The first Third Thursday of the year kicked off at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art this week with a presentation in the Hudson Auditorium from guest artist Scott Anderson. Anderson’s collection entitled “Supper Club” has been on display in the Nerman Museum’s Kansas Focus Gallery since June 23.
Anderson moved to Olathe from Illinois at age 11 and spent 13 years of his life living in the Kansas City area. He received his bachelor’s of fine arts degree from KSU and his master’s of fine arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2015 he attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture as a resident artist and is currently working at the University of New Mexico as an associate professor.
“Supper Club” was inspired by the paradox between the “homespun and wholesome” feeling of supper from his childhood and the rowdy supper clubs popular in the 1940s.
During his presentation, Anderson discussed the variety of steps that he goes through before he begins a piece. The preparation includes referencing photos and other paintings before making graphite sketches and collages. Anderson uses his work as shorthand for larger ideas and gathers inspiration from Matisse, old shopping malls and medieval manuscript paintings among other things.
“One of the things I tend to make paintings about is the social architecture of food and what that means in terms of hanging out…” said Anderson. “That seems to be the constant in my art.”
One painting discussed that is currently on display is called “Oligarchy at Olive Garden”. It was created while Anderson was watching the news about the Iowa Caucuses. Inspired by the current state of American politics, he imagined where the “oligarchy” would eat their dinners and discuss their plans.
“It’s always kind of nice to talk about the things that put the work in context and the different things that influences you and things that aren’t necessarily so obvious in the work itself,” said Anderson. “I can build a story around everything.”
The Third Thursday events allow for students and visitors to interact with artists and glimpse into their creative process. The next Third Thursday will be on Oct. 20 and will feature Andy Brayman and Lin Stanionis.
“Supper Club” will be on display until Sept. 25