Lawrence Magazine | Summer 2021

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$7 / / summer 2021


Hunt House A New Generation of Stories for one of the City’s Oldest Homes ALSO IN THIS ISSUE Honoring the Life and Creations of Lee Chapman Louis Copt Paints with a New Kind of Blue Pandemic Pets Got Us Through Illuminated Glass Studio Creates Pipe Art And More ...

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lawrence magazine / summer 2021


hello there

Welcome to the summer 2021 edition of Lawrence Magazine! We are delighted to return our focus to the arts, culture, people, places and faces of Lawrence after a year of precautions and shutdowns. Not only does this issue include some of our first photo shoots taken during the post-vaccination period, we are able once again to look forward to the coming season with relative confidence about the upcoming events and opportunities available in our community. Of course, as we move forward we also recognize the community’s losses, including artist Lee Chapman—a talented and selfless fixture in the city’s cultural scene who died of Covid this past year and whose life and works we pay tribute to in this issue. We hope you enjoy reading about Chapman, as well as the other people, homes and events introduced in these pages. With gratitude and joy, we look forward to this summer and hope to see you enjoying the chance to be—once again—out and about with friends and loved ones in Lawrence.

$7 / / summer 2021


Hunt House A New Generation of Stories for one of the City’s Oldest Homes ALSO IN THIS ISSUE Honoring the Life and Creations of Lee Chapman Louis Copt Paints with a New Kind of Blue Pandemic Pets Got Us Through Illuminated Glass Studio Creates Pipe Art And More ...

On the cover

Nathan Pettengill, editor

ABOVE untitled by Lee Chapman

The Hunt family stands in front of their home in Old West Lawrence. Photograph by Brian Goodman.



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lawrence magazine / summer 2021

what’s inside smorgasbord


A Year for the Records

For local businesses that sold or produced records, the stay-at-home pandemic era brought some pluses as well as challenges

14 School Spirits

Lawrence author creates a first-year student’s experience of the KU campus through parties, self-doubt, hard-earned transformations and a few tenured ghosts

18 Regional and Plentiful

48 features

A 10-Year Project, with a Parlor

Artist Nancy Marshall creates works exploring rural culture as well as the knowledge and curiosity to sustain new generations


Lawrencium: Summer Swimming

The science of distilling one Lawrence theme into essential information ... people

When a young Lawrence couple purchased a home, they stepped into a historical legacy as well as years of required renovations

24 Pandemic Pets

Pets became our new working companions during the lockdown … so what happens when work fetches people away?

‘In the Best Sense’

A generous champion of creative minds, Lee Chapman was also an artist whose talent was largely hidden by her intensely private and modest approach to her own creations



‘Captivated by the Glass’

Two glass artists create works for one of the nation’s fastest-growing commercial art forms

New Blue

One of the city’s most successful and widely known artists brings a newly developed pigment to some of his most popular subjects


Kearney, With or Without the Cranes

This college town some 5 hours northwest of Lawrence offers a must-see annual event, plus attractions throughout the year




Summer ’21 Calendar


lawrence magazine / summer 2021

behind the pages KATHERINE DINSDALE /



THE 10-YEAR PROJECT, WITH A PARLOR Katherine Dinsdale has contributed stories to Lawrence Magazine for many moons, enjoying the fortune of hanging out with prairie chickens, contra dancers, bead artists and more. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with the parents and kids of Family Promise of Lawrence, as well as her own five grandchildren.

PANDEMIC PETS The former head photographer of Lawrence Magazine and Sunflower Publishing, Jason Dailey now runs an independent commercial and portrait studio in Lawrence. You can see more of his still and video images at

SCHOOL SPIRITS Carter Gaskins developed a love for creating dramatic images as a tattoo artist in Charles Town, West Virginia. Since 2014, he has lived and worked in Lawrence, operating Carter Gaskins Photography.




THE 10-YEAR PROJECT, WITH A PARLOR Brian Goodman runs his own editorial, landscape and stock-image photography studio from his home in Lawrence, where he frequently pulls in his dog, Millie, as a willing and eager model.

NEW BLUE After 32 years of advising high school journalists and teaching English, Cheryl Nelsen decided to do a bit of writing on her own after her retirement.

“IN THE BEST SENSE” In addition to interviewing fellow artists for Lawrence Magazine, award-winning artist and sculptor Darin M. White continues to create works on his own and with his wife, Shannon White, as White Art Studio.


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lawrence magazine / summer 2021


A YEAR FOR THE RECORDS For local businesses that sold or produced records, the stay-at-home pandemic era brought some pluses as well as challenges Story by Nick Spacek

Photography by Fally Afani

that it was kind of a strength,” she continues, explaining that she “Rich in Some Way” and Farrell just “ran with it from there.” Now, Farrell does the Lost Cowgirl Records sits in a hilltop home just outside producing out of a recording studio in their living room, with of Lawrence, in the unincorporated township of Stull. But the the two trying to create a space for women to record and then partnership behind the company began in Winfield nearly a promote their music. decade ago when musicians Jenna Rae and Martin Farrell Jr. The studio’s atmosphere, like most of the songs it records, is met at the Walnut Valley Festival and stayed in contact. When influenced by roots and country. The view from the bay windows Rae’s band, Dead Eye, ended, Farrell reached out with an offer to of Lost Cowgirl Records is pastoral in the most literal sense of record some of her music. the word, with cows grazing nearby and farm fields sweeping “I was pretending to be a producer,” Farrell recalls as we sit as far as the eye can see. I ask if being out in the country, being in the pair’s living room. “I really had no idea what I was doing, able to see a landscape of cows and clouds, helps get artists in but I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll record you for free. And you know, I just a better mindset to record than if they love to hear your voice.’” were in downtown Lawrence. “From the beginning, you were our “Absolutely, 100%,” replies Farrell. number one fan,” Rae replies. “Earlier today we had a session, and the But the pair wasn’t yet a record singer was looking out and two coyotes company. In fact, their name came about came out in broad daylight. It kind of before anything involving a business. takes your mind off of any nervousness “The first time, we had made a home and gives you less reservation.” music video and we just were putting a In terms of the more tangible record label name just to make it look aspects of what Lost Cowgirl Records more official,” remembers Rae. “Martin offers the artists under its label, like Lily thought of Lost Cowgirl Records, and B Moonflower and Elexa Dawson, it’s when he said it, we both were just like, –Martin Farrell Jr. a little different for each musician. Rae ‘Dang, that is such a good name.’” and Farrell’s main goals are to help with the online presence, The impetus to put a business behind the name came provide guidance during production, and prepare for that everwhen a friend of the duo suggested that they might want to important album release show. focus on working with Rae’s circle of friends and fellow women “It’s not just like you record the record and then just put it musicians who felt they didn’t really fit into the area’s country/ out and then hope it does good,” Farrell states. “There’s a lot of bluegrass scene. push that you need—something every single week to promote, “It was very male-dominated,” explains Rae. “I would go to like your music videos and photo shoots. We help artists set all these jams with Martin and there would be no women. I’d be the that up and make sure that we’re trying to help them look more only one there and I would be so scared to get up. Martin would professional as well.” just be like, ‘Just get up there,’ and really encouraged me to just The pair agree that for all the business acumen they bring to learn how to jam with people.” the table in terms of setting up promotional schedules or online Rae recalls that same friend, who happened to be an fundraising, the best thing they can do is make their musicians attorney, saying she was a good business woman, a compliment feel comfortable so they can concentrate on their music and that surprised Rae, who had never thought of herself that way. their songs can sound as good as they possibly can. “But it was cool that someone else recognized that in me—

“I was pretending to be a producer. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I was like,‘Oh, I’ll record you for free.And you know, I just love to hear your voice.’”

OPPOSITE Martin Farrell Jr. and Jenna Rae run Lost Cowgirl Records from their home just west of Lawrence.


lawrence magazine / summer 2021

“Whether we’re playing the instruments or helping somebody come up with a song or like how to insert the instrumentation on a song—that’s all really important stuff,” Farrell says. “I feel like one of our biggest strengths is doing the songs justice.” While the pair do have long-term goals for Lost Cowgirl Records to expand with more space as well as printing and pressing capabilities, their plan isn’t to get rich. “I saw this quote the other day,” Rae says as the sun sets. “‘Your goal shouldn’t be to get rich. Your goal should be to spend your day how you want to spend it.’ And it’s like, for the most part, this is how we want to spend our days, so we’re rich in some way.” A “Less Dudely” Love Garden The past months of a nation staying at home have led to a boom in music sales. The giant specialty online music marketplace Discogs summarized in its end-of-year report that it saw nearly a 36% increase in “global physical sales,” meaning LPs, CDs and other media. While those numbers stand in stark contrast to the physical media sold by film and television companies, which saw double-





digit declines in the sale of DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K discs, it’s not quite the full story, as was revealed when I spoke with Kelly Corcoran, owner of the record store Love Garden Sounds in downtown Lawrence. “Our sales on Discogs are up substantially,” Corcoran says when we speak by phone. “I would say I think it’s somewhere between 300 and 400%.” Now, there’s a lot going on there, Corcoran is quick to explain. First of all, Love Garden closed its doors and went exclusively to online or phone sales for several months at the start of the pandemic, meaning that, necessarily, most of their sales were through the Discogs platform. Additionally, Corcoran and his staff added quite a few titles to their online Discogs store that might not have previously found their way there. “What it came down to was people were overtly voting with their dollar and wanting to choose us, so there was an influx of people” says Corcoran, continuing on to explain that, before the pandemic he treated Discogs as an outlet for lesserknown records, and that influx required a change of tack. “If it was a mainstream record that had significant popularity, that a lot of people were looking for, I didn’t see the point of selling it on that platform. I would sell it in the store to people who came in the store.” Corcoran explains that selling records online helped keep Love Garden afloat, but the profit margins change a bit along with the experience. When a business sells something through Discogs, the platform takes an 8 percent commission and transaction processor PayPal also takes a cut. “In the end, somewhere between 11–13% of that money is gone,” the Love Garden owner details. “When people spend cash at Love Garden, 0% is gone, so it just increases your cost significantly.” Corcoran is quick to acknowledge that a lot of people very explicitly wanted to support the store, and he wanted to them to be able to do that. However, those people were not customers who were digging super-deep for records. These were folks who wanted to get things they already knew they liked. “That was the audience that Discogs has cultivated in the last year,” Corcoran continues. “Suddenly, Discogs isn’t a collector’s forum for lesser-known things or off-brand things: now it’s a mainstream tool and you get the pluses and minuses of that.” The challenges include a market flooded by cheap turntables that are unable to play most modern heavyweight vinyl pressings, and the “baseball card-ification” of record collecting, with people buying albums more for the color of the vinyl, but Corcoran says that the pluses readily outweigh those issues. The pluses are a growing base of customers walking though the Love Garden doors, now that the shop’s reopened (albeit with masks required and a capped number of customers at any one time), the owner says. “It is less dudely than ever before,” Corcoran happily states. “There are definitely way more women and non-binary folks shopping at the store than ever in the history of the shop. We certainly have a more diverse crowd than ever before.”

ABOVE Love Garden owner Kelly Corcoran says the pandemic forced a change in business models, but the base of LP-buying customers has expanded over the past months.

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“I think, I hope, that is what college should be about— finding yourself, meeting people you have never met before, having crazy, new experiences that open your eyes to the wider world out there.” –Amber Fraley

Amber Fraley





lawrence magazine / summer 2021


SCHOOL SPIRITS Lawrence author creates a first-year student’s experience of the KU campus through parties, self-doubt, hard-earned transformations and a few tenured ghosts Story by Nathan Pettengill


mber Fraley’s The Bug Diary (Anamcara, 2021) is a loving and authentic tribute to undergraduate life, to the risks, vulnerabilities—and ultimately profound misunderstandings and awareness—that can arise when young people expose themselves to personal transformation. The fictional story unflinchingly addresses complications and setbacks of living on the University of Kansas campus, and by doing so provides a more satisfying and authentic homage to Jayhawk traditions than any curated narrative from KU officialdom might provide. Narratively, The Bug Diary is a chronicle of Kymer Charvat’s first year as a KU student. Like many students, she is both intentional and clueless about how her studies can or should affect her future. She intends to study biology because of a vague interest in insects but finds herself struggling through initial courses and questioning her reasons for choosing this particular field. She might have continued rudderless if not for discovering a nearly 150-year-old field manual that belonged to one of the university’s first female graduates, a student who described and drew samples of the prairie wildlife, including a bee whose classification remains a mystery. As Kymer increasingly immerses herself in this diary and in the academics necessary to understand it, she struggles with her personal life, the excitement and emotional toll of detaching herself from her home ties and romantic attachment back in Maryland. Forging her own identity, she offends new acquaintances and earns friendships that prove to be lifelines through her first year. She finds romance beyond campus, with a North Lawrence local whose compatibility beyond the bedroom remains uncertain and whose intentions she is never quite able to unravel. And though she ends the year on a firmer academic footing, she makes less progress in understanding how she has changed and deciding her path; it’s the unique pressure that young adults face when any one choice propels them in one direction—at the cost of closing doors to other possibilities. Fraley, a KU grad and Lawrence resident, says she considers this book—her first full-length novel—as young adult literature, albeit at the more adult end of this genre with frank episodes about recreational drugs, underage drinking, sexual pleasure,

Photograph by Carter Gaskins the threat of sexual violence and the vulnerabilities for modern students in establishing trusting relationships. This is, Fraley notes, a story about students taking on the freedom to create themselves despite risks and failures. “I think, I hope, that is what college should be about— finding yourself, meeting people you have never met before, having crazy, new experiences that open your eyes to the wider world out there. There is always danger at the college age, especially if you are a girl, and you have to be on the lookout for that,” says Fraley. “I’m not trying to make a statement with that, that’s just how life is for girls.” In that sense, The Bug Diary is very much in the tradition of recent critically acclaimed works such as Bad Kansas or My Dark Vanessa—books focusing on the inner life, the personal triumphs and devastating setbacks of students. But where these stories took place with a KU-flavored campus as a background, Fraley has placed KU student life and traditions at the core of Kymer’s tale. These aren’t the recruitment-brochure rituals such as Waving the Wheat or Walking the Hill, but rather the student-initiated, student-owned exploits and dangers, such as wandering, inebriated, through Watson library stacks, turning dorm rooms into speakeasies, struggling to find affordable housing in a market that increasingly caters to rich kids, or defining how you will spend Thanksgiving vacation on your own terms. What also makes this book of interest to Lawrence readers is that Fraley’s version of the student discovery year is linked to Lawrence almost as much as it is to the KU campus. A regular contributor to this magazine for more than 10 years, as well as the former owner and editor of The Lawrencium (back in its proud, iconoclastic, indie press years), Fraley creates vivid town scenes and off-campus characters. And though her main character seems more aware of Lawrence than many students might be, Fraley says she modeled some of that interaction with the town on her own experience as a student in the early 1990s when she worked at Roger’s Food Center in North Lawrence and earned her status as one of the few college kids allowed by the Sand Rats to drink at the Congo Bar. “I loved Lawrence when I was little,” says Fraley, “and I knew from a very small age I wanted to go to KU, even though I didn’t

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lawrence magazine / summer 2021

know what I would major in. There’s something about the double flags on Fraser, the Campanile, the steam whistle … all these things have always called to me and are burned in my brain.” There are intentionally uncomfortable moments of The Bug Diary. Kymer, focusing on her own growth and struggles, often ignores how she relegates other people, particularly racial or sexual minorities, to the role of enriching the experience of an up-and-coming White student from an affluent family. But that flaw, too, is an authentic reflection of contradictions and disparities inherent at a large university whose student population draws heavily on the surrounding, majority-White population. To her credit, Fraley allows her character to confront these difficulties, to sometimes fail embarrassingly at them, and to be held accountable for those shortcomings. What type of person Kymer will become by the time—if ever—she walks The Hill is still very much up in the air … as it should be for an undergraduate willing to risk everything they thought they knew about themselves not for a degree, but for an education.

SHORT TAKES ONCE UPON A HURRICANE: EARLY YEARS OF THE SANDBAR (PEACH MADL, IMPERIUM PUBLISHING, 2021) Peach Madl, owner of the The Sandbar, has gathered thirty years of stories and photos to tell about the traditions, exploits and eyewitness moments contained in this legendary Lawrence bar. Created as a Kickstarter project, first editions are now available at The Sandbar’s downtown location.

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WORDS OF A FEATHER (MEGAN KAMINSKI, EDITOR; HUMANITIES KANSAS, 2021) Lawrence poet and University of Kansas associate professor Megan Kaminski headlines a group of Kansans contributing poems and artwork in tribute to nature and birds. Free distribution of the book is made possible in part by funding from the Elizabeth Schultz Environmental Fund.

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: BE YOU, 101 STORIES OF AFFIRMATION, AND FEMALE EMPOWERMENT (LORRAINE CANNISTRA, CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL, 2021) Lawrence resident and frequent Lawrence Magazine contributor Lorraine Cannistra unveils her eleventh short story to appear in the popular Chicken Soup collections of stories.

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lawrence magazine / summer 2021




REGIONAL AND PLENTIFUL Artist Nancy Marshall creates works exploring rural culture as well as the knowledge and curiosity to sustain new generations Story by Darin M. White


ancy Marshall describes her paintings as having a deep connection to her family history in Hannibal, Missouri. “I am descended from a long line of farmers, and I pay attention to agriculture, now agribusiness. There is a surreal quality to some of my work, [but] the landscape is regional, food plentiful,” she notes. A Lawrence resident since 1968, Marshall has focused much of her work on Kansas landscapes and people, often integrating themes of nature, food and animals. Her oil painting Charlie, for example, is a tribute to a long-time

North Lawrence resident, small acreage farmer and seed saver. Comfortable in many genres and mediums, Marshall prefers to paint in oils, creating vast, layered scenes that blend portraits, landscapes, regionalism and surrealism. During Women’s History Month, March 2021, the Department of the Interior Museum featured Marshall and her oil painting Homestead 1862–2020 in its list of 25 artists to know and provided commentary on the work. “Through a series of interwoven vignettes, Marshall simultaneously

ABOVE (FROM LEFT) Homestead 1862–2020 and Homestead 1862–2020 Variation 1 OPPOSITE (CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT) Maxx at Home, Rob with Pandemic Hair, Eleanor, Naomi and Beneath the Surface.

“There is a surreal quality to my work,but the landscape is regional ...” –Nancy Marshall


lawrence magazine / summer 2021





tells the Homestead story and illustrates a farming future that is eco-friendly. Taken as a whole, the painted narrative encompasses generations of changing interactions with the land: as ancestral homeland, natural habitat, migration route, and agricultural provider,” the Department noted. Marshall continues creating works with agricultural themes, but the former Topeka High School teacher also creates works reflecting her deep concern about the American educational system and what she believes are trends toward schools and colleges becoming either “commercial operations for profit, or poorly funded and standardized.”

She believes education—like the themes and compositions in her paintings—should be broad and exploratory. “All of us, young and old, should be able to explore learning, stories, science, math, the arts, through a broad range of experiences,” she says. “Catch that glimpse of knowing, and seek more.” Marshall says her six grandchildren motivate her to advocate for education and the environment in her works. She has created a portrait for each of them, with landscapes and symbols for them to think about as they grow. “They are my bright lights,” says Marshall.

LEFT Charlie Parker ABOVE Along the Way


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lawrence magazine / summer 2021



The science of distilling one Lawrence theme into essential information ... Compiled by Amber Fraley

Outdoor Swimming

After being closed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the City of Lawrence plans to open the Outdoor Aquatic Center for the 2021 season.

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Summer Swimming





lawrence magazine / summer 2021


PANDEMIC PETS Pets became our new working companions during the lockdown … so what happens when work fetches people away? Story by Nick Spacek


Photography by Jason Dailey

ver the course of the pandemic, pets have become greater fixtures in family homes. According to a November 2020 report by the nonprofit Shelter Animals Count, adoptions of dogs and cats rose some 9% from 2019 to 2020, with significant rise of 22%, for example, at the peak of the pandemic in April. A January 2021 publication from the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association suggests a significant rise during the beginning of the pandemic. “In fact,” the report states, “the mean number of new pets per practice rose from 25 per week in late March to 39 in early July—an increase of more than 50%.” The same report also points to data that adoptions were still catching up to 2018 rates, but there was also a significant drop in shelter intakes, either from strays or surrenders, suggesting that more pets were remaining in homes. In Lawrence, the numbers were never as drastic as a 50% rise, but Lawrence Humane Society’s customer care manager Rikki Swearingen shares some interesting details. “We are doing way better than we ever anticipated with being shut down,” Swearingen explains over the phone one

afternoon. When we speak in mid-April, the Humane Society’s adoption system was still by appointment-only, but that was an improvement from how things started out early in the pandemic. “When we first started last year, it was all via Zoom, which makes that very difficult,” she says. “Trying to show an animal on Zoom—they’re not always the most cooperative, and sometimes the scheduling was six weeks out, so the animal that they had been interested in was long adopted.” Thankfully, the Humane Society was able to get some protective equipment so that people could come in, sit down with workers and the potential pet, and make the adoption process a little bit more personal. “Adopting an animal is a huge commitment,” Swearingen emphasizes. “Zoom—while that’s what we had to do in the beginning—it’s not the same as getting to ask those questions and meet the animal.” No one might be more aware of the importance of being with their pets than those who have always worked near them.

OPPOSITE Craig Carbery holds his shih tzu, Pip. ABOVE (FROM LEFT) Lawrence pets who helped get people through the pandemic include Pepper, Chicken, and Laddie.


lawrence magazine / summer 2021

ABOVE Lawrence-based marketing communicator Nicole Van Velzen sits in her house with her foster dog, Salvador. Van Velzen worked primarily from home before the pandemic, but found that the quarantine— and knowing that she wouldn’t be traveling during the past year— allowed her to foster more dogs than usual. In all, she fostered 2 kittens and 21 dogs during the pandemic period (though no more than 3 foster dogs at any one time). “My advice to friends who were working from home with their dogs for the first time was to schedule a break during the middle of the day, if possible, so they could take their dog on a walk,” she says. “A tired dog is a wellbehaved dog.” RIGHT Caitlin Craig enjoys time outside the home with her dog, Collin.





Jay Keim, who runs the Lawrence Community Photo Studio, knows that as well as anyone. While much of the working populace has had to acclimate to dealing with pets and work in the same space over the last year, Keim’s 26-year-old cat, Pepper, has been a part of the studio since it opened. “She’s always been here,” Keim says. “I have a dog, Laddie—a three-year-old Australian shepherd—who also stays with me all the time, but Pepper just lives at the studio because she’s so old, she doesn’t want to put up with too much. She just lounges around here. She’s a good kitty— pretty healthy, too, for being how old she is. It’s crazy.” Keim’s pet accompaniment has been a constant his entire life, he says. “I’ve never not had animals with me,” the photographer continues. “I’ve never not had a dog in my whole life. Their presence has always been around with me, and they’re a comfort.” Caitlin Craig is one of the many Lawrencians who are working alongside their animal companion for the first time. During the past year, she has done online tutoring and worked on her master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages, all the while with her thirteenyear-old collie mix, Collin, at her side. It’s a far cry from their pre-pandemic routines when Craig worked at a veterinary diagnostic lab and Collin remained at home. “During that time, I actually had a dog walker for a bit,” she explains. “He’s also a family dog. Like, the whole family has always loved him, so he would spend time with my brother and my parents, as well, I’ve coordinated care for him, like a lot of people coordinate care for their kids, so when I’ve been working, he’s had help.” But those routines were dropped, Craig says, much to Collin’s approval. “I think he loves that I’m never really going anywhere unless it’s with him, aside from the grocery store,” Craig reflects. “I think he’s enjoyed it quite a bit.” When asked in she’s discovered new things about her pet after spending so much close time with him over the past year, the master’s student is quiet, then says, “He definitely is like my kid. I think, for a lot of people, their pets are an addition to their whole family but basically, my world has kind of revolved around him.” Keim explains that he’s structured his working life around his pets. When asked, the photographer acknowledges that having pets allows him to get out of the darkroom and into the world. “Absolutely,” he replies enthusiastically. “Just before you called, I was thinking, ‘Oh, I should take Laddie out. It looks pretty outside.’ So, yeah—it keeps me moving. I take him for three or four walks a day and he’s got friends up and down Mass. Street, especially Friday, the dog that lives in Arizona Trading Company. They’ve got Laddie’s picture on a pillow on Friday’s bed.”

Jean Irvin with her dog, Jasmine. Irvin, owner of the dog care and training facility Barks + Boarding, says that a silver lining to the quarantine period was the chance for people to spend more time with their pets and to discover what their animals might be telling them about themselves. “Dogs simply reflect the energy of the humans they live with,” says Irvin. “I have seen a lot more anxiety issues during the pandemic. I think it is because of people’s insecurities with their businesses and jobs, and a lot of the stress is unknowingly passed on. Also, because humans have been at home so much more, the dogs might just be seeing more issues than they have ever before. In a weird way, the pandemic opened our eyes to how we need to be more balanced ourselves. If people listen to what their dog is telling them by how their dog is acting, then they will get a more mindful dog and a more balanced life.” With the close of the pandemic, Irvin urges owners to slowly adjust routines so that dogs do not suffer separation anxiety after months of close contact with their humans.


lawrence magazine / summer 2021

What Happens When the Office Routine Returns? According to Dr. Matthew Coles of Animal Hospital of Lawrence, when people start going back to work, veterinary clinics are going to be inundated with separation anxiety issues: “Pets destroying homes and things like that because that people have been home and giving them so much attention.” Coles explains that by doing simple things, like taking dogs out multiple times a day or brushing your cat every morning, pet owners have been giving their animals cues that essentially make the person akin to the security blanket for the pet, meaning that when folks go back to work, the animal won’t know what to do. An easy way to prevent separation anxiety is to examine your relationship with your pet and identify any potential red flags ahead of time, he says.





That connection between human and pet seems to have tightened considerably during the tail end of the pandemic. The Humane Society’s Swearingen says that, while adoptions have remained relatively constant, the number of fosters has skyrocketed, resulting in quite a few forever homes. “I have heard time and time again, where folks were like, ‘Okay, I can’t really make this commitment, so I’m going to foster,’” Swearingen says. “Those people have fostered five or six and they’re like, ‘This is the one. I cannot let this one go. I’m a cat person, but this dog gets me.’ And a lot of them have said it saved their lives.” Even if they haven’t saved a life during the pandemic, Jay Keim suggests that the animals probably made people’s working lives much better—then and now as well. “It seems like bringing your dog to work can calm situations down. If you’re getting frustrated with something at work, stop what you’re doing and pet your dog for a while. Go outside, take a walk, and it could really readjust your attitude.”

“If you go into to go to the restroom and your dog is waiting outside the door or following you into the bathroom,” Coles offers as an example. “That’s an unhealthy level of attachment and when you break that attachment, that’s when the dog is going to have a lot of problems and really freak out when you’re gone.” He says it’s important to begin working on your pet’s independence, so that when you do head back to work, you won’t run into a problem. Cats, being more independent, will likely adapt better to people’s absences, but it’s still possible that separation anxiety might occur after being able to curl up on the bed while you’re at the computer all day in the same room. “Start working on periods of time when you’re gone and giving them activities or giving them things to do, even if you’re gone for five minutes or ten minutes,” says Coles. “You build on that, whether it’s some new toy that your cat can chase around, like a little ball that spits food out, or the same thing with the dog and a Kong toy. You really just start off by being able to leave for a short period of time and you increase that over days and weeks and maybe even months.” Laddie, with office mate and fellow walker Jay Keim.

‘CAPTIVATED BY THE GLASS’ Two glass artists create works for one of the nation’s fastest-growing commercial art forms Story by Lisa Waterman Gray

Photography by Jason Dailey

lawrence magazine / summer 2021



rad Chun remembers walking into the upstairs of downtown Lawrence shop Third Planet in the early 2010s and seeing creations from fellow glass artist Ben Kappen. “I asked about them, and the manager told me about Ben and that he had this old-school, soft-glass furnace—a discipline I had always wanted to learn.” Shortly afterward, Brad was joining Ben at his Illuminated Glass studio in Lawrence, and by 2015, the artists had combined their 45 years of glassblowing experience to create a collective. Now housed in a one-time auto-repair shop in East Lawrence, Illuminated Glass’ cavernous studio is a meeting place, work studio, and classroom for area glassblowers of various backgrounds and training. For Kappen, the journey to this studio began when he first saw glassblowing as a seven-year-old at Silver Dollar City. He loved the combination of fire and steam, the dance and pace of the process, and the amazing fluidity of molten glass.

“As cannabis laws relax nationwide, glassblowing in general is expanding exponentially into one of the fastestevolving art forms in America.” –Ben Kappen

“But it never occurred to me that I could end up learning how to work with glass, or even make it my profession, until my mid 20s,” Kappen says. In 1999, he took his first furnace lessons with Darren Davis in Tulsa, and by 2003 he had opened a studio in Lecompton focusing on creating glass lamps. Chun recalls seeing his first art glass pipe in 1990, at a Grateful Dead concert in Bonner Springs. Soon, he was watching artists make their soft glass pieces at Free State Glass in Lawrence, fascinated by the transformation of matter, from solid to liquid and back to solid again, and starting to learn the craft himself. “Both Ben and I owe so much to Dick Rector and Jim Slough at Free State,” Brad says. By 1997, Brad was starting an apprenticeship under Oregon artist Bob Snodgrass to learn lampwork, the twisting OPPOSITE The artists of the Illuminated Glass studio create a range of pipes from borosilicate glass.


lawrence magazine / summer 2021

Artist Brad Chun is one of the co-owners of Illuminated Glass studio in Lawrence. The studio artists fabricate glass creations with a torch, then bake their work in a slow-heating oven (an annealing kiln).





and turning of glass in fire (as opposed to blowing glass). By 1999, he returned to Free State Glass and created art there until opening his own Pleasant Street Studios. While Chun and Kappen still create traditional glass art such as chandelier pieces, for the past years the work of both artists has focused on creating functional and artistic glass pipes. Technically, these pipes are works of art for tabletop display, or to smoke tobacco. But, in general, the market for glass pipes in the United States has boomed for one reason—cannabis culture. “As cannabis laws relax nationwide, glassblowing in general is expanding exponentially into one of the fastest-evolving art forms in America,” Kappen says. While laws governing the use of cannabis vary around the United States, there is nothing inherently illegal in creating equipment which might—or might not—be applicable for recreational or medicinal marijuana use. The association with counterculture uses is reflected in the colors and subjects of some of the glass creations—an art that lends itself to psychedelic swirls of colors and complex, cloudy patterns for intricate pipes. Illuminated Glass artists frequently create their works with borosilicate, a superior-quality glass more resistant to extreme temperature changes. It is used extensively in scientific

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lawrence magazine / summer 2021

Artists (from left) Konner Toda, Katy Wright and Ben Kappen create a range of pipes and other glass artwork in the studio.

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lawrence magazine / summer 2021

That’s Lawrence, But That’s Kansas Beginning in the mid- to late1960s, Lawrence has had a fairly active cannabis economy, famously documented by a 1970 CBS 60 Minutes special, which seemed to mistake a loose association of “Kaw Valley Hemp Pickers” for an organized, weedcrop cartel. Regardless, the use of cannabis was fairly abundant, and a few downtown shops specialized in drug paraphernalia. In November of that year, self-declared dealer Philip Hall gained national attention when he won election to the now-nonexistent office of justice of the peace. More recently, in 2020, Lawrence city commissioners lowered the fine to $1 for a first or second offense associated with possessing 32 grams or less of marijuana for personal use. However, a third offense for a Lawrence marijuana user remains a felony, which may result in jail time and a permanent criminal record. In addition, cultivation or possession of marijuana with intent to distribute results in prosecution. Weed possession remains a misdemeanor in Kansas, but individuals who possess more than 16 ounces of weed for distribution can face felony charges. Medical marijuana proponents hope that the Kansas Equal Access Act, introduced early this year, will allow qualified, registered patients to possess and grow weed for personal medical use.





laboratories because of its heat resistance and has become especially popular among high-end restaurants and wineries, as well as among pipe aficionados. The time required to complete an individual piece varies from artist to artist, but borosilicate allows them to cool and reheat the work as many times as required to achieve the desired design. “A marble could take 10 minutes, versus a large, intricate piece taking multiple days or even weeks,” Chun says. Kappen says the challenges of creating complicated pieces, such his raygun series, include the size of the object and the heat it requires. “While we work the glass, it needs to be above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. If the piece cools down too much as we work, it could run the risk of cracking. Keeping everything hot is key. The size of the piece comes into play as it gets heavier and heavier with more glass added, [and] it must support its own structure without cracking.” Chun’s and Kappen’s use of fluid lines and color combinations, in design and function, are similar. “We are both captivated by the glass movement, as a whole, the history, the depth and range of artists and disciplines, and its recent expansion and explosion in both the underground and mainstream,” Chun says. “There seems to be no ceiling or walls to keep us restrained or bored.” Both artists usually begin their more complicated pieces with paper sketches and then edit the structure as they assemble. “I think the most important part is the original visualization, and perhaps contingency plans or alternate methods to execute those ideals while the realities of construction and structural integrity of the piece reveal themselves,” Chun says. “Most of our pieces are, after all, meant to be held, balancing what is delicate with what feels solid and permanent.” Chun and Kappen sell their work at Third Planet in Lawrence and other stores in the Kansas City region, as well as online where they feature work by other artists from their collective. Currently, six full-time artists work at Illuminated Glass, slowly building their numbers after a year of the pandemic. Chun and Kappen also rent space to other glass artists. “Our real focus is to provide the community with an opportunity to learn through lessons and workshops,” Kappen says. Visitors are welcome by appointment, or for scheduled classes, workshops, or art shows, which often feature glassmaking demonstrations. See the studio’s website at for hours and registration information.

ABOVE Brad Chun (left) and Ben Kappen run Illuminated Glass from a former auto repair shop in East Lawrence.

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KEARNEY, WITH OR WITHOUT THE CRANES This college town some 5 hours northwest of Lawrence offers a must-see annual event, plus attractions throughout the year Story by Susan Kraus

PHOTOGRAPHS (FROM TOP) Frank Barthell (2), Shutterstock

Kearney, Nebraska

I ABOVE (FROM TOP) Kearney’s Museum of Nebraska Art recently hosted an exhibit by artist Susan Knight focusing on the physical and metaphysical powers of water. The seasonal migration of cranes brings together thousands of birds, as well as bird-watchers. The rich wetlands around the Platte River are responsible for attracting the seasonal crane migration.

t was the end of a day for us along the Platte River near Kearney, Nebraska, and we were hungry. The Easy Street Lounge, tucked in next to the Alley Rose restaurant, came recommended by locals for its Happy Hour. I’m not sure what I expected, but these were the finest mussels I’d tasted in years. Cooked with bacon, garlic, tomatoes, gorgonzola and toasted crostini and paired with grapefruit margaritas and artichoke bruschetta flatbread, they were immensely satisfying. We’d driven up to Kearney to see the migration of the sandhill cranes. It’s an annual event believed to have been happening for millions of years (crane fossils dating back 9 million years have


lawrence magazine / summer 2021

been found in Nebraska), and now some 80% of the world’s sandhill cranes are estimated to converge on the Platte River for a rest stop. They feed on the leftovers in the grain fields and settle down at night on the sandbanks in the shallow Platte before continuing to fly north to breeding grounds in Alaska, Canada and Siberia. Kearney also welcomes the flocks of visitors who come from around the country, and even the globe, to see the cranes. There are viewing platforms and bridges along the river to watch morning departures and sunset returns. There are guided tours and lectures. When the cranes circle at sunset, coming in from all directions, they become an aerial ballet with a haunting, majestic soundtrack. Several times during the March–April migration season, I have driven the five hours to Kearney to see the cranes. But until my most recent trip, I hadn’t thought of Kearney as a destination for the other ten months of the year, or as a fun place to explore before or after viewing the migrations. I was wrong. The Bricks At the heart of Kearny is The Bricks, the core cultural, dining and retail district. The northern anchor of this area and a must-see attraction is MONA (Museum of Nebraska Art). Housed in a 1911 neoclassical building, with 11 galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden, the free museum features artists from the 19th century to the present. Just across the street is the World Theatre. Somewhat similar to Liberty Hall, the World Theatre operates as a not-for-profit, bringing in first

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Attractions beyond the area wetlands include the Museum of Nebraska Art and The Archway.

Around Kearney Spanning Interstate-80 on the southeast side of Kearney, The Archway is a unique structure in itself. It’s a selfpaced, interactive museum, where the headsets you wear tell new stories every few feet. Imagine walking through dioramas, where every person, animal and artifact has been meticulously constructed for accuracy, and every wall is a mural. It’s one thing to see a picture of a wagon crossing the prairie, another for a kid to stand next to one and imagine entire lives compressed into trunks. The historical narrative explores Ft. Kearney, a convergence of several trails (Oregon, California and Mormon) and the cultural clashes along the early trails. It then follows the development of the Overland Stagecoach, the Pony Express, the Transcontinental Telegraph, the Transcontinental Railroad, the Lincoln Highway and the interstate highway system.

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run, art and independent films, but also concerts and theater productions. A stunning restoration added an art-deco lounge and a classic candy store. Movies are $5, popcorn is $1–$3, and wine and beer are served. Running through The Bricks is Central Avenue, a commercial hub lined with boutiques, galleries, antique and furniture stores, restaurants, clubs and bars. What was unexpected was ZooZeum, a storefront of a family-friendly not-for-profit that teaches about Nebraska wildlife through hands-on classes and learning modules. They have some nonnative animals as well, if you’d like to meet a boa constrictor, python or crocodile on your afternoon stroll.

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Resources Stop at or connect in advance with the Kearney Visitors Bureau, 1007 2nd Avenue, for maps, trail maps, brochures and helpful guidance in selecting restaurants and choosing activities. The Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary is an essential stop for current crane data, info on other birds, ecosystem conservation, naturalist talks and hiking. It is also the only place to book tours to their riverfront blinds. Book in advance as they fill fast.

The Junk Jaunt If you want to travel before next spring’s migration season, consider September 25–27, as Kearney takes part in the Junk Jaunt, a massive garage sale and antique extravaganza, over multiple counties and routes in Nebraska. Go to for info. This is always a wild and exciting event—sure to be more so this year as it returns from its pandemic break.

As someone who has had little interest in automobiles, I was enthralled by the Classic Car Collection, where I saw the exact model of Buick my parents had in the 1950s, as well as over 200 other cars. The G.W. Frank Museum of History and Culture is a Romanesque mansion that was an opulent residence, sanitarium and then tuberculosis hospital before becoming a museum. It covers the history and culture of central Nebraska through the lives of industrialists, factory workers, servants, doctors, nurses and patients. For Children The Kearney Area Children’s Museum could occupy a half-day, with 24 interactive learning experiences that really looked more like play to me. A quick stop at the small Nebraska Firefighters Museum and Education Center could be a highlight for the kid who loves fire engines and firefighter history. Another worthwhile historical stop is the Trails and Rails Museum, an outdoor assortment of historic structures that include an 1871 schoolhouse, 1903 fire engine, depot, blacksmith shop, 1870 log cabin and more. It is safe and contained, allowing kids to explore on their own. Where to Eat I found several great dining options in Kearney, from breakfast at The Breakfast Cart, to a lazy lunch on the outside deck at Cunningham’s Journal on the Lake (and also Cunningham’s Journal downtown in the old newspaper building), fabulous Thai at Suwannee Thai Cuisine, and the bold Everest Fusion Indian and Nepalese. There are several family-owned Mexican places as well. But when it came to our last night, we were drawn back to the Alley Rose. We asked the waitress for a recommendation. “We’ve had the same prime rib recipe for 30 years,” she said. Since we were in beef country, and since they’d already blown us away with the mussels, we decided to go carnivore. We split a “small order.” It was plenty to share—and the juiciest prime rib I have ever eaten. Outside, with the Cranes Kearney has a network of hiking and biking trails and a river trail for kayaking. In addition, the Ft. Kearney State Historical Park and State Recreation Area has good camping, a small beach and lake, and a viewing bridge to see cranes at sunset. Words cannot convey the visceral experience, the transient connection to something natural and magnificent, that compels thousands upon thousands of people to return to Nebraska to watch a half-million birds with six-foot wingspans do what they have been doing for millennia. This is travel that feeds the soul.

There is much to enjoy in a short trip to Kearney. But a visit during migration season is always a rewarding experience.

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a 10-year project, When a young Lawrence couple purchased a home, they stepped into a historical legacy as well as years of required renovations STORY BY

Katherine Dinsdale PHOTOGR APHY BY

Brian Goodman


lawrence magazine / summer 2021

osh and Casey Hunt plop the thick real estate abstract for their home at 801 Indiana on their dining room table. The first page, dated 1863, identifies their lot as the first parcel in the Lane addition. That’s Lane as in James Lane, the Union general who was William Quantrill’s targeted nemesis in the raid that ended in the deaths of more than 150 Lawrence men that same year. Lane and his wife, Mary, maintained a home elsewhere in the neighborhood that fateful night. Reportedly, Mary cleverly stalled the marauders at the front door while her husband ducked out the back to hide in a field of tall corn just south of this lot. Almost two decades later, in the more peaceable days after the Civil War, the property’s history begins to be chronicled page after page in an abstract listing its various sales. The neat, curling script ceases in 1880, when the keeper of deeds got himself a typewriter. Following a foreclosure on the land in 1885, local retail goods mogul Theodore Poehler bought the plot. His daughter, Clara, and her husband, F. H. Smithmeyer, built the house on the lot in 1891 and lived there until the early 1910s.

“I thought we’d knock out all the remodeling in a couple of years. And then reality set in.” —CASEY HUNT

PREVIOUS The Hunt family includes (from left) Oliver, Josh, Casey and Eyire. ABOVE The Hunts added several vintage light fixtures to the stairway landings.

And so the long saga of 801 Indiana goes, the story of a house and its people tumbling through the years. There is a record in 1945 of the Tompkins family selling the house for $4,300 to a single man, Robert Velna Larcom. A year, later, the house was sold for $1 and “other valuable considerations,” likely a tax write-off with cash on the side. For many decades, portions of the Queen Anne-style house were rented, and it was once home to up to 15 KU fraternity members who lived on the second floor and in the

The home’s kitchen has been expanded and renovated. While the Hunts have rebuilt the porch and replaced the roof, the exterior of the house retains its distinctive historic charm.


lawrence magazine / summer 2021

attic—without insulation. “It must have been broiling hot and freezing in the winter,” Josh says. A printed list of rules from the fraternity was passed on with the house. First on the list is “No Gambling.” Second, “No Girls.” The Hunts first encountered the home during their dating days, walking around the Old West Lawrence neighborhood, dreaming of owning an old house just like this one. When they noticed an estate sale at 801 Indiana, Josh stopped by. He learned the house would soon be for sale, which led to the couple adding their names to the list of owners in 2013. “And all we’ve done, ever since, is work on this house,” Josh says, closing the book of deeds. “We knew we were getting a ten-year project.” “But I think Josh understood the magnitude of what ‘ten-year project’ meant a little better than I did,” Casey adds. “My first response was, ‘Let’s do it,’ and, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m going to own a house with a parlor.’ I thought we’d knock out all the remodeling in a couple of years. And then reality set in.” The 130-year-old house came with a small, inconvenient kitchen that had been constructed on the southeast corner of the house, replacing the original kitchen. The bathrooms were terribly outdated. The house was dark, overall, and the wiring had to be replaced before the family could safely move in. There were four fireplaces, which the couple thought at first was good news, until they realized all were non-working, and built only for use with coal. “And, except for one bedroom ceiling,” Josh says, continuing her list of to-do’s, “every single wall and ceiling was wallpapered. There was the day we found a Labradorsized raccoon in the attic. Another day we came home from vacation to discover water spraying through the walls from a broken pipe.” But inch by inch and bit by bit, the couple—now joined by children Oliver and Eyire—are working their way through the house. They replaced all the copper plumbing. They added lots of vintage late-1800s and early-1900s light fixtures throughout the house, including French sconces along the stairway and an 1880s-era French hand-blown glass gas lamp (now electric) in the entryway. They added an Italian chandelier of handblown green glass teardrops in the living room. Traditional ceiling medallions have been replaced in the parlor, the living room and the space used as an office. They’ve rebuilt the porch and worked on the roof. The columns along the porch have been replaced with what was likely their original tapered shape, in keeping with the Queen Anne Victorian style of the house.

A six-foot-long cast iron bathtub, crafted in 1884, was certainly worth resurfacing. The previous owner told the Hunts she remembered being bathed in tub, which was then located in the creepy, stonewalled basement. Casey and Josh don’t know when or how the extremely heavy tub was moved to the basement, but Casey says she can’t imagine taking a bath down there. Eventually the Hunts hope to get the tub back upstairs to their yet-to-be renovated master bathroom. The Hunts, who own Mammoth, Inc., a concert production company, know various other bits and pieces about the history of their house, some amusing and others a commentary on the social stratifications in Lawrence. A young housemaid named Nellie Wolf Sanders was among the servants of the earliest residents of the home. Her quarters were above narrow back stairs off the old kitchen in a small room next to the master bedroom that the Hunts currently use as a closet. The kitchen, where Nellie likely spent her days, has been restored toward the front of the house, allowing for the addition of an all-glass conservatory with electric shades and heated ceramic floors on the west side of the house. An office on the north side of the first floor shows off a keyhole beveled lead-glass window. Original bird’s-eye maple flooring, deemed impractical for a modern kitchen, has been removed and stored away for an eventual new dining room floor. The new kitchen has muted cherry flooring, glass-doored cabinets and marble countertops. On the south side of the kitchen, behind a museum-glass pocket door, is Casey’s apothecary shop, ReLive Apothecary. Glass shelves are lined with small jars and bottles of herbs, essential oils and ingredients for plant-based aromatherapy and skin care products that Casey sells online. A vintage glass backsplash frames a wet bar on that same side of the house near a laundry room with a farm sink. Many of the walls throughout the house are coated with original plaster. Some that needed to be replaced are wallpapered and textured with paint to match the existing plaster. The Hunts haven’t needed to improve on some of the traditions of previous owners. A round oak table that is the centerpiece of the dining room came with the house and has likely served guests for more than 100 years. It includes 12 leaves that can extend the table to accommodate a dinner party for 20. It certainly would be interesting to assemble the Lanes, the Smithmeyers, Sanders and the no-gambling, no-girls frat boys around the table to learn what they would make of all the changes in the home and neighborhood.

The Hunts say they knew they were taking on a “10-year project” when they bought the house. But eight years into the process, the home is a comfortable, inviting place for the young family.

Stuff (1987–1999), Lee Chapman Lee Chapman’s daughter, Jessica Irving, notes her mother began this work in New York in 1987 and completed it in Lawrence in 1999. “Sometimes my mom would put something down and decide to finish it years later,” writes Irving.

A generous champion of creative minds, Lee Chapman was also an artist whose talent was largely hidden by her intensely private and modest approach to her own creations Story by Darin M. White


lawrence magazine / summer 2021


he long months of the pandemic profoundly limited the Lawrence artist community, keeping artists from showing new works, staging new shows and collaborating with other creative minds. For some, the toll was even greater; one of the artists we lost to Covid over the past year was Lee Chapman, a fixture in the Lawrence and national scene since the late 1960s. A creative soul who helped boost Lawrence as a beacon for literature, visual art and poetry, Chapman tirelessly championed other writers and artists—allowing her own work to remain relatively unknown. But her creations were alive, engaging and novel, and her work deserves recognition along with those of the artists she promoted. Chapman was born in Tampa, Florida, in 1946. Her mother, Doris, was a lifelong reader who passed on that appreciation to her daughter. Her father, Joe, was a pilot with considerable artistic talent, particularly drawing. The family moved frequently, with Chapman graduating from Salina High School in 1965. She studied drawing and painting at Oakland City College, the San Francisco Art Institute and then the University of Kansas. Though she would live for long periods in Tucson, Arizona, and New York City, Chapman was always connected to the literary and artistic community of Lawrence—in some ways it was always her home no matter where she was living at the moment. During her first time in Lawrence in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Chapman became part of the counterculture literary scene when she and her husband, Kenneth Irving, helped John Moritz run the Lawrence bookstore and small press, Tansy. Decades later, in 1993, those Lawrence connections enabled her to found First Intensity, the highly influential literary journal. Lee Chapman

Then. Now. Tomorrow.

lawrence magazine / summer 2021


Friend, poet and University of Kansas professor Judith Roitman recalls how Chapman began the process after Lawrence poet Jim McCray helped her access William S. Burroughs’ extensive list of writer addresses. “So Lee made up some postcards that said First Intensity magazine and sent them out to some writers she admired, none of whom knew her, soliciting their work. They sent work in. She sent more postcards to more people who also didn’t know her, citing the work she’d already accepted. And more work came in, until she had about 120 pages worth.” Soon, she could stop sending postcards as writers submitted work on their own. Chapman “was very affected by the events of 9/11 and did a long series, From the journal’s beginning in the summer ‘Horror Stories,’ inspired by this,” of 1993 through the fall of 2007, Chapman notes Irving. published works by 380 authors, including Diane Ackerman, William S. Burroughs, Stanley Lombardo, Diane di Prima and others, as well as works by numerous visual artists. The library of SUNY Buffalo collected Chapman’s personal papers related to her literary endeavors; the “First Intensity Collection” is now among the university’s manuscript archives. In addition to the success of her magazine, Chapman was a prolific, talented visual artist. She helped provide and curate drawings for Tansy press, and the first edition of the Tansy press magazine featured one of her freeform line drawings. A number of poetry books she released through her First Intensity Press included her drawings. Chapman also frequently volunteered to create flyers or posters for events by other poets and writers.

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lawrence magazine / summer 2021

Chapman’s daughter, Lawrence resident Jessica Irving, remembers her mother passed endless hours reading, corresponding, and drawing, often until late in the night. Chapman’s art was “remarkable and, sadly, remains remarkably unknown,” notes Roitman. “Watching Lee draw was amazing, the way her pen would move across the page creating complex interwoven designs fluidly, fluently, the line unfurling itself. How on earth could she keep it all straight? How could she have known what was coming next to her line as it unfolded and folded in upon itself?” While Chapman had a compulsion and talent to draw, her need to show the work wasn’t as strong. She was represented by Sally Piller at Gallery 6, and occasionally showed her work at LOYO (Lawrence Own-Your-Own Art Exhibition) and the Bourgeois Pig. But these were exceptions. For the most part, Chapman was a private artist. Perhaps the reason for not showing her work could be explained in the second half of an artist statement she wrote in 2013: “Drawing has been an intensely private occupation for most of my life. Through all the periods of upheaval, disruption, discouragement, tragedy, as

well as the happy times, there has been drawing. … I especially see the nonrepresentational drawings as precise records of the times during which the drawings were made. Each dot a second, each line a long sigh, each patch of black the hours as they pass. But these visual records also represent everything that is happening on earth and elsewhere during the execution of the drawing. To me, these are ‘diaries’ that describe in images, though the images represent nothing concrete.” Champan’s choice was to be an artist in her private life, and to focus her outward efforts on being an excellent collaborator and advocate for others. But her work always deserved to be more fully shared and appreciated. “Essentially, Lee nurtured and was nurtured by a community, which in some sense she created,” writes Roitman. “She hosted wonderful gatherings for her community, sometimes using a visitor from out of town for an excuse, but excuses were not needed. … Considering herself a recluse, she would bask in the glow of other people blossoming. She was an enabler in the best sense.”

TOP In the 1990s, Chapman produced several of these types of work. Irving says they retained figurative elements such as night skies or dream-like scenes, but they leaned into “a focus on tighter, sharper geometrical elements and use of pointillism.” BOTTOM Chapman’s early works were often without titles, but this changed from the 1990s on, as she created titles and explanations for her creations. Irving found this description that her mother left behind of the drawing “Hot Lumps”—a rendition of tight, elegant lines with a whimsical name. “Like most of my drawings, this started as an unconsciously placed mark in the page and which began to suggest a general visage and various ornaments as the mark grew and moved about the page. I began to see this drawing as a sort of a seascape, and thus the wavy lines (water), clouds, and earthy color for the “lumps” (or islands). The title was lifted from the opening sentence in a Fire Sign Theater piece about the origin of the solar system: “In the beginning, there were hot lumps.” OPPOSITE TOP This drawing is from the 1980s, a decade Chapman’s daughter describes as the “Ghost Rags” period because Chapman listened frequently to and was greatly inspired by William Bolcom’s Ghost Rag compositions for the piano. In addition to the musical influences, this work also nods to artists from the past such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali and 1980s Pop artists such as Keith Haring, as well as styles such as Memphis Design and geometric patterns art. OPPOSITE BOTTOM LEFT “Flaubert at Key West” This drawing was featured on the cover of a First Intensity Press poetry book, Barry Gifford’s Flaubert at Key West. OPPOSITE BOTTOM RIGHT This is another example of Chapman’s more abstract works with lines, dots and cross hatchings replacing the subtle narrative aspects of her former creations. More of her work can be seen at

Louis Copt

lawrence magazine / summer 2021

NEW BLUE One of the city’s most successful and widely known artists brings a newly developed pigment to some of his most popular subjects Story by Cheryl Nelsen

Photography by Jason Dailey


Artist Louis Copt is experimenting with a new blue pigment from his studio north of Lawrence.

lawrence magazine / summer 2021


rom his studio north of Lawrence, Louis Copt is busy reimagining some of his most iconic paintings with a newly created shade of blue. Copt learned about this pigment—YInMn—from a November 2020 article in National Geographic and almost immediately ordered 1.35 ounces of this acrylic for $179.40. “If I have to spend $24 or $30 on cobalt blue, I choke. To me, that’s pretty expensive for a tube of paint,” Copt says. The expense of YInMn, however, is worth it, Copt says, for a couple of reasons. “It’s so rare and unusual. In nature, blue is a difficult find,” he says. Another plus of YInMn, named for its metallic elements of yttrium, indium and manganese, is its lightfastness, the ability of a dye or pigment to endure light and retain its original color over time. “It will not fade over time,” Copt says. “Permanency is important to an artist. If you look at some Leonardo paintings or something, you can see through them, and what has happened over time is the paint has gone transparent because it’s the nature of pigments and what they were using at the time.” Copt began testing YInMn on a series of small landscapes.. After creating these works and experimenting with mixing the blue with white and other colors to see what it looks like, Copt was ready to move to larger paintings, including his signature barn series. The barn that Copt depicts in many of his paintings is inspired by the barn on his grandparents’ 60-acre farm near Osage City. As a child, Copt spent almost every weekend on the farm, and during the summer he would stay for days or weeks at a time. He says his home in Emporia was a cramped apartment above a business, so the farm was a playground for him and his older brother, Eric. “On the farm, I could roam. I could play. I could be outside and enjoy the fresh air. Chase chickens. Throw dirt clods. Just have all kinds of fun,” he says. “The shape of that barn is burned into my memory.” Not all the barns in his paintings are the same shape as his grandfather’s barn, and some are set back in the landscape, but what Copt is interested in doing now with the YInMn paint is creating barns up close. “My goal is to make the barn almost in your face, not a small barn in the distance, but right at you. Blue will be the elements in the sky or the night sky.” The use of blue paint in Copt’s paintings is not unusual, but he says the YInMn color is more true to the color he sees in the sky. Another series he continues to work on that contains a substantial amount of the color blue is his Prairie Fire paintings. “Orange and blue are complementary colors,” he says. “I think that’s why the Prairie Fire is so stunning, because you have the orange and blue going back and forth.” Copt says he also is fascinated with gold leaf, and one of his barn paintings will include a gold-leaf moon. He combines


23-caret gold leaf within some of his paintings, and silver leaf has a place in his art as well. As he points to one of his barn paintings, he says, “I like silver leaf on a roof, like a tin roof, but on that one, the silver is the sky, like silver moonlight. The silver moon, that’s the metaphor there.” The YInMn paint that was available when Copt ordered the one tube is acrylic, but he is now on a list to order more through a different company that is making YInMn oil-based paint. Copt didn’t always focus on oil painting, however. After he earned his degree in painting from Emporia State and started to paint full time, he started with watercolor. “It was easy to clean up and fast. It worked for me. At one point I was doing probably 300 watercolors a year,” Copt says. Copt’s goal as a painter, however, was to paint with oils, so he transitioned to acrylic paint, which he After a brief career as a describes as being like waterphotographer and journalist with based oil paint. the Emporia Gazette and then “The problem with seven years doing marketing, acrylics is once you put them advertising and tour planning down they dry a different with Maupintour of Lawrence, color. It’s very difficult to Louis Copt returned to his love of match and blend because art in 1985, studying in New York they dry so quickly. Once City with Diana Kan, a watercolor I mastered acrylic, then I artist at the Art Students League. switched to oil, and it took a When he returned to Lawrence, while, but I finally feel that landscapes spoke to him. I’ve mastered oil painting.” “I had to basically work Copt, 72, has come a outside because we were living long way from when he, as in a tiny duplex, and there was no a kindergartner at Maynard room inside to paint,” he says. Elementary School in Once he had 15 to 20 Emporia, first became aware paintings to sell, he took them to of how painting could make Kansas City, where Donald Batman him feel free. of the Batman Gallery offered Copt “I remember the teacher a show that started his career. in kindergarten setting up the Now, Copt’s paintings are held by big easel with the paper and museums, corporate collections, the jars of tempera paint. It special collections and private was kind of like a freedom individuals, and many of his breakthrough. I got praise past works can be viewed on his from the teacher, which always website at Since helps. I was painting scenes 2000, Copt has taught painting at from my grandparents’ farm. I the Lawrence Arts Center and the was painting the horses, the University of Kansas. He continues wagons, the barn. Things that to create works from his home meant something to me. I still studio north of Lawrence. have memories of that.”


THE INFLUENCE OF COLORS The emergence of YInMn is only the latest development in a long chronology of how art is shaped by the colors artists use and by the technology of pigmented paint available to them Throughout different historical periods of Western art, colors were featured differently. In the 16th century, religious art often highlighted tones of red and blue as red symbolized Christ’s blood while blue symbolized the heavenly sky. Renaissance artists such as Raphael, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo, for example, depicted Mary’s garment with red and her robe with blue. In the 17th century, gold—the color symbolizing a monarch’s power and wealth—was centered in Baroque art, and other colors turned deeper. This historical color palette is often called the century of men’s colors. The 18th century—with paintings representing relaxation and enjoyment—is often referred to as a century of women’s colors, characterized by pink, white, and light yellow in French Rococo art. In the 19th century, the paint manufacturing industry started to prosper and create new tones, which filled artists’ palettes with richer and more varied paints. Before this time, a painting was primarily a representation of forms, then of color. In the 19th century, however, Romanticists such as Turner started to use colors prior to forms. The Impressionists such as Monet, Sisley, and Pissarro drew upon color theory to use colors more scientifically in their paintings. Van Gogh pushed the Impressionists’ color approaches further by using subjective colors boldly, which inspired the Expressionists and a period where artists could express themselves with colors freely. The availabilities of pigments directly influenced artistic production. During the Renaissance, dyes and pigments were extracted from minerals, shells, insects, animals, and plants. Some pigments, such as ultramarine, were very expensive. Ultramarine blue was made from lapis lazuli semiprecious stones, pricier than gold. Lac red, made from insects, was the third most expensive pigment during that time. It’s said that Michelangelo didn’t finish his painting The Entombment because he couldn’t afford the ultramarine he planned to use. Chemistry advanced the colorful world of pigments. In 1704, a hermetist was trying to create a new red tone when he accidentally invented Prussian blue, regarded as the earliest synthetic pigment. In 1797, French chemist Louis Vauquelin discovered chrome yellow, and thirty years later he discovered cadmium yellow. In 1828, the French chemist made synthetic ultramarine successfully, which replaced the pricey natural ultramarine. Henry Perkin accidentally discovered the first synthetic dye for purple, leading to the 1856 manufacturing of the first synthetic pigment on a large scale. Subsequent synthetic paints were manufactured at accessible prices, laying the foundation for the color revolution of the Impressionists. Since acrylic was invented in the 1940s, it has occupied the paint market largely because of its cheap price, as well as its water-soluble and quick-drying properties. If the newly invented YInMn paint can compete with the current oil and acrylic paints on price, it can be a good addition to most artists’ palettes. But as history indicates, there will always be new advances in pigments which, in turn, will likely affect how artists represent the world.


Ye Wang is an award-winning painter and professor of painting and drawing at Washburn University.


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lawrence magazine / summer 2021


events summer 2021

For more listings of upcoming events in Lawrence, go online to

Pride for the Masses June 12 A Mass. Street parade and show at Abe & Jake’s help celebrate and honor Lawrence’s LGBTQ+ community.

Prairie Walk June 19 Reconnect with the native plants and blooms as the Kansas Land Trust sponsors a 9 a.m. walking tour of the Akins Prairie led by Kelly Kindscher, ecologist and senior scientist of the Kansas Biological Survey.

Free State Festival June 21–27 Lawrence’s cinema festival returns for a week of outdoor screenings, art installations and musical performances. Highlights include a showing of The 24th, with a question and answer session by Oscar-winning film writer Kevin Willmott. Find schedule and ticket information at the festival website.

No Fascist USA

Kevin Willmott’s The 24th headlines this year’s Free State Festival.

City Band Concerts May 26–July 14 A beloved bit of Americana in the heart of Lawrence returns this year as the city band provides a free concert on Wednesday evenings at 8 p.m. from the South Park gazebo (or in Murphy Hall on the University of Kansas campus in the event of bad weather).

Some Enchanted Evening June 4–12 (various dates) Theatre Lawrence kicks off a summer full of outdoor theatre, film and events with

a staging of the songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein. See the theater’s website for a full rundown of celebratory productions and events including four evening with the Lawrence Opera Theatre, a sing-along screening of the movie Grease, and more.

June 25 The Watkins Museum of History and community partners sponsor an online discussion with the authors of No Fascist USA!: The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and Lessons for Today’s Movements as part of an upcoming traveling exhibition on the history and legacy of John Brown opening September 4.

Final Fridays Poetry Despite/Music Despite Eternal War Requiem June 4–July 17 Iraq War veteran and artist Aaron Hughes presents a multi-media exhibit commemorating two decades of US-led war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

June 25 This Friday (and the last Friday of each month until November), Lawrence galleries, studios and businesses open their doors for an evening of new art showings and artist-hosted events throughout the city’s Downtown and central Arts District.


lawrence magazine / summer 2021

Douglas County Fair July 27–August 3 Come during the day for animal showings, pie contests and more or come during the evening for concerts, carnival rides and demolition derby. A county tradition for all ages.

Llama Show July 28 Wake up early and come to the 8:30 a.m. ringside competition or follow live Twitter updates at as we cheer on the 4-H students and their charming companions.

Here’s the deal. I’ll be there for you.

Civil War on the Border

August 20–22 The Watkins Museum of History hosts its annual series of lectures, tours and other events to commemorate the 1863 attack on Lawrence by Confederate guerrilla forces and the legacy of the Civil War conflict on the city’s history and character. This year’s events include guided bus tours of historic sites, a keynote address by Manisha Sinha (author of The Slave’s Cause), and more.

Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships The future has a lot of


August 20–22 Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the showcase of roots and American music performs for a weekend of free concerts and jam sessions at South Park.

Jacob Lawrence, John Brown, after long meditation, planned to fortify himself somewhere in the mountains of Virginia or Tennessee and there make raids on surrounding plantations, freeing slaves. 1974–1977, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Museum purchase: Gift of Jeff and Mary Weinberg. This work is part of a special exhibit made possible by the Spencer Museum of Art and available to guests who sign up for a tour and viewing through the Civil War on the Border program. For registration information and more details, see the program’s website at

Penny Jones Golf Tournament

The Magic of Bill Blagg Live

September 10 Some scheduling alterations are in place to accommodate public health issues, but the tournament is back in 2021 to bring golfing for the good cause of supporting community services provided through Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

September 17 The Lied Center of Kansas opens its 2021–2022 live performance season with an appearance from magician Bill Blagg. See the Lied’s website for a full rundown of artists and guests in this year’s lineup, which will include Rosanne Cash, the Russian National Ballet, Wynton Marsalis and more.

Haskell Indian Art Market

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