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Each week, KCUR's Adventure! newsletter brings you a new way to explore the Kansas City region.

Dive into Kansas City's art scene this winter with 7 dynamic and diverse exhibits

Mixed media collage depicting storefronts with Arabic lettering.
Jason Mandella
Hangama Amiri's "Bazaar," on display at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary of Art, January 26 through August 25.

Throughout January and February, galleries and museums across Kansas City are showcasing an array of work from artists local, regional and national. In this season of fresh starts, what better way than visual arts to explore a fresh side of the metro?

This story was first published in KCUR's Adventure newsletter. You can sign up to receive stories like this in your inbox every Tuesday.

Is ”seeing more local art” part of your New Year’s resolution? Or maybe you just need something to help get you out of your house and combat the winter blues. Either way, you are off to a good start!

Galleries and museums across Kansas City have a wonderful roster of exhibitions lined up for January and February. In this season of fresh starts, you will find both group exhibitions and solo shows for a variety of ways to explore a different side of the metro.

PS: Remember to check out the spaces included in our previous exhibition roundup and see what they have planned for the next few months!

"Exhibit 30" at Holsum Gallery

Mixed media art work of brightly colored paper shapes by Rie Egawa in a white frame.
Courtesy of the artist
"Iro to Katachi Number 4" by Rie Egawa.

Nestled inside the Holsum Building in the West Bottoms, Holsum Gallerytailors each exhibition around a subtle thesis and presents them in numerical order as the season progresses.

"Exhibit 30" features Kansas City-based artists like Rie Egawa, Sally Paul, Jessica Kincaid, and Yen Tenn. Although the works vary in media and style, together they craft a conversation about our relationship with spaces.

How does architecture shape our experience and carry our memories? How can architecture aid in our individual and collective storytelling?

Look at Kinkaid’s surreal, beaded landscapes and buildings, or Egawa’s modulated mixed-media arrangements, and pay attention to how the artists added personal and emotional meanings to inanimate structures. Do these pieces change how you look at your living environment?

"Exhibit 30" runs now through February 4 at the Holsum Gallery, 1200 W. 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 64101

“Miss/They Camaraderie 2024” at Charlotte Street Gallery

Black and white photograph of Miss Black Missouri 1993, with an inscription written across the top of the photograph.
Black Archives of Mid-America
A photograph of Miss Black Missouri 1993 from the Black Archives of Mid-America is part of the "Miss/They Camaraderie 2024" exhibition at the Charlotte Street Foundation.

Organized by Charlotte Street Foundation’s 2024-26 curatorial fellow Yashi Davalos, “Miss/They Camaraderie 2024” asks us to question beauty.

The exhibition features artwork from local and national artists, using archived images and documents as supplementary materials. John Brant’s digital photography captures the dramatic, extravagant beauty of drag, while a black-and-white photograph from Black Archives of Mid-America presents one “official” judgment of what makes a woman beautiful.

“Miss/They Camaraderie 2024” is an educational experience as much as a traditional art exhibition. The pieces interrogate the assumption that beauty begets camaraderie, study classic femme aesthetics, and showcase gender fluidity and non-binary expression.

Each piece in the exhibition is a pageant awaiting the public’s assessment, with viewers being forced to examine their personal beauty standards.

"Miss/They Camaraderie 2024" runs January 19 through March 3 at the Charlotte Street Gallery, 3333 Wyoming Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 64111

“Multiple Elements” at Habitat Contemporary

Layed and woven mulberry fibers painted in black and white form artwork by Jennie Frederick
Courtesy of the artist
“Construct & Deconstruct” is part of Jennie Frederick's solo show "Multiple Elements" at the Habitat Contemporary in the Crossroads.

At the Crossroads gallery, “Multiple Elements” is a solo exhibition showcasing artist Jennie Frederick’s extensive research into indigenous textile and paper-making techniques in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru.

The base textiles are created by cooking mulberry fiber until it becomes pliable enough to form gridded sub-structures. Frederick then ties, sews, or paints atop the structure to add scraps and threads of other materials – cotton, plastic, encaustic paint.

Frederick’s repetition of modular elements creates a sense of motion. When multiple pieces are in the same space, they tangle light and shadow, mixing positive and negative spaces into a fluid interactive experience

The artist’s process will especially resonate with viewers interested in the fiber arts, and hopefully introduce you to materials you haven’t experimented with before.

"Multiple Elements" runs now through February 16 at Habitat Contemporary, 2012 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108

“Click: TWO decades | ONE community” at Englewood Arts

Black and white photographic portrait of Cindy Foster and Whit Ross by Dan White. The subjects stand at a cocktail table, smiling at the camera, while a large humanoid figure with a covered face looms above and behind them with outstretched arms.
Dan White
Photographs by Dan White comprise the solo exhibition "Click: TWO Decades | ONE Community" at Englewood Arts.

Portraiture has a unique power, freezing a special moment through a camera lens.

Now on view at Englewood Arts, “Click: TWO decades | ONE community“ features works by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Dan White, who is based in Kansas City.

The 40-plus photographs span across two eras, with the colored photographs taken in 1985 for White’s book project and the black-and-white ones captured during this past January and December. The exhibition is also accompanied by annotative texts created by local writer Brent Schondelmeyer, with whom White has collaborated in the past.

While photojournalism captures historic moments, it also creates plenty of room for imagination in the format of an art exhibition. Consider writing your own story as you look through the photographs: What were Cindy Foster and Whit Ross doing at the table? What conversation were they having to cause such beautiful smiles?

Go with a friend and reimagine the history, and see how they match up.

“Click: TWO decades | ONE community“ runs now through March 31 at Englewood Arts Center, 10901 E. Winner Road, Independence, Missouri, 64052

“A Layered Presence” at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Art work by Juan G Moya, a round panel colored with pencil depicting Aztec imagery and scenes from Kansas City's Southwest Boulevard.
Courtesy of the artist
Art work by Juan G. Moya is part of the multi-artist exhibit "A Layered Presence" at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

What does it mean to be Latino in the lower Midwest? “A Layered Presence” is a group exhibition currently on view at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art featuring 22 artists with strong ties to Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia, Uruguay, and Peru, many of whom are based in Kansas City.

The exhibition explores each person’s complicated identity as an immigrant in a diaspora.

Some pieces in the exhibition leverage familiar cultural symbolisms to depict each artist’s personal and collective identities, while others pay homage to their private memories. For example, “Cicatrización,” which means healing in Spanish, builds an altar on the wall using woven charms, an abstract painting, and meaningful tokens like a Day of the Dead doll.

"A Layered Presence" runs now through September 8 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 64111

“Hangama Amiri: A Homage to Home” at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

A quilted mixed media work by Hangama Amiri titled “Still-life with Alocasia Plant” depicts a large-leafed green plant in a blue pot on a gray table.
Nabil H. Harb
Courtesy of the artist and Copper Core, Toronto
“Still-life with Alocasia Plant” by Hangama Amiri is part of the exhibit "A Homage to Home" at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Quilt, fabric, paint, collage — in “A Homage to Home,” Afghan Canadian artist Hangama Amiri combines painting, printmaking, sewing, and other techniques to tell stories about her homeland and diasporic experience.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is titled “Bazaar.” Spanning across a giant wall, the collage combines significant scenes from the artist’s life: Her uncle was a tailor, and her mother taught her how to sew. The protagonist is placed in domestic and public environments, shining light on an Afghanistan woman’s daily life.

The pieces in the exhibition revolve around reminders of home, whether a houseplant or a plate of traditional food. In an era disturbed by war, economic instability, and displacement, these nostalgic symbols carry enormous power.

“Hangama Amiri: A Homage to Home” runs January 26 through August 25 at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri, 64111

“The Bible in Art” at Zhou B Art Center

A stock image of a woman in a denim jack and olive green trousers looking at art work displayed on a white wall.
Piti Tangchawalit/Shutterstock
Courtesy of the artist
Installation image of "The Bible in Art," work by Bryce Holt on display at the Zhou B Art Center.

The Bible has inspired centuries of art and literature, and it’s fascinating to see what modern interpretations continue to emerge from its texts.

On view through April 6, “The Bible in Art” is artist Bryce Holt’s ambitious project consisting of 66 paintings corresponding to the 66 books. Since the books of the Bible have different tones and styles, viewers will notice significant differences in style and colors between these paintings.

"This was an intellectual and emotional experience," Holt says. "I painted parts of the Bible that I loved and parts I found repulsive. I learned so much and saw my style change, and now I have a unique opportunity to present all 66 paintings in one venue."

This exhibition also provides the perfect opportunity for art lovers to tour through the new Zhou B Art Center and take a sneak peek into the resident artists and their studios.

"The Bible in Art" runs January 15 through April 6 at Zhou B Art Center, 1801 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108

Originally from China, Xiao daCunha covers arts and culture happenings in the Midwest, specifically focusing on the Kansas City metro and Chicagoland. She has written for KCUR, The Pitch, Sixty Inches from Center, and BRIDGE Chicago, and spent three years as Managing Editor at a Chicago digital publication, UrbanMatter. A practicing visual artist herself, Xiao combines her artistic talent with her writing to contribute to public art education and explores topics relevant to BIPOC artists, gender identity, and diasporic identity. You can reach her on Instagram and Twitter.
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