October First Friday


2012 Baltimore Ave. Kansas City, MO 64108  I  816.474.1919   Thurs-Fri-Sat 11 am-5 pm
October 6, 2017
6 pm 9 pm
Troy Swangstu

September 1 - October 28, 2017
Main Gallery

"The biggest challenge as an artist is managing the constant conflict between creating and everything else in life. However, I believe it was my [fine] arts-training that allowed me to think outside the box with livestock. I allowed myself to begin to wonder, and in the act of doing so, I fully immersed myself in the process of mastering this new skill. Now, new notions and ideas have begun to form which I couldn't have conceived of otherwise. This culminated in the realization that I don't have to turn off being an artist to continue my work with livestock; rather, these two separate paths are now clearly merging into one."
- Troy Swangstu

Troy Swangstu is a local artist currently based out of Paola, Kansas and is originally from Bettendorf, Iowa. Troy received formal training in painting at the Kansas City Art Institute. Shortly after, he continued to gain relevant experience exhibiting with other professional artists and by working closely with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In the years since, he continues to gain recognition as a prolific exhibitor at local and regional galleries. As well as his career as an artist, Swangstu has since relocated to Paola, KS to embrace a rural life of grazing cattle. Drawing upon his passion for regenerative farming practices, Swangstu employs the imagery of his daily life, his livestock and the surrounding landscape, as the primary visual subject of these paintings. Each painting created exclusively for this exhibition features abstracted grazing animals; most notably, bulls, rams, and antelopes.

When viewed collectively, the individual characteristics of each painting exudes from within their compositions. Some of the paintings dance across the massive landscape of canvas in brilliant hues of red and yellow; while others remain static, but no less active, in somber tones of monochromatic blue and grey. The quick, frenetic application of paint is done in loose blocks of colors that are juxtaposed against highly gestural strokes. These strokes create movement that trace the forms of the abstracted and segmented beasts. Imbued with a sense of freedom, these creatures are figural representations of the artist's present state of mind. By painting with such vigor and abandon, Swangstu is emphasizing his newly discovered freedom as an artist. Lest one begins to view Swangstu's paintings as pastoral archetypes, these works are not intended to be a direct reference to livestock, nor is that the artist's central narrative. Instead, the subject matter is meant to reflect and incorporate the years Swangstu has spent working with cattle. The hidden subject, as it were, is the paint and canvas. The canvas serves as the vehicle for the artist's intensive search for true authenticity, while the gestural strokes of paint emphasize his search for a new perspective. In this process of pursuing his own artistic individuality, Swangstu has successfully blended his training as an artist with his passion for sustainable farming.
Lori Raye Erickson

September 1 - October 28, 2017
Front Gallery


Top Left to Right:  Four Score and Seven Years, Sad Sam, Solemnly Swear, The Rising Tide of Discontent;  all m ixed media on wood

"I must make two honest confessions to you...First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Artistic Statement

This work reflects my state of mind regarding our political atmosphere with its chaotic and angry energy, and my frustrations with the administration as well as my fellow Americans. This body of work gives voice to my bewilderment at the current overwhelming disorder. I am constantly upset by our inability to move beyond our differences. History has shown us that hatred and separatist tension will only lead to desperate lawlessness without justice.The time for change has come and gone many times over. The convenient season has come again. I believe Obama said it best: "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

Will we be that change, or will we wait, once again, for a more convenient season?

Artist Bio

Lori Raye Erickson's paintings, drawings and sculpture address political, social, and economic aspects of life utilizing humor and satire. Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa she found art at an early age.

After leaving Iowa, Erickson received her BFA from the Kansas CIty Art Institute. Some of her awards are the Charlotte Street Grant, Avenue of the Arts, Liquitex Award of Excellence among others. She prefers to let the art dictate what material it prefers, being the vessel for implementation, never confining herself to one particular style or methodology.

Erickson's work is in collections all over the world.


Debbie Barrett-Jones

October 6 - 28, 2017
Back Gallery

Coral and Silver Diamonds Part 1 Digital print of original weaving on aluminum,  24" x 16"

As a weaver; I get to see and be apart of the transformation of a white cone of yarn into a colorful, delicate, piece of fabric. Woven; Soft, Hard and Repeat is an exploration of new designs and compositions created off the weaving loom, through photographic and digitally re-contextualizing my original woven textiles on paper and metal.

Artist Bio/Statement

Textiles artist, Debbie Barrett-Jones left her small town in Iowa so she could pursue an education at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) and since graduation, has exhibited her work throughout the United States, including the Kansas City area locations, such as; Children's Mercy Hospital in North Kansas City, Truman Medical Center, Community Christian Church and now, Lead Bank in the Crossroads. Careful consideration goes into color, composition, and material in each of her weavings. Her work reveals the beautiful communication that is the result of one color thread intersecting another. Her panels are composed of vibrating colors and elegant patterns which create a narrative in flux according to the viewer's proximity to each piece. Along with weaving large-scale pieces for public and private spaces, she also creates intimate accessories such as scarves, shawls, and necklaces.  Sitting at her loom and weaving has become Debbie's safe place, her sanctuary. Thread by thread, beat by beat of the weaving loom while creating a piece of fabric, provides a meditative experience, which allows her to step away from everyday worries and fears. In the same way, she hopes her artwork inspires peace, hope, and contemplation, serving as a beautiful distraction during our busy and chaotic lives. The next step of Barrett-Jones' studio investigation has the artist digitally recontextualizing her woven objects on paper on metal. Her large digital prints of original weaving on aluminum metal can be seen at Weinberger Fine Art Gallery, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Woman to Watch (Metals) June-January 28, 2018. And coming soon, Woven Repeat; A new line of Home Decor, Wallpaper, Fabric and Upholstery, Accessories, Active Wear and more designed Debbie Barrett-Jones Textiles.

Presented by P&M Artworks

October 6 - November 25, 2017
Opie Gallery


Artist Statement

I use a combination of acrylic and latex paint, drawing, and collaged elements on paper or wooden boards. These collage materials are selected carefully for their cultural context or use, which helps further the visual story. I work in a narrative format, focusing on small personal moments. I always begin with an autobiographical event or from circumstances around me. From this point, I build a story. Location is very important to me and no matter where I find myself; I rely heavily on what's around me for content and inspiration. Having lived in several cultures around the world has helped build my visual vocabulary.

Artist Bio

Caitlin Cartwright is a painter and social change artist. She has spent several years living and working abroad in Madagascar, Namibia, and India. Caitlin has her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and recently earned her masters degree in Sustainable International Development. She uses art as a tool for economic empowerment, peace-building, and healing and wellness. Her combination painting-drawing- collages are vibrant and visual narratives. Her works have been shown both nationally and internationally. Caitlin is currently based in Ohio but loves going to the beach.
 KCAI Undergrads Underground


Bobby Haulotte

October 6 - 28, 2017
Lower Level Gallery

Decompression examines alternating modes and systems of representation expanding, contracting, separating, uniting, and suggesting the possibility of reconciliation. The work in Decompression fluctuates between mimetic representation and optical abstraction creating a personal language of mark making, color, and pictorial space that relies on context. The resulting images may be simple to understand, but difficult to perceive. Shapes, patterns, colors, and points of clarity change, shift, and blend as the viewer's physical distance and visual interaction change. While formal elements seem to be offered simultaneously, the changing nature of the works makes it difficult to receive them this way. This shift frustrates a desire to view the entirety of the painting clearly and instantaneously, examining the inaccessibility of simultaneity, while leaving the opportunity of reconciliation to the viewer's visual engagement. This perceptual exploration creates a kinetic visual experience for viewers and brings to question this desire for resolution. Mundane subject matter portrayed through varying approaches to representation turn the banal and still into something theatrical and kinetic.

Artist Statement

My paintings use color and various languages of mark making to turn representation into a kinetic visual experience. My work fluctuates between mimetic representation and optical abstraction creating a personal language of mark making, color, and pictorial space that relies on context. The picture created by juxtaposing these methods of representation suggests the possibility of reconciliation, without offering a cohesive image. The resulting images are simple to understand while viewing the work, but result in an image that is difficult to perceive. Shapes, patterns, and colors change, shift, and blend as the viewer's distance from the work shifts. These paintings seem to offer these formal elements simultaneously, but through the constantly changing nature of the works, it becomes impossible to view the painting as a whole. This shift frustrates a desire to view the entirety of the painting clearly and instantaneously, examining the inaccessibility of simultaneity.