Thursday, July 23, 2015

See this now: Emmet Gowin: Photographs at the Nelson

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 9:30 AM

"Sedan Crater, Northern End of Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, 1996" (gelatin silver print, printed 2003, courtesy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art) - EMMET GOWIN
  • Emmet Gowin
  • "Sedan Crater, Northern End of Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, 1996" (gelatin silver print, printed 2003, courtesy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art)

Back in 1997, while discussing his photography’s evolution from people to landscapes, Emmet Gowin told the art magazine Bomb, “You look at what we do to the earth and you realize that we have written, symbolically, on the ground in such a way that people with feeling and eyes can recognize the destructiveness of the hand that’s doing the writing.”

This was the year after he’d taken the photo above, “Sedan Crater, Northern End of Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, 1996” — a haunting depiction of U.S. nuclear hubris. That image is on display as part of the varied and rewarding Emmet Gowin: Photographs, which opened July 1 in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s Bloch Building. See the show through November 8 at the museum (4525 Oak,

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Friday, June 26, 2015

A new program for young artists debuts tonight at Haw Contemporary

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 7:26 AM

Marijke Groeneveld's work will be featured as part of "That Used To Be Us."
  • Marijke Groeneveld's work will be featured as part of "That Used To Be Us."
Two new exhibitions debut at Haw Contemporary (1600 Liberty, in the West Bottoms) tonight. As the gallery's owner, Bill Haw Jr., tells The Pitch, they're part of a new program called ENABLE, which aims to give young artists, designers and curators the opportunity to show fresh and exciting work in a major space like Haw's. 

"I wanted to enable creative young people here to show their stuff in a serious space and get serious attendance instead of the just seven or eight people kind of passing through that they might get somewhere else," Haw says. "Hopefully this will be an annual thing. I imagine it will."

Haw says next year, the gallery may put out a call for submissions. "We haven't set any hard guidelines yet, but it'll probably be seeking people under 30 and working in creative areas," he says. "Possibly nationwide. And not necessarily wall artists. We're interested in music, furniture, fashion, objects. We want to mash all that up. Basically we want it to be open to young creative people who have real chops." 

This year, though, Haw handpicked both shows. Downstairs is "That Used to Be Us," curated by Carrie Riehl, who edits the art-culture-fashion magazine The Bohemian. That exhibition features prints and multimedia works from artists all across the globe, as well as some Kansas City-based ones. Riehl says it "delves into the economy of our bodies, labeling theory, and the need for cultural reinvestment." There'll also be a performance element called "High and Dumb," by Blanket Undercover's Megan Mantia and Leone Reeves. 

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Comedian Brian Posehn is in Kansas City this weekend

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 7:19 AM

Brian Posehn has had a bit comic part in pretty much every funny television show of the past decade. A hero to nerds, Posehn is also something of an alt-comedy legend, having starred alongside Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis and Maria Bamford in the beloved comedy documentary The Comedians of Comedy. His most recent comedy album is called The Fartist, the title and cover of which derives from the Oscar-winning French film The Artist

Posehn is in town this weekend. He'll be performing at Stanford and Sons (the comedy venue relocated from the Legends to Overland Park last year, and is now in Rosana Square, at 7328 West 119th Street) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. 

Tickets and more info here

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Big zine fest coming to Kansas City later this summer

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 10:10 AM

Do you even zine, bro?
  • Do you even zine, bro?
We like zines. We even write about zine people sometimes! Now here we are writing about them again because we recently caught wind that a big zine convention is planned in Kansas City later this summer. 

Kansas City Zine Con #1 is set to be held in the Valentine Room at the Uptown Theater Saturday, August 29, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It'll be, according to its organizers — more about them here — a "regional exhibition for independent publishers, small press distributors, and individual creators of zines, comix, chapbooks, newspapers, anthologies, tracts, pamphlets, and DIY radical readables of many forms." 

We're passing this along two months out from the event because there's currently an Indiegogo campaign under way to defray some of the costs of putting on the event. They're about a third of the way to their goal of $3,500, which will help cover renting "a prime space in Midtown Kansas City on a Saturday; payments for local and regional featured zinesters, contributors, and artists; affordable tabling prices for participants, and free attendance for the public."

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Kansas City to launch micro-loan program for artists

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 8:04 AM

The city of Kansas City, Missouri, yesterday announced that it is soon to launch a new program aimed at offering micro loans to local artists. The program is a collaboration between the Economic Development Corporation and AdvanceKC. Justine Petersen — an organization that has awarded more than $1.8 million in micro loans to 154 small businesses in Kansas City since 2012, half of them to businesses east of Troost — will administer the loans, which will be leveraged with Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) funds. 

"Professional individual artists who live in KCMO and are actively building a body of work within an artistic discipline with the intent to present to the public will be eligible," Megan Crigger, director of creative services in the newly created Office of Culture and Creative Services, tells The Pitch. "The program is a small part of a larger, comprehensive effort to increase artists’ access to finances — including technical workshops that offer training in financial literacy, to credit building programs and micro loans, to traditional bank loans and larger capital project support."

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Synesthesia, asbestos and Nintendo thumb: your First Friday hit list

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 3:00 PM

“Wingdale 8181” by Avery Danziger
  • “Wingdale 8181” by Avery Danziger

When a photographer’s tools include a hazmat suit and a respirator, you know he has something at stake. Avery Danziger’s hypnotic pictures document abandoned, sometimes dangerous buildings, such as the Harlem Valley/Wingdale State Hospital — where, during the mid-1950s, more than 5,000 mental-health patients lived amid 5,000 employees. “I am drawn to the incredibly paradoxical beauty as expressed in the transformation of man-made order into the chaos of decay,” he has written. And some noteworthy institutions are drawn to Danziger, whose images are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, and Sedalia’s Daum Museum of Contemporary Art. Friday, the photographer opens an exhibition titled Seeking Permanence, at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art (2004 Baltimore). The reception is from 7 to 9 p.m.

At Windhorse Tattoo and Gallery (1717 Wyandotte), some clients have put on new ink in tribute to earthquake-damaged Tibet, and the space’s resident artists have donated proceeds to relief efforts there. The next two-month exhibition in Windhorse’s Eastern-appointed upstairs space opens from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and includes works by Bryan Benkert, Amy Bug, Matthew Crim, Mark Galloway and Sarah Haire, in an exhibition titled Emergent Language: Artists’ Expressions of Sacred Geometry.

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Bread KC goes on indefinite hiatus after Saturday's dinner, artist Sean Starowitz says

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 7:07 AM


It's a bittersweet moment for those who have enjoyed attending - and those who have benefited from - the dinners held by microfunding arts organization Bread KC. Following Saturday's event at the Drugstore, Bread KC - which was started by local artists Sean Starowitz and Andy Erdrich in 2010 - will go on an indefinite hiatus. 

For those unfamiliar, Bread KC works like this: Guests pay a minimum of $10 to attend a dinner featuring food and drinks donated by local chefs and companies, and while they eat, they listen to a trio of presentations from local folks who need a little money to get their arts-focused causes a boost. After dinner, the guests vote on which presenter won them over; votes are tallied, and the winner takes home the money brought in by the ticket cost. It's completely no-strings-attached. 

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

This American Life's Ira Glass coming to the Kauffman Center

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 4:22 PM

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts announced today that radio personality Ira Glass — creator and host of This American Life, adviser to Serial — will bring his show, Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass, to the venue on Saturday, October 24. 

According to a release, in Reinventing Radio, Glass "talks about [This American Life] and how it's put together: what makes a compelling story, where they find the amazing stories for their show, how he and his staff are trying to push broadcast journalism to do things it doesn't usually do. As part of this, Glass mixes stories from the show, live onstage, combining his narration with pretaped quotes and music, re-creating the sound of the show as the audience watches. And he plays funny and memorable moments from the show, and talks about what was behind their creation."

Tickets — $39-$69 — go on sale next Friday, June 12. More info here

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

City Ice Arts will not be reopening after all

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 11:33 AM

  • City Ice Arts Facebook
Opened in 2011 in a rehabbed building at 21st Street and Campbell, City Ice Arts was an art-and-commerce mishmash that housed a gallery, artist spaces, and various small businesses — Howard's Organic Market, La Cucaracha Press, a wedding chapel called the Vow Exchange and, of course, Burge Ice — during its four-year run. 

That came to an end last fall, when City Ice Arts shuttered to make way for an expansion of the adjacent Truman Medical Center. 

At the time, owner Dave Dumay said he planned to move City Ice Arts somewhere in the West Bottoms. Ten months later, that plan has stalled. There's a good reason for that: Dumay recently moved to Oklahoma City. 

Continue reading »

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

The KC FilmFest’s must-sees

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 9:50 AM


This year’s Kansas City FilmFest is going back in time with the man who made time travel in a DeLorean cool.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, co-screenwriter and producer Bob Gale is presenting a new Digital Cinema Package 2K version of the film at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at Cinemark Palace on the Plaza, as part of the Kansas City FilmFest (April 16–19).

“Having supervised the post-production as well, this DCP looks better than the movie ever looked in the theater,” Gale tells The Pitch. (After the film, Gale will take part in a Q&A with the audience.)

For anyone trapped in a malfunctioning time machine for the last three decades, Back to the Future stars Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, a high school student who accidentally journeys back to the week when his parents fell in love and who must play matchmaker.

There will also be a DeLorean on hand. But if you’d rather see a film from the present, here are a few can’t-miss gems, also at Cinemark on the Plaza.

Continue reading »

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