visual arts

Arts & Culture
8:33 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Artists As Parents Inspired By Choices

"The Big Hug" by Jason Needham is featured on one side of a billboard, an ARTBOARD, atop Missouri Bank in the Crossroads. It's on display through November.
courtesy: the artist

Making art requires dedication and time – lots of it. Add a child to the mix and having a career as an artist can be a challenge. Some put their art practice on hold to raise a family; others adapt to making art when they can. And, sometimes, a child can lead to inspiration. 

Artwork changes from edgy to uplifting 

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Arts & Culture
3:29 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

PHOTOS: KC Designers Get Primal For 'Rituals And Celebrations'

Hadley Johnson, When the Bough Breaks, nylon cargo parachute, Ace bandage-wrapped high heels, parachute pack of cargo belting (collaboration with Beniah Leuschke).
Credit Kansas City Museum

The Kansas City Art Institute doesn’t offer degrees in fashion design, but students in the fiber department spend plenty of time thinking about clothing, costumes, performance and the human body as a means of expression, says Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, the chair of the department.

So when she got a call from Kansas City Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera about co-curating a show called Rituals and Celebrations: Exploring Meaning Through Dress, she was up for it.

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Arts & Culture
2:58 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Talent-Scouting Curators Discover Kansas City Artists At H&R Block Artspace

Raechell Smith is director and curator of the H&R Block Artspace.
Credit C.J. Janovy

People who go to the Kansas City Flatfile show at H&R Block Artspace get to do something that feels wrong: touch the art.

That’s the fun of the Flatfile exhibition, which takes place every two years. The show features work by 160 Kansas City artists, and visitors get to pull it out of the metal files themselves, spending as much time as they want having what Artspace director and curator Raechell Smith calls an "unmediated" experience with the art.

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Arts & Culture
3:42 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

At Twenty, Kansas City's 'Sky Stations' Are An Artist's 'Once-In-A-Lifetime' Project

A helicopter places one of the ornaments on top of a pillar, more than 200 feet over Bartle Hall, in 1994.
Credit courtesy: Zahner

Sky Stations are the shiny, space-age sculptures on top of Bartle Hall (more commonly called "hair curlers").

Twenty years ago this week, a helicopter hovered overhead to place the four steel and aluminum sculptures atop 300-foot concrete pylons in a public art installation that closed the downtown streets in Kansas City, Mo.

New York-based artist R.M. Fischer reflects on Sky Stations 20 years later: 

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Arts & Culture
4:08 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

'Sheaves Of Wheat' Sculpture Leaves Plaza For Powell Gardens

Workers spent most of the business day on Tuesday removing the wheat sculpture on the old Kansas City Board of Trade building on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The iconic shafts of wheat and corn that have arched over the east entrance of the building that formerly held the Kansas City Board of Trade were pried off the wall Tuesday after a nearly 50-year running.

Workers with Belger Cartage Service of Kansas City – the same company that installed the art work in 1966 — spent the day wrenching loose bolts and heaving the 4,000-pound bronze sculptures onto flatbed trucks in the middle of Main Street on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.

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Arts & Culture
2:22 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

PHOTOS: Afternoon Of Dance And Song Opens 'Art Of The Plains Indians' Exhibit

Arlan Whitebreast, a member of the Meskwaki Nation, prepared to perform a grass dance in Atkins Auditorium.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Drumbeat and song drifted through the halls of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Sunday afternoon in celebration of the opening of Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky. Native American dancers wearing brightly-colored ribbons and feathers performed traditional dances in Atkins Auditorium and Kirkwood Hall.

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Beyond Our Borders
1:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Keep Your Leaves Off My Side — A Kansas City Cartoonist's Take On The Border Wars

Credit Charlie Podrebarac

Local cartoonist Charlie Podrebarac is familiar with the tensions that sometimes arise over the Kansas-Missouri state line.

He lives on the Kansas side, but has often highlighted the border conflict in his Cowtown Cartoons. He’s been penning Cowtown since 1984 for the Kansas City Star.

In his series, “soldiers” take the battlefield on State Line Road armed with leaf blowers and rakes in an ironic statement about the “border war” between Missouri and Kansas. It’s part of a series of cartoons about metropolitan Kansas City that use a leaf motif.

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Arts & Culture
1:03 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Lawrence Public Library Releases Banned Books Trading Cards

'Harriet the Spy' by Louise Fitzhugh
Lora Jost

The Lawrence Public Library on Thursday revealed this year's set of banned books trading cards.

It marks the third time the Kansas library has celebrated Banned Books Week by highlighting shunned classics and contemporary works with a set of trading cards. 

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Arts & Culture
10:05 am
Fri September 19, 2014

A Nelson Curator's Favorite Works In 'The Plains Indians' Exhibition

Gaylord Torrence, senior curator of American Indian art, stands at the entrance to the exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

The new exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky, includes nearly 140 masterworks from private and public collections across North America and Europe. 

There’s a 2,000-year-old pipe, 18th century-painted robes and beaded designer shoes from 2011. 

Some curators might find it offensive if someone asked them to choose a few favorite works — well, actually, just two — from an exhibition they'd worked on for nearly five years. 

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Up To Date
12:49 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Three Museum Directors On The New Plains Indians Art Exhibit At The Nelson

Museum directors (from left to right) Stéphane Martin, Julián Zugazagoitia, and Kevin Gover, talked to Up to Date host Steve Kraske.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

The exhibition The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky, now at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., marks an international collaboration, years in the making. Three museums on two different continents, featuring nearly 140 objects from North American and European collections. 

Julián Zugazagoitia, director and CEO of the Nelson-Atkins, says this builds on a museum tradition, started in the 1970s with Sacred Circles, of bringing Native American artwork to a larger audience.

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Central Standard
12:48 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Kansas City Artists Are Defining 'The State Of The Art'

Miki Baird, Kansas City, Mo. 'swatch...the weft and warp of red walker' (2010 - 2012)
Credit E.G. Schempf, courtesy of the artist and Haw Contemporary, Kansas City, Mo.

Curators from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., set out on a road trip to find the most compelling unknown artists hidden away in studios across the country. About a thousand studio visits later, artists had been selected for The State of the Art exhibitTwo Kansas City artists made the cut. 

Guests:

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Arts & Culture
8:00 am
Sat September 13, 2014

At New Fields, Sculptor Jake Balcom Kicks Around The Meaning Of Soccer

Kansas City artist Jake Balcom started installing "Triple Blome" at Swope Park's Soccer Village on Monday, Sept. 8.
CJ Janovy KCUR

The Kansas City Parks & Recreation Department celebrated the opening of Soccer Village on Friday. In addition to pristine practice fields with perfect synthetic grass and a natural-grass championship field with grandstands that seat 1,500 people, there’s also a sculpture, thanks to the city’s One Percent for Art Program.

The artist, Jake Balcom, installed the work last week with help from two friends, Spencer Schubert, also a local sculptor, and musician Brent Jamison.

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What Is That?
9:58 am
Wed September 10, 2014

The Story Behind The Giant Fiberglass Penguin At Kansas City's Penguin Park

The penguin at Penguin Park is made out of fiberglass, stands 25 feet tall and is almost 50 years old.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

Driving around Kansas City’s Northland on Vivion Road, it’s kind of hard to miss Penguin Park. It has a way of sticking out – there’s a giant penguin standing in the center of it. But why is the penguin there? And where did it come from? 

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Chalk And Walk
3:42 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Chalk And Walk Gives Artists The Chance To Draw On The Ground

Billy and Crystal Peters spend more than 10 hours on the ground working on their drawing at the Kansas City Chalk and Walk Festival this weekend.
Credit Ben Palosaari

This weekend Crown Center hosted the 7th annual Kansas City Chalk and Walk Festival showcasing local artists’ artwork drawn on the ground. 

The weather Sunday couldn’t have been better for an outdoor art festival. The temperature topped out at 77 degrees, as dozens of local artists worked on their hands and knees drawing with chalk on the brick plaza.

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Art Westport
10:35 am
Sun September 7, 2014

Artists Show Off Work At 35th Annual Art Westport

Photographer Tom Manning is displaying his photos at Art Westport for the time this weekend.
Credit Ben Palosaari

This weekend is the 35th annual Art Westport festival. The show stops traffic and fills the streets of Westport with booths showcasing the work of local artists.

Photographer Tom Manning has been coming to the festival for decades, but he is showing and selling his work at Art Westport for the first time. He says Art Westport is appealing because it’s open exclusively to Kansas City artists.

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Arts & Culture
5:30 am
Sun August 31, 2014

After 35 Years, A Nelson Security Guard Calls It A Day

Henry J. ("Hank") Raya, 82, watches over the museum's collection of South and Southeast Asian art Friday at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The oldest, and longest-serving, employee at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art retired on Aug. 31.

Henry J. ("Hank") Raya studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and served in the U.S. Navy before working for two decades as an illustrator at The Kansas City Star. Then he stepped into a new career: as a security guard at the Nelson-Atkins, where he's helped the visitors and protected the art for 35 years. 

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Arts & Culture
11:19 am
Mon August 25, 2014

PHOTOS: Wiley's Kansas City Street Art Beautifies Utility Boxes

Corner of W. 45th St. and Belleview
C.J. Janovy KCUR

On Central Standard in July, host Gina Kaufmann asked the Kansas City graffiti artist known as Gear to explain his theory that graffiti is “the beautification of the city.”

Most graffiti artists choose areas that are run-down or buildings that haven’t been taken care of by their landlords, Gear said.

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Arts & Culture
7:45 am
Fri August 22, 2014

'Word Play' Exhibition At The Belger Explores Power And Humor In Text

The Belger Arts Center has collected the work of Renee Stout for decades, including 'Fatima's Sign.' Gallery assistant Mo Dickens describes it as a voodoo menu, lotions and potions you might find in a voodoo shop.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

The experience of viewing a work of art often involves words — think of the neatly typed wall panels with an artist’s name and background, or details about the work itself. The written word — and its role in and on an artwork — is the focus of a Belger Arts Center exhibition in the Crossroads Arts District. 

"A couple of years ago, there were some visitors waiting for the elevator over there," says gallery assistant Mo Dickens, on the third floor of the Belger Arts Center. "And I heard one turn to the other and say, 'Hmm … I don’t know. I’ve never liked text on paintings.'" 

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Arts & Culture
8:05 am
Thu August 21, 2014

At The Nerman, American Indian Art Is Contemporary

Norman Akers' "Transience"
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.

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Obituary
12:11 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Kansas City Arts Community Mourns Painter's Unexpected Death

Artist David Goodrich outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Facebook

David Goodrich, 52, a Kansas City artist whose expressionistic paintings conveyed a perpetual state of motion, was found dead Tuesday.

Goodrich enjoyed hiking and was found dead in Horseshoe Canyon, just north of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. His body was identified on Thursday.

Authorities speculate he suffered from heat stroke, but the cause of death has not been confirmed.

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Arts & Culture
8:44 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Kansas And Missouri Artists Selected For 'State Of The Art' Exhibition At Crystal Bridges

Calder Kamin, Kansas City, Mo. 'Impact Proof: Arkansas Residents and Visitors' (2014).

In 2013, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., embarked on a project to discover “the most compelling American art being created today.”

Over a period of about 10 months, museum president Don Bacigalupi and assistant curator Chad Alligood crisscrossed the country. They traveled more than 100,000 miles — by plane and car — and stopped in the homes and studios of nearly 1,000 artists.

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Central Standard
3:26 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Glore Psychiatric Museum Is A Missouri Mental Health Time Capsule

Devices like "fever cabinets" (on view at the Glore Psychiatric Museum) were used to treat mental illness before medical advances rendered them obsolete.
Credit Gina Kaufmann, KCUR

On Thursday's Central Standard, we looked back at the history of intervention in mental health crises, going all the way back to the 19th century. 

The Glore Psychiatric Museum (formerly known as State Lunatic Asylum #2) captures both the treatments of the past and the controversies they sparked. Treatments in mental health hospitals once ranged from a "bath of surprise," which disrupted thought-patterns by dropping the patient into a shockingly cold bath, to lobotomies and fever cabinets.

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Central Standard
3:43 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

A Visiting Curator's Perspective On Kansas City's Art Scene

Danny Orendorff at his first Kansas City exhibit at the gallery La Esquina. The exhibit was called We'll Make Out Better Than Okay.
Credit EG Schempf

Danny Orendorff arrived in Kansas City a year ago to serve as Curator-in-Residence for the Charlotte Street Foundation. Before he arrived in town for this rotating position, his career was split between San Francisco and Chicago.

With a year of close observation under his belt, Danny Orendorff shares his notes on Kansas City's strengths and weaknesses as an art city. He also tells us about his current exhibition at La Esquina gallery, provocatively titled The Stench of Rotting Flowers

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Arts & Culture
1:05 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Slideshow: Artist Robert Morris Tours New 'Glass Labyrinth' In Sculpture Park

Kansas City native and artist Robert Morris experiences the labyrinth for the first time.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Robins hopped on the manicured lawn at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on Wednesday as New York-based artist Robert Morris and a small entourage previewed his new work, "Glass Labyrinth." The 7-foot-tall triangular sculpture consists of one-inch thick glass plate walls topped with bronze.

The official opening of "Glass Labyrinth" takes place Thursday in a public ceremony on the museum's south lawn. It marks the 25th anniversary of the 22-acre Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park.

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Arts & Culture
8:33 am
Mon May 12, 2014

3 Questions For Prairiefire Museum Director Uli Sailer Das

Museum at Prairiefire opens to the public on May 12.
Laura Spencer KCUR

A new museum linked to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, opens Monday in Overland Park, Kan. The Museum at Prairiefire, at 135th and Nall, will feature two traveling exhibitions a year from the New York-based museum, as well as permanent displays, a hands-on children's discovery room, classrooms and a cafe.

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Arts & Culture
3:07 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

5 Questions For The Guys Reimagining Disney's Laugh-O-Gram Studio

Nelle Peters designed the Laugh-O-Gram building. She's considered one of Kansas City's most prolific architects.
Laura Spencer KCUR

Walt Disney opened his first animation studio, Laugh-O-Gram, on the second floor of a red-brick building near 31st and Troost in Kansas City, Mo. The business folded in 1923, and the building, due to deteriorating conditions, was almost torn down about a decade ago.

But now, plans are underway for the site to return as a center for animation, but one for the 21st century. This includes digital storytelling, experimental animation training labs, and a theater to showcase new work – as well as an upgrade, so the building is sustainable.

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Beyond Our Borders
6:06 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Walt Disney's Role In Transforming Troost

A view looking west to Troost from the Laugh-O-Gram Studio at 31st and Forest, Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

An attempt to breathe life into a building near Troost Avenue with ties to Walt Disney could help erase the corridor’s stigma as a key dividing line in Kansas City, says Butch Rigby.

Rigby, chairman of the non-profit Thank you Walt Disney, is behind an effort to revitalize Laugh-O-Gram Studio, which is just east of 31st Street and Troost.

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Arts & Culture
9:25 am
Thu May 1, 2014

A New Era For The Kansas City Museum

Corinthian Hall, 3218 Gladstone, is the home of the Kansas City Museum.
Credit File: Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Thursday marks a new chapter for the Kansas City Museum. The city’s parks and recreation department takes over management – and a new executive director is on board. 

Since 2012, Anna Marie Tutera has served as executive director of the Wornall/Majors House Museums. Now, she’s taking over leadership of another historic home: Corinthian Hall.

The former residence of lumber baron R. A. Long and his family, Corinthian Hall is located in the city's historic northeast. It's housed the Kansas City Museum since 1940.

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Arts & Culture
10:58 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Kansas City Art Institute Students Interpret Lyric Opera's 'Die Fledermaus'

Costumes, props and other materials from 'Die Fledermaus (The Bat)' provide student inspiration.
Laura Spencer KCUR

It's a Thursday morning in the rehearsal space at the Lyric Opera Center in the Crossroads Arts District. About 20 students from the Kansas City Art Institute stand on either side of a long table covered with sketches, floor and building plans and colorful set drawings. They reach into pockets to snap photos with cell phones, or focus in with larger cameras.

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Arts & Culture
9:42 am
Fri April 25, 2014

'Roads Of Arabia' Exhibition At The Nelson Reveals Layered Past

The first objects visitors will see are three illuminated stelae, including these.
Laura Spencer KCUR

Standing near the entrance of the new exhibition, Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, Julián Zugazagoitia, director and CEO of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, called the more than 200 recently discovered artifacts a "revelation for humanity."

Two roads are explored: the incense trade routes, caravans transporting frankincense and myrrh from Arabia to Mesopotamia and the Greco-Roman world, as well as the network of roads for travelers on religious pilgrimages to Mecca.

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