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Lawrence Lithography: Creating An Image From Stone

The first home of the Lawrence Lithography Workshop in downtown Lawrence, Kan. It's now located at 2011 Tracy, Kansas City, Mo.
courtesy of Lawrence Lithography Workshop
The first home of the Lawrence Lithography Workshop in downtown Lawrence, Kan. It's now located at 2011 Tracy, Kansas City, Mo.

Mike Sims was first introduced to lithography, described as the closest of all printing processes to pure drawing, as a student in the late 1960s. And Sims was hooked.

By Laura Spencer


Kansas City, Mo. – In 1979, Sims founded Lawrence Lithography Workshop. In lithography, an artist draws directly on the lithograph stones or plates; printmakers then use the marks to create an original print. Over the last three decades, the shop, now based in Kansas City, Mo. has collaborated with more than 130 artists, and produced hundreds of prints.

Belger Arts Center gallery assistant, Mo Dickens, says this of Sims:
"Once he started Lawrence Lithography, he became a master printer. And his sole commitment is to help an artist do the best job they can and get that idea on to the paper."

An exhibition at the Belger displays series of prints or portfolios, from the early days of Lawrence Lithography to the present, including Roger Shimomura's images of the Japanese internment camp experience, William Wiley's alter-ego Seedy Rom who mocks the art world, and Akio Takimori's playful prints of ceramic figures with monkeys on their heads.

KCUR's Laura Spencer met up with Mike Sims in his office at the Lawrence Lithography Workshop.

"The Lawrence Lithography Workshop: Suites and Portfolios"
curated by Stephen Gleissner, Wichita Art Museum

Belger Arts Center
2100 Walnut Street, Kansas City, Mo.
July 1 - October 7, 2011
Wichita Art Museum
Wichita, Kansas
October 29 - February 12, 2012

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Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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