Note: This interview aired in March 2009. From a pool of 34 nominated artists, three were selected as this year's Charlotte Street Foundation visual artist award fellows. They'll receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds, as well as an exhibition in November 2009.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is serious about its collection of American Indian art, and has proven it by elevating that art in a way perhaps no other comprehensive museum in the world has. With the opening of the new American Indian art galleries, space for the work has mushroomed four fold, but that's not what the director of the British Museum finds remarkable.
What happens when countries or cultures demand the return of artifacts taken in the past? Some museums, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, have given them back. Others, like the British Museum, have not.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – For more than 30 years, Greece has been seeking the return of the Elgin Marbles, sections of sculptures from the Parthenon. They were removed in the 19th century by Lord Elgin, a British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.
Though most people know Tom Stoppard from his Oscar-winning screenplay for "Shakespeare in Love," he's more prolific writing for the stage. And to date, four of his works have won Tony Awards for Best Play.
On November 11th, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opens its new galleries dedicated to American Indian art, right next to the museum's newly reinstalled American art galleries. At 6,100 square feet, the galleries are among the largest devoted to American Indian art in any comprehensive art museum.
Kansas City has lost a cornerstone of its indy music scene. Anne Winter, who ran record stores around which much of the local Do It Yourself music world revolved, took her own life Thursday, October 22.
By Frank Morris
Kansas City, MO – Winter's death has triggered an outpouring of sadness, both on her Facebook page and at the building where she once ran her store.
A gathering was planned Friday, October 23, 7:30 pm at the Rime Buddhist Center in Kansas City.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art announced a gift today of one of the nation's finest private collections of American Indian art. The 34 Northwest Coast masterworks in the Sosland Collection were donated by two longtime patrons.
Gloria Baker Feinstein originally traveled to East Africa in 2006 to photograph children whose parents had died of AIDS. During the three week project, she says she encountered children who radiated hope, even in desperate circumstances. So when she returned home, Feinstein began a different kind of project.
As long as artists have been painting and sculpting, there has been a debate about how to define art. A new play debuts this week at the H&R Block Artspace that offers over twenty scenarios on the topic.
Kansas City's Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence are collaborating on a new program called Rocket Grants. With help from a two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, direct support will be provided each year for innovative and experimental arts projects.
Wolfgang Laib's "Without Place-Without Time-Without Body" is a new installation at the Bloch Building. Hundreds of mounds of rice are laid out in a grid. There are five mounds of yellow pollen at the center. Here, curator Leesa Fanning talks about the work "as a metaphor for transcendence."
Unicorn Theatre audiences have come to expect shows with provocative themes that delve into sex, drugs, and rock and roll. In short, subject matter decidedly NOT for young audiences.
By Steve Walker
Kansas City, MO – Take away the drugs and rock and roll, and you've got the entire plot of its season opener, "My First Time," a collage of scenes and monologues from web-based social history of sexual initiation that brings a dash of the Kinsey report to the internet age.
For artist Juniper Tangpuz, play is at the center of his work. An exhibition of his paintings and sculptures at the Thornhill Gallery explores two sides of his persona: the private and the public, as KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – "The Unusual Dreams of Juniper & T.J. Tangpuz"
Halloween is still several weeks away, but Kansas City's big haunted houses are already up and running. KCUR's Alex Smith stopped by the Beast in the West Bottoms just before opening day to watch new and veteran employees prepare for another season of scaring.
Like many other opera companies around the country, each season, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City usually creates one set and rents the others. Here, the Lyric's Director of Design and Technical Production Keith Brumley talks about creativity in challenging economic times.
In 1987, Michael Jackson became the first artist to release an album with five songs that made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was also the year that Alexander Austin found his way to Kansas City, and he's been transforming windowless and scarred walls of neglected Kansas City buildings into works of art ever since.
The Hand-in-Hand Folk Art Collection officially goes on display at Partnership Place on Grand Street next year, but part of the collection will be in a show, opening Friday, September 4th at the Mattie Rhodes Gallery on the Westside.
When the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence received a collection of 180 of Andy Warhol's photographs in 2008, it wasn't long before the museum's staff felt compelled to spotlight the gift within the context of Warhol's New York circa the 1980s.
Juniper (or TJ) Tangpuz, is a sculptor and inventor of objects, animals, and instruments. Many of his works are crafted from paper or corrugated plastic. Here, Tangpuz talks about why he encourages people to interact with his sculptures.
Kansas City's Sammy Jo Claussen was recently named the Best Teen Chef of 2009, at a national competition held in Charlotte, NC. Find out how to make her award-winning meal and hear how she began cooking as early as age seven.
Long before pop artists started writing musicals, country cross-over artist Roger Miller shifted from chart-toppers like "Dang Me" to the Broadway stage with "Big River," the 1985 adaptation of Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
Photographer Fazal Sheikh captures the lives of the people he encounters with a special kind of dignity and respect. His current exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art documents the stories of women in India - it's called "Beloved Daughters."
One of the most complex issues in contemporary American culture today is race - witness the whole situation with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cambridge police officer James Crowley. In Kansas City, twenty-six artists explore the history of civil rights, skin color, race and its connection to class in an exhibition at the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute.
When this year's unemployment rate climbed over 9%, pundits noted that it was the highest in America since 1983. It may not be a coincidence that it was also 1983 that saw the premiere of a David Mamet play exposing the cut-throat, take-no-prisoners world of a less than honorable band of salesmen.
The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art announced its new curator on July 30, 2009. Barbara O'Brien has worked in the arts for nearly two decades, mostly on the East Coast, but now she's returning to her Midwest roots.
The phrase: "Don't Quit Your Day Job" has been used as a put down for decades. If someone sings badly, they're told "Don't Quit Your Day Job." And yet, often for an artist, it's the day job that provides the inspiration, material, or simply a structured schedule for the art.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Until recently, the artist Johnny Naugahyde kept his day job - and his real identity - separate.