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Arts & Culture
7:55 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Building An Art Collection In Kansas City 'Piece By Piece'

An installation view at the Kemper Museum.
courtesy: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Art collecting can be a hobby, a passion, or even an obsession. An exhibition at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Piece by Piece: Building a Collection, takes a look at the holdings of one Kansas City couple — and the connection between collector and artist.

A contemporary collection grows by a piece or two at a time

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Arts & Culture
2:39 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Lawrence Artist Famous For KU Bronze Sculptures Dies

Elden Tefft's 'Moses' faces a stained-glass window of a burning bush.
Credit University of Kansas

Elden C. Tefft, best known for his iconic bronze sculptures on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, died Tuesday. He was 95.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said the campus is privileged to have Tefft’s work.

“Elden’s pieces are such an integral part of Mount Oread — pieces such as ‘Moses’ and ‘Academic Jay’ — that it’s nearly impossible to imagine our campus without them,” said Gray-Little.

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Arts & Culture
3:21 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Nebraska Artist Sends Kansas City A Valentine In Lights

Lights on stands in the windows of Mayor Sly James' office at City Hall. A microcontroller takes care of the timing of the message.
Laura Spencer KCUR

Flashing lights are sending a message from the windows of downtown Kansas City, Mo., buildings. In Morse code, a signal taps out "LUV U." The light installation, in eight locations from City Hall to the Central Library, is called Message Matters. 

The project by Nebraska-based artist Jamie Burmeister, first appeared at the Bemis Center of Contemporary Art in Omaha, Neb. 

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Arts & Culture
7:26 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Los Angeles Artist Re-Types Two Kansas City Novels

Los Angeles based artist Tim Youd types "Mrs. Bridge," a novel set in Kansas City.
Cody Newill KCUR

Los Angeles based performance and visual artist Tim Youd has taken up residence in Kansas City for the next three weeks to re-type two novels set in the city.

Youd is re-typing Evan Connell's novels "Mrs. Bridge" and "Mr. Bridge," two books that depict Kansas City's upper-middle class in the 1920s and 30s. The performance is part of a larger project where Youd visits a city and reproduces a book written or set there on just two pages of paper. 

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Arts & Culture
1:00 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

At The Epsten Gallery, KC's 'Women To Watch' Venture Into Dangerous Terrain

Linda Lighton's 'Untitled (Floral Pistil)'
Courtesy Linda Lighton

Linda Lighton makes ceramic sculptures revealing how closely lipsticks resemble bullets. And her white clay flowers bloom not with pistils but with pistols.

Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin’s mixed-media fabric print depicts a man-sized black leaf hanging lifelessly from a tree bereft of other leaves, against a blood-red background of squares evoking urban apartments.

Rain Harris makes flowers, some out of silk – but some out of ominous black clay, lending a sense of doom to the idea of traditional floral arrangements.

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Arts & Culture
9:55 am
Thu February 5, 2015

The Nelson-Atkins Museum Gears Up For Big Data To Shape Visitor Experiences

Julián Zugazagoitia is the director and CEO of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Big Data – it’s a catch phrase these days. But museums in cities across the country, from New York to Dallas to Cleveland, are taking cues from corporations and shopping malls, and collecting data to track visitor behavior. It’s starting to shape what’s on view.

In December, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art hired Doug Allen as its first chief information officer, to help analyze data and map a technology strategy.

"Technology will allow us to enrich the experience of a visit, and also allow for a pre-visit," says director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia.

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Up To Date
11:28 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Former Kansas City Mayor Dick Berkley's Life Through The Camera Lens

This picture of Berkley with his wife Sandy was taken the morning after he won his first election as Kansas City mayor.
Courtesy Photo Dick Berkley

In his 12-year tenure as Kansas City mayor, Dick Berkley met hundreds of celebrities, sports stars, and political figures. Fortunately, he never went anywhere without his camera.

“I’m so lucky. I just can’t emphasize how fortunate I’ve been to have the ability travel and meet these people, and take a little opportunity when it was in front of me to take somebody’s picture,” Berkley told Steve Kraske on Up To Date.

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Jesse Howard, Cranky Missouri Folk Artist, Gets A Posthumous One-Man Show

Jesse Howard, 'Untitled (If You Want to See a Gang of Hoodlum Police),' 1961. Paint on metal.
Collection of the Kansas City Art Institute

In the middle of the last century, where Jesse Howard lived in Fulton, Mo., it wasn’t unusual to see hand-painted signs on country roads advertising a traveling fair or a farm sale.

Jesse Howard’s signs offered Bible verses. They proclaimed his anger at his neighbors and the government, his disappointments with the world around him. His canvas was most often a wooden plank or some scrap metal salvaged from dilapidated outbuildings, or any piece of farm equipment with a flat surface big enough to whitewash with house paint and cover with carefully lettered, all-caps screeds.

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Arts & Culture
5:57 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Kansas City Star Lays Off Art Critic Alice Thorson

Art critic Alice Thorson has worked for the Kansas City Star since 1991. On Monday, she was told that her job was eliminated.

Over the last decade, major newspapers and magazines across the country have cut back on arts coverage. 

Editors at The Kansas City Star notified art critic Alice Thorson on Monday that Feb. 6 would be her last day. The termination did not come as a surprise for Thorson, the paper's art critic since 1991. She knew she was "on borrowed time," she says. In 2009, Thorson's full-time job was reduced to part-time; theater critic Robert Trussell’s position was downsized at the same time. 

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Central Standard
12:18 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

The Soldier's Experience Through The Lens Of Art

Suzanne Opton, "Soldier Birkholz: 353 Days in Iraq, 205 Days in Afghanistan," 2004. Courtesy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Credit Suzanne Opton / The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

In the photograph, a young soldier with a downy blond buzz-cut lies perfectly still, face down on the ground. On stage, an ancient Greek warrior goes through the four stages of events that lead to post-traumatic stress.

The arts community is asking big questions about the life of the soldier. What role does art play in public discourse around combat?

Guests: 

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Central Standard
9:53 am
Tue January 27, 2015

PHOTOS: Capturing The 'Spook Light' Of The Ozarks

False Lights
Lara Shipley

Photographer Lara Shipley's image, "Believer," is currently looming over 43rd and Main on the H&R Block Artspace Project Wall in Kansas City, Mo. She says her series of photographs, Devil's Promenade, is a reflection on life in the Ozarks, where she grew up.

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Central Standard
1:18 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Editorial Cartoons: Free Speech, Safety And Taste Here At Home

Cartoonist Lee Judge draws for the undecided, and doesn't shy away from controversy.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

If we are all "Charlie" in the wake of an armed assault on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, no one has earned that solidarity more than political cartoonists. A left-leaning cartoonist and his conservative counterpart weigh in on the risks and rewards of taking a bold stance. In the course of doing a job intended to provoke, are there lines they do not cross?

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Up To Date
10:48 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Reproduction Of Harry S. Truman Portrait To Be Unveiled Wednesday At Library

This 1945 portrait of Harry S. Truman will be the latest addition to the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. A reproduction will be on permanent display at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library.
Credit Kansas City Missouri Public Library

    

A portrait from the early days of Harry S. Truman's presidency goes on display Wednesday at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library. A reproduction of the 1945 original, the painting is the latest addition to the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

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Arts & Culture
12:07 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Recent Deaths In The Arts Community Spark Reflection

Drummer Tommy Ruskin died on New Year's Day.
Credit courtesy of the family

Three notable arts figures died in Kansas City in recent weeks: Ann K. Brown, Brenda Nelson, and Tommy Ruskin.

Drummer Tommy Ruskin, 72, died the morning of Jan. 1, after a long illness.

A native of Kansas City, Ruskin’s career spanned nearly half a century. He began performing as a teenager with singers such as Marilyn Maye, and went on to play with other jazz greats like Al Cohn, Scott Hamilton, Gene Harris, Zoot Sims, and Bill Watrous.

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Arts & Culture
11:45 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Memorabilia Of Federal Reserve Employees Turned Into Art

The public sculpture project, commissioned by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, went on display in November 2014.
Credit courtesy: University of Kansas

More than 50 University of Kansas students, faculty and staff collaborated – over four semesters – to create a public sculpture project. The commissioned art, completed in mid-November, marked the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve System.

According to associate professor of art Matthew Burke, the team sifted through a collection of employee memorabilia, such as pens, stamps, and nameplates. 

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Central Standard
5:11 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Kansas City Photographer Paul Andrews On 365 Days Of Portraits

Paul Andrews was not kidding when he decided to take 365 portraits in a year. He was serious.
Credit Paul Andrews

Photographer Paul Andrews committed to taking a portrait, every single day, for the year of 2014. He's 353 days into the project. With 12 days left, Paul talks about what he's learned and tells photo shoot stories, including the one that took place in the middle of the Broadway Bridge... during rush hour.

Paul Andrews is Central Standard's Portrait Sessions photographer.

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Arts & Culture
5:32 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Warren Rosser Steps Down As Chair Of KCAI's Painting Department

'View From the Top,' oil on clayboard, 2013
courtesy: Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, KCMO

This week, colleagues and friends marked a ceremonial passing of the torch as Warren Rosser stepped down as chair of the painting department at the Kansas City Art Institute. 

"After 28 years, I think it was time to pass it on to someone else, so to speak," he says.

Rosser's tenure as chair of the department is reportedly the longest, to date. He's taught at the Art Institute for 42 years, and says he will continue to do so. 

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Central Standard
4:22 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Conflict On Camera

This photograph, Italian Sentry, is included in the War & Art exhibition at the World War I Museum in Kansas City.
Credit Istituto per la storia del Risorgimento Italiano, Rome

President Obama's recent call for police body cameras raises questions about documenting truth. An art curator, a war historian and a police major discuss. 

Guests:

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Arts & Culture
5:57 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

A Thomas Hart Benton Painting Returns To Missouri

President Harry Truman, a native of Missouri, acquired Thomas Hart Benton's 'The New Fence,' so the college could present it to Sir Winston Churchill.
Credit courtesy: National Churchill Museum

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.

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Central Standard
12:33 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

The Self And The Selfie: Artist Peregrine Honig

Artist Peregrine Honig with a taxidermied lamb in front of one of her recent paintings in the Unicorn exhibit.
Credit Paul Andrews

"A hundred years ago, if you told people that they would have something in their pocket that would make an image that would go all over the world immediately, they would think it was witchcraft."

So says internationally recognized Kansas City artist and provocateur Peregrine Honig. 

If that's the case, then Honig's been up to a whole lot of witchcraft in her artwork lately.

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Arts & Culture
5:45 am
Fri December 5, 2014

WATCH: How They Frame A Wall-Sized Work Of Art In Kansas City’s West Bottoms

All hands are needed as Scott Gobber and his team carefully frame an artwork for the Nerman.
Credit 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.

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Arts & Culture
6:06 am
Wed December 3, 2014

The Missing Piece Of The J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain Returns

Workers on Tuesday prepared to remove the sculptures, and installed a fence around the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain in Mill Creek Park.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

The bronze figures on horseback and children riding fish that are part of the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain near the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo., will be removed Wednesday for an extensive renovation.

"This is the iconic fountain for Kansas City," says Jocelyn Ball-Edson, landscape architect for the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department. "We have a lot of fountains. We love them all, but this is probably the one that gets the most photography and the most visibility."

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Arts & Culture
5:45 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Photographs Play Music, Thanks To 'Augmented Reality' At Thornhill Gallery

J. Anthony Snorgrass, professor of advertising, branding and strategic media at Avila University's School of Visual and Communication Arts
Credit C.J. Janovy / KCUR

A word of advice to everyone who ventures into the new photography exhibition at Avila University’s Thornhill Gallery: Charge your devices. Also, you’ll need to download an app called Layar

Experiencing “augmented reality,” it turns out, requires a bit of pre-planning.

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Arts & Culture
1:18 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Kansas City Artist Uses Bread As A Means Of Social Change

In one of his community projects, Fresh Bread, Sean Starowitz set up shop in vacant lots and sold bread, priced for the neighborhood.
Credit Sean Starowitz / Courtesy photo

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. 

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Arts & Culture
3:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

First Look At STL’s Expanded Pulitzer Reveals New Opportunities For Eyes, Ears

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation gave a tour of ongoing renovations Wednesday night.

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.

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