Wallace Berman, 'Untitled' (Lenny Bruce), 1963, mixed media collage on paper, 12 by 5.5 inches, collection of Dean Stockwell, Rancho de Taos, New MexicoSemina Culture: Wallace Berman and His Circle
April 21 - July 9, 2006

This international traveling exhibition documents the community of creative people that coalesced around Wallace Berman (1926-1976), the quintessential visual artist of the Beat era. Showcasing the artists and poets who contributed to "Semina", Berman's free-form journal published in California in the 1950s and 60s, this multimedia exhibition includes rarely seen collages, paintings, assemblages and films by Toni Basil, Jay DeFeo, Allen Ginsberg, Walter Hopps, Michael McClure, Dean Stockwell, and Berman himself. Particularly exciting is "Semina Culture's" inclusion of works by two artists with Kansas roots. Bruce Conner was born in McPherson, grew up in Wichita and attended Wichita University (now Wichita State). Actor and filmmaker Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider, Blue Velvet) was born in Dodge City and as a child attended art classes at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. "Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle" has been organized for the Santa Monica Museum of Art by co-curators Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna. The Santa Monica Museum of Art is grateful to the following foundations and organizations for support of the exhibition and catalog: Philip Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons; Charles Brittin; LLWW Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Pasadena Art Alliance. Special thanks Mr. Harry Pollak and The Wilson Foundation for their support of the local showing of "Semina Culture".

Semina Culture Public Programs

Panel Discussion
"And the Beat Goes On—Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle"
5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27
Panelists:
Mike Cissell, English instructor at Wichita State University, and James W. Johnson, director of Rickerby Art Services and curatorial consultant for the Emprise Bank Collection

Film Screenings
All film screenings take place at the Louise C. Murdock Theatre at the 20th Century Club Center, 536 North Broadway in Wichita, KS. Admission is $5 or $6 for double features, except for the Bruce Conner Film Series.

8 p.m. Thursday, May 4
8 p.m. Friday, May 5
Shadows (1959)
John Cassavetes' startling debut feature codified his now-familiar extemporaneous filmmaking style and brought an underground sensibility to the American screen.

8 p.m. Thursday, May 11
8 p.m. Friday, May 12
Bruce Conner Film Series
Internationally acclaimed for his found footage approach to filmmaking and his fast-action editing style, Conner's films have influenced two generations of filmmakers. He is also considered by many to be the archetype for the music video genre. The films will be introduced and discussed by James W. Johnson, art historian and Conner friend, who served as a consultant for Semina Culture to the Ulrich Museum. Admission to the Bruce Conner films is free.

7 p.m. Thursday, May 18
8 p.m. Friday, May 19
High School Confidential (1958) Directed by Jack Arnold
The Moving Finger (1962) Directed by Larry Moyer
The first is a cautionary tale about the perceived dangers
of Beat culture; the second is a rare exploitation picture about a fortune in stolen cash that lands among a group of threadbare bohemians.

7 p.m. Thursday, May 25
8 p.m. Friday, May 26
Expresso Bongo (1959) Directed by Val Guest
Lord Love a Duck (1966) Directed by George Axelrod
Laurence Harvey takes top billing in Expresso Bongo, but the person everyone was going to see was British pop phenomenon Cliff Richard, then a bouncy, cheerfully iconoclastic youth icon who helped bridge the gap between Beat sensibilities and wholesale popular culture. By 1966, Beat was something to be marketed rather than warned against; Lord Love a Duck is a singularly off-beat American comedy that cashed in on Beat rebelliousness by picking
its targets among the bourgeoisie.

Senior Wednesday (for cultural enthusiasts 55 and older)
"Wallace Berman and the Beatniks—Far Out, Man"
10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 17
Refreshments at 10 a.m. with a gallery tour at 10:30 a.m.
Featuring guest speaker James W. Johnson, director of Rickerby Art Services and curatorial consultant for the Emprise Bank Collection

Art for Your Ears
Craig Owens and the Bodo Ensemble
5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 8
(galleries open until 7:30 p.m.)

All events, except for the film screenings, are free and take place at the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount Street in Wichita, KS. Films are screened at the Louise C. Murdock Theatre at the 20th Century Club Center, 536 North Broadway in Wichita, KS. Admission is $5 or $6 for double features.

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