Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

EG Schempf / Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

The largest collection of Kansas City artists in the metropolitan area can be found at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art at Johnson County Community College, according to executive director Bruce Hartman.

And now, there's also a gallery exclusively devoted to artists with ties to the state of Kansas called the Kansas Focus Gallery. 

Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

A Johnson County journalism professor is obsessed with cacti. And a Los Angeles-based artist is obsessed with the journalism professor's obsession with cacti. How did this happen?


  • Amir H. Fallah, artist, The Caretaker exhibit at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Mark Raduziner, professor of journalism, Johnson County Community College
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

Kansas City residents who'd like to experience nature in air-conditioned comfort have the option to do just this inside the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. Three site-specific installations on display through September explore "what we have taken from nature and what we do to nature," says executive director Bruce Hartman.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Frames have been used for centuries as decoration or to heighten the drama of a piece of artwork.

As part of an occasional KCUR series called Tools of the Trade — about artists and their relationships to the tools that make their work possible — we'll take a look at the complex creation of a very large frame.

Norman Akers

This fall, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opens its blockbuster exhibition "The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky," with works ranging from a 2,000-year-old stone pipe to beaded designer shoes from 2011. To spark enthusiasm, three enormous teepees now compete with the Shuttlecocks on the Nelson’s south lawn.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Art and religion have been described as natural bedfellows – and yet, it’s been a complicated relationship. One Kansas City artist, Dylan Mortimer, explores religion in his artwork – including a series of halos, where anyone can choose to be illuminated.

Stepping inside the halo

Laura Spencer / KCUR

The first floor galleries at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art are filled with glass display cases. Inside: the glittering black ceramics of Navajo artist Christine Nofchissey McHorse. Her abstract works bridge modern sculpture and traditional Southwestern pottery.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

When you think of a patron of the arts, what name comes to mind? Maybe it’s Medici or Guggenheim.

photo: courtesy of Zahner

Leo Villareal's Microcosm (2007) is a permanent site-specific light sculpture at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kan.

Kansas City, Mo. – In 2006, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art commissioned a major site-specific installation from artist Leo Villareal for the cantilever of the museum's entrance. Executive director Bruce Hartman calls Villareal's Microcosm "one of the museum's most iconic works."