10/9/12 update:

just a quick update about tomorrow, Nerd Nite 10.

since we’re going to be in the ballroom, there will be a few changes from our usual set up.

first, doors at 7:30. seriously.

second, Pach will be serving a limited menu that will be smaller than the usual menu, but equally delicious.

see you there!


October 10!

We stretch our legs and move into our new home in the Alton Ballroom at Pachamama’s (8th and New Hampshire). Capacity is 90 people, enter off of New Hampshire Street.

Facebook Event, if you’re so inclined.

Doors at 7:30. Presentations at 8:00.


Co-sponsored by the KU Natural History Museum, the Watkins Community  Museum of History and the Spencer Museum of Art.


Outlaws and Outsiders: Joe Coleman’s “Ballad of Quantrill’s Raiders” by Kate Meyer

Kate Meyer will discuss a contemporary painting by outsider artist Joe Coleman featuring William Clarke Quantrill and his 1863 Massacre of Lawrence. Kate and her fellow curators at the Spencer Museum of Art have been lusting after this painting for several years and are delighted that is has recently been acquired for the museum’s collection. Kate will discuss the men and the mayhem depicted in the painting, their connections to Bleeding Kansas and Lawrence’s history, and will share tantalizing details about the painter himself, an artist who also collects infamous, sacrilegious, and dangerous artifacts and showcases them in his “Odditorium.”

Kate Meyer has a phd in art history from KU. Her primary research focus is the intersection of regional art and agricultural themes, but she is pretty excited to take a break from plows to be able to revel in tales of revenge, plunder, and gore. Kate will also be happy to tell you why you are wrong if you think Batman is better superhero than Superman. Hint: Kansas will be mentioned in her response.

Still Life: Stuffed, Pickled and Presented by Bruce Scherting

Bruce Scherting earned a MFA by producing large and lively colorful paintings and prints but now sees dead things everywhere. Upon graduation he moved to Chicago and took a life-changing position in the exhibits department at the Field Museum, affectionately known as “the dead animal zoo,” and home to beautiful dioramas by a  talented taxidermist Carl Akeley who labored mightily to instill a sense of wonder and liveliness into everything he touched, after he “collected” it. Next a brief term with live things in large fluid containers at the Shedd Aquarium, then back to a natural history museum at the University of Iowa and now director of exhibits at the Biodiversity Institute Natural History Museum where, you guessed it, he is surrounded by millions of dead things. Life is good. I wonder what he will talk about?

East Lawrence: Pluck and Perseverance in Lawrence’s Original Neighborhood by Abby Pierron

Its history is rich, its residents are fascinating, so why isn’t East Lawrence one of the first stops on the city’s well-beaten historical tourism path? The neighborhood’s origins go back to the days when squatters and abolitionists from Massachusetts squabbled over where precisely the new town of Lawrence would be located. From its first days, the area later known as East Lawrence was considered to be inferior to the neighborhood west of downtown. It was home to Lawrence’s working class, but also some of its most prominent business owners. Industrial buildings and warehouses popped up along the railroad and river. In the 150+ years since the first home was built, East Lawrence has experienced many changes in its social makeup, but a strong, vibrant and vocal community still lives and guides the neighborhood today.

Abby Pierron thought long and hard about being a history teacher, but the unending nights of grading term papers were too much of a deterrent. Instead she turned to museums, and now lives in a world of guided tours, frenzied kids on field trips, hands-on reproduction artifacts and stacks of first-person reminiscences from old-time Lawrencians in her role as the education and programs coordinator at the Watkins Community Museum. To reach these professional heights she got a liberal arts degree from a tiny Iowa college, followed by a MA in Museum Studies at KU. She’s lived in Lawrence for eight years, the last three as a resident of the Barker neighborhood