It’s been a great fall for African-American art in Kansas City.
Among the works and exhibits: a major quilt by NedRa Bonds in the Arrowhead Art Collection, Sonie Joi Ruffin’s blowout show at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Phil “Sike Style” Shafer’s “Angry Zebra” downtown mural, Black Panther artist Emory Douglas’ works at EthnicArt, and the “Four Assorted Chocolates” exhibit at the Carter Art Center.
In September, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art announced the acquisition of an important painting by African-American social realist Charles White (1918-1979) from the Harry Belafonte Collection.
The momentum continues on November First Friday, when Black Art in America (BAIA) will hold a pop-up show at the Black Archives of Mid-America, 1722 E. 17th Terrace.
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BAIA, which describes itself as “the leading online portal and social network focused on African-American Art,” was started by artist Najee Dorsey as a place for artists to post their work.
The exhibit at the Black Archives will feature works by Dorsey and member artists as well as limited edition prints by prominent African-American artists from the David C. Driskell Print Series.
BAIA’s decision to do a pop-up show in Kansas City came about through a contact with poet Glenn North and discussions with Ruffin.
“We had met Glenn North working with the Driskell Center on a project honoring Charles White at the University of Maryland, and we connected with with him in Kansas City,” said Derin Young, BAIA’s senior producer.
“In spring 2014 we went to lunch with Sonie and Glenn and did a tour of the American Jazz Museum. We are really interested in regional programming, and with that in mind we decided to come and do a pop-up. We usually start with small things to connect and have conversations.”
Kansas City appeared on BAIA’s radar in a big way when the Nelson acquired White’s “Goodnight Irene” (1952), a portrait of guitarist Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter.
More than than 50 individuals and groups contributed to fund the purchase of the painting, which gained broad exposure when Belafonte used it on the cover of his CD set “The Long Road to Freedom,” an anthology of African-American music.
“We reprinted the (Nelson) press release on our site, and everything fell together,” Young said. “Black Archives wanted to do a pop-up, and that’s one of the things that we do well.”
The Black Archives will hold an opening reception for “Black Art in America Contemporary and Fine Art Show” from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The exhibit kicks off the Black Archives’ new “Soul of Art” series of programs that will showcase contemporary African-American culture and experience.
Going forward, the quarterly series will feature art and cultural exhibits, music, dance and poetry performances, said board member Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, Black Archives board member and deputy director of the Kansas City Public Library. The Black Archives is the home of the personal papers of Alvin Ailey, she said, and one project in the works is an exhibit about Ailey and his relationship to Kansas City.
In conjunction with the exhibit, Black Art in America will hold a workshop at the Black Archives on Saturday. Part of the morning session will explain how to become part of the BAIA online network.
“It’s a free service we provide,” Young said. “Artists can post images of their work, and they can become engaged with other arts professionals.”
An afternoon session, beginning at 1:30, will address “who will be instrumental in creating new works for the arts market and what you need to know about creating and collecting African-American art today.”
The event concludes Sunday, when the exhibit will be open from 1 to 4 p.m.
The exhibit and workshop are free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested: rsvp-blackarchives1107-110914.eventbrite.com.
November First Friday sees the opening of another pop-up show, this one in the Crossroads, at designer Mark Hennick’s new Plum Gallery, in the 2011 Baltimore space formerly occupied by Luis Garcia’s Spyn Gallery.
For the inaugural exhibit, Hennick teamed up with Patricia B. Glenn and Michael J. Pronko of P&M Artworks to present “Three Hands: New Work by Zac Miley, Charlie Mylie and Andy Ozier.”
Rather than operate from a permanent space, P&M typically does two pop-up shows per year at venues around the city, including the Writers Place, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center and now Plum. Assisted by artist Megan Mantia in the role of gallery manager, P&M focuses on emerging artists.
“Our objective in showing emerging artists is to show people quality that they can afford,” Glenn said. “We decided on these three because we wanted to do a 2-D show.
“In the last show we did at Leedy-Voulkos, we fell in love with Charlie Mylie’s quirky, cartoony style, and he prices his work to be affordable. His most expensive piece in the show is $115, and they start at $55. He also does these crazy ‘Booty Notes’ and asks people to roll the dice. Whatever the dice come up with, that’s what they pay.”
P&M also had worked previously with Ozier.
“Andy was in a papercuts show we did at the Johnson County Library, and I like the way he uses line and texture,” Glenn said. “His work is also featured on the Missouri Bank Artboards right now. He’ll have new collage portraits (at Plum). They’re quick and spontaneous, and they’re not expensive.”
Glenn added: “Zac was in the ‘Home’ show we did at the Writers Place. He had a beautiful hand in the way he drew.
“We’re showing his drawings of blue-gray artist erasers. He liked the idea that the very thing he was drawing could erase what he drew. His most beautiful piece is of a whale and is titled ‘Chamberlain Brigge in Repose.’ It’s graphite on paper and almost 3 feet long.”
“Loving After Lifetimes of All This”
Charlotte Street Foundation curator-in-residence Danny Orendorff has worked for months on the final show of his tenure, “Loving After Lifetimes of All This,” an exhibit of crafts-oriented works and ephemera by 15 artists and activists and materials drawn from archives.
Orendorff is an idea factory, and with this show he examines the role played by craft as a strategy of cultural resistance. The featured works range from an installation about the experiences of a gay Japanese-American in U.S. internment camps during World War II, to quilts about the re-emergence of the Modoc ghost dance.
The featured artists come from Denmark; Chicago; Richmond, Va.; and the West Coast, but roughly half of the show is local, with works by Gina Adams and Judith Levy from Lawrence, and NedRa Bonds, Matt Dehaemers and Christopher Leitch from Kansas City. Contributors include the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City and the Gay & Lesbian Archives of Mid-America at UMKC.
Beggars Table Church and Gallery
“Robert Howsare: Glitches”
When: Friday (reception 6-9 p.m.) through Dec. 31
Hours: By appointment
Where: 2010 Baltimore Ave.
Black Archives of Mid-America
“Black Art in America (BAIA) Contemporary and Fine Art Show”
When: Friday (reception 5:30-8:30 p.m.) through Sunday
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 1-4 p.m. Sunday
Where: 1722 E. 17th Terrace
November Group Exhibition
When: Friday (reception 6-9 p.m.) through Dec. 1
Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment
Where: 118 Southwest Blvd.
Carter Art Center Gallery at MCC-Penn Valley
“Four Assorted Chocolates: Lon Powell, Henry W. Dixon, Shane W. Evans, Kahlil Irving”
When: Closing reception 6-9 p.m. Friday includes $2 raffle of Shane W. Evans’ illustrated, signed book “Chocolate Like Me,” with proceeds going toward art scholarships. The exhibit closes Saturday.
Hours: 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 1-9 p.m. First Friday; noon-3 p.m. Saturday
Where: 3201 Southwest Trafficway
Gallery 122 SW. Blvd.
“Allan Winkler: 9 Day Art Show”
When: Friday (reception with a performance by Gamelan Genta Kasturi Balinese Orchestra) through Nov. 15
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Nov. 15 and by appointment
Where: 122 Southwest Blvd.
“Do I Know You?” by Kevin McGraw
When: Friday (reception 6-9 p.m.) through Nov. 30
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon-4 p.m. Saturday and by appointment
Where: 1820 McGee St.
“Loving After Lifetimes of All This”
When: Friday (reception 6-9 p.m.) through Jan. 3
Hours: Noon-5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday
Where: 1000 W. 25th St.
The Late Show
“State of Grace: New Work by Nora Othic and Work by Doug Schwietert”
When: Friday (reception 6-10 p.m.) through Nov. 29
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and by appointment
Where: 1600 Cherry St.
Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art
“Michiko Itatani: Cosmic Wanderlust”
“Ruth Borgenicht: Homesites”
“New Works by Jun Kaneko and Amy Myers”
When: Friday (reception 7-9 p.m.) through Dec. 20
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment
Where: 2004 Baltimore Ave.
Leedy-Voulkos Art Center
“Patrick Duegaw: The Innumerable Anxieties: Studies in Disorder”
“Edward Navone: A Passion for Painting”
“Merry Menagerie: Paper Cuttings by Angie Pickman”
“Assemblage of Form: Lilian Granados and Kiki Serna”
“David Slone: Aberrations”
When: Friday (reception 6-9 p.m.); “Assemblage” through Nov. 28; Slone through Nov. 29; Duegaw, Navone and Pickman through Dec. 27
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday
Where: 2012 Baltimore Ave.
Main Street Gallery
“Objects of Ruin: A Themed Exhibition by SameSource Photography”
When: Friday (reception 4-7 p.m.) through Jan. 4. Artist talk: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 8
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Sunday
Where: 1610 Main St. (upstairs at Anton’s Tap Room & Restaurant)
Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery
“Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead”
When: Second reception and Calacas Parade 6-10 p.m Friday through Nov. 15
Hours: Noon-5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday
Where: 915 W. 17th St.
“Paintings and Mixed Media by Alison Hedgpeth”
When: Friday (reception with music by Ray Velasquez 5-10 p.m.) through Nov. 28
Hours: 5-8 p.m. Nov. 28 and by appointment
Where: 1809 McGee St
P&M Artworks presents “Three Hands: New Work by Zac Miley, Charlie Mylie and Andy Ozier”
When: Friday (reception 6-9 p.m.) through Nov. 29; artist talk 2-4 p.m. Nov. 23
Where: 2011 Baltimore Ave.
Hours: Noon-4:30 p.m. Saturday and by appointment
Vine Street Studio
“Darryl Chamberlain and George Mayfield: Rinascere! Embracing the Rebirth”
When: Friday (reception 5-9 p.m.) through Nov. 29
Where: 2033 Vine St.
Hours: By appointment
Todd Weiner Gallery
“Heinrich Toh: Abundant Journey”
When: Friday (reception 5-10 p.m.) through Nov. 29
Hours: 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, and by appointment
Where: 115 W. 18th St.