Update: Anyone is free to grab a piece of Kanbee art on the Wichita State campus.
Last month, Wichita State invited the anonymous artist known as “Kanbee” to display his figures and symbols on the expanded areas of campus, including entrances on 17th Street, 21st Street and Oliver, and at Braeburn Square and near Starbucks.
Now that the exhibit time is finished, the figures are available for adoption. Around 15-20 remain planted at various locations.
“Kanbee is thrilled that he was able to have the work up and invited to display on campus,” said Charles Baughman, a Wichita artist who serves as Kanbee's spokesman. “Now he would invite people to take one home.”
Kanbee's figures are made from recycled political signs. The anonymous artist uses the moniker “Kanbee” as a nod to Kansas and the open-ended possibilities for what the art can be. Some of the figures resemble the outline of humans. Some are shapes.
Kanbee, in a statement, describes his work this way:
“I draw humans, stripped of all distinctions, ready to be interpreted by a world of hearts. I use mystery and wonder to meet the challenge of exposing my work to every single heart I can. Art makes a difference in the world and although I am not established, changing the world is my quest.”
Baughman requests that people who display a Kanbee figure take care to place it on their property and not on public property.
“Make sure they're on your side of the sidewalk,” he said.
Baughman also said the Kanbee art may return to campus again.
“We want to encourage many activities on our campus to foster a place where the people of Wichita can recreate, enjoy art and performance, eat, drink and enjoy our public spaces,” Andy Schlapp, chief of staff, said last month. “That begins with creating places people want to be. Kanbee's art is the first of many events we will hold to create this sense of place.”