Visual Arts | KCUR

Visual Arts

Photographing Rock Stars

Dec 7, 2018

On display at the Kansas City Public Library are iconic photographs from Rolling Stone magazine, taken in the 1960s and '70s. The man behind the camera was Baron Wolman, the magazine's first Chief Photographer. His pictures of rock stars like Jimi Hendrix and Mick Jagger influence the way we still think about their star power, and helped pioneer the field of music journalism.

Succotash / Facebook

Kansas City chef Beth Barden just finished a job she never anticipated having: food-stylist for the new coffee table book "Queer Eye: Love Yourself, Love Your Life."

Like the "Queer Eye" television show, which recently wrapped filming its third season in Kansas City, the book is full of lifestyle advice, with pearls of widsom ranging from how to select the right cut of denim to what your go-to meal says about you.  

Sally Morrow Photography

Travelers at Kansas City International Airport might already be familiar with SouveNEAR vending machines. The Kansas-City based company offers handmade items by local artists, such as T-shirts, jewelry, soaps and candy.  

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

When Natasha Ria El-Scari looked around art galleries in the Kansas City area, she didn't see enough work by black artists. So, El-Scari, an award-winning poet and performer in town, started reaching out to promising young artists to show their work in places owned by black people.

Americans with disabilities is a community anyone can join at any time. It’s a community that demands infrastructural and political changes that ultimately benefit everyone, yet it’s a community that is often ignored, sidelined or patronized.

“For years, there were ugly laws that were in place that kept cripples from being out in public. We were locked away in institutions, we were left at home, we were sight unseen. There was a stigma associated with it,” says artist Kathryne Husk.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Renée Cinderhouse is an installation artist based in Kansas City whose site-specific art installations are ambitious explorations of past and present.

Kansas City audiences may remember her 2012 show "Manifest Destiny" at the La Esquina Gallery, an exhibit focused on American history and the Midwest as frontier. It featured mixed-media porcelain sculpture and a 14-foot tree forest.

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

The bland exterior of the new Crossroads Hotel at 2101 Central may fool you, but once inside the historic brick shell you’ll discover and enjoy a post-industrial chic vibe that’s right out of New York’s famed SoHo District.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Among the many art installations in Kansas City's Open Spaces arts festival, one in Swope Park explores John Milton's "Paradise Lost." It's the Biblical story of Adam and Eve's temptation by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

New Orleans, Louisiana-based artist Dawn DeDeaux admits that it’s not go-to reading for everyone. The epic poem in blank verse dates back to the 17th century.  

For the past two decades, artist Mike Lyon has worked in a three-story building near 20th and Broadway in Kansas City, Missouri, creating monumental portraits using computer numerical control — or CNC — machines to automate the drawing process.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

After seven years of service in the Marine Corps ended with an injury, Joe Williams felt lost until he decided to become an artist

KC Zine Con

Often printed on photocopiers and distributed at in-person conventions, most zines reach fewer people than a post on Facebook or Instagram. But the stakes can be much higher.

“When you make zines, you’re putting a bit of yourself out there in a way that is personal and vulnerable, in a way that social media isn’t,” says Dayna Moth Meyer.

Meyer is one of six organizers of this year’s KC Zine Con, a one-day event featuring approximately 120 artists and zine makers from across the United States.

Though Lindsey Doolittle is an art teacher, she never imagined she’d have her own exhibition. Nor did she imagine writing a book that’s now on permanent display at the Van Gogh Museum Library in Amsterdam.

The public speaking tour has been a surprise, too.

But this is her new normal since her husband, Brett, killed himself in 2015.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Down a winding road in Swope Park, on the other end of a short walk through the grass, there's an old, abandoned pool where, in the days before penicillin, sick children came for hydrotherapy. In recent weeks it's been re-filled — not with water but with silk flowers, teddy bears and candles for Ebony Patterson’s art installation.

Segment 1: Local man's shares story behind an American prison riot during the Vietnam War.

50 years have passed since a riot occured at a notorious American military prison in Vietnam. A jail to house not enemy fighters, but American soldiers. On this episode, we learn about a Kansas City native's involvement in the uprising and the meaning behind it. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Kansas City artist Allan Winkler's work is full of whimsy. It's often found in unexpected places: a mural in a school cafeteria, colorful mosaics in the bathroom of a theater.

Year-round, you can see his folksy metal cutouts on permanent display at the Marlborough Community Center, and The Gathering Place is hosting a show of his work during Open Spaces.

Winkler works out of a home that was built in the 1860s. Visitors to the Westside neighborhood will recognize it from the bottles decorating the fences and kinetic sculptures hanging from trees.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's first biennial Open Spaces launches this week. 

And, like the metropolitan area itself, Open Spaces is sprawling. It stretches 62 days, from August 25 to October 28, with more than 150 performing and visual artists.

Sharon Rodriguez

“I thought it was a Boy Scout weekend.”

That was photographer Sharon Rodriguez’s initial reaction when she encountered a homeless camp near her Olathe residence in 2014.

Once she realized that homeless individuals were living under the tarps, Rodriguez had a lot of questions.

“Who are they, and why are they homeless?” she remembers thinking. “That started the journey of me finding out more.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Sculptor Jacob Burmood stood on a high ladder beneath a large elm tree. The sound of his buffing tool mingled with the late-afternoon chorus of cicadas at his rural, open-air studio in Ottawa, Kansas.

“This tree is really my studio,” Burmood said. “It’s really peaceful and I love the cicadas. That’s my music.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Sculptor Tom Corbin might be best known in Kansas City for the Firefighter’s Memorial sculpture and fountain on West 31st St., but more than 1,000 of his pieces are sprinkled throughout private galleries around the globe.

Corbin founded his flagship studio in a sturdy brick fire house at Southwest Blvd. and Mission Road. Built in 1910, it is a fortress with walls 16 inches thick.

Mo Dickens

Through late spring and into early summer, Kansas City artist Dylan Mortimer searched the trees in Swope Park for signs of death. He found a 40-footer that was dead for sure, but the park staff told him it was too close to the road and hazardous; they cut it down.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Artists Coalition Executive Director Janet Simpson this week announced her retirement after almost 30 years at the helm of the arts organization. 

"You know, it's time," said Simpson. "I wanted to leave before my assistant director felt the need to move on to find her next challenge. So I just felt like it was a good time."

Shy Boys

Segment 1: For All The World To See exhibit at the Black Archives of Mid-America.

A nationally touring exhibit from NEH on the Road has made its way to Kansas City. "For All The World To See" displays photographs and other visuals from the civil rights era. We talked about the ways art and culture influence each other.

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

If anybody embraces the concept of Kismet, it’s David Ford and Adam Jones, two of Kansas City’s most free-spirited originals.

They have combined to find a new home for YJ’s Snack Bar in the former Sylvia’s Deli space at 1746 Washington, just a few blocks west of the old YJ’s location at 128 W. 18th.

“It was incredibly perfect timing,” Jones said. “It was the coolest home run we could ever hit. It all came together in about five seconds.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The historic Savoy Hotel in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, re-opened Tuesday with a new name: 21c Museum Hotel Kansas City.

“We never dreamed that there’d be more than one when we started,” says founder Steve Wilson, who launched the first 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2006, with his wife, Laura Lee Brown. 

There are now eight boutique hotels in the chain, and each includes curated gallery spaces and site-specific installations of 21st century art.

Nicholas Prakas/Creative Time

The Spencer Museum of Art and The Commons at the University of Kansas in Lawrence released a joint statement Friday supporting freedom of expression after a piece of art depicting the U.S. flag with black marks on it was moved inside the museum.

Segment 1: A puppeteer takes on a beloved childhood classic with virtually no narrative, but lots of dogs.

Mesner Puppet Theater is staging two very different productions this summer: P.D. Eastman's Go, Dog, Go! and The Tempest, by William Shakespeare.

Segment 2, beginning at 12:35: A photographer on being the artist-in-residence at the Missouri State Fair.

Collection of Civil Rights Archive / CADVC-UMBC Baltimore Maryland

“Let the world see what I’ve seen.”

These were the words of Mamie Till Mobley, mother of Emmett Till, when she allowed the media to use an infamous photo of her 14-year-old son’s mutilated body upon his death in 1955.

More than half-a-century later, a traveling exhibition inspired by Mobley’s declaration has taken up residence at the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City. “For All The World To See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights” is an exploration of visual imagery in the civil rights era from the 1940s to the 1970s.

A portrait isn't just about capturing someone's literal likeness. It's about capturing the inner essence. So how is it done? And how is it done well? We host a roundtable discussion with Kansas City artists — from painter to doll-maker — to explore the ins and outs of portraiture in various mediums.

Guests:

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