The Lawrence Arts Center hopes to help ease the transition from autumn to winter.
The changing of the seasons affects us all, particularly during the transition from fall to winter. As the days become shorter and there's more darkness than light, we spend more time indoors. Our activities become less physical and more contemplative.
Rick Mitchell, gallery director at the Lawrence Arts Center, began thinking a couple of years ago about how the transition between seasons affects children and adults.
"These days, perhaps we do not feel the change of seasons as dramatically as it was felt in the past," Mitchell wrote recently. "Our homes are temperature controlled year-round. And we light them electrically day or night, summer or winter, in the same way. Still, we are deeply in touch with the natural rhythms, climates and conditions that make up our environment and we tend to still value the recognitions and rituals associated with seasonal passages."
Mitchell's ponderings eventually led him to the idea of an art exhibition focusing on the theme of light, and he began bouncing the idea off some of his artist friends.
"I just wanted to propose a concept to them and see if they were interested and if it was provocative enough to get them interested," he said.
The result is "Lanterns, Lamps and Luminaria," an invitational exhibition of two- and three-dimensional works by about a dozen artists reflecting the common theme of light illuminating the darkness.
"This show will be a surprise," Mitchell said, adding that a variety of styles and dif-
See Exhibit, page 12
ferent approaches of working with light will be represented.
Artists participating in the show are Matt Kirby, Cathy Tisdale, Sally Piller, Melissa Powlas, Ardys Ramberg, Steve Richardson, Linda Samson-Talleur, Dave Van Hee, Cathy Ledeker, Ron Hinton and Karen Jacks.
While the art exhibition explores the seasonal transition from an adult's perspective, Mitchell never lost sight of his desire to develop a light-related activity for children. And when he thought about possible activities, he always came back to one image: a child holding a handmade lantern.
What has evolved from that idea is a morning workshop on Nov. 14 where children ages 4 to 8 and their parents can make paper-and-candle lanterns. On the following Saturday, they will bring their lanterns to Mitchell's rural Lawrence farm, where they will participate in a Lantern-Walk. The walk will begin at dusk and end when it becomes dark.
"They will make the way for themselves, armed against the darkness, both physically and metaphorically, with light," he said. "Once this gets started, we can do it each year and it can grow. It becomes a memorable experience for the children and will mark the transition for them."
Mitchell said another related activity is a workshop for those 8 and older on making German transparent window stars. The workshop, on Nov. 14, will be taught by Samson-Talleur.
-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.