Monday, May 19, 2014

Research road trip. Day 2: Kansas City, MO and Lawrence, KS

Day two. We woke up in St. Louis, MO and drove west across the state to Kansas City, MO. What an incredible city it blew us both away and now I can understand why there is a ceramic meca in KC...we both could easily live there- Kansas City left a good inpression; clean city, amazing museums, farm-to-table restaurants, and much more. Our first stop in KC was at Red Star Studios and Gallery. Unfortunately since it was Sunday Red Star was closed :( we were both bummed and had been looking forward visitng Red Star in person. We peaked in the windows and named off all the artists and artwork we could see. 

After a failed adventure to Red Star we grabbed lunch at Cafe Gratitute and started to plan our next move. We were aware that the Kansas City Art Institute was in the city and that near by there was an art museum but the exact details and the extent of the museum was still unknown to us. I used my phone to acquire more information and discovered that the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art was currently featuring a ceramic exhibition- once upon a time: stories in contemporary ceramics.
When we arrived at the museum it was instantly obvious the museum had much more to offer than the exhibition we were first excited about. Upon first arrival we could see surrounding the museum was a large grass area/park that feauted 3 large Claes Oldenburg pieces. 
In a review of my own artwork I was once compared to Oldenburg so it was special to see his work in person- and sure enough it was very playful!!! My phone died a gazillion time (only 6 but still!) so we weren't able to take as many photographs as we wanted but below are the photos we were able to take. For this post in including mostly pictures of our favorite pieces and interactive aspects of the museum (the main focus for my research on this trip). 
As far as interior aspects go below is one of my favorites. There was this incredible wooden bed that was built without nails or glue to make it easy to take apart and move. The museum of course did not want visitors to touch the bed but they did want people to understand the complexity to the joints and the craftsmanship in making the bed: so they set up this interactive station with sample joints that visitors were allowed to touch and play with. See Jeni at the station in the picture below. 
Another interactive station below. 
Here is my favorite piece from the Nelson-Atkins. I have seen Marilyn Levine's work in books and publications but photographs never do justice, it was incredible to see this piece in person. And enjoying a little Donald Judd.
Peter Voulkos, Plate, 1973
The work above is from the Kansas City Art Institute student exhibition. Unfortunately, the show was being deinstalled when we arrived but we saw it in part and did meet some friendly students! It's seems like a great place with some really good student work coming out.
We ended the day with a visit to Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, KS to visit resident artist and studio manager Kyla Strid. Kyla is a talented vessel maker who recently graduated with her MFA from Ohio University. I first met Kyla during an artist residency at Red Lodge Clay Center where I traded her for a few bowls that we still love and use daily!
Stay tuned for our next adventure: topics include breakfast with Jo Kamm, a visit to K-State ceramics in Manhattan, KS with faculty Amy Santoferraro and recent grad Lauren Karle.

No comments:

Post a Comment