September’s First Friday honors longtime Kansas City gallery dealer Byron C. Cohen with an exhibit of Hung Liu, an artist Cohen represented for many years.
“Hung Liu: Tilling the Soil 1993-2014,” opening at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, will be presented in conjunction with the Byron Cohen Gallery (now run by daughter Toma) and is timed to coincide with the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art’s career retrospective, “Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu,” opening Oct. 10.
Liu lived through the Cultural Revolution in her native China and moved to the U.S. in 1984. Her exhibit of paintings and mixed-media works at Sherry Leedy gallery will feature many of her well-known themes and subjects, including Chinese peasants, prostitutes and prisoners.
Liu typically works from historical photographs and often incorporates traditional Chinese motifs and Buddhist iconography in her paintings, a practice she continues in the exhibit’s selection of new mixed-media works from Trillium Graphics. Some of them are “Za Zhong” pieces incorporating layers of resin and mounted on wooden boxes; others are small works from her “Amuse Bouche” series.
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Also included are three new paintings, offered in memory of Cohen.
Haw Contemporary is joining the First Friday fray this time around, so put the West Bottoms on your list of stops.
The gallery will feature new paintings by popular landscapist Lisa Grossman, who is calling her show “Reach.” The title references “a reach of horizon, a vast prairie space, an expanse of sky, as well as reaching out and more deeply into my visual investigations.”
“These new paintings are less about specific locations and more about feeling,” gallerist Emily Eddins said. “They capture the mood of the prairie. The whole show is really ephemeral.”
The exhibit will include circular paintings, she said, offering a 360-degree view of the sky.
Haw will also show new textile abstractions by well-known Kansas City artist and designer Debra Smith, who has titled her exhibit “Shifting Territory.”
“They are more gestural and on a larger scale than previous works we’ve shown,” Eddins said. “The compositions are more structural, almost architectural, but maintain a sense of human presence. She’s continuing her use of vintage textiles.”
New Missouri Bank Crossroads Branch Artboards will also be part of the September First Friday festivities, and the selections share a sense of whimsy. Jason Needham is filling the east-facing billboards with “The Big Hug,” a drawing inspired by the artist’s experiences as the parent of a toddler. Andy Ozier mines Kansas City’s pride in barbecue in his “Everyone’s Talking About Our Barbecue” on the west-facing billboards.
“Let the Church Say Amen”
September First Friday is your last chance to see Sonie Joi Ruffin’s exhibit of vibrant fabric art at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, which will hold a closing reception for the exhibit from 5 to 8 p.m.
Many of the pieces incorporate African fancy prints; all are fired by the artist’s deep sense of spirituality, knowledge of history and attachment to her ancestors.
Beggars Table Church & Gallery
“Jaime Rovenstine: You Won’t Get Anything Done by Planning”
When: Friday (reception 6-9 p.m.) through Oct. 26
Hours: By appointment
Where: 2010 Baltimore Ave.
Belger Crane Yard Gallery
“Steven & William Ladd”
When: Friday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; exhibit through Nov. 22
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday
Where: 2011 Tracy Ave.
“William Rainey: Danger: Don’t Try This at Home!”
“Lori Raye Erickson: Lead by Circumstance”
When: Preview and artists’ talk 6-8 p.m. Thursday; reception 6-9 p.m. Friday through Sept. 29
Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment
Where: 118 Southwest Blvd.
The Gallery at Christ Community
“JT Daniels: Bangin’ Hair: A Tressed Out Conversation”
When: Friday (reception 5:30-9 p.m) through Sept. 30
Hours: By appointment
Where: 1708 Baltimore Ave.
Info: 816.523.2425, Ext. 2401
The Gallery @19 Below
“Bret Gottschall Is Shirtnsweet”
When: Friday(reception 6-9 p.m.) through Sept. 29
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
Where: 5 W. 19th St. (below Michael Smith)
Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral
Sonie Joi Ruffin: “Let the Church Say Amen”
When: Friday (closing reception 5-8 p.m.)
Hours: Noon-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday through Sept. 5
Where: 415 W. 13th St.
Greenlease Gallery Rockhurst University
“Kelley Johnson: Paintings”
When: Friday (reception 7-9 p.m.) through Oct. 18
Hours: Noon-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and by appointment
Where: 54th Street at Troost Avenue
“Debra Smith: Shifting Territory”
“Lisa Grossman: Reach”
When: Friday (reception 5-9 p.m.) through Oct. 18
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon-5 p.m. Saturday
Where: 1600 Liberty St.
The Late Show
“Town and Country: Harriet Bigham and Debra Payne”
When: Friday (reception 6-10 p.m.) through Sept. 27
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment
Where: 1600 Cherry St.
Leedy-Voulkos Art Center
“Echoes of Earth & Sky: Kim Eichler-Messmer & Kristin Goering”
“Brave New World: A Print Installation by Mark Farris“
“Redpoint Collective: Why We Travel”
“Pele Prints: Structure, Story & Flow”
When: Friday (reception 6-9 p.m.) through Sept. 27; Pele Prints exhibit through Nov. 1
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
Where: 2012 Baltimore Ave.
Main Street Gallery
“New Era Museum: Mobile Photography From Over 200 Artists Around the World”
When: Friday (reception 6-9 p.m.) through Sept. 27. Informal artist chat: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 6
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Where: 1610 Main St. (upstairs at Anton’s Tap Room & Restaurant)
Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery
“Dan Dakotas: Kenyan Dreams”
When: Friday (reception 6-9 p.m.) through Sept. 20
Hours: Noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday
Where: 915 W. 17th St.
Mid-America Arts Alliance
“A Cast of Blues”
When: Friday (reception 6-8 p.m.) through Oct. 24
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Sept. 11-Oct. 24
Where: 2018 Baltimore Ave.
“Art Relief” benefit show: Artwork by Richard Day, Richard Fritz, Michele Fritz, Philip Taylor and Brian Ousley, jewelry by Carrie Story
When: Friday (reception 5-10 p.m. with live music by VJ Surya) through Sept. 26
Hours: 5-8 p.m. Sept. 26 and by appointment
Where: 1809 McGee St.
Red Star Studios at Belger Arts Center
“Shae Bishop and Emily Duke: Resident Artists Exit Exhibition”
When: Friday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (reception 6-9 p.m.) through Oct. 25
Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; noon-4 p.m. Saturday
Where: 2100 Walnut St.
Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art
“Hung Liu: Tilling the Soil 1993-2014,” in memory of Byron Cohen
When: Friday (reception 7-9 p.m.) through Oct. 25
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment
Where: 2004 Baltimore Ave.
“Trade Look Ship”: A regional postal/cultural exchange presented by Archive Collective
When: Friday (reception 6-10 p.m.) one nightly only exhibition
Where: 525 Gillis St.
Todd Weiner Gallery
“Oak and Fire by Mac McClanahan”
When: Friday (reception 5-10 p.m.) through Sept. 30
Hours: 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and by appointment
Where: 115 W. 18th St.