I have the good fortune to be an artist-in-residence for the next two weeks at the Kansas City Art Institute. Chair of the printmaking department Miguel Rivera invited me to lecture, do critiques and work with stellar students from the second, third, and fourth year. He's also made a beautiful studio space available to me. Miguel has encouraged non-printmakers to open up the discussion of media, metaphor and interpretation so students can have a broader view of possibilities. Thank you for your invitation, Miguel!
|Miguel Angel Rivera at Kansas City Art Institute.|
We met through artist Garth Amundson of Seattle, who teaches at Western Washington University. I visited Miguel in Mexico when he was head of the art department at the University of Guanajuato. He's been at KCAI for five years, and the work his students are doing is admirable.
Normally when I travel, I blog every day. But with this opportunity to work as much as I want to as well as teaching, I am beyond fried at day's end, which is often at 10 pm. PLUS, the hospitality of both students and faculty is generous, and Kansas City itself is remarkably active and engaged as an arts community.
(Not to mention generously funded by philanthropists from the local community. Both contemporary art museums, the Kemper Contemporary and the Nelson-Atkins Museum, which also shows traditional work, are free. Generous private donors take on projects like sending an artist to Europe for a year for the experience of living and working there. There are also private collections like the Belger Arts Center that open regularly to the public, as well as sponsor free public arts classes; while I was here, a stellar show of contemporary Talavera Uriarte Mexican ceramics opened on First Friday, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, known also as Cinco de Mayo. And more than one developer/property owner has subsidized art centers or studio spaces in their buildings. Not to mention the generous donors like H&R Block who over the long term have continued to contribute to the arts as a first priority. Listen up, Seattle!)
|Tom Otterness, Crying Giant, at the Kemper.|
|Louise Bourgeois at the Kemper Contemporary.|
|Magdalena Abakanowicz at the Nelson Atkins Museum.|
First Friday (when gallery shows here open) covers many, many square blocks of the Crossroads district – raucous and lively with crosscurrents of music, theater, food and parties, including a fabulous LGBT benefit called Out in the Crossroads, which featured an over-the-top musical revue with stunning drag queen backup singers.
Miguel Pérez, Tatuajes, 2012, Talavera. At the Belger Center.
Petah Coyne, Untitled #1336 (Scalapino Nu Shu), 2009-10.
At the Kemper's Crossroads District gallery.
|Fuzzy pic of gorgeous drag queen backup singer...|