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Sunday, 19 January 2014 22:00

Lawrence art exhibit honors 100th birthday of William S. Burroughs

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"The role of the artist, the role of the art, and the role of the viewer, the observer and there's this relationship between those three elements that activate the experience."

Exhibitions Director at the Lawrence Art Center Ben Ahlvers said that experience is the motivation behind the Art Center's new exhibit based on William S. Burroughs.

"The show is entitled 'Creative Observer' which is based off of a Burroughs essay called 'the Creative Observer," Ahlvers said.

Burroughs was born in St. Louis in 1914. He lived in numerous other places during his life, but spent his final years in Lawrence.

Burroughs was a member of the beat movement where artists broke the traditional modes of thinking and moved toward free expression. To many people it made sense why a man of his artistic genius would settle in Lawrence.

"While he was here I think he came to embody a way that Lawrence sees itself, that is as a mecca for different thinkers and artists who make art possible in different ways," Lawrence Arts Center Chief Executive Officer Susan Tate said.

Burroughs died at his Lawrence home in 1997, but his influence and art still lives on. Now at the Lawrence Art Center nearly 100 pieces in three gallery spaces celebrate the artistic genius of the influential artist as his 100th anniversary nears.

"2014 is the 100th anniversary of his birth, so in 2014 there are Burroughs exhibitions happening all around the world," Tate said. "Because the Burroughs' estate is here and because much of his work is here, we really have the most comprehensive look."

The exhibit will run until March 2.