Kansas City Artists Coalition Auction At least 270 works by more than 250 artists, mostly local, are auctioned off by the Kansas City Artists Coalition in its annual fund-raising venture. The silent auction started on February 2, but the works are on display until the day of the live auction. Notable and beautiful amid this big mix of paintings and sculptures is Lou Marak's oil-on-canvas portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, "Zelda/You Wish," and Larry Thomas' abstract mixed media "Suspicious Association." Through Feb. 17 at the Kansas City Artists Coalition, 201 Wyandotte, 816-421-5222. (Santiago Ramos)
Richard Loftis: Ins and Outs Loftis' work consists of a cluster of 24 large photographs, each depicting some sort of round or circular object. (A few scattered individual pictures follow the same theme.) The jet propellers in "In #19" are spiral in shape; the spherical moon appears in "In #23." Almost every image balances light, tone and perspective in impressive ways, so the artist's technical skill as a photographer is not in question his artistic vision is. Ins and Outs has the feel of a Sesame Street episode dedicated to round things. Through Feb. 24 at the Dolphin Gallery, 1901 Baltimore, 816 842-5877. (Santiago Ramos)
Swimming Through Interiors: Inside the Still Play Wichita painter Patrick Duegaw jigsaws pieces of Sheetrock (some found in the street, others removed from the walls of his studio) into intricate configurations, bolts them crudely to a wooden base and illuminates them with thin coats of paint to create hyper-real, maximalist works of portraiture, landscape and surrealism. "Maha with Floatation Device (or) She Floats Out" evokes ambiguity through painstaking detail, superimposing a goggled figure over a Sheetrock sculpture of a life preserver. Revealing Duegaw's canny sense of color, the brilliant central figure of "Amy With Butter Knife (or) Dreaming of Open Washers and Empty Dryers" jumps out of the muted background laundromat. And the 20 foot-long, 360-degree interior study "Fisch Haus, Third Floor, West End" is Duegaw's vivid magnum opus. Through Feb. 24 at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore, 816-474-1919. (Chris Packham)
Sissel Tolaas: The Fear of Smell, the Smell of Fear Norway-born "olfactivist" Sissel Tolaas collected sweat from nine men who had been put into fear-inducing situations. She then synthetically reproduced their sweat pheromones and embedded them into paint applied to Grand Arts' walls in nine off-white, 5-foot-by-8-foot panels. Patrons scratch and sniff, and the smells recall people and places (such as the sour milk and dishwashing soap in a second-grade cafeteria). It's an intimate and vulnerable experience. Plastic bottles on a shelf allow the fearful to take in the art cosmetics-counter style. Be advised: No. 7 is a little funky. Through March 10 at Grand Arts, 1819 Grand, 816-421-6887. (Ray T. Barker) Reviewed in our Feb. 1 issue.
Truth in Myth Reuben Sorensen imitates Native American art and symbols. His most impressive painting, "Apocalypse Jones," features a large red figure and a handprint superimposed over a background of exotic figures and symbols, as if he's trying to insert himself into his own work. Jesse Reno is more imaginative; her paintings combine acrylics, oils, pastels and colored pencils. "Ghosts of the Past" features two grotesque monsters, their rough, black-pencil outlines in clashing with the rainbow-colored background and flower-filled sun. Both artists paint with verve and skill, but the truth of these myths remains elusive. Through Feb. 24 at the Pi Gallery, 419 E. 18th St., 816-210-6534. (Santiago Ramos)