April First Friday


2012 Baltimore Ave.   I  Kansas City, MO 64108  I  816.474.1919   Thurs-Sat. 11 am-5 pm
April 7, 2017
6 pm 9 pm
Kansas City 2017
April 7 - May 27, 2017
Main Gallery

Paintallica is a collaboration of artists who create improvised, site-conditioned installations incorporating drawing, painting, sculpture and more. The group's project will culminate at the opening reception of their exhibition, Worst Show Yet, on April 7th during First Friday.

Paintallica's installations emerge from a few days and nights of immense work, field research, discussion and play, and usually involve chainsaws, wood in many forms, drawing, paint, fire, a wide range of motor vehicles and occasionally neon. Their imagery and tools are remnants of the working-class, rural American roots of most of the members. Recent installations include Sensitivity Training and Double Vision Quest, which showcased intentionally confrontational and impulsive work. The raw and uncensored nature of Paintallica is integral to the mission of addressing sensitive, immediate and often taboo issues.
Paintallica was formed in 2002 by a group of painters in the graduate program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.  At first it was simply a pact to visit each other's studios regularly, but soon evolved into opportunities to collectively fill gallery spaces.  Paintallica's members have exhibited extensively nationally and internationally and have storied individual biographies that include articles in The New York Times, Sculpture Magazine and ArtForum, censure from President Barack Obama, tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, professorships at universities, internationally published graphic novels, time spent in jail, founding of the Free Art School, an album cover for Lambchop, involvement in The Veterans Book Project and Combat Paper Project, as well as numerous shows in Berlin, New York, London, Portland and Los Angeles.
Paintallica includes, but is not limited to; Dan Attoe, Jamie Boling, Jesse Albrecht, Jeremy Tinder, David Dunlap, Jay Schmidt, Shelby Davis, Dalton Brink, Gordon Barnes, Bill Donavan, Posie Currin, Greta Songe, Josh Wilichowski, Jeff Anderson, Josh Black, Bruce Tapola, Ralf Pugay, Lori Gilbert, Bruce Conkle, Josh Anderson, Brandon Buckner, Chris Miller and Ryan "Boomer" Boomhower.

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Jeff Robinson

April 7 - May 27, 2017
Front Gallery

When someone unfamiliar with my work asks what it's like I usually say that if I  painted it it looks like what it's supposed to be.

I'm an imagist.

I used to make paintings of people and now I paint almost anything else. Sort of. Whether it's a book, a house or a chair (because it was published, designed, constructed for our use) it is evocative of the human experience and in that sense it retains its figural quality.

So then my interest is what these seemingly banal objects can represent. Is a stack of books the ache of procrastination or the elation of accomplishment?

Can looking beyond the rooftops of my neighborhood spur thoughts of travel and adventure? Does an empty chair imply absence or anticipation?

There's no right answer. One size does not fit all.

Isn't that great?
~ Jeff Robinson


Jeff Robinson (born 1959, Summit, NJ) enrolled in the Kansas City Art Institute in 1979 to study sculpture under the tutelage of Dale Eldred and Jim Leedy.

After the rigors of academia Robinson began to shift his focus from sculpture to painting. "The change in medium suited my temperament. Painting allowed me to get to ideas quicker." He stayed in Kansas City and partook of its burgeoning art scene at the Random Ranch and Left Bank galleries. From conventional subject matter - the figure - came unconventional work. The Campfire Girls series. "I liked to take things apart and put them back together again a little differently."

After a decade of work in Kansas City, Robinson was ready to move back east. In 1992 he was living in New York City and painting at a prodigious rate. Figures took a backseat to Flags of his own invention and a growing personal iconography (e.g. key, horse, bridge, dog). The works were "adulations of symbols, odes on objects." Building up a canvas in layers of paint and then coaxing an image from this rich surface the work took on an almost sculptural quality. To add to the overt physicality, he would frequently cut and reassemble the canvas as he proceeded to its conclusion.

Within his first months New York, he began exhibiting at the Meisner/SoHo gallery and continued to show there over the next few years. In the mid-90's Robinson was taking part in the rebirth of art in New York by involving himself in several group shows around the city (e.g.GenArt and Oracle). He also began exhibiting in other galleries, including the project room of the Jason McCoy Gallery.

The design elements of the Flags informed a new series inspired by a childhood favorite, Spirograph. "Initially, I was exploring the subtleties of design but I got caught up in the sculptural possibilities of it. I made a large 12:1 scale Spirograph machine out of wood which I used it in the creation of the original Spiro series. It was important for me to go through the process of designing and making it if for no other reason than to bring me back to working three-dimensionally."

The Shirt drawings and paintings were born of this restlessness with subject and material. As always, inspiration comes from unexpected sources. The idea came to Robinson in NYC via a chance encounter with a friend who was on his way to Goodwill with a pile of clothes. Robinson saw "the shirt," was struck by its graphic quality, put it on - added the one he had been wearing to the pile - and wore it home. So began the series, Same Shirt Different Day.

In 1999 his love of literature and his proximity to the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan ("8 miles of Books") led to the next series, Libris. Of late Rooflines and Chairs have become areas of interest. Robinson lives and works in Roanoke neighborhood of Kansas City with his wife, author/illustrator Courtney Watkins and daughter Mary Charles.
Creatures of Excess

Angie Piehl

March 3 - April 29, 2017
Opie Gallery

Angie Piehl, Bouquet, 2016, digital photo from collage, 26" x 20"


Angela Piehl's work addresses luxury, accumulation, and alienation from  nature. Piehl considers these topics from a gendered perspective, and  her images create allegorical and narrative allusions regarding identity, loneliness, opulent decay and the underbelly of human nature.

Piehl abstracts and re-combines elaborately decorative elements with  organic material such as hair, tentacles, eggs, bone, crystalline structures and wood. Images Piehl crafts contain synthetic representations of nature and natural beauty through quotation of decoration and design tropes. This artifice and irony is additionally layered into her content through color choices, use of pattern, and textural artifice.

Piehl layers imagery using an intuitive sense of aesthetic relationships,  hybridizing different aesthetic orders (synthetic and organic, flora and  fauna, decoratively abstract and figuratively monstrous) as a means of  further emphasizing and contrasting visual information, as well as human  relationships to these orders.

Piehl's visual intermingling creates biomorphic abstractions with  inherent narrative qualities; grotesque creatures imbibed with the power  to both attract and repel, and the potential to host projections of human  emotion and desire. These feral bouquets are simultaneously engaging and  seductive, while repellent and abject. Ultimately, Piehl's emphatic  commitment to a wide range of source imagery leads to an eccentric abstraction, rejecting barriers and boundaries.


Angela Piehl is an artist, and an Associate Professor of Painting, Drawing, and Digital Art. Her work has exhibited widely, in national, international, juried and invitational exhibitions. 
Recent solo exhibitions include Feral Beauty and Opulent Decay at the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art, Unnatural Order at the Oklahoma City Capitol Gallery, Lonely Hunters at the Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Angela Piehl: Drawings at the Indianapolis Art Center, Organic Excess at ARC Gallery in Chicago, and Curiosities of the Floating World at Chashama Gallery in New York. 
Piehl has been included in many 2 and 3 person exhibitions nationally; most recently at Colorado State University, Appalachian State University, Artspace Gallery in Raleigh, NC, and Antenna Gallery in New Orleans. 
Piehl's works are part of the Kala Art Institute's Permanent Collection in Berkeley, CA, the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art's Print Collection, and the New Mexico State University Art Gallery's Permanent Collection.
Piehl has participated in many public lectures addressing her work and research at various conferences, exhibition panel lectures, and at galleries, museums and universities across the country.
Piehl has participated in several highly competitive Artist Residency programs, such as Jentel, Kala Art Institute, Vermont Studio Center, and Chashama.
Piehl's work has been supported with grant funding through Oklahoma State University, and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Council.

Noelle Stoffel,  Over the City,  acrylic on canvas, 48" x 36"

Over the City

Noelle Stoffel

March 3 - April 29, 2017
Opie Gallery


When does a landscape become more than a landscape? 

To Noelle Stoffel, when a vantage point shifts, the lens through which a landscape is viewed awakens sensations that interpret place and space via fresh colors, forms and textures. "That's what happened with the creation of this collection," Noelle explains. "Flying low over Kansas City in a small plane let me experience my home anew. Beyond two-or three-dimensions, I could interpret layers of artistry in the shapes and colors below me. Those views were mixed with my feelings of home - I've been part of Kansas City nearly all my adult life. But this view from above had a spiritual sense to it, almost a cosmic view of God looking into my world."

The works that resulted had to be captured as impressions, interpreting colors, shapes and  sensations into these expressions of the city she loves. She explains, "I'm hoping my works  invite people to take a second or third look, to discover something unexpected, and to explore the  mysteries beneath the apparent."


Noelle Stoffel may have set a new standard for an early career start, since she accompanied her  father to art classes at age five. Later in childhood she would be matched with artist Joyce  Winter in Wisconsin, and for over thirteen years would spend six hours or more most Saturdays in  the Winter studio working with paint, clay, and charcoal, experimenting with nearly every medium  and tool imaginable. "I learned there that art was everywhere, in every aspect of life," Noelle  recalls. "In the years ahead when I traveled with my family, observed architecture and nature, and  reflected on events, I'd find myself studying surfaces, light play and the texture of everyday  objects. And these mixed with the feelings evoked by the relationships in my life. I turned  naturally to the canvas to interpret all these shifting views and emotions." 

Study at a private high school for the arts only increased her passion, and helped direct her to  the Kansas City Art Institute for training. After art school, she fulfilled a childhood dream of  designing for Hallmark, and then shifted to focus on her own paintings for galleries, exhibitions  and commissions. She paints mostly expressionist and abstract works, some textural with acrylic  paint and mixed media. For her, expressionism is the visual interpretation of emotions: the result  of movement, gestures, colors playing over and against each other, framed by the communication  of an inner vision. "It's what flows from me to the canvas," she explains, "when I open myself up  and let go."

Her work can be found in galleries and collections throughout the United States, as well as the  Caribbean.  


Between the Front Door
and the Kitchen Sink
Lizzie Green
April 7 - April 29, 2017
Lower Level Gallery



Windows, doors, and archways literally and conceptually frame our worldview.

Lizzie Green's exhibition Between the Front Door and the Kitchen Sink aims to cultivate an experience of exploration and yearning that is challenged by a sense of visceral discomfort. Abstract representational quilts, free-standing pieced works, and short form prose are interconnected through the repeated use of pattern and texture. The recurrent visual elements in each piece become the key to the viewer mapping psychological connections in the larger narrative of the work.

The quilts and sculptures in this exhibition mimic the way we encounter pattern and color in our everyday. The density and saturation of textiles amplify pattern's effect on our emotions and memory. Excessive pattern and complimentary color connect each of the images in the works, asking viewers to recognize similarities between them. Accompanying fictional writings serve as the guides to the narratives of these spaces, putting viewers into the shoes of an intruder propelled by curiosity and discovery. The exhibition highlights our contemplative state of being and the way we desire to be where we are not.


Lizzie Green, based in Kansas City, MO, is a multimedia installation artist, rooted in and inspired by the textile processes and practices. Raised in Chicago by two artists, she was introduced to a creative lifestyle at a young age. Her latest body of work uses re-purposed textiles to fabricate quilts and soft sculpture installation to explore topics of nostalgia, familiarity and sense of home in an urban environment. Green is currently is a 2017 BFA candidate in Fiber at the Kansas City Art Institute.


Through layering texture, pattern, and material, I piece together quilts, sculpture, and installations that employ a controlled chaos in their growth, fueled simply by a need to expand. I assemble my work like a map-following unconventional routes not motivated by efficiency, but rather a yearning to find the end.

The history of a material is found on its surface, reminiscent of a time and place. My work consists of quilts and dimensional pieces that sprawl and sprout out of traditional forms, transforming a space into one of my own invention. I gather and accumulate fabrics from thrift stores, like bed sheets and clothing, for their outdated patterns and worn quality, which evoke a sense of nostalgia. The character of each material informs the honesty and sincerity that is important to my works and in my practice. In this effort to be as transparent as possible I apply a raw aesthetic to my quilts, often leaving the edges unfinished. While the personal history of each material is not always clearly evident in the final work, its embedded inherent narrative is critical to my investigation of the viewer's subjective relationship to material.

Thresholds act as framing devices that crop selected sections from an image, fragmenting the viewer's experience of the whole. The use of domestic interior imagery creates a space where viewers enter and make associations and discoveries. Thresholds act as temptation to move through each space at will. I am interest in making viewers self-aware of how they occupy a space, aware of what stories they might attach to images of spaces based on the patterns and textures that fill them. The act of concealing and revealing, physically as well as conceptually, guides viewers to investigate further into each depiction and narratives the work maps out. Like constructing a puzzle, an answer might be provided in one moment, then contradicted in the next, furthering the chain of questioning and investigation.