Monday, June 18, 2012

KCMO Art Community: Enthusiastic and Candid

Cory Imig, Kelsey Karper, Blair Schulman, & Julia Kirt
(OK Art Writing Fellows with OVAC staffers) at Plug Projects

OVAC Associate Director Kelsey Karper & I have just returned from a jam-packed weekend in Kansas City, MO viewing art, visiting galleries and museums, chatting with artists and building on regional partnerships.  

We will post about specific spaces and conversations soon. Meanwhile, I wanted to reflect on some of the primary qualities that made the KCMO arts community so striking.

First of all, the arts community rolls out the welcome. Everyone we met, whether planned or spontaneously, received us with enthusiasm and curiosity. From individual artists to commercial gallerists, they were excited to discuss their art activities and inquire about ours (along with a reasonable amount of OKC Thunder talk).
KC artists work as part of the 2012 Kansas City Flatfile at H & R Block Artspace
Artists and other arts leaders express a pride in the city and the community’s art while simultaneously addressing the gaps and areas for improvement in their arts ecology candidly. This combination of acknowledging the strides already taken, while refusing to remain comfortably in the present, is exciting and healthy.

I was especially inspired by their openness about aspirations for the community and for artists in their community.

Thanks for having us Kansas City!  More later…

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