2012 Baltimore Ave I Kansas City, MO 64108 I 816.474.1919 I Thurs-Sat, 11am-5pm

First Friday Opening
April 4, 2014


One Thread at a Time

Hand-woven Textiles by Debbie Barrett-Jones
April 4 - May 31, 2014
Back Gallery

Artist Statement 


Weaving is an art that emphasizes process. One Thread at a Time represents the tension between control and happenstance during the process. From the start of a project - drawing out the plans, drafting the pattern, dyeing yarn using a color-mixing and percentage-gradation process - Barrett-Jones' woven panels reveal not only the communication that passes between one color thread intersecting another, but shows the range of control in both the complete and deconstructed. Barrett-Jones' ultimate goal is to let the viewer see not just the complete, clean finished project but give the viewer a glimpse of the pre-weaving process, much of which can be painstakingly tedious. However, this attention to detail is equally essential to the actual work on the loom.


Artist Bio


Debbie Barrett Jones is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute Fiber program and has run her weaving business, Billy Sue Textiles, since 2008. She has also exhibited her work widely and completed commissions in the Kansas City area for Children's Mercy Hospital, Community Christian Church, and more.
















- Caleb Gebel, Untitled 1, multimedia, 11" x 8"

- Nathan Hall, Man's Best Friend, ballpoint pen on paper, 24" x 18"

- Austin Gober, Through the Head, acrylic paint and ink on canvas, 24" x 48"


KCAI Undergrads Underground


The CAN Show 

Caleb Gebel

Austin Gober

Nathan Hall


April 4 - April 26, 2014
Lower Level Gallery


Caleb Gebel


In my most recent work, I am trying to create a visual representation of a "Catch-22" which inherently seems impossible, but I work with the idea only in so far as much as a specific set of rules will allow me to literally and conceptually defy the. Along with these rules I set for myself, I attempt to implement movements and styles in art that have been prescribed definitions or labels and try to follow the rules of multiple art movements simultaneously. However, some of the art movements I choose, by definition, cannot exist together. I work in the standards of a multimedia artist and hope to expand my repertoire in order to create an image that hasn't been before.


Austin Gober


I make art simply to get the images that are stuck in my head out and into the real world. Although all of my paintings are personal to me in one way or another, it's hard to accurately say in brevity what my entire body of work means to me. I feel that all the viewer needs to know about by work is that t all comes from one place. My medium of choice is acrylic paint and ink. I love the contemplation I am able to achieve when using a more time-consuming traditional medium. The style that I've developed, which I view as the way I talk, would not be possible without it.


Nathan Hall


As an image-maker, I really like to focus on  a specific object or combination of objects, and how I can utilize their unique characteristics, body language, and memory triggers to elicit a variety of emotional responses. I am interested in the narrative or meaning to be derived from that in a personal form, for everyone to interpret differently. I enjoy using the unconventional medium of ballpoint pen to render form and accomplish specific textures, as well as gouache and other workable mediums for color and texture.

- Gagik Abbas of Kar,2012, mixed media on wood, 39" x 35"
- Desert Poem for T.E. Lawrence no.1, 2013, mixed media on wood, 80" x 30"

- Moorish House,1998, fiberglass and mixed media on paper, 22" x 30" 



Steve Joy
Icons and Elizabethans

paintings from 2012 to 2014


March 7 - April 26, 2014

Main Gallery



Tudor and Jacobean Portraits


There is a line in a film I watched recently called 'Finding Forrester' in which Sean Connery's character tells his protege that the way to a woman's heart is "an unexpected gift; unexpected time."


You might say that a way to a painter's heart is "unexpected inspiration; unexpected time." A casual visit in Devon, England to the ancestral home of Sir Francis Drake, the English explorer plunderer and naval warfare genius, led to discovery of Tudor and Jacobean painting, much of it anonymous and hidden away amongst the nick-nacks of Elizabethan stately homes. I have always been drawn to medieval painting from a time I like to call "Pre-Art". By this I mean art before the 15th Century when it became thoroughly connected to trade, commerce and the cultural demands of society via the Church and the monarchy. Hence my immersion in icon painting and the beginnings of what we call art.


The paintings that have influenced these works on display here, are as mysterious and unworldly as Icons. They portray a lost world of which we know very little, passing down through centuries, the romance, intrigue, cruelty, bravado and sheer invention of a time of discovery that is all but lost to us as we hurtle down the information superhighway from the comfort of our homes.


Painting seems as good a medium as any to find a way to hang on to the forgotten or overlooked past, and to remember the achievements and failures that have shaped us. They are only glimpses of what may have been---portals, if you like, into a world away from the constant flow of logical information in our time and perhaps a reminder that there are still some things out there that are not known.


~ Steve Joy


Artist Bio


Born in Plymouth, England, in 1952, Joy served in the Royal Air Force from 1968 to 1975, visiting museums and cultural sights on his furloughs. In 1975, he enrolled in art school in London. His earliest works - oil paintings on canvas, some with three-dimensional projections - reflected his desire to escape from the mundane by continued travel. Later, inspired by American Abstract Expressionists such as Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, Joy sought to break away from the formal aspects of contemporary British painting. Realizing the inherent limitations of abstraction, however, Joy noted, "The only way abstract painting had any chance of survival was to take on the great issues of history." By a combination of travel and painting, he has made a career of this personal journey. He is committed to the idea of spiritual abstraction and the development of painting and its history from the 15th century to today. Influences from the past include the art of Duccio, Giotto, Velasquez, and Matisse.


Joy has studied and worked on three continents, in Japan, Belgium, Italy, Norway, Greece, Spain, and now, more permanently, in Omaha, where he first arrived as the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts' curator in 1998 and where he is one of a group of artists with international reputations working in Omaha, Nebraska.


Joy's technique and his choice of media have evolved over the years. He creates using rich, saturated colors, squares of gold and silver leaf, and wax. His paintings also reflect a vivid sense of geometry and proportion. Several are punctuated with words as part of the composition. The totality reflects Joy's fascination with exotic cultures, religions, and the great religious works of the history of art, in particular Orthodox icon painting and western European medieval works.
















 If I Could Return to My Grandma's House, 2006, digital print, 18.5" x 80"


Lei Yan


When a Dream is Not a Dream

March 7 - April 26, 2014
Front Gallery


Artist Statement

I am a Chinese artist, and my art is mostly from my understanding and my cognition about the world, especially from my 30-years of military service experience. The duty and responsibility of being a soldier has differentiated me from other women artists, and led me to care more about the society where we live. I strongly believe that art should have a connection to our society, so in my recent works I have illustrated war, environmental issues, children issues and other type of problems nationwide and worldwide by my art. I wish I could use art to let people think, to let people raise questions, so people will learn to care about what is going on around them. In my mind, art should be meaningful and practical to the world. I really appreciate Leedy-Voulkos Art Center offering me the opportunity to exhibit my works, and the theme of the show is called "When a Dream Is Not a Dream". All the works contain my memories of the past and my unique experience from the military, such as the flying children's clothes, the gun strapped by vines, the word "love" on a laptop keyboard, the maintains covered in white and a lot of "if" and question mark in some images...The work looks like visions that appear in one's dream that sometimes do not queue in a consistent order. You can feel the dream, but they will fade away if you try to touch. All the visions in my head sometimes make me confused, anxious and even sentimental, which let me wish that I could have a better dream from the past. As we know, art can help us preserve memories no matter how beautiful, crucial, unstable or uncertain they are. I believe these memories can also help us to better understand what has happened in the past, and then let us think about more about our future.















1. A Birchfield Variation, 2011, Gouache, Watercolor on Paper, 11" x 13.5"
2. Bilateral Negotiation, 2010, Gouache, Watercolor, Graphite on Paper, 22" x 30" 
3. Twins, 2009, Gouache, Watercolor, Graphite on Paper, 11" x 14" 
4. VHS or Autocolor?, 2009, Gouache, Watercolor on Paper 8" x 7.5" 
5. Widely Debated, 2008, Watercolor on Paper, 5" x 8"


Amanda Lechner



February 7 - April 26, 2014

Opie Gallery 


Artist Statement 
Through my work I envision moments of experimentation and discovery. My current egg tempera paintings embody the quest for narrative alternatives. The history of science and optics inform my recent work, I am especially interested in failed theories and practices that have been out-moded by more prevalent discoveries. I like to imagine the technolo-gies and scientific apparatuses that may be used today had these failed hypotheses held true. What often interests me most about science is the story behind the research and discovery. Behind every theory and conclusion there is a human story, sometimes mundane, sometimes extraordinary. Discovering, analyzing and understanding phenomena are practices that artists and scientists share, but differ in ap-proach. The profoundly strange and wonderful ideas offered by quantum physics, alchemy and science-fiction find a visual adaptation in my work. Past and contemporary pseudo-sciences and super-natural investigations are also very intriguing as wellsprings for narrative potential. Through a combination of visual and narrative experiments, I explore the nature of reality, history and personal experi-ence and hope to create images that are at once captivating and anomalous. 


Artist Bio 


Born in 1981 in Santa Fe, NM 


Amanda Lechner is a visual artist who lives in New York and New Mexico. 


Her studio practice primarily revolves around drawing and painting. Her current egg tempera paintings, images that are at once captivating and anomalous embody a quest for narrative alternatives. Lechner's work has been exhibited throughout the United States. In 2012-13 she co-organized a traveling visual art exhibition featuring the work of 21 art-ists entitled "In Search Of..." that traveled to Rhodes College, University of Kansas and TSA Gallery, Brooklyn. 


Lechner studied painting at the Kansas City Art Institute where she was awarded a BFA with Honors in 2003 and at the Rhode Island School of Design where she received her MFA in 2005. 


She is a currently a lecturer at SUNY Purchase College - School of Art + Design.