The pieces in the Kaw Valley Furniture Assn. exhibit focus on exotic combinations of woods.
The newly formed Kaw Valley Furniture Assn. is holding its first official exhibit through July 11 at Blue Heron Contemporary Home Furnishings, 921 Mass.
Four of the eight members are showing approximately 15 hand-crafted original furniture pieces, including functional tables and chairs, that ``fit in quite nicely with our contemporary lines,'' according to Blue Heron owner Galen Tarman.
The artists showing are Will Orvedal, Lecompton; Janice Smith and Rick Stein, Lawrence; and Max Wardlow, McLouth. Other KVFA members who will be participating in upcoming exhibits are Mario Espinoza, John Green, Marty Miller and Abhay Upadhyaya, all of Lawrence.
The works included in this exhibit show a focus on interesting and exotic combinations of woods, such as Orvedal's ``Hill Chair'' in cherry and ebony, Wardlow's ``Rustic Rocker'' in hickory sapling with oak, and Stein's ``Morris Chair and Otto'' in cherry, walnut and spalted elm.
One can sense a Scandinavian influence in the finely crafted pieces by Smith, who is a design professor at Kansas University. Within the diversity and creativity of the personal styles, the constant running through the works is the high level of craftsmanship and skill.
The group was formed through the artists' ``devotion to originality of design'' and their desire to increase community awareness of ``custom works as an artistic medium,'' according to Espinoza.
To be notified of future Kaw Valley Furniture Assn. events or if you're interested in becoming member, you can reach Espinoza at 841-2724. Meanwhile, take in the exhibit during Blue Heron's hours from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, with extended hours to 8 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Roger Shimomura, distinguished professor of art at KU, will open the first showing of his new exhibition, ``An American Diary,'' July 2 at the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in Philadelphia.
This first venue for the exhibit begins its three-year long touring schedule, which will includes shows in New York, Washington, D.C., California and other locations. After showing at the Balch Institute, the exhibit moves this fall to the Priebe Gallery at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh.
The 30 newly created small acrylic paintings are based on diaries kept by his grandmother, Toku Shimomura, while interned at Camp Minidoka, Idaho, during World War II.
Beyond Shimomura's initial creation of the paintings, this monumental endeavor will involve lectures by the artist at each of the exhibit locations and the creation of a new performance piece involving a collaboration among Shimomura, composer Hummie Mann (two-time Emmy Award winner for such movie scores as ``Prince of Tides''), an orchestra, chorus, choreographer, reader and dance troupe.
The piece-in-progress is scripted by Shimomura and, like the exhibit, is based on the life of the artist's grandmother. The performance's debut is planned for the year 2000 in conjunction with the exhibit's showing in Bellvue, Wash.
Another KU professor exhibiting work nationally is Robert Brawley, who is showing a group of oil-on-hardboard paintings at the van de Griff Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M.
Brawley's realistic still lifes and figurative paintings will be featured through Saturday.
Art Affair, 622 High St., Baldwin, is showcasing the colorful abstract paintings of Emporia artist Don Meyer with the three-dimensional sculptures and vessels of Lawrence-based glass artist Vernon Brejcha.
The exhibit will run through July 11. The gallery's summer hours are from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, or by calling (785) 594-7470 for an appointment.
Paintings by Colleen Zacharias Gregoire are showing through July 15 at Eva Reynolds Fine Art in The Gallery at the Sheraton Suites, 770 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo.
Gregoire, who resides and works on a farm just outside of Lawrence, also was recently selected to create the painting for this year's Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center fund-raising poster.
Gregoire's work can be seen at The Gallery from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Kansas/KC Camera 98 is calling for entries for its 1998 photography competition. Selected entries will be displayed Sept. 12 through Oct. 9 in the Student Union Activities Gallery in the Kansas Union on the KU campus.
Artists from Kansas and the greater Kansas City area are eligible.
The juror this year is photographer Kathleen Collins, president of the Kansas City Art Institute.
Entry deadline is July 31. All entries will be juried from slides of the works, so the call for entries is being announced early to allow for translation of slides.
All works must contain or be two-dimensional photographs. No sculptural forms, film or video tape will be accepted.
For more information, write the Lawrence Photo Alliance, 1335 Valley Ln., Lawrence, 66044, or call 841-6138.
Two sculpture events are also looking for participants. The third annual Washburn University Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition is calling for entries. Deadline is July 1.
For more information, contact Greg Inkmann at (785) 272-4722.
The 1998 Bayer Stone--Kansas Sculptor Assn.'s Stone Symposium will be held Aug. 15-16 in Atchison. Registrations are now being taken. The stone symposiums are designed to accommodate the observer, the novice and the skilled carver. For more information, write the Kansas Sculptors Assn., 2030 Ousdahl, Lawrence, 66046.
-- Diana Dunkley is a part-time reporter for the Journal-World and a professional artist working out of her Lawrence studio.