It’s only April, but this month’s First Friday exhibits bring beaches, barbecue and blue skies.
First the beaches and blue skies, which can be found on new Artboards by Kansas City artistsCory Imig and Erika Lynne Hanson at the Missouri Bank Crossroads Branch
, 125 Southwest Blvd.
The circular format of Imig’s images of curdled clouds in a blue sky derives from the way they were made: the artist shot them with a cellphone camera attached to a set of binoculars. Divided between the two west-facing billboards, the circle of blue appears as an oculus.
Hanson’s two east-facing images are video stills of a group of objects she set up on a beach to document what happened to them over time. A block of ice melts; a plant topples from a table.
• Down the road, at 1000 W. 25th St., you can eat, chat, read and drink coffee at “The Speakeasy,” an exhibit atLa Esquina organized by Kansas City Art Institute alums Sean Starowitz and Andrew Erdrich
. The two describe their project — it includes a table for meals, a bar that also serves as a lecture podium, and a reading and research room — as an “evolving, experimental temporary cultural center.”
On opening night,Eric May’s E-Dogz mobile kitchen will showcase the similarities and differences between Kansas City and Chicago styles of barbecue. Over the show’s six-week run, “The Speakeasy” will present artworks —including a portfolio of handmade prints, “War Is Trauma,” on April 13 — plus reading nights, meals, panel discussions, music and workshops. For a full schedule, visit thespeak-easy.org
• At theVML Wise Gallery
, you can help Hope Lodge, which provides free housing to KC cancer patients and their caregivers, at the “Shave Some Bucks” auction of artworks by more than 20 Kansas City artists. Friday’s preview party, which begins at 5:30 p.m., includes free beverages and and hors d’oeuvres. A silent auction runs from 6:30 to 7 p.m., with all of the proceeds going to Hope Lodge. Admission is free, and there are no minimum bids. The gallery is on the third floor of the 2020 Baltimore building.
• The auction is just a few doors down from theLeedy-Voulkos Art Center, which is opening three shows, including “Lucifer Rising” by Kansas City artist David Goodrich
Goodrich’s tempestuous figurative paintings are inspired by myth.
“Political matters and technological advances are all worthy of commentary, but too often represent temporary situations which retain little significance after a period,” he writes in his artist statement. “I maintain that the cultural mythologies of our society are still significant to us and affect our vocabulary, thoughts and philosophies.”
• In contrast, the new Block Artspace Project Wall
at 43rd and Main streets deals with cold political realities.
The plane it shows flying through the air is a U.S. drone. It was captured in the skies above North Waziristan in a photograph byNoor Behram
, who has been documenting the missile campaign since 2007.
The image went up the last week of March in conjunction with the ongoing “On Watch” exhibit at the Artspace, which focuses on the role and scope of surveillance in contemporary culture.
Behram’s image offers “a rare and eerie glimpse from the other side of the controversial U.S. drone missile campaign,” says Block Artspace director Raechell Smith.
Although a majority of Americans support the use of these unmanned aircraft as part of the war on terror, many are concerned about civilian casualties, for which estimates vary.
Last summer, Behram showed graphic images of civilian casualties in an exhibit in London, organized by the human rights organization Reprieve UK, which also assisted with the Project Wall.
The Artspace connected with Behram through New York artistTrevor Paglen, whose own work focuses on the secret activities of U.S. military and intelligence agencies. Paglen chose the piece, which is titled “American Predator,” for the Project Wall.
April 6-May 13
6-9 p.m. Friday, with “BBQ Migration” featuring Eric May’s E-Dogz truck
Noon-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday
1000 W. 25th St. (816-221-5115)VML Wise Gallery
Shave Some Buck$: Group exhibition and auction in support of Hope Lodge
April 6 only
5:30-7 p.m.; silent auction 6:30-7 p.m.
2020 Baltimore (third floor) (816-665-8118)
Leedy-Voulkos Art Center
David Goodrich: Lucifer Rising
April 6-May 26
StoneLion Puppet Theater: Community Puppetry Art
April 6-May 26
And in the center’s (KCAI) Undergrads Underground Gallery:
Autumn Randell: Parts
Continuing Leedy-Voulkos exhibits:
Vanguards and Visionaries
Through April 21
Lynn Benson — Acid Wash: Playing With Consequences
Through April 27
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
2012 Baltimore Ave. (816-474-1919)
Mattie Rhodes Art Center
Through April 20
6-9 p.m. Friday
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
919 W. 17th St. (816-221-2349)Slap-n-Tickle Gallery
In His Place: New Photos by Sandy Woodson
6-11 p.m. Friday with music by Whiskey for the Lady bluegrass band, 8-10 p.m.
Noon-4 p.m. April 7, 14 and 15 and by appointment
504 E. 18th St. (816-716-5940)
Fifth Annual Human Form Show
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday
1820 McGee St. (816-561-2956)
The Late Show
Melange: Kent Davis, Emily Connell, Kwanza Humphrey, Carlyle Raine, Hannah Lodwick
6-10 p.m. Friday
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment
1600 Cherry St. (816-474-1300)
MLB Designs Boutique, LLC
Lampo Leong: Wild Cursive
April 5-May 28
7-9 p.m. Friday.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
2020 Baltimore Ave., Suite 105 (816-531-3133)
J ohn Folsom: How to Disappear Completely
Patricia Kochaver: Planetary Influence
6-9 p.m. Friday
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment
118 Southwest Blvd. (816-527-0823)
Art at the Center Gallery
Art at the Center Juried Exhibition
April 6-June 3
5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday; award presentations at 6 p.m.
5:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.
Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, 11902 Lowell Ave., Overland Park (913-344-8656)