Visual Arts | KCUR

Visual Arts

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jodi Cobb

National Geographic photographer Jodi Cobb travels great distances to discover the secret realms of world culture. She has documented fascinating visual stories about many subjects, including the quirky nature of twins, the hidden lives of Saudi Arabian women and Japanese geishas.

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.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

A nearly decade-old art movement called Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is one of the more quirky ways artists find community in metros across the globe. But Kansas City's version is known for taking that quirkiness a step further, and for uniting a new and growing artist community when it needed it most.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Imagine spending a year – or more – restoring an artwork, trying to bring back the touch, or the brushstroke, of a master. That’s what Scott Heffley, senior conservator of paintings at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, has been doing with an El Greco painting (ca. 1580-1585) called The Penitent Magdalene

Art and science do mix

Josh Ferdinand / Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

If you’ve walked or driven by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art recently you’ve probably noticed a flurry of activity on the southeast corner of the grassy lawn. Work is underway to ready the site for the installation of a new sculpture, Glass Labyrinth, a triangular-shaped, glass-walled labyrinth designed by artist Robert Morris, a native of Kansas City, Mo.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

The Federal Reserve System was established by Congress 100 years ago. To honor the centennial, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is working with University of Kansas students to turn some of its own history - from name plates to modems - into a new art installation.

Shaping a range of objects, from mundane to archival, into art

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Every Sunday for the last two years or so, a group of artists has been heading outside to capture the charm of Kansas City on their canvases. You might even see them, brush in hand, in the West Bottoms or at Longview Lake. Landscape painting is nothing new, but this group – known as Kansas City Plein Air Coterie or KC PAC — has a unique style and curious rituals that set them apart from other outdoor painters.

Jump-starting studio practice by painting outdoors

Julie Denesha / KCUR

A winter storm was brewing on Friday afternoon, and expected to bring snow and ice to the Kansas City metro area. At Gass Camera Repair, the electronic door chime rang periodically - not with the arrival of customers, but as box after box was loaded onto a trailer waiting just outside.

Since 1979, in this small shop in Mission, Kan., Clarence Gass repaired cameras of all shapes and sizes. Friday was his final day of business.

A 'natural curiosity' about cameras

Greg Heisler

Photographer Gregory Heisler admits that the process of making a portrait is fraught with unease.

The sitter, Heisler says, doesn't want to face reality. For the photographer, that's all there is.

Greg Heisler has spent a quarter century photographing covers for Time, Life and Sports Illustrated.

Walter Smith / Courtesy Maya Lin Studio and Pace Gallery

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has commissioned a new work by architect and artist Maya Lin, who's probably best known as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

Lin’s sculpture, Silver Missouri, inspired by the Missouri River, is crafted from recycled silver, and it’s one in a series of works exploring water conservation. It will be installed in the Bloch Building on November 15. 

Marion Bloch died at home on Tuesday in Mission Hills, Kansas, at the age of 83. Bloch was married to Henry W. Bloch, co-founder of the financial services firm, H&R Block, for more than 60 years.

Grasping Hope & Dreams Through Photography

Jul 29, 2013
lindasolomonphotography.com

A homeless shelter might seem an unlikely place to look for the hopes and dreams of children, but for one photographer, it's a way to shine a light for children stuck in bad situations.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

In the exhibition Laura McPhee: River of No Return at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the more than two dozen photographs - each six by eight feet - loom large. McPhee's series explores the grandeur of the West, tensions between ranchers and environmentalists, and human impact on the land - and its often unintended consequences. 

Growing up McPhee

Gloria Baker Feinstein

It was just last year when Gloria Baker Feinstein and her husband had to move out of their house and into a condo, and get rid of many their possessions.

"It's not stuff," she said. "Everything had a reason. Everything had a memory. Everything felt really dear to me."

The couple had an estate sale, and Feinstein, a photographer, decided to document each item as it left her house. But the endeavor quickly turned into a different project -- one that is now on display in a local gallery.

The Art Fantastic

May 16, 2013
spectrumfantasticart.com

When you watch a film like Star Wars or Harry Potter, the fantastical worlds they present seem to come alive on the screen with colorful planets and moving portraits. 

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.

Juan Montana

The cultures of Kansas and Missouri was shaped by wave after wave of immigrants: from Germany, Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe. A new exhibit called, The Missouri Immigrant Experience: Faces and Places portrays vivid images of the state’s diverse immigrants from the early nineteenth century to today.  The exhibit was sponsored by the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA), a coalition of organizations that advocates for immigrants.

Mike Sinclair

Two Kansas Citians were announced yesterday as winners of this year's very prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships.

Mark McDonald / Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Kansas City Sculpture Park, the more than two dozen sculptures outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, opened in 1989. In honor of the park’s 25th anniversary in 2014, the museum will change the park’s name to reflect its roots.

Around The World With A Camera

Mar 18, 2013
Catherine Karnow

From the Australian Outback to Bollywood, Albanian farmland to Vietnam, National Geographic travel photographer Catherine Karnow has been around the world to capture its images with her camera.

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, American (b. 1943) / Courtesy: Nelson-Aktins Museum of Art

A pinhole camera is a simple tool – and it can be constructed with basic materials. You could even make one at home with your child on a snow day. All you need is cardboard, tape, and aluminum foil. But, it’s the eye behind the camera that draws a line between child’s play and the potential for photography.

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