Kids construct cardboard city at Lawrence Arts Center

Zoe Wohlford, 10, sets up the walls to her house during the Gotham City Arts Camp July 13 at the Lawrence Arts Center. Artist-in-residence sculptor Juniper Tangpuz has transformed the aerial space of the main lobby of the LAC with 12 constellation-inspired, large- scale sculptures created in his studio and at the Arts Center. The students are working with Juniper to design and build a cardboard city from the ground up.

An array of cardboard zodiac signs hangs like the night sky in the atrium at the Lawrence Art Center. The large and intricate sculptures by local artist Juniper Tangpuz are part of the “Building Gotham City” exhibit.

Students play in Gotham City Arts Camp at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

Lawrence Arts Center Instructor Madison Rhea and Jodi Gore, 10, work on Gore's cardboard creation as they participate in Gotham City Arts Camp at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Gotham City is kids-oriented city made entirely of cardboard, twisty ties, tape and glue, says Madison Rhea, a painting and drawing teacher at LAC.

“Some aspects of the exhibit the main artist, Juniper Tangpuz, will make, but a lot of it is going to be wonky, kind of funny buildings that the kids will make,” Rhea says. “There are lots of bright colors and weird windows.”

Emma Francis, 7, says she designed her building after her father’s business.

She wanted to make it large enough to walk into, she says.

Teachers like Rhea cut all the cardboard and helped the students attach pieces together. Tangpuz, a University of Kansas alumnus (’03) and the fine arts studio assistant at Johnson County Community College, was also there to work with the kids. Susan Tate, the Executive Director, asked Tangpuz to come on to the project after seeing his work with corrugated plastics, he says.

Tangpuz says things started getting crazy when he began working with the students. “It’s crazy but it’s fun,” he says. “They’re at this point in their lives where they have these big ideas and aren’t hindered by the real world.”