A look into the inspiration behind the work.

September First Friday - Paint Topeka, Celestial Correspondence and the Figure

There will be three locations to see my work during the September First Friday Art Walk in Topeka and another one day event in Kansas City!


Paint Topeka!

 The piece above "Coffee and Conversation at the Flying Monkey" and "Raks Sha'abi at the NOTO Saturday Market" are my pieces accepted as one of over 50 artists entered SouthWind Gallery's latest plein air art competition, Paint Topeka, and hit the streets on Saturday, April 28, 2012, to capture the allure and beauty of our city. We think you'll be "wowed" by the artistic talent and the diversity of the Topeka scenes the artists chose to paint along with the publication of SouthWind Gallery's newest book  that features the art and artists of Paint Topeka.

The exhibit and sale of the paintings will open during Frist Friday Art Walk Friday, September 7, 5 - 8:30 pm. An awards ceremony for the top three winning artists will be held that evening, with many of the  participating artists in attendance to talk about their inspiration and their artwork and available to sign the new art book. To buy the book online or to preview the show go to www.SouthWindArtGallery.com

Celestial Correspondence by Michelle Leivan
Brought to you by Sinnen & Associates and SouthWind Gallery
921 SW Topeka Blvd
Opening Sept. 7th, 5-8:30 pm  and throughout September 2012 during business hours 8 am - 5 pm M-F.

Swinnen & Associates Law Office Atrium Gallery, 921 SW Topeka Blvd. Open First Friday Art Walk (5-8:30 pm) and during business hours (8 am - 5 pm M-F) through September. The new location at 921 S.W. Topeka was constructed between 1860 and 1880, and the structure at 917 S.W. Topeka perhaps 20 years later, he said. Owner of the building, Benoit Swinnen has arranged for an atrium, with skylights, to be constructed between the buildings. Swinnen has partnered with SouthWind Gallery in Topeka to feature art from a different up-and-coming artist in the atrium during of Topeka’s monthly First Fridays Artwalks.

Works by local artist Michelle Leivan's series “Celestial Correspondence” will be on display in the atrium during September’s First Friday Art Walk.
Click Here to learn more about the series.

"The Figure" at Foole's Dream Studio

833 1/2 N. Kansas Ave.  Topeka, KS

Wed-Sat: 10 am - 5:30 pm and First Friday 5-8:30 pm.

Several figurative artists present their works at Foole's Dream Studio. For my work,  I have 4 figurative pieces on exhibit.  Each of these paintings is a study in the human form, color and composition created during a single two hour sitting in the Open Session Life Drawing Sessions that I coordinate at Washburn University. Each session consists of 2-five minute poses, 2-ten minute poses, 2- 15 minute poses and 3-20 minute poses, there is no specific direction given to the model except for the time constraints. Many of these works include something from each of the 9 poses presented by the model. The challenge is to compose on the fly to come up with a successful visually interesting piece. CLICK HERE to see more of my figurative work.

Then later in September - my figurative work will be featured at for one night only!


September 20, 2012 | 8 pm - Midnight

Uptown Theater | 3700 Broadway St.,  Kansas City, MO

21+ | Cocktail Attire | $10 in advance | $15 at the door

RAW events are multi-faceted artistic showcases. Each event features a film screening, musical performance, fashion show, art gallery, performance art and a featured hairstylist and makeup artist. These artists are all local, hand-picked talent who have been chosen to feature at RAW.

RAW events feature a cash bar for cocktails while you enjoy the night. Dress code is cocktail attire, so dress the occasion and get ready for an artistic circus of creativity!

Get your tickets in advance for only $10 at

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Paint Topeka Plein Air Exhibit and Book

Today I would like to share that my  artworks "Coffee and Conversation at the Flying Monkey" and "Raks Sha'abi at the NOTO Saturday Market" have been selected for exhibition in the Paint Topeka Plein Air Exhibit! Paintings produced from this event also will be featured in the upcoming art book, Topeka: A Great Arts Town!, published by SouthWind Gallery.

Opening Reception Activities & Awards Ceremony

The Paint Topeka art exhibit will open September 7, 2012, during the First Friday Art Walk, from 6: 00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Activities will include an Artists' Reception, a special recognition ceremony for the winners of the Paint Topeka competition and a book signing. In addition, all artists' names and artwork will be posted on the SouthWind Gallery web site.

The Mission: To Paint Topeka. The Topeka Plein Aire Paint out presented by SouthWind Gallery.  Over 60 painters met on Saturday, April 28th at 6:00 a.m. at the Ramada Inn for breakfast and then they converged on Topeka and created paintings of our town. I was one of them and this little piece "Coffee and Conversation at the Flying Monkey" is my entry for the competition. All the artists wore a tangerine colored ball cap so they could be identified all over the city. All of the pieces will be juried and the accepted pieces will be published in a fine art book "Topeka: A Great Arts Town."


When thinking about Topeka, it seems to me the community is best reflected by the people who live, work and play throughout the city. I chose to paint the new coffee shop the Flying Monkey along with two college students who were out enjoying a bit of coffee on the early Saturday morning. "We just stopped in to talk before we went to work-out." one of the girls said. 


Unlike many of my paintings in this series, I did not know these two girls prior to asking if they could be my subjects, I also promised that they would not be readily identifiable - I'm just an artist stalker - randomly choosing people to paint. But my trusty tangerine colored ball cap with the SouthWind gallery logo helped to legitimize me. The two girls knew one of another artist participating! It was an interesting experiment on my part as well, not knowing the girls there was less pressure to make sure they reflected the personality I knew they had, instead I was free to impress my own imagination about who they were and so, like the viewer, I was forced to create my own story about them. 


They were as agreeable as anyone could expect and I am sure that my quick photograph has been long forgotten about on that sunny spring morning. However, there is no doubt in my mind that their memory will be sparked when they begin hearing about the new exhibition in September during the First Friday Art Walk.

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Raks Sha'abi at the NOTO Saturday Market

Raks Sha'abi at the NOTO Saturday Market

This piece for me is both nostalgic and celebrates my new achievements. In the nostalgic department, I am not unfamiliar with belly dancing as I took several classes during my husband's first deployment and choreographed a dance for him when he returned. Since then, I have had an appreciation of the art which is wonderfully feminine and alluring. As for the present, last Saturday, I exhibited 11 artists in my Art Print Express booth at the NOTO Saturday Market (a new venue for artists in the NOTO Arts District north of the river in Topeka, Kansas). If you look carefully you will see my booth in among the background vendors. It was that weekend that I took advantage of the Irie Blu troupe performance to capture my friend Cyreigna in action and to place her at the Saturday Market.


The term "Raks Sha'abi" refers to a belly dance style that is "dance of the people". This seemed an appropriate name for this piece even though the dancer works in the American Tribal Belly Dance Style. Many locals will recognize the Cyregina in her belly dancing regalia because she regularly performs in public venues such as the NOTO Saturday Market. She has also posed for my Open Life Drawing Sessions at Washburn University with her full costume, sometimes even bringing her dancing props such as a Scimitar (a curved Middle Eastern sword) balanced on her head - it is always a fun and lively event when she models. 


Cyreigna is also Owner/Director of Irie Tribal Dance Co., a Fatchance® Bellydance Sister Studio...Irie Tribal, is derived from the Rastafarian saying, 'Irie,' which stands for 'I Respect I Eternally,' and is a word that conveys hope and happiness--exactly the emotion Cyreigna endeavors to create.


Irie Tribal Dance Company is an all-inclusive Dance company that offers not only classes in American Tribal Style® Bellydance, but also tribal costuming. They believe that no matter what type of dance you do, as long as you are true to self and others everything will indeed be Irie, (a word that conveys hope and happiness).

While trying to open more eyes, hearts, and doors in the Auburn/Topeka area, Irie strives to portray themselves in a positive light and give back to others....Dancing for those can't dance for themselves....Dancing is the most unselfish thing we can do...That is why we smile, that is why we dance. It brings us joy to see joy in others!

The performing Troupe, Irie Tribal consists of Cyndi (Cyreigna) and Amy (Miriam)
Irie Tribal Dance Company students are known as Irie Blu. They are taught pure ATS® as Carolena intended.

To purchase the piece  or explore my other pieces go to my website

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New at Foole's Dream Studio this Month.

First Friday Art Walk - March 2nd 5:30pm - 8:00 pm - Come to Foole's Dream Studio in NOTO 833 1/2 N. Kansas Ave. which is welcoming 5 new artists to the family. Becky Drager, Joyce Volmut, Richard Owen Nelson, Michelle Levian and Susan Anderson. The show includes the see never before shown work by Michelle Leivan's Life Drawing Series. These pieces were each done during one 2-hour session with a live model. Full of life and color. 

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Artists to Watch in 2012 on WIBW

The Bee's Secret for the Echinacea

The great folks at WIBW will be prempting their 13 News @ 4 show for the Arts on February 6th. Please set your DVR's to see a sample of what the arts community in Topeka has to offer. The show will consist of three segments that will feature several art venues and as one of those segments, three artists: Marylin Horsch, Michael Allen and Michelle Leivan (I always wanted to prempt a show!) were interviewed by John Ary last month to talk about the the Artists to Watch in 2012 show at SouthWind Gallery. 

Because I know you can't wait to see the show, here is a different short YouTube video from SouthWind Gallery where they asked several of the Artists to Watch in 2012 what the best advice they've ever been given was. This video is sure to spur you on as an artist. And, the exhibit is sure to amaze you. So, if you have not already done so, I would recommend getting over to SouthWind Gallery to see the works from these regional artists! SouthWind Gallery, 3074 SW 29th St., Topeka, KS through February 15, 2012.

Artists to Watch in 2012
January 6 - February 15, 2012
SouthWind Gallery
29th and Oakley
Topeka, KS 66614

Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Artists to Watch in 2012, is an exciting new show featuring the work of 10 artists. The common thread that links the artists is their high level of talent and an all-consuming passion for creating art.

The artists range in age from 20-somethings to Baby Boomers. The show features over 65 pieces of art and includes all genres including figurative, landscape and still-life works in a variety of mediums. The intriguing subject matter ranges from abstract prairies scenes, to realistic portraits of working cowboys, and from the hard steel and concrete of local architecture, to sensual wild flowers spilling out of a porcelain vase. The paintings vary widely in size, from huge oversized canvases to miniatures.

The featured artists are: 
Michael James Allen (Topeka); Jim Clements (Eldorado); Jane Flanders (Lawrence); Doug Frye (Topeka); Marilyn Horsch (Lawrence); Michelle Leivan (Topeka); Cheryl Heller Olsen (Council Grove); Jeannie Pflumm (Lenexa); Richard Prather (Garland, TX); and Deb Schroer (Strong City).

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Meet the Artists to Watch in 2012!

Pollination Anticipation

Please join me and my artists friends on First Friday for Artists to Watch in 2012 on February 3, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at SouthWind Gallery, 29th & Oakley, Topeka, KS 66614 785.273.5994.  If you can't make it to the artist reception, please stop by and see the show Mon-Fri 10-6 and Sat 10-4 or visit online at http://www.southwindartgallery.com/ 

Artists to Watch in 2012, is an exciting new show featuring the work of 10 artists. The common thread that links the artists is their high level of talent and an all-consuming passion for creating art.

The artists range in age from 20-somethings to Baby Boomers. The show features over 65 pieces of art and includes all genres including figurative, landscape and still-life works in a variety of mediums. The intriguing subject matter ranges from abstract prairies scenes, to realistic portraits of working cowboys, and from the hard steel and concrete of local architecture, to sensual wild flowers spilling out of a porcelain vase. The paintings vary widely in size, from huge oversized canvases to miniatures.

Here is a short video about what inspires each artist!

The featured artists are: 
Michael James Allen (Topeka); Jim Clements (Eldorado); Jane Flanders (Lawrence); Doug Frye (Topeka); Marilyn Horsch (Lawrence); Michelle Leivan (Topeka); Cheryl Heller Olsen (Council Grove); Jeannie Pflumm (Lenexa); Richard Prather (Garland, TX); and Deb Schroer (Strong City).
Artist Reception, February 3rd
Artists to Watch in 2012
January 6 - February 15, 2012
SouthWind Gallery
29th and Oakley
Topeka, KS 66614

Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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Feminine Desert at Boscos - Oct. 7

Candid Introspection from the Feminine Desert: Paintumentary

Bosco's features art, music for First Friday Art Walk

Bosco’s Urban American Cuisine, located at 435 S. Kansas Avenue, will feature paintings by artist Michelle Leivan in the downstairs dining space for First Friday Art Walk, October 7. Her exhibit will be up until the end of October.  

Leivan received her education at Fort Hays State University. She has been distinguished as the featured visual artist at the Kansas River Valley Art Fair, Topeka Jazz Festival, and the Aaron Douglas Art Fair. Her work has been selected to hang in the Kansas State Capital building and in the U.S. Embassy Resicence of the Ambassador in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Leivan’s First Friday exhibit is entitled, “Feminine Desert: Paintumentary.” The series of paintings is based on the perceived dualitymany young women present to the world. Each piece is dominated by abstract female figures. Notably, the use of color creates a striking contrast to the expected outcome in portraiture. The originals and fine art giclee reproductions of the pieces are also available. 

Pianist Scott Senn performs at Bosco’s every Friday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Senn has been performing for over 30 years and is an accomplished composer and arranger as well.

Bosco’s serves dinner from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and has a full bar with an extensive martini list and craft beers on tap.

Bosco’s is also open for lunch from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm Monday through Friday both downstairs and at the street level location.

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Sunflower CIRQUE - Warehouse 414 - Oct 7.

End of the Season Oil on canvas one of three pieces accepted in Sunflower CIRQUE at Warehouse 414.

Three Michelle Leivan sunflower pieces,  Apollo in DelphosFacing the Evening Sun, Apollo in Delphos Facing the Morning Sun and End of the Season are 3 of 77 pieces accepted in: 

Sunflower CIRQUE

Exhibiting works of art centered around sunflowers . . . about sunflowers or made from sunflowers!

Event Dates: 10/7/2011 - 11/12/2011
Reception: 10/7/2011 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Warehouse 414
414 East Second Street
Topeka Kansas

Exhibition open October 7 - November 12

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Visions of the Flint Hills - Opens Oct. 7

Michelle Leivan's piece accepted in the Visions of the Flint Hills Benefit and Sale

Visions of the Flint Hills

Opening Reception Friday, Oct. 7th, 6 pm - 9pm and Saturday, Oct. 8th 10am - 3 pm. Second Reception is Nov. 4th 5pm - 9pm and Sat. Nov. 5th, 10am-3pm.

The Visions of the Flint Hills Benefit and Sale runs from October 7th through November 25th, 2011. Fifty percent of your purchase price will  benefit the Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, a non-profit organization which promotes the Flint Hills as a visitors' destination with authentic Flint Hills experiences. The continent's largest remaining tract of tallgrass is also one of America's unique places, harboring a wealth of adventure, beauty, and history. All art representative of the Flint Hills area with 50% of purchase price going to support
the Flint Hills Tourism Coalition. The gallery will be open M-F 9am-5pm and Saturdays IOam-3pm.

During the opening reception, appetizers provided by The Kansas City Club and wine provided by Maker's Mark. Contact Kathy to make reservations at 816-285-9040 or Kathy@ButtonwoodArtSpace.com

Buttonwood Art Space, 3013 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64108 WWW.BUTTONWOODARTSPACE.COM

My piece "Pale Purple coneflower Above a Patchwork Plain" 12"x9" has been accepted in the Buttonwood Art Space 3rd Annual Visions of the Flint Hills Benefit and Sale. Come out and help my fellow artists and I support the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the Flint Hills of Kansas.

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Tinkham Veale - in September

Bees Knees on Echinacea

Beginning First Friday Art Walk from 5:30 - 8:30 on September 2nd through September, several Leivan Kansas Floral oil paintings are available at the Tinkham Veale Gallery,909 1/2 S. Kansas Avenue, Topeka Kansas. This group of paintings are among the most recent oil painting created during the last few months and include Hidden Garden Red Poppies, Trumpet Flower Trio Playing Taps, That is a Very Nice Way - Sunflower, Daffodil Delight East, Daffodil Delight West and Bees Knees on Echinacea. The gallery hours are First Friday Art Walk and Top City Thursdays evenings. Michelle's long-standing love affair with the flowers of Kansas is gloriously represented in this new collection.

A 1996 study conducted by Virginia Lohr and others showed that rooms and offices decorated with plants and flowers helped sacrifice stress as measured by decreased blood pressure and pulse rates. Researchers have further determined that there is also a correlation between flowers and being satisfied with life. In another study it was demonstrated that flowers will improve a person’s mood by decreasing anxiety, depression and agitation.


Decorating your home or office with Michelle’s colorful floral art instead of fresh flowers, allows you to include flowers in your decor that will never die, dry out or fade. Having blossoms filled with personality as an element in your home can be a positive influence for both inhabitants and visitors because they make a home more welcoming and create an inviting atmosphere. With their versatility and universal appeal, floral paintings go well in any room of your home or office. In a living room or dining room they add a degree of sophistication; in the bedroom they add romance to the ambiance.


 Also at Tinkham Veale Gallery:

The silent auction fundraiser for Doodle it Downtown is coming to an end this First Friday Art Walk, September 2nd. To view and bid on the pieces go to the foyer of The Tinkham Veale Gallery,909 S Kansas Avenue. This will be your opportunity to own one of these amazing pieces. The programs offered by Downtown Topeka,Inc. and Topeka Parks &Recreation Foundation will both benefit from the Auction.

Sponsored by local business, the artists created their pieces on 26″x 40″paper outside during record heat from Noon to 7:30 pm on July 28th. Among the participating artists was Art Print Express’ sponsored Michelle Leivan who painted a sunflower “Ad Astra Apollo” pictured in chalk.

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Landscapes in the Abstract

Tomorrow during the First Friday Art Walk, SouthWind Art Gallery is hosting a bold new show of contemporary abstract landscapes for which I have created some new pieces.

Artists' Reception
Friday, Feb. 5, 2010 6 - 8:30 p.m.

I am stepping out of my box a little for these, but I am having a load of fun! It is going to be a fantastic show with artist's from across the country. Also, my necklaces, winecharms, tiles and cards are available at SouthWind Art Gallery. Not everything is available online, but stop in and see me 10-6 Monday through Thursday.

Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Landscapes in the Abstract
is the title of our annual all-abstract exhibit featuring the work of 33 artists from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Canada.

This year's all-abstract show focuses on the landscape, but rather than literal translations, the artists interpret nature in fresh and powerful abstract forms that capture atmosphere and mood instead of detail The artists' have used shape, color, texture and line that elicits both contemplation and excitement for the viewer.

The stylistic variety in Landscapes in the Abstract is highly engaging with 33 artists participating, each using his or her own visual impressions and emotions to create works of art. The paintings in the exhibit include all mediums from acrylic to oils, to watercolor and encaustic, as well as mixed media pieces.

Landscapes in the Abstract Artists:
Janet Bailey, Ed Balda, Carol A. Bradbury, Steve Denny, Dana Hassett, Mike Henry, Phillip Hershberger, Linda Humphries, Cally Krallman, Michelle Leivan, Jancy Pettit, Beverly Radefeld, and Barbara Waterman-Peters (Topeka, KS); John Gary Brown, Jane R. Flanders, Robert Sudlow, and Joanie Whitenight (Lawrence, KS); James Pringle Cook (Tucson, AZ); Gary Ozias (Downs, KS); Debra J. Groesser (Ralston, NE); Nicole and Wes Hyde (Denver, CO); Stephen Kilborn (Taos, NM); Alyson, KinKade (Loveland, CO); Scott Lennox (Ft. Worth, TX); Mary Binford Miller (Eldorado, KS); Neil Patterson (Alberta, Canada); Jim Rigg (Manhattan, KS); Don Tiller (Port Townsend, WA). To see more go to


February Newsletter Link from Michelle Leivan Original Painting

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Take Kansas Home dot com!

Take Kansas Home.com
Echinacea Tile Set

Take Kansas Home!
TakeKansasHome.com was created through a public-private partnership between the Kansas Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Division and Free Bird Business Solutions.  The goal of this venture is to feature Kansas culture as it is represented in the fine artisan goods produced in our state. Kansas artists offer a host of wonderful handcrafted items, from specialty foods, to artwork, crafts and glassware.

You can find specially selected 8x10 prints, ceramic art tile sets, wine charm sets, note card sets and my Stroke of Genius Game.

http://www.TakeKansasHome.com Go check it out! Find out more about the site, and
do a search for my name!

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Creations Unique With Originals!

Creations Unique in Topeka now Showing Several of My Originals! 4028 SW Huntoon (Gage Village) Phone: 785-271-8288Playful Peek
I had the pleasure of meeting Tamra at Creations Unique.
She was gracious enough to offer me her entire south wall to exhibit my originals. You have got to stop in this month to take a look!

I was thrilled when I stumbled upon her store a few weeks back, a customer at Framewoods was needing stain glass repair and we guided him to Creations Unique. So, I thought I'd better go see where we were sending people. Tamra teaches classes on stained glass, fused glass and glass bead making. I also discovered that she sells the glass tiles that I've been coveting for my jewelry design. One of the things that is important to me is to find the items I use to create my work in the local economy and nearly jumped up and down when she brought out exactly what I spent all summer looking for!

Along with my originals, you will also find my Stroke of Genius game, note cards, wine charms and tiles and hopefully soon, my jewelry!

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Dreamy Wildflower Necklaces!

Can Be Found at
Dreamy Wildflower Necklaces
I have been working all summer designing a new product line. In our current economy it's good to have a variety of options for the art lover and I wanted to make something fun and can be worn next to your heart!
Kansas romance in its finest form can be found with these glass tile and ribbon necklaces featuring a print of a wildflower painting from the Kansas Wildflower Series, handmade, by me!
Pendant measures approximately 1" in length are made with a selected print which is adhered to a slumped glass tile and covered with water resistant glaze. This necklace also features 19" coordinating ribbon and cord strands with gold tone Aanraku bail and clasp. All displayed delightfully on a gift card and packaged with an envelope.
There are several designs to choose from and they make a wonderfully unique gift!

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Aaron Douglas Art Fair

Still accepting artist's entries until August 28th!
Aaron Douglas Art Fair

Youth, High School, College Student, Amateur, and Professional so artists of all ages can apply!

Don't miss out on this Family event! 4th Annual Aaron Douglas Art Fair Don't miss out on this great family event!
Mark your calendars for the 4th Annual Aaron Douglas Art Fair coming this fall on Saturday, September 26, 2009 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Aaron Douglas Art Park 12th and Lane in Topeka. This year's fair will be bigger than ever, featuring:
  • Over 30 local artist exhibiting original artwork in a variety of mediums
  • "Kansas Silkers" will be doing demonstrations of their art process
  • Live musical entertainment
  • Lots of fun FREE children's activities
  • Affordable Food and Beverages sold by community NIA's
The fair will showcase the work of diverse and emerging artists from the region to keep alive the legacy of Aaron Douglas, a renowned artist from Topeka who was the leading visual artist of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.

Initiated in 2006 by the Topeka TurnAround Team, the Aaron Douglas Art Fair simultaneously celebrates the memory of Douglas, nurtures up-and-coming artists from all walks of life, and provides a fun and creative environment for residents of Topeka and beyond.

Check it out, apply - forward to your artist friends!

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New Year News! What a way to begin!

Candid Introspection - mixed media on paper - by Michelle LeivanI have had a very eventful and successful Holiday Season, I hope that the Holidays found you well and ready for a Happy New Year!

It is amazing what can happen unexpectedly. One of my goals I've created for myself is to have new work with each new show at The Art Collective and at The Art Guild of Topeka and to add at least one new place to exhibit my work each month. Well, thankfully this has turn out fairly simple for the first two months of 2009 so far. I have shows in Western Kansas at the Gorham City Hall, and Eastern Kansas at SouthWind Gallery, and Sun Resort Tanning and Fitness in Topeka. Details below... 

Please let me know if you have been out to see  any of these events. Feedback is so fun to hear and is important to me.  
Wow! What a great way to kick off the New Year!  and hope to see you in the galleries in 2009!

Feminine Desert
Sun Resort Tanning and Fitness
Location: 1301 Gage location in Topeka, Kansas
Event Dates: 1/2/2009 - 2/28/2009
Reception: 1/2/2000 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
I will have a solo show of my Feminine Desert: Paintumentary at Sun Resort Tanning and Fitness, opening First Friday Art Walk and running February of 2009.
About the Series:
"Feminine Desert: Paintumentary" is a series of paintings and prose based on the perception duality many young women present to the world. The conflict of the independence they believe they portray versus the true co-dependency they actually exhibit to the world, a contradiction they are too often unable to recognize.

Each piece is dominated by abstract human figures. The pallet used allows expression of the human form in a multicultural, non-ethnic specific tone, capturing the universal aspect of humanity. Notable the use of color creates a striking contrast to the expected outcome in portraiture.
The Inspiration:
As young women I watched my sister-in-laws struggle with co-dependency issues. I believe many young women, including myself, at some point in our lives have a tendency to please others and are eager for self sacrifice and believe we are happy if the people in our lives are happy with us.
My in-laws and I spent many evenings in long discussions about their relationship choices and their desire to define themselves through other's eyes. I ached to witness their lives filled with disappointment and tough affairs of the heart. I sought relief and turned to my art to sort out my own anguish I began painting the series.
One evening I was nearly done with the current twenty pieces and I had another long night talking about relationship disillusionment with one of these young women. During the drive home I mulled over the long debates. I found my inspiration to complete the series. As soon as I got home, in a flurry of creativity wrote all of the accompanying prose for this series. What developed was an intricate intertwining of imagery, prose and use of anagram within each title to create a message which mimics the complexity of co-dependency. I hope that the message will encourage women of all ages to find love within and discover their inner freedom and beauty. 
Sun Resort Tanning and Fitness
The imagery, commentary and call to action that Feminine Desert presents is for young women to find love within rather than seeking approval from others. The message encourages the seeking of inner beauty which will only enhance the great looks the customers reap through Sun Resort Tanning and Fitness' services.  
This show has also spurred the completion of my second self-published book Feminine Desert: Paintumentary, available online under my "Book" link on my website.

'GoodWildfowers Invade Western Kansas
Location: Gorham City Hall
125 Market Street
Gorham KS 67640
Event Dates: 12/1/2008 - 4/30/2009

This month my Kansas Wildflowers are invading Western Kansas! Several pieces will be on display and for sale in Gorham City Hall through April 30th. Ok, so I know the mayor - that's how it happens! If you get a chance to stop in say Hi! to Mayor Martinson for me!
For more about Gorham Kansas go to http://skyways.lib.ks.us/towns/Gorham
Three's Company - Acrylic on Canvas 20"x16" by Michelle LeivanFlower Power 2
Location: SouthWind Gallery at Framewoods of Topeka
Event Dates: 1/16/2009 - 2/28/2009
Reception: 2/6/2009  6 pm - 8:00 pm
3074 SW 29th
Topeka KS 66614
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am - 6pm Sat 10am - 4pm

Sometimes working at a gallery has it's advantages - I will be showing two new works at SouthWind Gallery at Framewoods of Topeka in the Flower Power 2 group show. The show features floral works by regional women artists. I am honored to have my hung work with all of these excellent artists.
Which opens January 16th with the artist reception on February 6th during February's First Friday Art Walk.
'Ophelia-The Collective Art Gallery
3121 SW Huntoon St.
Topeka, KS 66604-1662
ph: 785.234.4254

HOURS: Wed-Fri: noon-4 p.m. Sat: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
or by appointment.

The Collective Art Gallery presents:

                "NEW ART FOR A NEW YEAR"

     In honor of the new year, the Collective Member Artists are mounting a  group exhibition, featuring new work by each one such as pictured piece "Ophelia" by Michelle Leivan.... (yes it's uninhibited self promotion here.)
Opening reception is scheduled for Friday January 2, 2009, 5:30-8:30PM in conjunction with the "First Friday Art Walk!"
Show runs through January 31, 2009
'OrangeGates and Portals
Location: Topeka Art Guild
Event Dates: 12/5/2008 - 1/31/2009
Reception: 1/2/2009 6:00 - 8:00
Art Guild Gallery
Topeka Art Guild, Inc.
5331 SW 22nd Place
Topeka, KS 66614
Phone: 785.273.7646

"Gates and Portals"
Member Artists reveal their own concept of Gates and Portals to bring us into the New Year! Artist Reception Jan 2, 2008

The Art Guild Gallery, located in the west end of Fairlawn Shopping Center, Topeka, KS, is staffed by volunteer members. It is free and open to the public.

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