Words and photos: Travis Millard
AHhh ~ Kansas, and it's nutrient rich dirt I ate as a child. I spent a lot of time in Lawrence and went to the University of Kansas to study up on illustration and printmaking. As a design student, we had to attend these Hallmark Symposium lectures where real life creative professionals would come and discuss their mostly boring lives, but there were also some inspiring visitors that could break through with some enlightenment. so I was fairly terrified when they invited me to come back and do a lecture. While back there, I also did a crazy tee print / pizza party jam at a great place called Wonder Fair. The Kansas state motto is "Ad Astra per Aspera", which means "To the stars through hardships"... kind of a rad motto if you're gonna go with one. here's a few flicks if you're so inclined.
rolled into midtown KC and was intrigued by this jalopy limo. my brother Brett works at a liquor store out there and said he comes into his location sometimes. Brett asked "whaddup with Gnarly Enterprises?", but only got a confusing story about him trying to get some rocker to wear a t-shirt at sxsw. anyway, watch out world!
hit the folks house and found a couple of mom's old paintings from the 70's
rescued these old decks from their garage sale rack
caught a ride to Lawrence
got to the campus a little early to check things out and knock my knees together a little bit
poked into the auditorium before people started coming
these are a couple of my esteemed illustration professors who invited me back for the talk, Barry Fitzgerald and Dick Varney
my old printmaking teacher Michael Krueger, his wife Donika and son Jasper. 3 rad artists.
not too much more to say about it.. burned through about 200 slides, babbled incoherently, it was a blur. The Matt Rubin was there from SF deciding whether it was worth recommending.
woke up the next morning and got shoved into Eric Dobbin's van, destined for Wonder Fair
Wonder Fair is a pretty special place on the town's old main drag
The gallery/shop is in basement, and really well put together
lots of handmade books, shirts, prints and artwork from a nice variety of national and local artists, and a pretty honed aesthetic.
upstairs is a great local organic grocery
and the Nice Cafe in the back with some yummy stuff cooking
big ups on the counter
here's a flyer for the jam
I put together a print we ran at the shop before things got underway
Eric Dobbins is the main man over at Wonder Fair and really a spirited dude. you'd like him.
the Asteroid Head Art Club arrived for back up
pizza showed up
people came and brought their t-shirts. they contributed a small donation to the shop and placed an order for the design. Asteroid Head - Lee Piechocki sifts through the hangers
we had about 15 designs available, and whatever color was inked was what we had running, but juggled between a number of screens, so sometimes we cleaned things up and swapped it out for another color later.
Krueger and Donika were big champs and really helped keep things running smoothly
met a nice young man named Sam Owen, (faces have been obscured to protect the innocent)
employed some unpaid youth laborers and I can't say enough about their unbridled enthusiastic work ethic. The Rubin showed up again too, enthusiastically.
Daniel Rolf and his drawing.. Dan's an author and one of my oldest pals
another of Mel's and Asteroid Head-Jason Barr's DethPeace
Brett's sexy sweats that got the most hits at the pizza party
i'd like to wrap this up with a few honorable mentions. Two very old friends, Jai Nitz, who was my biggest comic nerd friend growing up and is now a Xeric award winning writer for DC and his own publication "Paper Museum"... and my pal Dustin Johnson, a rad artist who taught me how to huff Scotchgard as a young man.
an honorable mention for the cab driver who chatted me up on the ride, and had actually been to the cabin where I live in Los Angeles in 1967 with some friends... the story had something to do with some ladies who lived there and were trying to lure them in with the promise of drugs and sex but they chickened out because they didn't want to get in trouble with mom for breaking curfew.
honorable mention to the dude who was partying in the street at 11 am for his barfing friend's 18th birthday.
honorable mention to the Rolf's for being a gracious host
peace to Paul
and props to Wonder Fair who will be celebrating their 1 year anniversary with an excellent show opening May 9th
featuring Kelly Clark, Christa Dalien, Eric Dobbins, Matt Furie, Andy Hadle, Mel Kadel, Michael Krueger, Lee Piechocki, Luke Ramsey, Michael Sieben, Aaron Storck, Mark Todd, Donika Wiley and myself. HOORAY!
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