Native Roots

2/7-4/18

Back in the mid-1800s, lawyer-turned-artist George Catlin invented the idea of a national park. He dreamed of a “Nation’s Park, containing man and beast, in all the wild and freshness of their nature’s beauty.” It was a last-ditch attempt to save the Native Americans and their culture from the swiftly approaching white settlers and the destruction they brought. In a national park, indigenous people and their land might remain untouched and intact. The idea didn’t catch on for another 25 years or so (too late for the Indians), but Catlin did manage to preserve Native American culture along the Missouri River through another method — sketching and painting the Indians’ portraits, ceremonies and landscapes. Catlin’s work is on display at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art starting Saturday. For information, call 816-751-1278.— Theresa Bembnister

Frozen Friday

FRI 2/6

Thermal long underwear isn’t just for Chiefs games anymore. Donning an extra layer of insulation might not be a bad idea if you plan on strolling the Crossroads for February’s First Friday events. Artist Theresa English has an exhibit of new works, titled Smidgens of the City, on display at the Bath Gallery, 1810 Baltimore. Down the street at the Arts Incubator Gallery (115 West 18th Street), painter Naomi Sugino and photographer Kevin Dingman employ varied media and perspectives to study interior spaces and structures in the exhibit View From Within. Both galleries hold 6 p.m. receptions for their artists. For information on either, call 816-421-0235. And at the newly opened Bar Natasha club at 1911 Main, Richard Sassone’s neon and recycled-metal “Pterodactyl” might be hard to see; it’s installed on the ceiling.— Michael Vennard

Issues

Barely Legal

SUN 2/8

How do you make a search engine go crazy? Type “Patriot Act” in Google and watch the pages multiply like fruit flies. Now type “John Ashcroft naked.” Hee hee — wait, on second thought, back to the Patriot Act. Michael Hoeflich, professor and former dean of the University of Kansas School of Law, speaks about the latest Patriot Act news and its ramifications at 10 a.m. Sunday at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (4501 Walnut). And he knows what’s up; he has written seven books and is an expert on legal history and Roman law. For more information, call 816-523-7666.— Nadia Pflaum

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