September First Friday


2012 Baltimore Ave.   I  Kansas City, MO 64108  I  816.474.1919   Thurs-Sat. 11 am-5 pm
September 2, 2016
6 pm 9 pm
Eclipsed Reflections
Revisiting the Installations of Dale Eldred

Co-curated by Roberta Lord and Stephanie Leedy

September 2 - October 29, 2016
Main Gallery


This exhibition is a retrospective of Dale Eldred's installation work from 1976 to 1995. The gallery will be darkened to showcase multiple slideshows of Eldred's installations involving light, reflection, location and time. His installation work was mostly "temporary" and now exists through memory, essay, and photographic documentation. This exhibition is an opportunity not only to remember but reintroduce his work and concept to a new generation of people, artists, and students.
Dale Eldred was an internationally acclaimed sculptor renowned for large-scale sculptures that emphasized both natural and generated light. He collaborated with composers and choreographers and created installations that created sacred spaces in familiar landscapes through reflecting lights.
Eldred taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and was the chairman of the sculpture department. In 1993, Eldred was killed in a fall trying to rescue equipment and artifacts from his West Bottoms studio during the "500-year" flood that summer.
Common Threads: Anatomy of the Wound

Sonie Joi Ruffin and Arzie Umali
September 2 - October 29, 2016
Back Gallery

Recent violence in this world has wounded us. We are hurting. We are in pain. 
We need to heal. Join us in art-making to transform the hurt and the pain.

This exhibit is a community art project that includes our own original works as well as more than 50 additional works submitted by artists and individuals in the community that we invited to use art to dissect the emotional wounds caused by recent violence in the world. Each piece is unique and personal to its creator and the feelings they communicate are palpable. Grief, anger, frustration, loss, despair and even hope are felt in many of the works. Constant news of violence, especially in communities of color, in our LGBT community, and towards women, has left many of us traumatized. Even if we are not directly affected, we feel the pain. For us, making art has been comforting. It allows us to communicate feelings we cannot put into words, to transform the pain and help heal the wound. We wanted to share that with others who are wounded. The common thread in this exhibit is the RED HEART. We believed that it takes love to end the violence; and with love and art we can heal our wounds.

Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin is a renowned fabric artist, fabric designer, author, and lecturer. She has conducted workshops, lectures and exhibitions on African American quilting at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, New England Quilt Museum, Holter Museum of Art, Bethesda Medical Center Rotunda, Harvard, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Bates College, Lincoln University, Mulvane Museum, UMKC African American Culture House, Truman Medical Center Healing Arts Gallery and a host of quilt guilds, galleries, and museums in the United States, Europe and Africa... Her artwork is held in private, corporate, museum and gallery collections.
Sonié is a Charlotte Street Visual Arts Fellow, Art Omi Fellow, Storyteller's Inc.Fellow, Kansas Master, recipient of Arts KC Inspiration Grant, and Alliance of Artists Community Scholarship, she was a finalist for the Women to Watch National Women's Museum in Washington, D.C. 
Sonié is the curator for the American Jazz Museum located in Kansas City's historical jazz district and serves on the board of the Kansas City Artist Coalition. She is the author of Soulful Art of African American Quilts and Opening Day. Her fabric collections have appeared in McCall's, Better Homes and Garden Quilting and Quilter's Quarters magazines. Her latest artwork to date is the public art design project with Helix Architectural firm and Arts Tech which appears on the front of the Leon Mercer Jordan East Patrol and Crime Lab Campus in Kansas City, MO.

Arzie Umali has been a passionate member of the Kansas City arts community exhibiting her art, organizing arts events, and volunteering for a number of local organizations for the past 20 years. Arzie's paintings and collages reveal her command of color and texture (as well as her love of primates) and have been exhibited in galleries around Kansas City including the UMKC Gallery of Art, Mattie Rhodes Art Center, the Event Space at JavaPort, the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, La Esquina, and the Faso Gallery of Contemporary Art. Arzie has also donated her works to a number of local charitable organizations including the ACLU, AIDS Walk KC, and the Humane Society. Arzie currently serves as the Assistant Director of the UMKC Women's Center where she founded the Her Art Project in 2010, a campus and community-wide initiative that addresses gender discrimination in the arts. Through this program she conducts research, develops programs, and lectures on the status of women in the arts.
Arzie is also a certified healing arts facilitator and she offers workshops for the UMKC community that use art as a tool for healing and transforming trauma. As a volunteer, Arzie has served a number of local organizations including ArtsKC, the Municipal Art Commission of Kansas City, Missouri, One Percent for Art, Charlotte Street Foundation, InterUrban ArtHouse, the Arts Council of Johnson County, the Carter Art Center, the NAACP, and the ACLU. Arzie currently serves as the Secretary and Board Development Chair for the Friends of Art Leadership Council at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and has been a member of the museum for over 20 years. Arzie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the University of Kansas and a Master of Public Administration degree in Organizational Behavior from the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She makes her home in Kansas City, Missouri.
outspoken soliloquy of dreams

contemporary abstraction

Rashelle Staley-Stutts

August 5 - September 30, 2016
Front Gallery

Caught Between a Strong Mind and a Fragile Heart
acrylic, oil bar, and graphite on birch panel
48" x 36"
A Current Runs Between Them
acrylic, oil bar and graphite on canvas
48" x 36"
Outspoken Soliloquy of Dreams
acrylic, oil bar and graphite on canvas
60" x 48"

Social media has become the virtual confessional for the contemporary conscience. What we cannot dump in social media, we purge within the outspoken soliloquy of our dreams. The canvas has become my outlet; the paint brush, my pillow... the paint becomes the flashing cursor upon my computer screen. I present myself timidly, but openly. All for public consumption and judgement, praise and criticism...repentance and revelations...empathy and and loss...healing and progress.

Abstraction has become my social media... my emotional reboot. Color and tonality define my social climate and cleanse my conscience. The rawness of my own ideas, experiences, desires, and observed situations are recorded on the canvas with the fluent sincerity and immediacy of a virtual status update. I'm interested in the idea that within the ambiguity of specific color relationships and abstract forms my own emotional purging can take place. Color and tonality within these suggested forms revealed within my process inspire ideas which address moral, spiritual, or social meaning. As with individual personalities, colors interact differently as they adapt to the context of their environment. I find comfort within this ambiguity that becomes interpretive and dependent upon the individual experiences of the viewer in unison with my suggested imagery. It becomes a dance..a conversation. Emotions and memories become faintly familiar to the viewer, like a song you once heard...the flirtatious glance from across a crowded room...the perfume of a lost love...the dream you awoke from in the middle of the night.

Pigments juxtaposed in complex relationships upon the canvas surreptitiously suggest my visual narratives. Just as individual personalities define each social situation, color and tonality imitates life in creating the context and defining the mood of the painting. Intensity and illumination are strong personalities which alter both color and emotion, just as lighting within a space calms the spirit. I am interested in how my approach to color on a canvas can similarly affect one's mood and trigger memories in a comforting, redemptive way. Intentional, discriminate application of color reflecting upon the canvas has become my news daydream.

RASHELLE STALEY-STUTTS is a contemporary abstractionist painter known for her expressive use of color and textural approach to her mixed media paintings. Layers of suggested imagery create depth and tension within her compositions enticing the viewer to reflect on their own psyche. While imagery might appear free-spirited or random, Rashelle's paintings are always a visual allegory which entice the viewer to consider a larger message; love, loss, change, and human relationships. Her use of color and tonality within abstract elements intentionally suggests the conflict or adaptation between personal relationships and the changing dynamic of individual personalities when confronted with uncontrolled cultural and societal issues. Speaking visually through metaphor, she cathartically addresses her canvas with the sincerity and authenticity that one might approach a personal journal or a letter to friend; an emotional outlet where she can purge and visually record feelings and reactions to both observed situations and experiences.
RASHELLE is an active member of the Kansas City Artist Coalition and Summit Art. She has served on the City of Lee's Summit's Art's Council in her hometown of Lee's Summit, Missouri. Her Post-Graduate Studies at the Kansas City Art Institute are in the concentration of Painting. Rashelle also has a BFA in Illustration and a BSE in Art Education from UCM, and MED in Information Technology from Lesley University in Boston. Rashelle is an International Baccalaureate Visual Arts Instructor and Examiner, and an Advanced Painting teacher to high school and college students. Rashelle's work is on display within multiple private and corporate collections and galleries.

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Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art from the Collection of Charles Novak

August 5 - October 1, 2016
Opie Gallery

Shamanic figure by Jajarkat tribe of Western Nepal,
lost wax bronze, c. 1900, 7" x 1"
Tsakli of Buddhist devotee.  Handmade paper and natural pigment from Nepal. 19th - 20th c.  4-1/2 x 4"
Animal mask by the Druk tribe,  Nepal.  Wood and paint.
c. 1900-1950. 11" x 7" x 11"

Charles Novak is a scholar of Himalayan art who has lived periodically in Nepal and the Himalayas since the 1970s. A graduate of Naropa University and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, he has exhibited and lectured on artwork from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Thailand, since the 1970s. The pieces in this exhibit are from his personal collection and are offered for sale. They include Tsaklis (Tibetan and Himalayan ritual miniature paintings), Tanka paintings, carved wooden animal and figural masks, and miniature lost-wax bronze figures of shamans, villagers and animals from Himalayan villages. All works are from the 19th - 20th centuries.

The exhibition is organized by Elisabeth Kirsch.

Gender Treason
Exploring Queer Kansas City Through Art

Paintings and Interviews by
Ryan Wilks

July - September 2016
Lower Level Gallery

Eugine, oil on canvas, 48" x 56"
Avery, oil on canvas, 48" x 56"
Andy, oil on canvas, 48" x 56"

Gender Treason: The bravest act of defying culturally imposed stereotypes surrounding sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Gender Treason  is a series of large portrait paintings and includes interviews with subjects, providing a rare glimpse into the lives of queer people living in the Midwest. In an effort to transcend sensationalized media stereotypes and portray a more honest perspective into queer existence, Ryan Wilks spent a year interviewing, and then painting, queer Kansas City residents.

The series, which focuses on twelve people who span the queer spectrum of gender and sexual identity, offers a vulnerable insight into each individual's life, their common struggles, and the victories that bond them in a shared human condition. Each painting aspires to capture the complexity and truth of its subject by employing bold colors, painterly brush strokes, and hard lines. A portion of sales will be donated to local LGBTQIA organizations.

 Joe Ledford and Anne Kniggendorf
Kansas City Star Video and Article
 Joe Ledford and Anne Kniggendorf

PITCH - Cross Section by Annie Raab