A fall event is in the works to honor Lawrence painter and author William S. Burroughs.
Organizers at Kansas University's Lied Center, Hall Center for the Humanities and the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art are in the planning stages of two events to honor William S. Burroughs, the Lawrence-based painter and author known as the father of the Beats.
The events will be coordinated with the Spencer's exhibit, "Ports of Entry: William S. Burroughs and the Arts," which will run from Oct. 19 to Dec. 29. The show, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum, opens July 18 in Los Angeles.
The first event, according to Andrea Norris, director of the Spencer, will be a Nov. 2 symposium that will, tentatively, feature such people as filmmaker Gus Van Sant, author and artist Kathy Acker, author William Gibson and cultural critic Andrei Codrescu.
Norris said that although the participants were not yet confirmed, she was excited about the symposium.
"When we learned over five years ago that the L.A. County Museum was doing the Burroughs retrospective, we knew Lawrence needed to see this exhibit," she said. "This will give the university and general public an opportunity to see his work and have contact with a great many of the people who are in Burroughs' circle."
The second event, tentatively titled "Nova Convention Revisited," will be held Nov. 26 at the Lied Center, according to Jacqueline Davis, the center's executive director. Noted composer Phillip Glass, musician Patti Smith, performance artist Laurie Anderson, and poets Allen Ginsberg and John Giorno are among those Davis is trying to recruit for "Nova Convention Revisited."
The 1978 Nova Convention was a three-day tribute to Burroughs in New York that marked the confluence of established avant-garde performers with the emerging punk scene.
"I see this as an opportunity to to revisit the event and to invite some new people," Davis said. "I know avant-garde people are really intrigued with the fact that Burroughs lives in Lawrence. Since the visual work will be in the 'Ports of Entry' show, we thought it would be interesting to have a performance arts tribute as well."
Only Giorno has confirmed, and Davis said she hoped the others could arrange their schedules to make the trek to Lawrence.
"We're only taking baby steps at this point," she said.