Remember back in high school when all the kids in art class got to listen to college rock on the hip teacher's stereo and paint while the rest of us furiously scrawled lecture notes? If we could turn back time, we'd drop one of those honors classes and try our hand at printmaking or maybe even sculpture. Lucky for us, the Kansas City Art Institute offers continuing-education classes for adults.
For proof, see what last year's students created in the Student Gallery at the KCAI Student Living Center (4421 Warwick Boulevard) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Shirley O'Leary will be there to answer questions about available classes. Just remember, Robert Pollard was 29 when his band, Guided by Voices, released its first EP. For details, call 816-802-3458.-- Michael Vennard
Mara Adamitz Scrupe is an environmental artist. She has created solar-powered, illuminated, green-resin mountain lions for a Virginia botanical garden and has grown plant varieties threatened with extinction (major seed companies prefer varieties that are better looking but not necessarily more useful) in salvaged minivans. With solar-powered grow lights, the minivans glowed on Harvard's campus all night long. Admit it -- that's cool. At Grand Arts (1819 Grand, 816-421-6887), Scrupe displays Back to Nature: Collecting the Preserved Garden, which combines a working greenhouse with glowing transparencies of amateur floral paintings. The show opens Friday, and the artist speaks at 2 p.m. Saturday.-- Gina Kaufmann
The Writers Place gets slammed.
Miykael Hicks, who is nineteen, had never written a poem until Passages, a supportive organization for Kansas City's gay, bisexual and transgender youth, held an event called Strengthening Our Voices. "I wrote three [poems] mostly expressing my feelings about my family," Hicks says. "When I came out to them, they were very closed-minded." Hicks and other youth take the stage for a Queer Youth Poetry Slam at 7 p.m. Friday at The Writers Place (3607 Pennsylvania). Hicks says he's planning to perform "The Butter Cream Gang," a piece about his parents' divorce, and "Rocky Road," in which he recounts a vivid nightmare. For more information, call Passages' youth director, Carolyn Fredrick, at 816-913-4430.-- Steve Walker