“Art was just something that came to me through a long journey.”
Two Wolves Artist Collective
I saddled up on a stool at Norseman Brewery, taking time to talk to local artist Alexander Lancaster. He is a man’s man. An artist’s artist. His lion’s mane punctuates his powerful statements, as he shares with me his visions for injecting our city with creative, fresh, artist ideas.
I was excited to enter his world and see what he had on the horizon. I was also excited to try the IPA. But it was May and the only thing that set him apart from any other dad who was excited and nervous for his oldest boy to graduate high school was … well, nothing. As I began the “q and a,” every question was answered with a derivative of Lancaster’s desire to be a good father.
“Art was just something that came to me through a long journey,” he explained as he walked me through his move to Topeka – by way of Columbia, Missouri, born in Mobile, Alabama, raised in Picayune, Mississippi. Working as a landscape artist to finally owning, and recently closing, Two Wolves Studio + Artist Den (Gallery of Two Wolves Artist Collective) in NOTO.
“The gallery gave back to the community that supported me,” said Lancaster about Two Wolves Den. “I would show up everyday at 10a. It was about drive, diligence and balance. That’s what I hoped to teach my children.” After four years of owning the gallery, Lancaster decided to close its doors in winter 2016 for a chance at more growth. “My focus is on family first, then arts and community.” That’s not to say, however, that Lancaster took any breaks.
Lancaster’s howl has been injected in projects such as the first spray paint graffiti wall on 10th Street, the creation of Alley Fest and the Two Block Chalk Walk (which was 4339 feet in length last year.) His mug and artistic hand can been seen on the East Topeka 6th Street Mural. He is a past ARTSConnect board member, has collaborated with the Topeka Zoo and Artstoberfest.
Just months after his oldest graduated (Mikoda who will attend AMDA in New York in the Fall of 2018), Lancaster reopened Two Wolves Artist Collective, with a new set of doors on 8th above and adjacent the Celtic Fox.
“We take pride in our art, but most importantly we take pride in being a powerful force of positive change in our city,” stated Lancaster about the Collective.
View works from over a dozen artist on First Friday or just stop by the gallery, and perhaps grab a pint after purchasing some art.
[Kerrice Mapes | photo by Ben Hooper | Fall 2017]