Indian Center exhibit explores life of artist Blackbear Bosin
The Keeper of the Plains is turning 39, and the statue’s birthday brings with it the opening of a new exhibit that will offer the community a closer look at the artist who created the Wichita landmark.
On Saturday, the Mid-America All-Indian Center will open its newest exhibit, “Tsate Kongia: Walking in Two Worlds, the Life of Blackbear Bosin.” It’s an in-depth, multi-dimensional look at the personal and professional life of a local icon.
“Living in this area, you always hear the name Blackbear Bosin,” said Angela Cato, marketing director for the city of Wichita’s Arts and Cultural Services division. “The name takes on greater meaning to you when you step inside this exhibit and get to know this man who cared so deeply for his American Indian culture and for this city. You really begin to get a feeling, too, for the impact that he had nationally. He had such a great effect on allowing people to see the American Indian culture in a beautiful and true light.”
A special admission price of $1 is being offered for the opening day — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The exhibit will be part of a new permanent collection and is a culmination of a long effort by the museum to amass works and artifacts by Bosin, who created the statue, which was installed at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas rivers on May 18, 1974.
The exhibit’s goal is to give the community a greater understanding of the man who gifted Wichita with one of its most notable markers. More than 50 pieces of art and personal items will be on display, including paintings, photos, comics, audio recordings and vintage film footage. Several items are recent acquisitions and have not been previously available to the public.
Notable pieces include a coin Bosin designed for the Franklin Mint, a panel of comics he once pitched as a concept, a pipe that he famously smoked in his workshop and a paper matchbook bearing the name of his studio. Also of note is a 10-minute movie that combines footage from an old 16mm film of Bosin being interviewed. Interwoven is audio of a recorded conversation with him a month before he died. Also appearing are friends, family and colleagues, all commenting on what he offered to the art world and to the community. It will play on loop as part of the exhibit.
“All of this together is a telling of the whole man,” Cato said. “It’s showing people things that maybe they didn’t expect him to do. His whole being was about honoring his heritage and showing it off to everyone else.”
Bosin was a world-known Comanche-Kiowa artist originally from Oklahoma. He served in World War II but wasn’t on active duty. While stationed at a military hospital in Hawaii, Bosin, who was mostly self-taught, learned to paint to pass time. Much of his concentration was on surrealist-style abstracts, particularly painting with acrylics and watercolors. He is heralded for helping enhance a strong appreciation and better understanding of his American Indian heritage by offering scenes and tales of his culture as central themes in his works. In 1955, National Geographic published his “Prairie Fire” painting.
His Kiowa name was Tsate Kongia, which means “black bear.” It was given to him in honor of his great-grandfather, who was a Kiowa chief. While many are familiar with Bosin’s Keeper of the Plains piece, the only known three-dimensional work that he created, Cato said this exhibit showcases a lifetime of art that evolved through the years.
“Everyone knows the Keeper statue … it’s iconic to our area,” she said. “In giving this gift to the city, he helped give us a sense of place, a sense of where we came from as a community, where our roots are, giving us something to be proud of. This exhibit builds on that to exemplify his life. He was doing something he was proud of and showing it off for everyone to get something out of. It has huge symbolism.”
Rogers Ballet’s ‘Fun and Games’ dance concert will bring board games to life
You could play board games this weekend.
Or you could just watch them dance.
“Fun and Games” is the title this year of the intricately choreographed and costumed annual student concert put on by Rogers Ballet Inc., headed by well-known local ballet mistress Sharon Rogers.
The concert, which will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Sebits Auditorium in Friends University’s Riney Fine Arts Center, will bring to life classic board games such Scrabble, Monopoly and Candy Land through dance.
The routine themes aren’t limited just to board games, though, Rogers said. Numbers in the concert also will involve jump roping, tea parties, croquet – even the Wichita River Festival River Run.
“It’s things that are lighthearted,” said Rogers, who’s in her 35th year of planning the concert for her dance school. “It’s any kind of thing that’s considered to be amusement.”
Rogers always weaves a storyline through the concert, which connects one dance to another. She spends the entire year dreaming up the story line, choreographing the dances, choosing the costumes, teaching the numbers to the dancers and perfecting every last detail.
“That’s why I work seven days a week,” she said with a laugh.
This year’s show will feature about 60 dancers, who range from 4-year-old beginners to Friends dance majors to adult ballet students.
It also will include a number by Courtney Runft, a former student of Rogers’ who has gone on to make it as a tap dancer and teacher in New York City. She’ll return to Wichita to appear in the show, starring in a number that celebrates the game of tag.
The show, Rogers says, is a way for families of the dancers to see how much progress they’ve made in class. But her end-of-the-year events have never been called “recitals” because they’re designed to be entertaining even to people who don’t know any of the dancers.
“I call them student concerts because they’re something anyone would enjoy whether they know someone in the show or not,” she said. “I put it together like a concert. It’s really lighthearted and is a gift to the community.”
Latest ‘Star Trek’ may be best Starfleet voyage yet
Director J.J. Abrams proved with 2009’s “Star Trek” that it is OK to boldly go where others had gone before, as long as the journey is exciting, original, entertaining and respectful to legions of loyal fans. His film, which found the balance between reprising and re-imagining, was a direct hit.
In his second voyage on the Starship Enterprise, Abrams has perfected that approach. “Star Trek Into Darkness” is the best work since Gene Roddenberry brought the franchise to life in the 1960s.
Abrams shows a deep and passionate loyalty for all of the incarnations of “Star Trek” while also bringing a fresh approach that makes the familiar seem all the more fabulous.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” has the Enterprise crew taking on a threat that has the power to wipe out Starfleet Command. It’s up to the impulsive Capt. James Kirk (Chis Pine) to lead a mission to stop the threat. It’s a mission that means going against almost every regulation in the Starfleet manual.
The warp power of the film comes from Pine, who has managed to channel the cockiness and swagger that William Shatner used to breathe life into the character a half-century ago without making Kirk a caricature.
As with the original series, Kirk’s brashness has a damper in Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto). It would have been easy for Quinto to play Spock’s lack of emotion in a robotic, wooden manner. The original Spock, half human and half Vulcan, could control his emotions. This Spock is a few percent more human, which allows for just enough emotion to give Quinto some additional room to play.
The entire cast is just as reverent and original when it comes to taking over the familiar characters. That’s why scenes without Kirk or Spock resonate with the same energy.
Action films live or die by their villains. And “Star Trek Into Darkness” gets plenty of life from Benedict Cumberbatch as the mysterious John Harrison. He has the kind of larger-than-life presence to play the foreboding foe Kirk needs. There’s a lot more to the character, but like so much of the film, there are some things that are best discovered during the voyage.
What happens between Kirk and Harrison is delivered at a breath-taking pace. The movie starts at warp speed and never slows until the haunting refrains of the original theme song herald the arrival of the closing credits.
The film moves so quickly, it’s hard to pick up the many references to past “Star Trek” offerings. Despite all of these hidden gems, the script by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof can be just as easily enjoyed by those not familiar with the franchise. It’s a solid summer movie thrill ride for anyone willing to buy a ticket.
Abrams showed with his original foray into the “Star Trek” world that he had the vision and creative might to relaunch the franchise. With this second turn at the helm, he’s taken that groundwork and launched it into a whole new galaxy of fun and entertainment.
As long as Abrams is in charge, the new “Star Trek” movies will live long and prosper.
Orpheum goes country with John Anderson, Old 97’s
It’s a big, varied week for country music at the Orpheum Theatre, with John Anderson and the Old 97’s appearing within a few days of each other.
Anderson is a classic country artist with five No. 1 hits to his credit, while the Old 97’s were in the vanguard of the alt-country movement. The latter show is a benefit for brain cancer research.
Anderson is bringing an acoustic show to Wichita: He’ll be joined onstage by Nashville veteran Glenn Rieuf, who plays steel guitar and dobro.
“We started doing this three years ago, just a couple of them, and we got such a good response that we kind of made a thing of it,” Anderson said by phone from his home in Tennessee. “It gives the fans a chance to hear the songs kind of up-close and how they were written. It’s a little more intimate than the band shows. Of course, I love playing with the band, too.”
Anderson grew up in Florida, switched from rock ’n’ roll to country and moved to Nashville while still in his teens. He had his first hit in 1977, his biggest success in 1982 with “Swingin’,” then experienced a career resurgence with his “Seminole Wind” album.
“It doesn’t really seem that long (since “Swingin’ ”) until you start thinking about all the things that have happened since then,” Anderson said.
Anderson has recorded 22 albums and isn’t done yet. He’s got an acoustic CD with the working title “Solo” mostly finished and another, with his regular band and several well-known musical friends, underway. He hopes to release both by the end of the year.
A video of “Willie’s Guitar” that he made with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard should also be making an appearance before long.
When not writing and recording, he said, “I don’t think we’ve ever taken a real long break from the road, just because we don’t want to. I love playing.”
Anderson, known for his distinctive voice, said he actually had a few people suggest he change the way he sings — advice he fortunately ignored.
“A lot of folks say nobody else sounds like me. Sometimes that’s a blessing; sometimes it’s a curse. I’ve been able to sing my stuff pretty much the way I want to sing it. I didn’t want to change.”
The Old 97’s almost had a very different sound from the one their fans love, bassist Murray Hammond said.
Known for their energetic live shows, the band was nearly a drummer-less acoustic trio consisting of Hammond, chief singer-songwriter Rhett Miller and guitarist Ken Bethea.
“I kind of fought off having a drummer, but as soon as Philip (Peeples) showed up, it was really back to having a drummer and a band,” Hammond said from his home in Pasadena, Calif. “The four of us have been together for 20 years.”
The Old 97’s started as a Dallas bar band, releasing their first CD in 1994 and drawing comparisons to fellow alt country bands such as Uncle Tupelo and the Jayhawks. They’ve released a dozen CDs and plan to return to the studio soon to work on another.
Hammond joked that the group’s name reflects both a respect for folk music — “Wreck of the Old 97” is a famous ballad — and the band’s approach in general.
“We just though it sounded cool,” he said. “We felt like a bit of a train wreck. We still do. We thought, ‘We will always sound like a train wreck.’ ”
That partly stems from the fact that the band is loath to practice.
“We know each other’s moves,” Hammond said. “It’s like a sports team or something.”
But that doesn’t mean the Old 97’s are done creating.
“The joy of coming up with new songs is really the fuel that keeps this band going,” Hammond said.
Fans should expect a mix of old and new songs at Wednesday’s show, he added.
“We play everything we’ve ever written,” he said. “We’re equally comfortable with the very first album we put out and the last album we put out. We don’t have to section them off. They don’t have a significantly different sound.”
This year’s Wichita Ribfest will have more than ribs and music
Last year was the first year for the Wichita Ribfest — a sticky, saucy three-day gathering of professional rib vendors from around the country — and it was a near-complete success, said Christine Pileckas, Intrust Bank Arena’s director of sales and marketing.
The only setback was dealt by Mother Nature, who delivered a stormy, windy night that forced Intrust Bank Arena officials, who put on the event, to cancel the final night of activities.
It kept the attendance tally at about 10,000, which was 5,000 short of what the arena hoped for.
If the weather behaves better this year, though, Pileckas says the festival should have no trouble drawing a big crowd, especially since organizers have done a little Ribfest tweaking based on lessons and feedback from the first go-round.
Ribfest, which started on Thursday, continues through Saturday and will be set up just east of Intrust Bank Arena in Lot D, the city-managed parking lot at 777 E. Waterman. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Barbecue and music fans pay $4 at the entrance and then can purchase barbecue meals from the six vendors set up at dramatically tall booths, each one decorated with banners proclaiming barbecue cook-off championships. The meals cost less than $10, but prices vary from booth to booth. Kids 12 and under get in free, and attendees can get in for $2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday.
Visitors also can listen to music provided by local and national acts. The festival’s headliners are country acts Keith Anderson, who plays at 9 p.m. Friday, and Phil Vassar, who performs at 4 p.m. Saturday. In all, 14 bands will perform by the festival’s end.
Pileckas said that organizers are excited about Saturday night’s lineup, which will feature back-to-back performances by two Mexican bands — Grupo Flamante De Tierra Caliente and Kazzadorez — from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. A similar lineup was planned last year, but the weather got in the way.
Based on feedback from the first year, organizers have added several other activities to make the event feel more festival-like, Pileckas said.
On Saturday, the first 500 kids through the gates can participate in a Home Depot Kid’s Workshop, in which they assemble and decorate a tool box. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., a classic car show will be set up inside the gates, and spectators can watch teams participate in a cornhole tournament, which is a beanbag toss game.
For an extra $5, kids can get unlimited access to bouncy inflatables, and admission is free to the Pepsi Sport Zone, where participants can hit a baseball, throw a football or shoot a basketball.
“This year, our main focus was adding more interactive activities so people have something to do after they get their ribs and watch the bands on stage,” Pileckas said.
The arena also is trying to erase confusion from the festival’s debut year. Many people who attended assumed that the festival was organized like the annual Wagon Masters Chili Cookoff and arrived planning to sample all the vendors’ ribs. But that would only happen if visitors bought a plate from each booth.
Last year, it appeared that folks chose their vendor based on who had the prettiest booth or the longest line.
A panel of local judges will choose rib winners based on the ribs’ tenderness, texture and taste, and a people’s choice winner will be named, too.
Concerts coming to Wichita
Visit events.kansas.com for additional information on upcoming entertainment options including concerts, music events and festivals in the Wichita area and beyond.
John Anderson, Saturday, The Orpheum, ($20 to $40 at the door)
The Beach Boys, Sunday, Stiefel Theatre, Salina (sold out)
Cheap Trick, Wednesday, Stiefel Theatre, Salina ($59, www.ticketmaster.com)
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Fully Charged, May 30-June 2, Intrust Bank Arena, ($10-$45, www.selectaseat.com)
Chris Mann, May 31, Wichita River Festival, free with Wichita River Festival button
Mike Finnigan and the Phantom Blues Band, June 1, Wichita River Festival, free with Wichita River Festival button
American English, June 2, Wichita River Festival, free with Wichita River Festival button
Joan Baez, June 4, Stiefel Theatre, Salina ($39, $49, $59, www.ticketmaster.com)
Montgomery Gentry, June 5, Wichita River Festival, free with Wichita River Festival button
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, June 6, Wichita River Festival, free with Wichita River Festival button
Monophonics, June 7, Cotillion ($12.50-$15, www.thecotillion.com)
Big Head Todd and the Monsters, June 7, Wichita River Festival, free with Wichita River Festival button
The Go-Go's, June 8, Wichita River Festival, free with Wichita River Festival button
The Tenors, June 8, The Orpheum ($15-$100, www.selectaseat.com)
Lamb of God, June 9, Cotillion ($25-$29, www.thecotillion.com)
Aaron Lewis, June 20, Cotillion ($25-$28, www.thecotillion.com)
Bill Cosby, June 21, The Orpheum ($49.50-$149.50, www.selectaseat.com)
Old Crow Medicine Show, June 24, Cotillion, ($25, www.thecotillion.com)
Killswitch Engage, July 3, Cotillion ($25-$29, www.thecotillion.com)
Lamb of God, June 9, Cotillion ($25-$29, www.thecotillion.com)
Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, July 12, Stiefel Theatre, Salina ($69, $79, $89, www.ticketmaster.com)
Fifty Shades of Men, July 12, Cotillion, on sale 10 a.m. Friday, ($15-$20, www.thecotillion.com)
Jackson Taylor & The Sinners, July 13, Cotillion, ($12.50-$15, www.thecotillion.com)
Boz Scaggs, July 26, Stiefel Theatre, Salina ($55, $65, $74, www.ticketmaster.com)
Cody Simpson, July 26, Cotillion, ($39.50-$149.50, www.thecotillion.com)
Rick Springfield, July 28, Stiefel Theatre, Salina ($49, $59, $69, www.ticketmaster.com)
Taylor Swift, Aug. 6, Intrust Bank Arena, (Sold out)
Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo, Aug. 6., Orpheum, ($72.50, $67.50, $57.50, $47.50, $37.50, www.selectaseat.com)
Rascal Flatts, Aug. 9, Intrust Bank Arena, rescheduled from Jan. 19, ($24.75, $49.75 and $59.75, www.selectaseat.com)
Chris Cagle, Aug. 9, Cotillion, ($25-$28, www.thecotillion.com)
Junior Brown, Aug. 10, Cotillion, ($20-$23, www.thecotillion.com)
'80s Rock Night,Aug. 16, Cotillion, ($10-$13, a href="http://www.thecotillion.com/">www.thecotillion.com)
Josh Abbott Band,Aug. 23, Cotillion, on sale 10 a.m. Friday, ($15-$20, www.thecotillion.com)
Moreland & Arbuckle, Aug. 23, The Orpheum ($15 general admission, www.selectaseat.com)
Seether, Aug. 31, Cotillion, on sale 10 a.m. Friday, ($29-$33, www.thecotillion.com)
Kansas, Sept. 6, Kansas State Fair, ($13, $33, www.kansasstatefair.com)
Johnny Mathis, Sept. 8, The Orpheum, ($39.50, $44.50, $57.50, $69.50, $79.50, $99.50, $150, www.selectaseat.com)
Eli Young Band, Sept. 8, Kansas State Fair, ($28, $43, www.kansasstatefair.com)
Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Sept. 10, Kansas State Fair, ($23, $29, www.kansasstatefair.com)
Bridgit Mendler, Sept. 7, Kansas State Fair, ($29, $44, www.kansasstatefair.com)
Jars of Clay, Sept. 12, Kansas State Fair, ($15, $30, www.kansasstatefair.com)
Luke Bryan, Sept. 12, Intrust Bank Arena, on sale 10 a.m. Friday($27.25, $52, www.selectaseat.com)
Theory of a Deadman, Sept. 13, Kansas State Fair, ($25, $45, www.kansasstatefair.com)
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sept. 14, Kansas State Fair, ($35, $45, $65, www.kansasstatefair.com)
Toby Keith, Sept. 15, Kansas State Fair, ($20-$100, www.kansasstatefair.com)
Lewis Black, Sept. 26, Cotillion, on sale 10 a.m. Friday, ($45, a href="http://www.thecotillion.com/">www.thecotillion.com)
Aaron Neville, Oct. 3, Orpheum, ($75, $49.50, $45.50, $39.50, $29.50, www.selectaseat.com)
Blake Shelton, Oct. 5, Intrust Bank Arena, (Ticket info TBA)
John Edward, Oct. 8, Orpheum, ($69, $59, $49, selectaseat.com, www.selectaseat.com)
Clint Black, Oct. 11, The Orpheum ($35-$100, www.selectaseat.com)
Taj Mahal, Oct. 26, Orpheum, ($75, $45.50, $40.50, $25, $18, selectaseat.com, www.selectaseat.com)
Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Nov. 8, The Orpheum ($15-$75, www.selectaseat.com)
Brian Regan, Nov. 10, Cotillion, ($42.50, www.thecotillion.com)
Moscow Ballets Great Russian Nutcracker, Dec. 1, Orpheum, ($175, $102, $68, $48, $37.50, $27.50, selectaseat.com, www.selectaseat.com)