Friday, June 22, 2012

Field Notes: OVAC Trip to Kansas City

One weekend in Kansas City is just not enough. In three days, Julia and I got the whirlwind tour of the arts community there - meeting artists, visiting spaces, and engaging in thoughtful conversations.
The Kansas City Flatfile exhibition at H&R Block Artspace. The work on this wall was selected by Kelsey Karper.
 Our first stop was the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute. Director and Chief Curator Raechell Smith invited us to each curate one wall of their annual Flatfile Exhibition. This was a great introduction to artists working in Kansas City, as there are around 200 artists represented in the flatfiles. It was exciting to see fresh work up close, then to later get to meet some of the artists during the weekend’s events.

The studio of Garry Noland, Studios, Inc
We were also thrilled to be invited to visit two artist’s studios at Studios Inc, a 51,000 square foot building in the Crossroads Arts District, which has been converted to studio space. The studios are offered free of charge to mid-career artists. It also offers a wood shop, exhibition space, professional development, and networking.

Julia Kirt and Garry Noland in his studio at Studios, Inc.
Our first studio visit was with Garry Noland. His large tapestry-like works are constructed primarily of multi-colored duct tape, though you probably wouldn’t realize it at first glance. The works are intricate and detailed, and other materials invariably make their way in – like texture from the studio floor or bits of National Geographic magazines.

The studio of Dylan Mortimer, Studios, Inc.
We also visited the studio of Dylan Mortimer, whose clever works may go unnoticed if you aren’t paying attention. His “Road Signs” series combines official-looking street signs installed in public places with commentary about religion in the public realm. Though, his more recent works are little more difficult to miss, as they have become Las Vegas-style marquees, complete with glitter and lights.

"Float" by Jarrett Mellenbruch, a public art installation for Avenue of the Arts. Background: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Here are some of the other destinations we visited in Kansas City:

Watch for more about our trip in an upcoming post from Julia.

1 comment:

Sandra Dunn said...

Thank you for sharing this tour!