Grand Arts adds an olfactory dimension to September First Fridays with “SmellScape KCK/KCMO (2007-2012),” a new project by Norwegian-born smell artist Sissel Tolaas . Tolaas spent five years collecting smells in the metro area, extracting some from physical objects and capturing ambient scents by means of the same technology used in the perfume industry.
“It’s a glass funnel with a tube and a suction device that captures scent in a little glass vial,” said Stacy Switzer, artistic director of Grand Arts. “She sucks in the scents and ships them to International Flavors & Fragrances.”
The firm, which has a lab in New Jersey, is a sponsor of Tolaas’ artworks. She works with the lab, Switzer said, to figure out the component molecules of smells so she can replicate them.
And replicate them she has: Her set of 20 scratch-and-sniff cards can be collected at outposts around the city. The cards are part of a smell game that includes prizes and surprises.
“It’s really exciting,” Switzer said. “We have 19 collaborators in the downtown areas of Kansas City, Kan., and KCMO. There are six main posts for the game, and a number of outposts — places where there’s a smell card stanchion where you can pick up a card. The idea is that you happen on one of these main posts and within that immediate vicinity there are from one to five smell cards.
“We were really happily surprised at how quickly and generously people said yes to this,” she added. “One of the main posts is the Municipal Court of Jackson County. They’ve been generous and enthusiastic collaborators, making space available and being flexible. You can pick up a smell card at the court, but you can also stand in line right there at the traffic court clerk and get another card and also potentially get a random prize — a Popsicle, baked goods.”
Switzer credits Kansas City artist Megan Mantia, who has been working as Tolaas’ assistant, for doing much of the legwork involved in lining up collaborators.
Another main post is the Kansas City, Kan., Public Library’s main branch, where a sign on the plaza outside directs players to go inside to get a smell card and potentially win a small prize from the librarian
Although there are 20 cards in all, Switzer said, players have to collect only two of them and have them validated at Grand Arts to receive a complete set.
The game results can be logged with a smartphone or in person at the gallery.
“If you’re playing to win,” Switzer said, “you can play to enter the Silver Sniffer Circle and possibly win a golden nose — a real golden nose that Seth (Johnson) is going to sculpt.”
In addition to collecting the cards, players can score points by contributing smell words on the back of their cards or by taking photographs at the outposts they visit, Switzer said.
At Grand Arts, visitors and players can see a projection with a live map that shows who’s playing and how many points they’ve earned. A lab table will feature smells and other components related to the project that people can experiment with.
The game begins at 6 p.m. Friday and lasts the duration of the show. During the opening, trolleys will run between Grand Arts, Kaw Point Park in KCK and the KCK Public Library.
Manifest Destiny at La Esquina
Over the last decade, Renee Cinderhouse has exhibited in the “Art LA” art fair, the Amarillo (Texas) Museum of Art and the New Bedford (Mass.) Art Museum. On Friday, the Kansas City artist will launch her most ambitious project to date: an immersive, multimedia installation titled “Manifest Destiny” at the Urban Culture Project’s La Esquina space.
Encompassing objects and performances evoking frontier themes and other aspects of American history, the work is fueled by the artist’s determination to “collectively rewrite the stories we are telling as a culture.”
Cinderhouse is concerned about the mainstream media’s usurpation of the storytelling role that was once the province of oral folklore tradition and family sharing.
“Whether it be gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose or taxation of the nation’s wealthiest citizens, the perspective of the media is not necessarily the opinion of the majority,” she notes in her artist’s statement.
“Manifest Destiny” is part of an effort to “take over where the news and politics leave us voiceless.”
Cinderhouse compares her installation to a room-size pop-up book
“I wanted to revisit a lot of narratives, once spoken, now erased, looking back from where we’re standing now in the 2012 election year,” she said.
She will conjure those narratives through 14-foot-high, two-dimensional trees and dozens of porcelain sculptures, ranging from dishes and books to tiny fetus sculptures, arranged in vignettes. She’s also using pages from vintage encyclopedias, some die-cut into leaf shapes.
The exhibit, funded through Kickstarter and an inspiration grant from the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City, will include a series of performances by musicians and actors. Friday’s opening will feature an ambient live musical score by Reverend Glasseye, from Boston; the exhibit will close at the end of the month with three ticketed performances by Denver Broncos UK.
Other performances will occur during the run of the show, including docent tours by Ron Megee on Saturday and Sunday. For a schedule and Denver Broncos UK ticket information, visit bloodandspit.com.
All of the various components will feed into the artist’s use of Manifest Destiny as “a multilayered metaphor.”
“If we had not gotten on the Manifest Destiny caravan in the mid-1800s, I don’t think we would be who we are as a country today,” Cinderhouse said. “I’m holding up a mirror.”
City Ice Arts
Fall finds one of Kansas City’s better-known art impresarios in search of a new space following a parting of ways with his landlord.
In early July, Sean Kelley stopped presenting exhibits in the City Ice Arts building at 2015 Campbell St.
“I would really like to have another situation where there was a gallery with artists’ studios,” he said. “I’m still working with individual artists and looking for a new building situation.”
Building owner David Dumay hopes to line up another art dealer to take over the space by the new year.
In the meantime, Dumay said, he is scheduling exhibits in consultation with resident artists. The September show, “Correlation of Space,” will feature abstractions by Kansas City artist Gehry Kohler and New York-based Vincent Como .
When: Reception 7-11 p.m. First Friday. Open noon-5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday (through Sept. 30).
Where: 1000 W. 25th St.
“Sissel Tolaas: SmellScape KCK/KCMO (2007-2012)”
When: Reception 6-9 p.m. First Friday. Artist talk at 1 p.m. Saturday. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and by appointment (through Oct. 31).
Where: 1819 Grand Blvd.
Kansas City Artists Coalition
Watermarks: Bethany Springer
Fear, Doubt, Hope, Courage: Constance Ehrlich
Frank Bradley Jr. (AKA Bingo Woodhead)
When: Reception 6:30-8:30 p.m. First Friday; artists’ talks begin at 6 p.m. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday (through Sept. 28).
Where: 201 Wyandotte St.
Windhorse Tattoo & Gallery
EleMental CommUnion: Group show
When: Reception 6-10 p.m. First Friday. Open noon-6 p.m. Thursday-Sunday (through Oct. 31).
Where: 1717 Wyandotte St., Room 200
Mattie Rhodes Art Center
Placazo: Gerardo Quetzatl Garcia
Images From El Salvador by Dan Dakotas
When: Reception 6-9 p.m. First Friday. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday (through Sept. 21).
Where: 915 W. 17th St.
Patrick Sullivan: Sleeping ln
When: Reception 6-9 p.m. First Friday. Open by appointment (through Sept. 30).
Where: 2011 Baltimore
Jeff Aeling: New Paintings
Michael Schultz: Journey in the Land
When: Reception 7-9 p.m. First Friday. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment (through Oct. 27).
Where: 2004 Baltimore Ave.
Leedy-Voulkos Art Center
Jennifer Jarnot: Inside the Lines
Sept. 7-Oct. 27
Emmett Merrill: Drought Cultivation
When: Reception 6-9 p.m. First Friday
Where: 2012 Baltimore Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
Elizabeth Allen-Cannon: Domestication
Aileen Chong: Caminos Descubiertos
Mark Knott: Considering Spatial Presence
When: Reception 6-9 p.m. First Friday. Open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and by appointment (through Sept. 30).
Where: 118 Southwest Blvd.
The Late Show
New Work: Doug Schwietert, Lori Raye Erickson, Larry McAnany
When: Reception 6-10 p.m. First Friday. Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment (through Sept. 29).
Where: 1600 Cherry St.
Blue Djinn Gallery
HIPnotic” New Mod Abstracts by Teresa Mastro .
When: Reception 6-9 p.m. First Friday. Open 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday (through Sept. 29).
Where: 1400 Union Ave.
Cara and Cabezas Contemporary
I Am an American! Susan White, Jung A. Woo
When: Reception: 6-9 p.m.; performance at 8 p.m. First Friday. Public dialogue at 2 p.m. Saturday. Open by appointment (through Oct. 20).
Where: 1714 Holmes St.
Carter Art Center at MCC-Penn Valley
Art Faculty Exhibition
When: Reception 6-9 p.m.; artists’ talk at 6 p.m. First Friday. Open 1-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon-3 p.m. Saturday (through Sept. 15).
Where: 3201 Southwest Trafficway
Corridor Art Space
Art, Architecture & Aperiodicity: Artwork by Zahner
When: Reception 5-7 p.m. First Friday. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday (through Jan. 8).
Where: 4041 Mill St.
Buttonwood Art Space
Kansas City Seen: Leah Carol Reichman
When: Reception 5-9 p.m. First Friday; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and by appointment (through Sept. 28).
Where: 3013 Main St.
Kemper at the Crossroads
When: Film screening 8 and 9 p.m. First Friday. Open noon-10 p.m. First Fridays — except January and February (through June 7).
Where: 33 W. 19th St.
Kayla Wroblewski: 1
When: Reception 5-9 p.m. First Friday
Where: 1800 Locust St.
City Ice Arts
Correlation of Space: Vincent Como & Gehry Kohler
When: Reception 6-9 p.m. First Friday. Open noon-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday (through Oct. 20).
Where: 2015 Campbell St.
Attack! Without Mercy: New Works by Tyson Schroeder
When: Reception 6-11 p.m. First Friday; musical performances by Amy Farrand and Jeff Harshbarger at 9 p.m. Open noon-4 p.m. Saturday and by appointment (through Sept. 16).
Where: 504 E. 18th St.
Weinberger Fine Art
Contemporary Autumn Showcase
When: Reception 2:30-8:30 p.m. First Friday. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon-6 p.m. Saturday and by appointment
Where: 1800 Baltimore