Friday, December 30, 2016

The Essential Goods blog Is Taking an Extended Vacation...

You most likely figured this out by now, given the last post date. We promise we will keep you up to date via our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds.

We have since relocated to 933 Massachusetts in Downtown Lawrence (re-opened November 19th) and are in love with our new location! Sunshine, ground level, three times the footprint... ahhh. We hope you stop by and say hello when you are in the neighborhood.

Happy New Year to you all! xoxo Essential Goods

Monday, February 15, 2016

Final Fridays at Essential Goods :: Der Lee | Exodus

We look forward to welcoming artist Der Lee for our February Final Friday Artwalk. Please join us at her opening reception, Exodus, on Friday, February 26th from 5 to 9 pm to meet the artist and check out her new work!
Artist Biography
Born and raised in Hutchinson, Kansas, Der Lee is the third youngest of eight children.  Being born a Hmong-American she encountered the influence that paper materials had in the Asian cultures as well as the American culture. 
After years of research of her own roots she discovered the Hmong had no written language until the 1950’s due to the suppression of other neighboring countries.  Every written form of language was destroyed and the last scripture was swallowed by Sonom, the Last Hmong Emperor, therefore the Hmong created their own language through ornamentation and textile designs sewn into clothing.  This highly influenced Der's interest in exploring the relationship between paper materials in society and its role in documentation, multi-cultural ritual practices and language. 
In 2014 Der attended three artist residencies in Japan which included the Awagami Paper Factory to learn how to make traditional Japanese washi paper in the Tokushima Province and at the Mokuhanga Printmaking Artist Residency at the foot of Mount Fuji in Kawaguchi.  She currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Visual Art with a Minor in Art History from the University of Kansas. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Essential Goods presents The Love Show

Tis the season for all things love! Our show this month will be based around the concept of love. Please join us at the opening reception Friday evening for fantastic art, drinks and snacks, and to enjoy a beautiful night in lovely downtown Lawrence!

Opening Reception Friday, January 29th from 5 to 9 pm
Essential Goods
825 Massachusetts Street
Downtown Lawrence, KS

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Final Fridays at Essential Goods :: Susan McCarthy

For our September Final Friday Artwalk, Essential Goods is excited to welcome artist Lawrence artist Susan McCarthy. Please join us at her opening reception on Friday, September 25th from 5 to 9 pm to meet the artist and view her new work!

Artist Biography
Susan McCarthy is a long time resident of Lawrence. She received two Bachelor degrees from KU—one in Philosophy and one in Printmaking. In her fifties, she went back to school and obtained a Masters degree in Art History from Boston University. In addition to making art, an occupation for over thirty years, she now teaches as an adjunct at Washburn University and does research and writing about art history.

Artist Statement
I have worked in oil pastels for a long time. Some of the pieces in this show are night scenes but also included are a number of pieces based on quilting. I start with small sections cut from drawings I was ready to throw away. However in each “failed” work there were always small areas which were worth saving, just like small scraps of fabric which are salvageable although the garment itself is worn out. I looked at quilt patterns or famous quilters, like Harriet Powers, for inspiration.

Susan’s work will be up through October 28th, 2015.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Throughout the week of September 14 - 20 we will be celebrating all things print! Stop by and check out a portion of our shop/gallery dedicated to our artists who create print items using the printmaking process. On Thursday, September 17th from 4 to 7 pm, Essential Goods will be a part of the Lawrence Arts Center tour of open studios and galleries featuring print work. Throughout the week, Lawrence Arts Center will hold a variety of events to celebrate Print Week, along with their collaborators Wonder Fair and the University of Kansas Printmaking Department. Please check out this link on Lawrence Art Center's website for more information. 

We would like to give a big thank you to our printmaking artists who allow us to represent them and their beautiful work.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Final Fridays at Essential Goods :: Larissa Wilson | Domestic Bliss

For our August Final Friday Artwalk, Essential Goods is excited to welcome artist Larissa Wilson. Please join us at her opening reception for her show, Domestic Bliss, on Friday, August 28th from 5 to 9 pm to meet the artist and check out her new work! We will also be featuring cuisine from Genovese as a preview for Restaurant week in mid-September. 

::Artist Biography::

Larissa Wilson is a native Kansan, a BFA graduate from Fort Hays State University, and a long time resident of Lawrence.

Her new series of assemblages seeks to elevate everyday household objects to sacred status. Salt and pepper shakers become religious icons. Tea strainer become alters. Button mandalas are made for meditation. They will bless the walls of Essential Goods until Wednesday, September 23rd, and after may find permanent places for devotion on the walls of your own home.

Larissa may also be recognized for her hard working role as pastry chef at The Roost, a popular local breakfast spot, or as “Butternutsquash”, the name she uses at local art fairs and LOLA events.

Larissa’s work will be up through September 23rd, 2015.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Final Fridays at Essential Goods | Carrie Hilgert

For our July Final Friday Artwalk, Essential Goods is excited to welcome artist Carrie Hilgert. Please join us at her opening reception on Friday, July 31st from 5 to 9 pm to meet the artist and check out her new work!

::Artist Biography::
Carrie Hilgert is an artist. Sometimes she employs paint and ink, sometimes a camera, and sometimes words. Carrie started drawing in the third grade and was the kid that noticed everything: people’s quirky habits, bits of energy floating through a shaft of light, the undercurrent of emotion in a room. She has always felt things very deeply, and that fuels her work – and her outlook on the world.

Carrie believes in everyday magic and in sharing raw emotion to make connections that matter. In her 20s, depression and bipolar disorder kept her from painting for nearly ten years. During that time, she used her camera as therapy, documenting her depression through self-portraiture. Some of these photos appeared in two exhibits in New York City dedicated to ending the stigma of mental illness. One of the photos was also featured in a related article in the New York Times.

In the spring of 2014, Carrie began painting again after an experience she describes as “a supernova explosion in my brain that I’m still not sure is real.” Since then, she has used acrylic and a combination of watercolor and ink to put what she sees on paper.

“I believe there is magic to be found in the simplest of things, but the spark I find in people, particularly women, is what drives me,” she says. “My life is about diversity, taking risks, connection, and living wholeheartedly.”

Carrie lives in Northeast Kansas with her Austrian husband, four kids, two cats, and a dog that looks like a hyena. You can find her work for sale and read her thoughts on

Carrie’s work will be up through August 26th, 2015.