Kansas State University


Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

2019 Common Works of Art

2019 Common Works of Art

Each year, the K-State Book Network selects a common reading for first year students, providing an intellectual experience they can share with other students and members of the campus community. The 2019 K-State Common Book is Darius the Great is Not Okay by Kansas City author Adib Khorram. The book’s narrator, Darius Kellner describes himself as a Fractional Persian – half on his Mom’s side. He is also a tea lover, aficionado of Tolkien and Star Trek: Next Generation, and diagnosed as clinically depressed. On a trip to Iran to visit his terminally ill grandfather, Darius makes a best friend and resolves some long term issues with his father, allowing him to put together the pieces of who he is and become “okay.”

Museum staff members have selected two artworks to complement this year’s Common Book.
Two Things Happening at the Same Time, a 2016 mixed-media print by Rashawn Griffin, addresses similar themes of origin and mixed identity. Abstract forms in the image allude to the artist’s Scottish and African-American roots. Griffin has said that his parents were also Star Trek fans and the family watched the series together. His mother’s love of collecting Star Trek memorabilia influenced him to “collect ideas,” as he describes.

Rashawn Griffin (born Los Angeles, CA 1980), Two Things Happening at the Same Time, 2016, color lithograph, with mixed media, 2017.124.

Artist Patrick Shia Crabb refers to his Shard Vessel series as a bridge between past and the present, and between cultures. A teapot by Crabb in the museum’s collection was chosen to connect with Darius’ love of tea, something that he shares with members of his American and Persian families.

Patrick Shia Crabb (born China 1947), Untitled teapot from the Shard Series, 1987, glazed earthenware, gift of Jim, Angela, Luke & Julia Johnson in memory of Jeaneane Berryhill Johnson, 2004.232

Related Event:
KSU Student Welcome and

Common Book and Common Works of Art Open House
Thursday, September 5, 5-7:30 p.m., Beach Museum of Art

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *