One of the newest venues for contemporary art is a shipping container — two, actually — in Kansas City’s creative frontierland, the West Bottoms.
50/50 is a collaboration between Cambria Potter, who moved here seven years ago from Frisco, Texas, and Hannah Lodwick from Lawrence, who resides in the historic Northeast.
The co-curators used Charlotte Street Rocket Grant funding and a Kickstarter campaign to set up their modular gallery on a privately owned lot near Kemper Arena.
Potter, who also serves as director, says the containers work as an alternative building material on many levels: They are functional, protecting the art from light and fire; economical to heat and cool; and versatile in that they can be reconfigured and expanded.
“They’re like Legos. You can piece them together and stack them however you like,” Potter said.
The physical gallery also reflects its setting: Containers are a common sight in the industrial West Bottoms.
The name 50/50 suggests the gallery’s intent to always give equal weight to local and national work. In addition to six exhibitions a year, the gallery will host a billboard series, lectures and a digital archive.
The first billboard, “Open” by local artist Ari Fish, rises above and behind the gleaming white containers.
The inaugural exhibition, “Cohost,” is a collaboration between Kristin Walsh of New York and Robert Howsare of Kansas City. Both artists combine digital and analog elements in their installations.
Walsh builds mirrored acrylic sculptures onto which she projects Google Earth landscape videos. Howsare projects 16mm film images created by silkscreening CMYK patterns onto the film.
Both works explore the relationship between the digital and physical realms.
In addition, Potter says, the artists are responding to the unusual space of the container interiors.
“Cohost,” which opened Aug. 21, will run through Oct. 2.
50/50 Grand Opening Exhibition: “Cohost”
Works by Kristin Walsh of New York and Robert Howsare of Kansas City
1628 Wyoming St.
Hours: Noon-5 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment through Oct. 2