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Art Review: WAM Art Chatter

Wichita Art Museum

On Friday, the Wichita Art Museum debuts a new series of events they’re calling “Art Chatter.” In collaboration with WAM Contemporaries and the Young Professionals of Wichita, this event offers a fresh way to learn about projects, happenings, and current thoughts on the local art scene.  It’s a renewed effort to make the museum a dynamic place for the community; a place that reflects the range of creative spirits in Wichita.

The evening revolves around a line-up of punchy presentations given by local creative people.  The inaugural event features: writer/music critic/host of Strange Currency Jedd Beaudoin, musician and KMUW commentator Mark Foley, graphic designer Bill Gardner, artist Kathryn Van Steenhuyse, and several more. Each presentation consists of 20 slides for 20 seconds each.

This 20X20 method is known as Pecha Kucha. These two Japanese words describe the sound of conversation, similar to “chitchat.” Pecha Kucha, as a presentation format, was developed in 2003 by two architects living in Tokyo.  This concise and rapid format was a proactive solution to those PowerPoint presentations that seem to last an entirety – one sympathizes.

But those presentations became much more than that. These architects started Pecha Kucha Nights – an informal gathering of creative people to share their ideas, projects, work, whatever, in the 20 X20 format.  Pecha Kucha Nights now take place in 572 cities across the globe. Starting Friday, the Wichita Art Museum makes that 573.