started in ’89.  I’ve sure never been through development and design shops like the ones I toured there.  A lot of the people doing the designing are, of course, artists.


Been thinking about buying a couple of their GPS devices for my college-age sons; perhaps that will help ensure that they don’t get lost at some eternal party.

Derrick Breidenthal Show Tonight


Wet Spring, Oil on Panel, 24 24

20 new pieces, 10 of which have already sold.  It doesn’t always go that well in advance of an opening, since you typically sell the bulk after opening night, but man it’s nice when it does.  If you live in the area, feel free to drop by.  If not, maybe the next time you pass through.


Undertone, Oil on Panel, 24 x 24

Drew Hine Casts a Little Glass

casting a star.JPG

These shots show good old Drew Hine and crew sand-casting several large glass elements in a variety of specific colors.  What will the pieces be used for?  Matt Kirby’s 18′ sculpture for the City of OP, the model for which is shown below. 

 hot star.JPG

This is the same monumental sculpture I’ve been discussing off and on over the summer, and that will be dedicated in OP next month.  Bringing something like this together is always far more complicated than it appears–which in a sense is what you want.  I still can’t discuss what it’s about and who it’s in honor of, but all things in due time.

 blue house.JPG

Here also is some video of Drew casting on You Tube.




Saw Elegy with Brown Eyes a couple of weeks back.  Ben Kingsley without doubt stands alone.  Will never forget first seeing him in Gandhi.  He’s just as compelling in this, but in a different way.  And Dennis Hopper, as always, is a hoot.  Dude’s a fellow Kansan; grew up in Dodge City.  Penelope Cruz?  Probably her most mature and best role.  Suspect this thing will take a lot of awards.

How’s my own gig going in Hollywood?  Oh, I think we’re getting there.  But I’ll stay rooted here.

Rock Gyms and Devil’s Tower


Before my oldest went back to college, he, I and one of his friends passed an evening at our favorite rock gym: Monster Mountain.  Been climbing there, off and on, since ’97.  It’s always had a great vibe for me, pulsing with great memories. 



Lately I’ve been tuning myself up to climb Devil’s Tower in WY.  Now this ain’t no El Capitan, which is strictly for pros.  But for a novice like me, the Tower would be a perfect climb.  Doubt if there’s time this fall, so likely next spring.  Been trapped behind this desk long enough.  I’ve built this bloody gallery up.  Now other people can run it. 


Derrick Breidenthal’s Show


In the Red, Oil on Panel, Derrick Breidenthal (Sold)

Two images from Derrick’s upcoming show, 9/19.  I think these speak aptly enough to the sophistication and skill reflected in his work.


War Zone, Oil on Panel, Derrick Breidenthal 

Sold 10 of his pieces last week to a private collector who wanted them for a posh restaurant that he and his wife are opening.  This means we’ll only have 10 paintings available for purchase at the show, though the sold ones will be hanging also.  Well, I guess that’s a nice problem to have.  Will have shots of the restaurant later.

Overland Park City Council Approves Sculpture


Had a presentation this evening for the OP City Council regarding a large sculpture we’re installing at 103rd and Metcalf.  By “large” I mean 18′ high.  We were seeking final approval and got it.  In fact this piece, which is quite contemporary, has been unanimously approved every step of the way.  Expect it to be a big hit.

I dig city government when it functions well.  We may not all agree about politics or certain philosophies, but we do agree on the fundamental importance of city and state governments supporting the arts, since if they don’t they’ll stagnate–or worse.  It’s very cool to see people come together over an accord such as that.

All right, now for the truth: I didn’t make the freaking presentation.  Why?  An agent in LA asked for a PDF of one of my books, a client in Springfield needs an outline by tomorrow morning, and I haven’t finished preparations for Derrick Breidenthal’s show.  So yep, I forgot a meeting for the first time in years.  Pointlessly dashed out the door and over to city hall to find that OP’s very competent Arts Coordinator, Julie Bilyea, had already made the presentation in my stead.  Nothing like being proved inessential. 

Obama’s Acceptance Speech


Artwork by Shepard Fairey

Sure I watched the speech last week, every minute of it.  What a relief to have a promising candidate who is literate, with actual vision, and not a blundering puppet.  As an added bonus he pronounces the word “nuclear” correctly.  It seems that literacy, after an eight-year hiatus, may at last return to the Oval Office.  Perhaps also a balanced budget, fair taxation, and a narrowing of the gap between rich and poor rather than the adverse.  I do think that FDR and Truman would be relieved.  Plenty of time, though, to see how all it shakes out.