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Archive for Sunday, May 25, 2003

Art of the Prairie gallery to feature work of Lawrence natives, brothers

May 25, 2003

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Lawrence natives Doug and Barry Coffin will show their contemporary American Indian paintings and sculptures at Art of the Prairie, Bill Kurtis' new gallery in Sedan, in June.

The exhibit opens with a reception from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 8 at the gallery. The artists and Lawrence artist Stan Herd, the gallery's artist-in-residence, will be on-hand at the opening. Musicians from PrairieFest in neighboring Cowley County will perform.

The Coffin brothers, both of whom now reside in New Mexico, were born in Lawrence and have gained international notoriety for their work.

Doug Coffin's unique style is said to make him one of the most readily recognizable sculptors in America today. He creates abstract totem poles that convey images from his American Indian heritage. His work has been exhibited throughout the world, including shows at the Grand Palais in Paris and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He is represented in the permanent collections of the Wheelwright Museum, the Heard Museum, the Institute of American Indian Arts and the Native American Center for the LivingArts.

His private commissions can be found in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Long Island, N.Y.; Birmingham, Ala.; Maplewood, N.J.; Taos, N.M.; Philadelphia; and Nairobi, Kenya.

Coffin has a bachelor of fine arts degree from Kansas University and a master of fine arts degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He also has taught art at numerous colleges and universities, including the College of Santa Fe, Fort Wright College, and the Institute of American Indian Arts.

His brother, Barry Coffin, is an American Indian sculptor and painter of Potawatomi and Creek descent. He received his associate of fine arts degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M., and is a founding member of Artists in Support of American Indian Religious Freedom.

His work is in the permanent collections of the New Mexico Fine Arts Museum, the Heard Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Wheelwright Museum, the Museum of the Institute of American Indian Arts and the Eiteljorg Museum as well as many private collections.

In addition to his work as an artist, Coffin curated the "Native American Fine Arts Exhibit" at the Shoreline Amphitheater in San Francisco, Calif. More than 50,000 concert-goers visited the event, which included a star-studded benefit concert with musicians such as Carlos Santana, Steve Miller, Bonnie Rait and Don Henley among others.

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