Welcome to a beautiful summer month in Lawrence! The sun is shining and the trees are whispering in the wind, and it kind of feels like you have the whole town to yourself. What is there to do this last weekend of June? You can bet the art scene is bountiful and the live music will be rockin’. In between the art exhibits and the free concert, you can turn to the great outdoors for entertainment.
Of course, with Friday comes the usual spread of Final Friday’s fun: galleries, local artists, boutiques with open doors beckoning you inside for air conditioning and refreshments. One event in particular seems to be shaking things up a bit: there is a Furniture Show at 909 Pennsylvania. The house in the East Lawrence Arts District will be displaying an array of home goods and furniture from more than 20 local artists. One of my favorite kind of souvenirs from a trip is something I can display or use in my home every day, so I can think fondly of the place I bought it and the trip I took there. And of course, it’s a bonus if the item is unique and one-of-a-kind. This furniture show seems like just the place to find a custom piece to bring home with you-a little piece of Lawrence, if you will.
The first installment of the #LiveonMass free outdoor concert series is Friday, June 29th at 6:00pm. The Wailers will be playing for the second time in Lawrence, along with Ras Neville & The Kingstonians and 77 Jefferson. The entire 1000 block of Mass will be shut down for the occasion, and let me tell you-it’s going to be a party. These Wailers are the same Wailers that toured with Bob Marley, and they are still keeping the spirit and music alive. If you want some background information on #LiveonMass, you can read my blog post about it here.
The last weekend of June is the opening weekend for three new art exhibits in the Lawrence Arts Center. Envisioning Invisibility by Shiyuan Xu is a remarkable artistic interpretation of science on a microscopic level. The 2017-18 Ceramics Artist in Residence uses porcelain paper clay to craft skeleton-like sculptures in minute detail. This is an exhibit you will not get to see anywhere else. The second exhibit is Jan Gaumnitz’s Altogether 2018, a multimedia extravaganza. Gaumnitz uses photography, sculpture, painting and printmaking to share her lifelong exploration of nature. This exhibit will be full of color and diverse mediums. The third exhibit is My Mother Was The First REAL Thug That I Knew by Sandra Keat German and Vanessa German. Vanessa German is a multidisciplinary artist and her mother, Sandra Keat German, was an award-winning free motion machine quilter. This is exhibit is super cool because it’s the first time this mother and daughter have displayed their work in the same gallery space. All three exhibits open at 5:00pm Friday night and are free to the public. If you’re Friday night is booked with Mass St. wandering and the #LiveonMass show, head to the Lawrence Arts Center for an air-conditioned Saturday afternoon of art exploration.
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the sunshine and outdoors this weekend, consider roaming the stalls of the Lawrence Farmers’ Market Saturday morning. If you get there early enough you can beat the heat of they day and have your pick of the best produce. You can grab some fresh veggies, meats, breads and fruits and pack up a fresh and local spread. Take your picnic to one of the various parks in Lawrence and get a space in the shade, or spend the afternoon at the Lawrence Aquatic Center. Join the line at Sylas and Maddy’s for a scoop of freshly churned ice cream (I would get that scoop or two in one of their waffle cones-they’re handmade there, too) to cool off.
If you’re looking to get out of the city just a bit, consider heading to Clinton Lake. The state park offers playgrounds, trails, and a full-service marina where you can grab a sandwich at the deli or rent a pontoon boat for the day. There are also beach areas with grilling stations and sand volleyball courts. Grab yourself some watermelon and sunscreen and you have yourself the perfect summer day! What could be better than enjoying the “city” life one day and relaxing in the country the next?
Kate is a recent KU graduate and perpetual lover of words, details, and Jayhawk basketball. She is using her English degree to write both creatively and strategically. You can find more of her work on her blog, A Story By Me.