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

First Friday Opening
February 7, 2014

Sonie Ruffin, Legacy II, 2013, fiber, 36" x 31" 
UMKC Women's Center presents: 
Her Art Project
Wonder Women
SHEroes, Freedom Fighters, and Women Who Kick Butt!

February 7 - March 29, 2014
Back Gallery
Artist Reception
Friday March 7, 2014
This exhibit explores the concept of superheroines and features local artists Michelle Beasley, Nedra Bonds, Nicole Emanuel, Ritchie Kaye, Eugenia Ortiz, and Sonie Ruffin. These women are not only themselves activ-ists, advocates, and change makers in the community, but also create art and imagery that evokes the strength courage, and resilience of the empowered woman. These Wonder Women artists have told stories, raised awareness, and given a voice to women making art in Kansas City: Textile artist Nedra Bonds uses her quilts as a tool for social change, advocating for civil rights, women's rights, and environmental rights. Sonie Ruffin's quilts tell stories of the African American experience and remind us of the multicultural world we live in and a past we shouldn't forget. Eugenia Ortiz is an outspoken advocate for survivors of gender violence and has found a way through her own art to heal from her own experience with violence. And Michelle Beasley, Ritchie Kaye, and Nicole Emanuel create work that feature women and the female form, demonstrating the diversity of all women and the unique qualities that make so many of them Wonder Women. This exhibit asks the audience to consider the wonder of the artist and her art, and to see them as she-roes, freedom fighters, and women who kick butt!













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 - March 29, 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.

















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1. Milk, 1977, acrylic on canvas, 56" x 39"
2. Untitled Self Portrait, c. 1980, ink on paper, 22" x 14"
3. Eh Baloney, 1982, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 53" x 107"
4. Studio Portrait of Tony Naponic
5. Out of the Blue, 1985, acrylic on canvas, 66" x 54"
Gorgeous & Outrageous: The Art of Tony Naponic

January 3 - March 1, 2014

Main Gallery


b. 1954 - d. 2003

Choosing to use a narrative (story-telling) approach, I have been making expressive paintings...that are derived from my perception of social situations. The characters are set within a tactile environment drawn from my experiences, the origins of which I may not totally understand. I hope the work opens another dimension which will include and prompt the viewer to be part of the communication.  


- Tony Naponic, c.1980 

Tony Naponic's exuberant abstract and figurative paintings were first shown in Kansas City, where he lived from 1973 - 84. Nobody had really seen anything like them. They were brash, big and totally confident. Naponic was making Neo-Expressionist artworks before that term was officially coined in the 1980s, and his works were as good, or better than anything being exhibited in that style, anywhere. When he had a solo show at the Zolla-Lieberman Gallery in Chicago in 1980, critic David Elliott wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times "Naponic shows that at 26 he needs lessons from no one."

He handled paint with gusto, often blending pigment, encaustic, enamels, and pastels. But what made Naponic's artwork singularly compelling was his story-telling abilities, his edgy, over-the-top narratives that defy easy explanation.

The subjects of his representational works were mostly drawn from his own life story. They came from his childhood growing up in Adamsburg, Pennsylvania, where his father was a coal miner and his mother a cook at a Howard Johnson restaurant. They embraced his pool - playing abilities and his love of cars. Some of his most inspired paintings and works-on-paper revolved around the crazy antics of customers at the restaurants where he worked. The hardest art-works to decode are his narratives concerning sexuality and relationships, in which conflict, anger and vulnerability often co-exist.

It's not surprising that Naponic was also a prolific writer of short, surrealist narratives. He made hand-carved and painted wooden books, with strange little stories which ARTnews critic Victoria Melcher in 1981 called "scatological tales...straight out of Naponic's funny but alarming vision of life." Black and white drawings, powerfully sketched, often accom-panied his text pieces in catalogues and notebooks.

From 1976 - 1985 Naponic had 6 major one-person shows throughout the Midwest, and his work was included in 14 group exhibitions, including two at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. When he received a National Endowment for the Arts Emerging Artist Grant, he moved to New York in the mid - 80s.

Naponic, who graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1974, was an abstract painter while in school. In New York his paintings and pastels gradually shifted back to painterly abstraction. He often experimented with sandpaper as a base for these works. The glittery surfaces of his later pieces were as flamboyant, in their own way, as his figurative art from the preceding decade.

Tony Naponic died of congestive heart failure in New York at age 49. All of the work in this exhibit has been generously lent by a variety of collectors, many from the Kansas City region.



* The Tony Naponic Retrospective Exhibition Committee is composed of six of Tony's friends from the Kansas City area, and one from the Northern Virginia area:


Elisabeth Kirsch, Curator

Douglas Drake

Mark Drefs (Sterling, Virginia)

Sherry Cromwell-Lacy

Rebecca Ofiesh

E.G. Schempf (photo credits)

Ray Starzmann


by Alice Thorson



 P&M Artworks presents


juried exhibition

January 3 - March 1, 2014

Front Gallery   


Divine: A Juried Exhibition, is the 3rd Annual themed group exhibition of its kind presented by P&M Artworks. Artists applied to an open call and were accepted based on how the work connected to the theme of "Divine." This show features twenty-four emerging artists from the KC Metro and Lawrence areas including:  


Alicia Kelly 
Alison Moyna Greene 
Allison Ice
     *4th Place 
Allan Winkler 
Amy Fredman
     *3rd Place 
Andrew Burkitt 
Andy Ozier 
Anson the Ornery
      *1st Place 
Benjamin Parks 
Cecilia Otero 
Charlie Mylie & Lindsey Griffith
      *Purchase Prize 
Elizabeth Howe 
Jason Needham 
Joe Bussell 
Madeline Gallucci 
Megan Mantia & Leone Anne Reeves 
      *Honorable Mention 
Rachel Forrest 
Scott Lachlan Dickson 
Skye Livingston
      *2nd Place 
Steph Toth Kates 
Sydney Penerz 
Teal Wilson 
Thayer NG Bray
      *Honorable Mention 
Thomas Woodward 

Two special guest jurors helped accept this exceptional group; University of Kansas Professor and artist Michael Kruegerand art writer/critic Blair Schulman



Photo by Jenifer Cady

Rane Bo Nutsch Cross of Paraplui Productions unveils  


The Fishnets Experiment: Chapter 3


A multi-layered sensory art experience  

January 3 - March 1, 2014

Lower Level Gallery


The Fishnets Experiment is interactive, social, traveling art experiment infusing attendees in a performance art experience. The show will make its third stop at the Leedy-Voulkos in January and February 2014 displaying the work made from the first two Experiments, and hosting a third event completely unique from the others that will produce new images for the next event location. Featuring the work of:


Jenifer Cady, Jenifer Cady Photography

Megan Wyeth, artist

Tom Styrkowicz , 53Tom

Andrew Pritzker, Qikfinger Films


The Fishnets Experiment is comprised of many layers of sensory stimuli designed to leave strong imprints in the brain of the participant. It is a social art experiment utilizing several photographers and a filmmaker who are simultaneously on the stage they document. The guests are part audience for the performances, part fodder for the artists to document, and part characters in the loosely sketched plot for each evening's experiment. Each Experiment reflects, absorbs and feeds the essence of the community and neighborhood in which it is hosted.

What is the purpose of the Experiment? A loose framework in which professional or amateur hobbyists, work; an excuse for people to play, and be the true expression of your spirit. The art made from the Experiments also sheds light on the way collaboration happens between creative people and the ways they inspire each other.