COVID-19/LFK-20 Lawrence Kansas During the Lockdown (History Edition)


COVIDCovid-19/ LFK-20

The Poetry of Everyday Life on the Streets
of Lawrence, Kansas During the Coronavirus Pandemic Lockdown

March 12 to May 20, 2020

Gary Mark Smith



Downtown Barber Shop Just Before Lockdown Took Hold


KU Jayhawk Icons Doing Their Part During the Pandemic (x18)


This exhibition is dated beginning Thursday, March 12, 2020.
The rest of the nation began getting serious about the virus hours before on Wednesday night when the NBA
announced a halt to its 2019-2020 season. But in Lawrence it only sunk in the
next morning when the NCAA and Big 12 Conference cancelled the 2020 college basketball tournaments.

The NCAA tournament called off!
A year without the Final Four!
And there we were – – – at the top of our KU Jayhawk game – – –
the #1 team in all the land heading into the tournament.

You’ve got to be kidding me!

And then things got way, way worse than that…



Post Cluttered Parking Meter #18: Looking Over His Shoulder


Lawrence Alley Doll with Issues


Accordion Busker at Ninth & Mass (x3)


Caution: Coronavirus-time Stoplight Splatter #1:
That Guy at the Corner of 10th & Mass Street
(a painting)


Caution at Town Center: Bad News Any Which Way You Look at It


Lawrence Alley-scape During the Coronavirus Spring of 2020 #1 (x16)


Free Parking:
Dennis Takes Advantage of the Extra Space Provided by the Lockdown,
Crossing the Middle of the Empty Street at the Corner of Ninth & Mass


The Vacant Streets & Sidewalks of Downtown Lawrence
Take a Toll on a Lawrence Busker’s Take


Post Cluttered Parking Lot Paving Pole Man


Covid-19 Signs of the Times #1 (x20)


It’s Natural Disaster Protocol:
Leaning on God and Country as Last Resorts For Protection & Grace…


A Lockdown Stroll Past Fuzzy’s Bar & Taco Shop





Play it Safe: Playground Use Discouraged


Abandoned Playgrounds in Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.
During the Lockdown of 2020 #1


Abandoned Playgrounds in Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.
During the Lockdown of 2020 #2


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #7:
How Many People Will This Plague Take?


Parking Meter #32: Unenviable Homeless  & Toy Store Window Bear


Lawrence Homeless Without a Safe Place to Lock Down (x16)


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #18: Alchemy Coffee Carryout Man


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #6: Rudy’s Pizzeria


Abandoned Playgrounds in Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.
During the Lockdown of 2020 #3


Masked Post Cluttered Bike Rider at City Hall


Vermont Street Parking Lot Lone Tree


Love Garden Gets Lockdown Mail


Caution: Coronavirus-time Stoplight Splatter #2 (x5)


Parking Meter #15: Crandon and Crandon Optometry


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #1: Eldridge House


Vacant Stadiums (x16)


Closed: Malula Kids


Alley at 8th Street Parking Meter:
Do Not Enter Fender Bender



Caution: Coronavirus-time Stoplight Splatter #3 (x9)


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #16:
Unmistakably Lawrence


Abandoned Playgrounds in Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.
During the Lockdown of 2020 #4


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #7: Zen Zero


Downtown Streetlamp Clutter Canvas (x20)


Lawrence Yoga Center Alley-scape


Massachusetts Street Man Doing Yoga in the Wild


Post Cluttered Stretch as Post Cluttered Jayhawk Bus Takes Flight (x16)


Massachusetts Street Man Doing His Entire Yoga Stretch
 (x12 framing photos) Amongst Surrounding Chaos


Post Cluttered Spring Flowers at the Corner of 11th & Mass: Watkins


Weavers Window in March After Lockdown Announced


Weavers Entrance at 901 Mass


Abandoned Playgrounds in Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.
During the Lockdown of 2020 #5


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #12: County Courthouse


Open For Carryout Only: El Mezcal 23d Street


Caution: Coronavirus-time Stoplight Splatter #4 (x9)


Bad Luck: Post Cluttered Parking Meter #13




At the Weekly 2130 Kentucky Street Lockdown-coping Porch Jam
with Lawrence Band Last Shreds of Decency
(Quilt#1 x15: with Hula Hoop girl)


An Accordion Busker at Ninth & Mass Just Before Everything Shut Down


A Lawrence Street Poet Defies the Governor’s Stay At Home Order:
Complains About it in Street Prose on his Smith Corona Typewriter (x16)


Lawrence street poet William Soriano (aka “home”)
raving en plein air at the corner of Ninth & Mass




Parking Meter #21: Rick the Guitar Busker at Brits


At the Weekly 2130 Kentucky Street Lockdown-coping Porch Jam
with Lawrence Band Last Shreds of Decency
(Quilt#2: with Hula Hoop girl and dancing dinosaur x17)



Downtown Empties Out:
A Covid-19 Lockdown Rainstorm at the Corner of Seventh & Mass

Post Cluttered Parking Meter #25: Essential Goods
(Closed Because Art Sales Were Deemed Nonessential)


Sunday Service on the Radio:
Coping With the Plague at Immanuel Lutheran Church
at 15th & Iowa 
(x16 + graphic)


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #21: Brits


Empty Seventh Street Rainstorm


Abandoned Playgrounds in Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.
During the Lockdown of 2020 #6


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #5: Curb Side Pickup Parking Only


Larry’s Barber Shop Window Wash


Essential Services Making Lockdown Deliveries Downtown (x16)


Parking Meter #7: Package Delivery #1


We Are Happy to Serve You Take Out!!: Mad Greek

Post Cluttered Parking Meter #7Package Delivery #2


After a Few Weeks:
Face Masks Break Out Everywhere, But Not on Everyone


The Virus-aware Kitchen Guy Out in the Alley (x12)


Larry’s Barber Shop Bike-by


Post Cluttered City Hall Flame Quilt (x21)


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #28 with Coffee Mug


Abandoned Playgrounds in Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.
During the Lockdown of 2020 #7


Coffee To Go with Lawrence Dog Pet at Striped Cow


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #1:
A Reading-A-Too-Good-To-Put-Down-Book Fly-by at Waxman Candles


Caution: Vertical Coronavirustime Stoplight Splatter #5 (x21)


Closed: Amyx Barber Shop


Lawrence Street Sweep in the 800 Block of Massachusetts Street



Covid-19/LFK-20 Vacant Alley &
Abandoned Playground Canvas (x24)


Vermont Street Masked Man Street Cross


Downtown Lawrence Parking Meters (x12)


Post Cluttered Umbrella Strut: Third Planet


Abandoned Playgrounds in Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.
During the Lockdown of 2020 #8


 Idling Away His Time at 727 Massachusetts Street


Carryout Waiting Area at The Mad Greek (With Dennis Sidewalk Fly-by)


Covid-19 Signs of the Times #2 (x16)


Homeless Congregate Despite Social Distance Recommendation:
They Only Had Each Other


Lawrence Air Dog at the Corner of Seventh and Mass


Lawrence Alley-scape During the Coronavirus Spring of 2020 #3 (x5)


Post Cluttered Parking Meter #27: Salon Di Marco


Lawrence Alley Still Life


People Out Getting It Done Despite The Lockdown (x16)


Post Cluttered Lone Tree:
Coke Delivery on 1000 Block of Massachusetts Street


Downtown at the End of the Lockdown: La Prima Tazza Reopens


Lawrence Fly-by (x5)
KC-135 Stratotanker & Man on Bike at the End of the Lockdown:
Time to Refuel & Move On…


Rick the Guitar Busker: In the 900 Block of Massachusetts Street


Curbside Pickup of Carryout Cocktails at the Pig. Wow…


Lawrence Alley-scape During the Coronavirus Spring of 2020 #3 (x16)


Shredded Coronavirus Sheet Metal Metaphor in Vermont Street Alley


Springtime in Lawrence: Hobby Lobby on South Iowa Street


Abandoned Playgrounds in Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.
During the Lockdown of 2020 #9
(x11 painting)


Masking Up For Shopping:
“All Customers Must Use Facial Covering”


Post Cluttered Tennessee Street Graduation Party Fly-by


Empty Memorial Stadium Closed For Quarantine:
Graduates Celebrate Together Anyway with Champagne Shares and Hugs


I Remember Thinking It Was Too Soon (x17)


Lockdown was over but the quarantine largely remained in effect until Monday, May 18th.
The day before was supposed to have been KU’s graduation, but instead Memorial Stadium sat locked and Empty.

Yet dozens of I’ll-be-damned graduation celebrations by hundreds of individuals
in small groups broke out at the Campanile during the day – – –
people on the Hill ignoring life-or-death caution and feeling free after 10 weeks of quarantine entrapment.

Trading rational fear for the joy of celebrating completion and new beginnings – – –
not one of the celebrants I saw practicing social distancing anymore, and only one of them wearing a mask…


What’s Next?
Off Balanced on Massachusetts Street.
Post Cluttered Parking Meter #18: Looking Over His Shoulder… (x8)


Coronavirus Nightmare #20 & #21
(photo doodle x31 images)

…     …     …


Thank You!: East 23rd Street

Published on Memorial Day: May 25, 2020

In praise to everyone around the world
who risked their lives in service to others
during this global disaster.






Field Notes

Gary Mark Smith spent the 10 weeks of the Lawrence 2020 lockdown and time beyond that at home
like everyone else, sad, lonely and annoyed beyond words at the pandemic circumstance he’d found himself
dropped into. Unable to travel the world as was his wont to do, he was alone at his studio for many months on
end, occasionally communicating with friends and family via text or telephone or Zoom and having the
companionship of his two cats Rio and Quito and his girlfriend Kim who’d walk the dog Millie over to his place most
Saturdays for 15-feet-apart virus-time dates in the back yard. But otherwise – – – both art and preserving
history being essential – – – he spent 11 hours per day every
day during his 70 days of lockdown walking around Lawrence shooting pictures (about 90 hours) and
producing the exhibition you’ve just seen (nearly 700 hours).

A notorious risk taker during his far-flung global street photography career – – – along the way
encountering the too-close-up-for-comfort fury of volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornados, and floods – – –
just 15 months before the pandemic began he’d released his final global street photography journal
(Travelogueing the Dark Side: 2018 East Village PhotoArts) and vowed to stop taking himself to dangerous streets
anymore because he’d done enough of that during his 63+ years for any one fine artist in any one longer-than-expected
lifetime. He’d lived and worked in Lawrence since 1979 and had a Streets of Lawrence exhibition on his
webSite for years containing photographs he’d made over the decades, those pictures taken just carrying his
camera around as he lived his Lawrence life. Yet in 42 years he’d never tackled the streets of Lawrence
as a career location (always telling folks he preferred not soiling his own nest) and aside from a brush
with Ebola in the Congo in 2015 he’d never photographed the streets of a global plague.

But now – – – this time – – – the disaster came at him in Kansas instead of the other way around – – –
and so what was he supposed to do?