Additional works planned as part of the East Ninth Street art project include a community garden with native and wild plants, a dance performance about immigration and a family portrait series.
After reviewing 31 submissions, a panel of artists selected six additional works for the long-running East Ninth Street art project, the last of 15 temporary and permanent art installations that will make up the project. The project is being funded by a $500,000 ArtPlace America grant that was awarded to the Lawrence Arts Center in June 2014.
The project team sought proposals in partnership with the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association and was especially interested in artists committed to building community, according to the request for proposals. The artists will present a short overview of their projects to the public on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the large gallery at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St. Below is a summary of the selected projects, according to details from the artists’ proposals:
• Mural and bus benches by Mona Cliff: The mural will feature botanical depictions of pawpaw and persimmon trees with a rendering of a ribbon dress and ribbon work found on contemporary Native American regalia in the background. The project will also install three decorated bus benches made from an old tree from the East Lawrence area and plant pawpaw and persimmon trees.
• Dance performance by James Moreno: The “Pocho Project” will be an evening-length performance that brings together choreography, theatrical techniques, spoken word texts and original videos and music. The project will integrate stories of Mexican-American immigration and assimilation in East Lawrence and Kansas, specifically focusing on immigrant Mexican train workers, or traqueros, who worked on the Santa Fe railway.
• Sculpture to commemorate the 150th anniversary of New York Elementary: The New York Elementary PTA will create a sculpture to commemorate the neighborhood’s history and look toward the future. Artist Kate Dinneen will get input from students at New York Elementary before creating the work.
• Portrait project by Matt Lord: The “East Lawrence Family Tree Project” will organize a group of five artists to draw portraits of East Lawrence families. The resulting artwork will be featured at an exhibition and community potluck. The families who participate will keep the artwork.
• Native plant project by Kaitlin Stanley: “Propagating Place” will create a community garden of wild and native plants. The project aims to raise consciousness of Kansa, Osage, and Shawnee land-use and interactions humans have maintained with local ecosystems for millennia. Oral histories from various communities of East Lawrence will be digitally archived on the project website.
• Community knitting project by Kim Brook and Irene Tsuneta: “Yarn it Forward” will teach people to crochet. All of the individual projects will be made into a large yarn mural and temporarily displayed. The pieces will later be auctioned off and the proceeds donated to an East Lawrence organization.