With a thriving college population and an atmosphere conducive to the greater creative community, Lawrence  boasts a lively arts scene complete with regular exhibits and arts-related events.
Artist-run DotDotDot ArtSpace (1910 Haskell, www.dotdotdotartspace.wordpress.com , 2–8 p.m. Thurs.–Fri., 4 –6 p.m. Sat.) is a contemporary art gallery that also serves as the weekly meeting site of the Fresh Produce Art Collective (6 p.m. Tues.), a group of artists who unite to plan new projects, shows, and parties.
The community-centric space at Lawrence Arts Center (940 New Hampshire St., 785/843-2787, www.lawrenceartscenter.com , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat.) hosts classes, special programs, and 13–16 arts exhibitions annually. After you’ve finished browsing current displays, head to the Lawrence Arts Center Gallery Shop to pick up fine arts and crafts created by local artisans.
Part art gallery, part screen-printing house, and part merchandise retailer complete with DIY goods and zines, Wonder Fair: Art Gallery and How! (803 Massachusetts St., 406/360-5875, www.wonderfair.com , noon–6 p.m. Thurs.–Sat.) is a celebration of contemporary works that evoke a comfortable viability reflective of the Lawrence arts community. Formerly a flood-damaged basement, Wonder Fair is now a multifaceted arts space that’s a must-see in Lawrence .
Nationally known artists, group shows, and individual artists that focus on “compelling concepts” are the focus at 6 Gallery (716 1/2 Massachusetts St., 785/856-6480, www.6gallery.net , noon–5 p.m. Thurs.–Sun., and by appointment), which hosts exhibits created in a variety of media, from paintings and prints to mixed media and book arts. Director Sally Piller also offers personalized art shopping services if you’re interested in starting—or adding to—a collection.
Peruse works that span European and American art histories at the Spencer Museum of Art (1301 Mississippi St., 785/864-4710, www.spencerart.ku.edu , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat., until 8 p.m. Thurs., noon–4 p.m. Sun., free), a museum that began when Kansas City  art collector Sallie Casey Thayer donated her entire 7,500-piece collection to start an on-campus art museum. Today, the neoclassical structure also hosts an extensive digital library collection, as well as temporary exhibits and children’s programming.