Spencer Museum reopens for November; outdoor student exhibit also on display

photo by: Ryan Waggoner

In the foreground is University of Kansas student Alex Martin's piece, "Gaia's Loom." In the background is "Tied Together," by Annie Rouse.

After months of being closed due to the pandemic, The University of Kansas’ Spencer Museum of Art is once more open to the public.

The museum, which is free, is open on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This month will be visitors’ last chance to view three exhibits: “Staging Shimomura,” which explores Roger Shimomura’s performance art, “Past Presence,” which focuses on how stories about the past shape the present, and “Audubon in the Anthropocene,” a portfolio of prints by contemporary artist Matthew Day Jackson.

Visitors are encouraged to make a reservation prior to coming to the museum, but Elizabeth Kanost, the Spencer’s Director of External Affairs, said people can also drop in without a reservation and see if the museum is at its capacity. Kanost said they are limiting visitors to 45 people at a time. Sunday, Nov. 29 will be the last day the Spencer is open in 2020. It will reopen in February of 2021 with new exhibits.

In addition to returning to the Spencer Museum, visitors can also explore an outdoor exhibit taking place in KU’s Marvin Grove, located directly behind the museum, 1301 Mississippi St. The exhibit, called “Conference of the Birds,” features the sculptures and artwork of 13 KU students.

photo by: Brandon Jessip

“Momentary Flock” by University of Kansas Student Sam Phillips

“We invited students to design a sculptural nest,” Kanost said. She said the exhibit is meant to explore the ideas of shelter, humans’ impact on nature, extinction and climate change. The 13 KU students, who were commissioned for their work by the Spencer, include graduate and undergraduate students studying architecture, physics, social welfare and visual art.

This Sunday, the Spencer is hosting an outdoor event at 2 p.m. where visitors can view the “Conference of the Birds” and talk to the student artists about their pieces. As the event is on KU’s campus, everyone must wear masks. The outdoor exhibit is also available to view anytime through Nov. 19.


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