Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

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."