The City of Lawrence, KS is seeking proposals and/or artworks for the 31st Annual Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition.

The Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition or ODSE was founded by local sculptor and executive director of the Kansas Sculptors Association Jim Patti in 1988 to provide an opportunity for area sculptors to showcase their work in various locations in downtown Lawrence. More than 170 local, regional and national sculptors have participated in the ODSE since 1988 and thousands of citizens and visitors have enjoyed their work.

The ODSE is sponsored by the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission. A range of temporary artworks are displayed in downtown Lawrence along Massachusetts Street, in the Cultural District and in select sites city-wide.

Eligibility: Open to all artists 18 and older
Honorarium: Selected Artists will receive a $1,750 honorarium for each selected or commissioned work
Entry Deadline: 4:00 PM, Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Works that explore an expanded notion of art in the public realm are encouraged!

More information and the online application form can be found here:

Contact information:
Porter Arneill, Director of Communications and Creative Resources
(785) 832-3402

The 2018 Art in the Loop Project: KC Plays ended last night with presentations from 18 artists about the artwork they created and the impact their participation had on their on-going art practices.  We heard stories about the challenges and rewards of public art.  We heard stories about engaging with audiences.  We listened to poetry and played word games.

We presented the 2018 Art in the Loop Catalog at the event.  Click here (Art in the Loop Catalog) to view the pdf or contact Ann Holliday, for a print copy.

The catalog was designed by Theresa Wildhaber with content provided by Rachael Love, 2018 Art in the Loop Arts Administration Intern. Photographs were provided courtesy of the artists, and by Art in the Loop, KC Streetcar, Kansas City Public Library, Isaiah Jackson and Amanda Guerra.  The 2018 Art in the Loop Project: KC Plays logo was designed by Kelsey Borch. The catalog was printed by Control Printing Group,


Related imageSo long, farewell, see you next summer!

Come get sentimental with us as we reminisce about all the great art and artists that participated in the 2018 Art in the Loop summer program!

Whether you are a past or current artist, an enthusiastic art-appreciator, or future Art in the Loop hopeful, the closing reception is a great place to share stories, cultivate new ideas, and interact with the local arts community.

The following artists will make presentations during the program:

  • Denise DiPiazzo
  • Annelise Kinney
  • Daniel Rawlings
  • Michael Elwood
  • Stacey Sharpe
  • Bo Hubbard
  • Boi Boy
  • Heather Lowenstein
  • Emily Evans Sloan
  • Amy Kligman
  • Megan Karson
  • Kriss Young Miller
  • Alicen Lundberg
  • Stephen Proski
  • Monica Dixon
  • Daniel Chase
  • Olivia Clanton
  • David Alpert
  • Sunyoung Cheong

The closing reception will take place Tuesday, November 6th from 6p – 8p at the Kansas City Public Library, Central Library, Helzberg Auditorium, 14 W. 10th St. 


Be sure to VOTE before you come to the party!




Are you aware of how many past Art in the Loop artists are participating in this year’s inaugural Open Spaces event? There are so many! Let me count them for you…

AY, KC-based hip-hop artist.

Ensemble Iberica, local ensemble playing eclectic music inspired by classical, jazz, and folk sounds of Spain and Latin America.

Maura Garcia Dance, Lawrence-based choreographer who performs site-specific dances involving multi-media.

Amada Espinoza & Karen Lisondra, aka Junkyard Orchestra, KC musicians playing traditional South American music on handmade instruments.

Stacy Busch, Ted King-Smith, and Daniel Morel, local composers accompanied by Christina Butera as Kansas City Composed.

Kansas City Rumba Collective, local ensemble playing Cuban music. They played twice this summer with Art in the Loop.

Barry Anderson & Davin Watne, joined by Ricky Allman to form an art professor/local artist trio extraordinaire Lucite Plains, performing multi-media visual projection installation.

Making Movies, local band influenced by rock, cumbia, psychedelia, American roots, Cuban, and spoken word.

Dylan Mortimer, Missouri native multi-disciplinary artist now based in NYC.

Duncan Burnett, Sauce, & Kartez Marcel, performing alongside Mae C. & Khrystal in the band NuBlvckCity.

Sike, aka Phil Shafer, KC-based muralist.

StoneLion Puppets, local puppet theatre, they performed multiple times during the 2018 Art in the Loop program.

Victor & Penny, local duo playing swing-infused folk jazz.

Jillian Youngbird, KC-based multi-disciplinary installation artist influenced by nature.

That’s 20!

It is a wonderful thing to see these past Art in the Loop artists continuing their practice and expanding their disciplines. Art in the Loop is proud of the part we have played in helping them forward their careers and seeing them grow as artists. Be sure you go see these local artists, and all participating artists, as part of Open Spaces.

Open Spaces is a nine-week ongoing art festival based out of Swope Park, and featuring a wide array of art disciplines being displayed and performed across the city. Local, national, and international artists have contributed to the event. You still have time to get out and see everything, the festival closes on October 28th. More information about the program, the artists, and specific scheduling of performances can all be found on the Open Spaces website.


Well, it was a great summer for art in Kansas City: the inaugural Open Spaces festival, First Friday’s, and Napoleon hung out at the Nelson-Atkins. Art in the Loop also provided opportunities for people to get outside and interact with some really great public installations and performances.

We hope you were able to see and hear the artists and performers we were so lucky to have in our program this summer. We would like to invite you to join us as we walk down memory lane with the artists, sponsors, and organizers who were instrumental in making the fifth year of our summer program a huge success.

The closing reception will take place Tuesday, November 6th from 6p – 8p at the Kansas City Public Library, Central Library, Helzberg Auditorium, 14 W. 10th St. 

Be sure to vote before you come to the party!

Click here to RSVP

Megan Karson is a young, quiet, intriguing, multi-talented, unassuming redhead. She makes monsters and draws creepy, weird, metamorphic creatures you expect to see under your bed, or in a petri dish. She tells me she is afraid of monsters, is afraid of strangers, but yet, here we are, talking about her gigantic soft-sculpture that KC went crazy for over this summer. You know who it is, you know its name, you’d know that big, red grin anywhere, it’s [drum roll]…….The Stranger on the Train.

After getting to know her, it appears Megan’s approach with her Stranger was to conquer a fear, even if that goal was subconscious. By combining two things that give her goosebumps, she was actively attempting to make the uncomfortable….less uncomfortable. As with caricature, when something is exaggerated to the point of being laughable, much of its power is diminished. By giving the Stranger giant, concentric eyes, a huge, red, smiling mouth, four arms with glittery gold nail polish, and lots of little boobie-babies, Karson’s monster became less of a nightmare and more of a fun phantasm. The Stranger was easy to laugh at, appreciated taking selfies with everyone, and encouraged strangers of the human variety to reach out and speak to each other. The Stranger opened up an easy, fun, way to communicate, to laugh with each other, to forget social anxieties and make a new friend. (The Stranger was also great at welcoming out-of-towner’s to our interesting, beautiful, funny city.)

Q: Describe your Art in the Loop project
Megan: My goal was to create a big, weird thing for people to interact with, and feel silly in a playful environment.

Q: What other disciplines do you work in?
Megan: Other than soft sculpture, I work a lot in film photography and illustrations. The Stranger happened because I like to do illustrations of silly and weird things, and I started making my drawings 3D. This has made me want to make more large stuff, but I don’t want to work myself into a box; like ‘I only make monsters,’ but the larger scale is definitely appealing.

Q: What inspires/influences you in your artistic practice?
Megan: Nature, animals, plants, but seen in a different way. I like the pretty freaky stuff, things that are in nature that are weird; like microscopic sea-organisms that up-close look like monsters. In my photography work, I do a lot of portraitures; the variety of types of people in the world is very intriguing to me. How different we all are, and also how similar at the same time.
For the Stranger, I had been working with StoneLion Puppet Theatre, making really large puppets for them and had been thinking about how we interact with things that are a human-scale. It seems people are more connected to things their size, they feel more lifelike and relatable. I had been working on this funny drawing of this monster guy and decided to see what would happen if I made it human-scale. It’s the largest thing I’ve ever made.

Q: Have you always been into monsters?
Megan: I was really afraid of monsters as a kid, I was scared of everything as a kid. I’d watch E.T. and get nightmares, that movie was terrifying.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Megan: My whole life. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon, my grandma kept everything. There’s a painting I did when I was little, like 5 maybe, that she kept. It’s of sea creatures with big, funny faces. I’ve been putting funny faces on things forever it seems.
Being an artist is all I ever thought I would do in my life, that or take care of animals at the zoo. Making isn’t really a choice, it is something that is compulsory, there are things inside that have to come out, and making art is the best way for that to happen, for me.

Q: What did you hope people would gain from interacting with your piece?
Megan: I hope that people leave the streetcar with a funny experience, an unexpected happy moment to share with their friends.
I’ve been discouraged lately, the fire and losing all my supplies and all that, I keep asking myself ‘Why do I make art?’ and when I think about people, and how they spend their days; going to work, sticking to a schedule, all that, it makes me really wonder what else is out there? And what I keep coming back to, is that there is so much out there; new experiences, new ideas, new people, new ways of looking at the world and unexpected ways people experience their world.
There is something about art and music that brings you out of yourself and shows you how others live and feel. This idea of new encounters, this is what is important to me, and to share, and to give people an experience they do not have every day. Public art allows interaction with objects, with ideas, with other people. I have a pretty intense case of social anxiety, and art is an easy way to open up a conversation with a stranger. I’m so uncomfortable around strangers, I push myself to interact with others, and many other people experience that as well. In my photography work, I do a lot of street photography while I travel, and the camera allows people to start conversations by asking what I’m doing, or I ask if I can take their picture.

Q: Did the public response to the Stranger surprise you? How does it make you feel, as an artist/creator, to know your work as generated this kind of overwhelming response?
Megan: It’s funny, I kind of don’t even think about it [The Stranger] unless someone else brings it up, or I see it pop up on Instagram. I made it in my bedroom, and it was just kind of looming over me, in a way, all the time, until it went away to the streetcar to live its life.
Just to see people’s faces light up – that’s why I do it. People get really excited, joyful feelings, and that is what makes doing anything, especially making something, totally worth it. The Stranger, and KC’s reaction to it, it’s been a good reminder of why I do what I do. Sometimes I feel burnt out, I do make other things, but I’ve been making monsters for 8 years, and people love it. Recently, because of the fire, I’d been feeling really discouraged and disheartened, I wanted to give up and quit art. But this experience and knowing how much love the Stranger has had from the community, makes me want to push harder, and not give up. To build bigger and continue doing my passion. I want to continue enjoying the day, the moment, the reality of what I’m providing for other people.

Q: What is the Stranger’s fate once the summer program has ended?
Megan: Oh man, I don’t know. I feel like it needs to exist in the world still. I’d love to sell it or auction it off. I’d love for it to go to a local organization where it can continue to bring happiness to people.

Q: What has this experience working with Art in the Loop taught you as a working artist?
Megan: I just make stuff, I don’t know how to talk about it with people, and this experience has really helped me with that. Most of my stuff is niche work, it appeals to a small group of people, and working with Art in the Loop helped get my work out there to a larger audience and to see the appreciation people have for what I do. It has also made me realize that is possible to go bigger, and not be afraid; bigger audience and bigger works.

Q: What is your next move?
Megan: Well, for the month of October, I am the featured artist at the Leedy-Voulkos. The Stranger will be there, along with its’ little friends, the smaller monsters. Come say “hi,” take a monster home with you!


Check out Megan’s soft-sculptures this coming First Friday, October 5, and Saturday, October 6, at the Leedy-Voulkos, located at 2012 Baltimore Ave.

Artist Megan Karson rides the rails and speaks with interested people about her soft-sculpture, Stranger on a Train.
Photo courtesy of Deisy Garcia.



We had soooo much fun having musicians play onboard the KC Streetcar this summer, so much, in fact, the streetcar wants to keep it going!

KC Streetcar recently announced their Holiday Jam, inviting local musicians to apply to play on-board, or at a streetcar stop this holiday season, kicking off the week of Thanksgiving and going through mid-December. You can play “Frosty the Snowman” if you really want to, but playing holiday music is not mandatory, play anything as long as its family-friendly!

You can get all the details and learn how to apply at the KCStreetcar’s website here. The application deadline is Friday, October 19.

Have you noticed a suspicious lack of blog post emails from Art in the Loop recently? Curious as to why we have not been blowing up your inbox with really cool artwork and free events?  That’s because as fall approaches, our summer art program begins to close.

Therefore, if you have not yet seen with your own two eyes all the fabulous and diverse works of art by local artists that Art in the Loop has had placed around Downtown KC all summer, THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE!!!!! You best get out there and see them before they’re gone!

The Stranger, by Megan Karson, hangs out with Emily Evans-Sloan’s yarn-bomb piece at 4th & Delaware

SlinkyBall by Denise DiPiazzo, located in West Terrace Park for one more week!


Time is running out to find all the words on KC Word Plays! search, located at the KCStreetcar Library SB stop, 9th & Main

Noah Davis‘ father knew what was good. He raised his young son on classic rock and soul; timeless performers such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Curtis Mayfield, and Neil Young. As a multiracial kid, Noah’s father taught him the importance of seeing beyond the surface, and instead, recognizing that significance comes from substance. This philosophy is one Noah has applied to his entire life and musical career, maintaining the idea that music should not just entertain, but speak to and heal hearts, souls, and minds.

Come meet Noah, who is a super nice guy and a great musician, play his soulful, classic-rock and psychedelia-influenced original compositions on-board the KCStreetcar, Wednesday, August 29 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm.

For more information about Noah, his music, and upcoming performances check out his website here.

Alter Art just wants to have fun.

With you. And everyone in KC.

Alter’s Pop-Up pARTy is a chance for you to start the weekend with the unexpected. Shake off the workday with a spontaneous and inclusive dance party! If you’re not a dancer, stay and watch performances by local, eclectic artists. This exploration of nightlife during the afternoon encourages riders to interact with their neighbor, break down social barriers, and start the weekend with a fun, relaxing and positive experience.

If you’re not totally sure what to expect from Alter, that’s OK, in fact, that’s normal. Come find out what it is that they do, they’ve invited you and the whole city to come party with them at Union Station this Friday, August 24, from 5 – 7 pm. Be there or be square y’all.

This party is free and family-friendly; there will be no red solo cups. For more information about Alter Art Space and links to their social media click here.


Sauce is the moniker of KCK native and local hip-hop artist Royce Handy. Like many kids, Handy would get in trouble and often found himself grounded at home, and he used that time to read and write. He discovered an affinity for language, and specifically the inherent rhythm of putting words together to create narratives and poetry. Over time, Handy learned to create beats for his words. This talent combined with the knowledge and experience of growing up on both sides of State Line and witnessing violence first-hand culminated in Sauce’s message: violence is not necessary. 

Sauce takes his music and his positive message to anyone who will listen. He is a non-violence advocate for the city and has volunteered with churches, schools, and urban youth organizations, as well as organizing anti-violence protests in the community. Providing soulful & empowering tunes, Kansas City native, Sauce, guarantees a live performance that will inspire any & everyone.

Catch Sauce’s inspiring performance Wednesday, August 22, from 11:30  am – 1:30 pm at the Metro Center KC Streetcar Stop, 12th & Main Street, near Plowboys.

For more information, albums and performances, check out Sauce’s Facebook page.

Pink Royal has a sense of humor.

They like to use phrases like “musical sexiness,” and “dance groovability,” and, my personal favorite, “we rock so soft,” to describe the lush, ambient, synth-pop melodies they create while simultaneously making fan-girls swoon. As the band states on its website, “imagine Muse, MGMT, and Radiohead had a steamy musical orgy with Stevie Wonder, and Pink Royal was born 9 months later”.

Come find out what all those adjectives add up to sound like when Pink Royal plays onboard the KCStreetcar on Wednesday, August 15, from 11: 30 am – 1:30 pm. They’ll be playing on the first northbound car to leave Union Station after 11:30 am.  Follow Art in the Loop on Facebook and Instagram at @artintheloop to find out which car they’re on.

Find out more about this rad band on their website.