Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art’s Jade Powers curates a list of her favorite things

By Sarah Gish

Jade Powers is assistant curator at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City.
Jade Powers is assistant curator at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City.

Last summer, Jade Powers moved to Kansas City to work as assistant curator at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Powers, an Indiana native, previously worked at the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. She loves to travel — her favorite destinations are in San Luis Potosí, Mexico; Istanbul, Turkey; and Kolkata, India.

“I met some really amazing people in those three places, and each has such a rich culture,” Powers says.

Over the past several months, Powers has enjoyed exploring her new home.

“My favorite thing about living in Kansas City is it feels like there is always something new and fun to experience,” she says.

Powers has also delved deep into Kemper Museum’s rich collection of art. The curator, who counts Glenn Ligon, Luis Jiménez and Hayv Kahraman among her favorite artists, says it’s hard for her to choose just one favorite piece in the museum.

“Right now, I might say my favorite is ‘Blackburn’ by Ron Adams,” Powers says. “It is this wonderful print showing printmaker Robert Blackburn in his workshop.”

Powers cites “Blackburn,” a color lithograph by Ron Adams, as one of her favorite pieces at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Here are a few more of her favorite things.

1. Blue Nile Cafe, 20 E. 5th St. in the City Market. My favorite things on the menu are the vegan sambusas, Doro Wat and they have Ethiopian beer, which is very good.

2. Aquaphor. I cannot live without Aquaphor. My lips get very dry and Aquaphor moisturizes them and gives them a little shine.

3. Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House.” It is a thriller series about a family. I Every time you think you know what happened to the family, new information surfaces and you are unsure again.

4. Johnny’s Donuts, 4424 Prospect Ave. I love to order a glazed doughnut or one of their cinnamon doughnuts. Note: It’s cash only!

5. Earrings. I have a handful of earrings that are special to me. When I travel abroad I try to buy a pair of earrings from a local artisan after I have talked with them so I have a great story to go along with great jewelry.

6. Bourbon and apple juice cocktails. I like dark liquors and the sweetness of apple juice is very refreshing.

7. Google Maps app. I am still learning the city, so Google Maps is really helpful — although, I am very excited when I feel like I know an area well enough to go without the app.

8. Scarves. I have a pretty robust collection. I enjoy wearing them because I think they add a splash of color to a classic outfit.

9. J. Cole. I have an appreciation for his musicality, beats and the relevance of his lyrics. We’re about the same age, so when he talks about growing up, it was around the time I was growing up, too.