It's been away for nearly 70 years, but this week, a Thomas Hart Benton painting called "The New Fence" returned to Missouri.
In 1946, Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., gifted the Benton painting to Sir Winston Churchill. It was Churchill’s request, in lieu of payment, for a college lecture that later became known as the historic “Iron Curtain” speech.
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.
Bread can serve as an important connector between people.
It can fuel discussions, break through social barriers and institute change.
A 2014 Charlotte Street Foundation award winner, Sean Starowitz is an artist whose work is hard to place on the walls of galleries. As the artist-in-residence at Farm to Market Bread Co., his projects often focus on bread and community.
Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 10:39 am
Although the Pulitzer Arts Foundation has been closed since August, a swarm of activity has been taking place inside the Grand Center institution.
Construction crews are renovating the Pulitzer’s basement area to create two new galleries. When they’re done in May 2015, the Foundation will have one-third more exhibition space, totaling 104,000 square feet. The work is being done in cooperation with a representative of the original architect, Tadao Ando.
That's how artist Hung Liu remembers it, anyway. At the age of 16, she was sent to the Chinese countryside to live and work without a wage as part of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution. High school had filled her head with too much non-proletarian knowledge; she would have to unlearn it all through hard labor.
"Working in the cornfield, you sweat. In the morning, you pull the wheat with mud all over your hands. We were colorless," Liu says.
East Lawrence, Kan., is a mecca for artists with its affordable housing and studio space.
But an influx of funds for creative placemaking could change all that.
In June 2014, Lawrence Arts Center received a $500,000 ArtPlace America grant. The 9th Street Corridor project calls for a transformation of six blocks between New Hampshire and Delaware streets. The plan includes "multimodal paths, upgrade amenities, and new models of urban infrastructure" along with art.
Grant Snider, 29, is hunched over a creaky light box in his sunroom. His sunroom isn’t sunny — it’s dark, because Snider draws cartoons early in the morning while his wife and two small children are asleep.
Gavin Snider’s Kansas City Reconstructed illustration project started with a billboard in the Crossroads neighborhood of downtown Kansas City, Mo., and has grown to more than 50 drawings of the city’s sometimes iconic, sometimes not-that-noticeable buildings.
Camera phones were snapping Friday night with the opening of Peregrine Honig's latest exhibition at Haw Contemporary, a gallery in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Mo. While many artists discourage photographs of their work, Honig openly invited viewers to use her large-scale oil paintings as backdrops for selfies, or self-portraits.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The exhibition ThePlains 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.
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 exhibit. Two Kansas City artists made the cut.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.