November Final Friday

In Ireland

by Michael McCaffrey


Fur, Feathers, and Attitude

 by Ashley Corbello

November 24th - January 21st


It’s time for Final Friday on November 24th from 6 to 9 pm at the Phoenix Gallery. A unique and visually stunning show awaits! Our Phoenix Underground Gallery features Lawrence based artist Michael McCaffrey’s new show:  In Ireland. Michael will be in attendance to offer insight into his newest exhibition. Also featured are some fresh pet friendly artworks by Kansas artist Ashley Corbello in our upstairs West Gallery.

Always a fun musical addition to Final Fridays: The Twangles.


Michael McCaffrey

Lawrence, KS

"During the Spring of 2023, I spent six weeks living and working in the small rural town of Ballycastle, Ireland.

The landscape near Ballycastle is of rolling fields filled with livestock, including horses, cows, and LOTS of Sheep. Spatially, the land becomes geometric at a distance, and it appears constructed of blocky, interwoven greens. The other dominant landscape form, the Atlantic Ocean, contrasts with this directly. These two features lured me out of the studio to paint nearly every day. I would spend days attempting to understand the abstraction and the infinite number of greens present in the rolling hills. Other days, I would spend on the beach, painting the constant and churning movement of the sea. Often, I would get blown over by the ocean wind or nibbled on by sheep. I found that the impact of these two landscapes caused my paint to become more liquid and my brushwork more gestural. A hybridization began to occur between geometric structure and spontaneous color mixing occurring on the surface of each painting.

Through color and movement, I hope there is a sense of life in these paintings and a residual spirit of my time spent in Ballycastle lives on in these paintings."


Michael received a B.F.A. from the University of Kansas in 2006 before receiving an M.F.A. in painting from Indiana University. In the winter of 2016, Michael was awarded a two-week residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Michael exhibits both regionally and nationally. He has exhibited at Prince Street Gallery and First Street Gallery in New York, NY, Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, The Leedy-Voulkos Arts Center in Kansas City, MO and the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. Michael's work was published in Manifest Gallery's International Painting Annual 5 and 9, and in 2015 and again in 2023 he received an international grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields foundation. In 2023 he spent 6 weeks living and painting in Ballycastle, Ireland on a Fellowship from the Ballinglen Arts Foundation. From 2014-2017, Michael functioned as the Artist-in-Residence in Hashinger Hall at the University of Kansas. Currently, he is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Kansas where he teaches, Painting, Drawing and Life Drawing.

To view Michael's work online, click here.


Ashley Corbello

Kansas City, MO

"My artwork combines the two things I love most in the world, painting, and animals.

I’ve always felt a deep connection to animals because they give so much more than people do. They never judge or ask me to be something else. They never make me feel like I’m not enough. Not talkative enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough…those things don’t matter when we’re together.

My dog is my ride or die.

She reminds me every day to do the thing even when I’m afraid. She taught me what it truly means to be a team. And when things go wrong, she’s there for me.

She lives in the moment, fully and unapologetically. A quality I can only hope to embody someday.

On days when it feels like the world is trying to tear me down, my dog is a beacon of light that lifts me up and reminds me that I’m already perfect just as I am.

When I got to a point in life where I felt like I needed to do something that mattered, I began fostering for a local rescue. Through that journey, I’ve gotten to meet all kinds of dogs from all kinds of situations. The one thing that holds true - no matter what they have been through, they bounce back.

My work is about more than faithfully recording an animal’s likeness. It’s about the lessons they’ve taught me and the life we live together. The unconditional love, unwavering support and companionship that pushes you to your full potential."


Ashley Corbello, a graduate of the University of Central Missouri, is a Louisiana born, realist painter of animal portraiture. Her works mix a celebration of bright colors, and a resonance of life in the subjects rendered, built upon a genuine foundation of personal joy borne from her love of her own pets, and working with local animal rescuers. Her work is influenced by the works of Philip Burke and Greg Manchess (whom Ashley has mentored under).

From a technical standpoint, each of her works begins with gathering reference, visual and informational, to planning the layout with at times intricate patterns of her own design. All to weave together typography, modern aesthetic design, and color usage, with the main subject to convey their unique personality. She approaches each painting this way, whether it's a new addition to her highly popular "Conversation Series", or a private commission from any of her patrons.

To view Ashley's work online, click here.


Live music by local musician duo, The Twangles. The Twangles describe themselves as a dirty blues band that plays the kind of music you'd hear at a party in a spooky swamp! Multi-instrumentalist duo, the Twangles play a killer blend of way-out classics and your favorite pop songs reimagined in their own bluesy jazz style.


This exhibit will be in the Phoenix Underground Gallery, the artists will be stopping by on opening night to discuss and promote their artwork. Be sure to like and follow our Facebook before the show so you can be kept up to date on events involving the November Final Friday exhibition.