"ART IS THE MOST INTENSE MODE OF
INDIVIDUALISM THAT THE
WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN"
As an avid Kansas Explorer one of my favorite places is Lucas Kansas. As much for the uniqueness of the residents of the town, with all of it's eccentrics, as the ability to embrace them.
Many community with traditional values and histories sometimes have a problem with the thinking and lifestyle of the artist. I don't know what the attitude of the average resident has been over the years, but I have to applaud the towns ability to let individuals have the freedom to follow their own path.
My treks to Lucas generally involve going to Brandt's Meat Market for the ring bologna that has been made for decades there. Most times I make a fast trip in, fill the coolers, and head back. I guided a tour of local ladies there where we took in the Garden of Eden, Brandt's, and the Public Toilet. We found ourselves short of time and energy to get into the Flying Pig and the Art Gallery.
By doing so I never had the chance to get into the Flying Pig. To my regret! Eric Abraham moved to Lucas in 2004. He opened the FLYING PIG STUDIO & GALLERY at 123 South Main in a former farm implement store building made of native Limestone.
Eric passed away on September 7, 2013. I had wondered, along with many I assume, as to what was going to happen to the studio. Which means I will never get to visit with the whimsical artist. This should be a lesson about thinking you will get back someday. As we always learn tomorrow may not be enough time.
None of the remaining Eric Abraham pieces will be offered for sale. There are a few out there in gallery's. There will be an artist in residency program started. The Gallery is open part time and the Grass Roots Arts Center staff will give tours.
Though many whimsical artists are self taught Eric had a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Nebraska.
Other towns could take pointers from Lucas to become artist centers. It is a way of utilizing open older store fronts and bring a different spin into the fabric of the area. It also brings in tourists and business.
Next time I get in town for bologna I will take in a Flying Pig.