February First Fridays should be lively, with the Xijing Men opening at Block Artspace, new works by Andy Brayman at Red Star Studios and new artboards at the Missouri Bank Crossroads branch. Diverse group shows leaven the mix.
The Xijing Men are three artists from China, Korea and Japan who are known for their satirical performances addressing global issues. In conjunction with an overview of their videos and artworks at the Artspace, Chen Shaoxiong, Gimhongsok and Tsuyoshi Ozawa will collaborate on a new work during a 10-day residency in Kansas City.
“They have a lot of ideas. We don’t really know what they’re going to do until they show up and start doing it,” Block Artspace director Raechell Smith said. “Mostly their practice is performance, and they make objects and props that become part of their installations. The work is inspired by the idea of this imagined place and entity of Xijing. On a serious level, it’s a conversation about global politics and global contemporary art.”
Although the artists have been featured in numerous international biennials, Smith said their work has really not been shown in the U.S., and they’ve never done a project here.
The Block show, “is really kind of a look back at all the collaborative work they’ve created since they started in 2006,” she explained. “While some of the pieces are really teasing out the origin myth of a place, they’ve also done projects about the (fictional) ‘Xijing Olympics.’ “
She sees “a bit of the trickster” in the trio.
The Spencer Museum’s Kris Ercums, who brought Chen Shaoxiong to the museum last fall for a project about activism, is co-curating and co-organizing the Xijing Men exhibit with Smith.
“Kris and I went to Korea earlier this fall and hung out with all three of them in one place,” Smith said.
The two enjoyed seeing the artists’ playful relationship.
“When they first started working together, it was a moment when Japanese/Chinese relations were at their worst,” Smith said. “They knew there were commonalities. While they weren’t necessarily making political artwork, there was politics in the work, and an element of comical absurdity was present for all of them. Early on when they didn’t have common language, they would send drawings back and forth, almost like storyboards. We’re going to show a lot of the drawings, and you can see the ideas unfold.”
In advance of the exhibit’s First Friday opening, the artists will give a free public lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Kansas City Art Institute’s Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall.
The last time Andy Brayman showed a large body of work locally was in the 2011 Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artists Fellowship exhibition at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. On Friday he will show new work at Red Star Studios in the Crossroads.
Brayman brings an inventive conceptual bent to making ceramics. The Nerman exhibit included works in which he translated data from sensors in the Missouri River into the surface decoration of his works.
He is also known for using industrial manufacturing processes, such as rapid prototyping and decal printing, in his production of domestic ceramics. And he enjoys collaborating.
His Red Star showing is a joint exhibit with Colorado-based studio potter Alleghany Meadows and will include individual and collaborative works by both artists. On Saturday the two will conduct a free demonstration workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Belger Crane Yard Studios, 2011 Tracy St., where they will also give a slide lecture at 4 p.m.
Moments of contemplation
The new artboards above the Missouri Bank’s Crossroads branch share an interest in memory and reverie.
Heinrich Toh’s pair of west-facing billboards, titled “Never Quite Enough,” draw on his recollections of his native Singapore.
One is figurative, featuring an overhead shot of a woman surrounded by paper lanterns and abstract designs; the other offers a view looking up into treetops at night. Both images convey what the artist describes as a “sense of longing and cultural displacement that comes from travel and relocation.”
Images of nature figure in many of Misha Kligman’s works, including a recent painting of black stones titled “The Nothing.” His east-facing artboards feature a pair of photographs, one of white stones, the other of black stones, that fill the frame.
Kligman, who was born in Kazan, Soviet Union, hopes his images will lead viewers to “moments of quiet contemplation and internal silence.”
Strength in numbers
At Spyn Gallery, Patricia Glenn and Mike Pronko have assembled a group show of well-known and lesser-seen artists. “Secret Salon” is the latest “pop-up” show from P&M Artworks, as they call themselves; previously they’ve curated exhibits at the Writers Place and the Frame Gallery.
For “Secret Salon,” Glenn worked with artist Megan Mantia to select 14 artists, including Mantia, Christopher Bell, Jennifer Boe, Ari Fish, Deanna Dikeman and Judith Levy. She said she focused on work that is affordable and sought a mix of art and craft.
“Jane Signorelli does amazing necklaces and sells them at Saks,” Glenn said. “At a Kansas City Art Institute pottery sale, we fell in love with the work of Robert Lugo and invited him to be in the show.”
The exhibit also includes photographs by her son, Eliot Glenn.
Coming up in April, P&M Artworks is working on a “Money” show that will be presented at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center. A call for artists has gone out, Glenn said, and the jurors are interior designer David Immenschuh; well-known art photographer E.G. Schempf and Glenn, who trained as an art historian.
Another group show, opening this month at the Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery, tackles the charged subject of immigration.
In addition to works by artists invited to reflect on aspects of “their personal or family experience of immigration to the United States,” “Artifacts of Immigration” will highlight the paintings of Houston-based Henry Membreno. They tell the story of his family journey’s from politically troubled El Salvador to Mexico and then to Texas, where the artist was born in 1975.
On a lighter note, the Belger Arts Center will explore the theme of adornment through a group show of works from the Belger Collection, including paper dunce caps by William Wiley, bronze shoes by Terry Allen and a winter coat fashioned from roofing nails by Kate Kretz.
H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute
What: The Xijing Men: Gimhongsok, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Chen Shaoxiong
When : Friday through April 2. Reception 6-8 p.m. Friday
Hours : Noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
Where : 16 E. 43rd St.
Info : 816.561.5563
Red Star Studios
What: Andy Brayman and Alleghany Meadows
When : Friday through April 27. Reception 6-9 p.m. Friday. Free demonstration workshop, 2-4 p.m. at the Belger Crane Yard Studios, 2011 Tracy St. Slide lecture at 4 p.m.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday
Where : 2100 Walnut St.
Info : 816.474.7316
Belger Arts Center
What: Adornment: Belger Collection Group Show
When : Friday through June 8. Reception 5-9 p.m.
Hours : 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, noon-4 p.m. Saturday or by appointment.
Where : 2100 Walnut St.
Info : 816.474.3250
Cara and Cabezas Contemporary Gallery
What Austerity Measures
When : Friday through March 2. Reception 6-9 p.m.
Where :1714 Holmes St.
Hours : 6-9 p.m. on First Fridays, noon-4 p.m. Saturdays or by appointment
Info : 816.332.6239
Carter Art Center Gallery at MCC-Penn Valley
What Corner to Corner and Head to Toe: Skye Livingston and Tom Virgin
When : Friday through March 2. Reception and artist talks 6-9 p.m. Friday
Where : 3201 Southwest
Hours :1-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, noon-3 p.m. Saturday
Info : 816.604.4278
What 6th Annual Erotica Art Show
When : Friday through Feb. 16. Reception 6-11 p.m. Friday, includes burlesque by Panties Inferno and music by the
Bluegrass Porn Stars at 8 p.m.
($3 donation at the door).
Hours : Open Feb. 2 and by
Where : 504 E. 18th St.
Info : 816.716.5940
Spyn Design Studio
What P&M Artworks presents Secret Salon
When : Friday through Feb. 23. Reception 6-9 p.m. Friday
Where : 2011 Baltimore Ave.
Hours : By appointment
Info : 816.437.9975
Mattie Rhodes Art Center
What Artifacts of Immigration
When : Friday through March 22. Reception 6-9 p.m. Friday
Hours : 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where : 919 W. 17th St.
Info : 816.221.2349
Main Street Gallery
What New Drawings by Mindy
When : Friday through Feb. 22. Reception 6-9 p.m. Friday
Hours : 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday and Sunday; 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Friday and
Where : 1610 Main St. (upstairs at Anton’s Tap Room & Restaurant)
Info : 816.210.6534
The Late Show
What Reviving the Shark: Annual Valentine Group Show
When : Friday through Feb. 23. Reception 6-10 p.m. Friday
Hours : 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment
Where : 1600 Cherry St.
Info : 816.474.1300
Vine Street Studio
What Paseo Student Art Show
When : Friday Through Feb. 28. Reception 5-8 p.m. Friday
Hours: 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and by
appointment. Family Day,
noon-3 p.m. Feb. 2
Where : 2033 Vine St.
Info : 816.645.1052
The Gallery at 19 Below
What Bret Gottschall: In Other Words (Putting Words Where Your Mouth Isn’t)
When : Friday through Feb. 28. Reception 5-9 p.m. Friday
Hours : 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where : 5 W. 19th St.
Info : 816.547.1567
Blue Djinn Gallery
What Carlos Duarte
When : Friday through Feb. 23. Reception 6-9 p.m. Friday
Hours : 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where : 1400 Union Ave.
Info : 816.518.4649
Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art
What Laura De Angelis: Pearl Diving
New Figurative Ceramic Sculpture
Vera Mercer: Still Life
Large scale photographs
Where : 2004 Baltimore Ave.
When : Through Feb. 23. Open First Friday 7-9 p.m.
Hours : 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and by appointment
Info : 816.221.2626
Zen in the Art of Foosball: One night installation and performance by Zaylor Mallace
and Winter Group Exhibition
When : Group Exhibition through Feb. 25. Reception 7-9 p.m. Friday
Hours : 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment
Where : 118 Southwest Blvd.
Info : 816.527.0823
- Art. Write. Now. Tour
When : Through Feb. 22
- Rachel Ignotofsky: P.O.T.U.S. a Portrait Series in Wood Cuts
When : Through Feb. 23
- Cheryl Gail Toh: Linger Still
When : Through March 30
- Fernando Pezzino: Filling the Void and Michael Hager: Objects of Interest / Interest of Objects
When : Through Feb. 26. Reception 6-9 p.m. Friday
Hours : 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
Where : 2012 Baltimore Ave.
Info : 816.474.1919