March First Friday


2012 Baltimore Ave.   I  Kansas City, MO 64108  I  816.474.1919   Thurs-Sat. 11 am-5 pm
March 3, 2017
6 pm 9 pm
Angie Piehl, Bouquet, 2016, digital photo from collage, 26" x 20"

Creatures of Excess

Angie Piehl

March 3 - April 29, 2017
Opie Gallery


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.  


Selected Works from 2006-2016

Misty Gamble

January 6 - April 1, 2017
Main Gallery

Spanning a decade, this collection was brought together to showcase the ceramic sculpture of Misty Gamble. The Leedy-Voulkos Art Center hosts this three-month retrospective. The exhibition will highlight several bodies of work and their development. Sculptures from Sweet Terror, Explorations in Multiplicity, Abject Reverie, and Studio Nong over the years will be in this exhibition of specifically selected works. Recent works, Blue Sunday and Forevermore will also be included in the exhibition. 


Issues surrounding femininity and set standards of normalcy, propriety and the abject inform my work. Through my ceramic sculptures, I confront and challenge conventional standards of womanhood, beauty, and power. My work is meant to upset the status quo so that one may re-examine their own notions of womanhood. I a m interested in examining how women conform themselves to fit standards. I explore the themes of excess, materialism, and waste for a voracious consumer society. As a social satirist making feminist commentaries, I confront the most material aspects of cultural traditions forcing the viewer to rethink concepts of body, adornment, social status, personal worth, and the roles of both sexes. The sculpted figure , multiple figural fragments, installation and theatricality provide a perfect vehicle for communicating ideas about beauty, excess and the abject. The work exposes stereotypes while simultaneously, confronting the viewer with seeing oneself in familiar meaningless pursuits. The work is influenced by my continued interest in figuration, as well as fashion, textile pattern, contemporary fetish objects, and hair. Combining formal elements of art and design to depict familiar objects of adornment such as wigs, handbags, accessories and shoes contributes to the figures' lifelike, yet grotesque feminine image. A residue or absence of the body produces an opportunity to explore new motifs, multiplicity and fragmentation of the body.

Misty Gamble is the recipient of a number of honors including awards from the Martin Wong Foundation, National Conference for the Education of Ceramic Arts and the Ellice T. Johnston Foundation. In 2008, she received an artist grant from the Ruth Chenven Foundation and was honored as a Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist. Misty has been awarded long-term residencies at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, where she earned the Howard Kottler Fellowship, and the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Additionally, Gamble was invited to lead an Artist-Invite Artist Residency at Watershed and was an invited artist at Project Art in Cummington, Massachusetts. In 2014, Gamble was an invited artist at C.R.E.T.A Rome and has continued to study or teach in Italy since 2013. Gamble is the co-founder of Studio Nong: International Sculpture collective and residency program. Studio Nong travels to China (2013, 2016), the US and Europe to accomplish residencies that focus on clay figurative sculpture. Gamble is an Assistant Professor in the School of Foundation at the Kansas City Art Institute. Before receiving her MFA from San Francisco State University in the visual arts, she worked as an agent, publicist, and event producer in music and the performing arts. She has been widely published and her work is exhibited both nationally and internationally.

ArtSpeak Radio LIVE

Central Standard with Gina Kaufmann
Wonderland Remains: Four Views

Recent Photography by Four Alumni of the Kansas City Art Institute

Chuck Avery
Jeff Burk
Don McKenna
Russell Phillips

February 3 - April 1, 2017
Front Gallery


Wonderland Remains presents the work of four photographic visionaries who are engaged in rendering the beauty and visual poetry of the far-reaching vestiges of America. Through their images we can also see the evidence that portends our place within this ever changing, human made environment.

It is no surprise to learn that these four photographers have their own historical connections. Alumni of the Kansas City Art Institute, they attended KCAI in the late 1970s where their influences were shared. During our current time, where "analog meets digital," each photographer has emerged true to his values. It is through their collective vision that the ultimate gift of photography is bestowed upon us, one that gives us pause while informing us in ways to see this wondrous world.
- Kenneth C. Burkhart, Guest Curator

Kenneth C. Burkhart has served as past Curator of Photography and Curator of Exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center for a combination of 10 years. He also served as consulting curator for the Comer Foundation's CITY2000 Project, a photographic survey of Chicago. Additionally, since 1980 he has curated over one hundred exhibitions including: Barbara Crane: Challenging Vision; Nathan Lerner: 50 Years of Photographic Inquiry; Stephen Deutch, Photographer: From Paris to Chicago, 1932-1989; Changing Chicago: Architecture and the Workplace; and Mickey Pallas: Photographs 1946-1966.

Desolate Truths
Overt Absences

Glyneisha Johnson

March 3 - March 31, 2017
Lower Level Gallery

Desolate Truths Overt Absences evaluates the importance of Black domestic spaces within a society that often overlooks these spaces and the people who inhabit them. The works in this exhibition explore the language of collage as a metaphor to describe the dislocated, collaged nature of Black history due to colonialism. While bringing awareness to these important spaces, the works also reveal the reality of desolate truths and overt absences within black family life, revealing a personal past for the artist.

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