The first time Brian Horsch’s 4 Square Art Studio became a Lawrence Art Walk stop, Horsch took great care to tidy up the place at 444 Louisiana St., only to notice a hint of disappointment in his guests.
“Each year I’ve left it messier because visitors are curious about seeing where it is you create and what it is you are doing,” Horsch said.
So Horsch got his hands dirty Saturday morning, the first of the 19th-annual self-guided tour’s two days. As his wife and fellow artist, Marilyn Horsch, scrolled through copies of her oil paintings on a laptop, Brian got to work smoothing the curves of a wallowing clay elephant. Most all of Horsch’s sculptures for sale are inspired by nature: elephants with prominent tusks, stout bison and owls that pour drinks, dispense salt and pepper or simply sit and stare.
For artists like Horsch, an optometrist by day, the art walk can allow for valuable face time with customers.
“I gain insight for what colors people are more interested in,” Horsch said. “And each person has a different take on things.”
In all, 21 artists and studios are featured on this year’s walk, which continues Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Most sites offer art for sale, with prices anywhere from $2 to $2 million. Print maps are offered at most sites as well as the Lawrence Art Center, 940 New Hampshire St., and a digital map was also posted at lawrenceartwalk.org along with artwork samples and artist biographies.
About four blocks southwest of the 4 Square Art Studio, the Downtown Tuesday Painters — a group of seniors who gather each week to work on various art projects — shared the origin stories of their works with those who visited them at Douglas County Senior Services, 745 Vermont St.
Saturday marked the the long-time group’s first art walk away from the Lawrence Public Library’s traditional site, said Carol Peters as she manned the front desk, happy to volunteer for the task after a long night setting up on Friday.
The change of scenery instead allowed the Downtown Tuesday Painters to showcase their work at the place in which they work each week.
“We don’t have a teacher,” Wilma Lutz said as she used Saturday as an opportunity to fit in a little more painting. “We really kind of learn from each other.”
Jim Bennett showed one of the group’s new additions, Gary Kampfer, his “Education of a Young Man,” a carved scene depicting the three vices of its central character. “Drinking, gambling, women,” Bennett explained. “And there’s an old man over his shoulder scolding him.”
“Ten years from now maybe I can do something,” said Kampfer.
“You can do something tomorrow,” Bennett replied. In fact, Kampfer had already assembled several pieces made with wood he had collected from notable area locales like a hotel in Tonganoxie at which Dwight D. Eisenhower stayed or a part of what once was Joe’s Bakery.