‘Assemblage’ exhibit gives life to obsolete things

A new exhibition titled “Some Assemblage Required: Sculptural Work by John Gaunt” will feature more than 25 sculptures and drawings. The show opens on Friday at The Box Gallery, 1100 Walnut.

The Box Gallery in Downtown KC will open a unique “Assemblage” of artwork on Friday.

Lawrence-based John Gaunt has held a life-long interest in drawing, but over the last few years has developed a body of philosophical and anthropomorphic sculptural work in his home studio. Gaunt animates found metal objects by energizing obsolete machine parts that would otherwise be consigned to the scrap heap.

Gaunt’s Box Gallery show is one of many artists, galleries and studios to participate in First Friday arts activities on Friday evening in the Crossroads Arts District.

Gaunt served as Dean of the School of Architecture, Design & Planning at The University of Kansas, for 21 years, stepping own in June. The influence of his career as an educator, and an architect who practiced professionally for many years, is evident in the clever construction and effective design of his work.

“My work is in the tradition of ‘Assemblage’ in which the combination and composition of seemingly disparate parts expresses a lyrical idea, symbol, or metaphor – giving new life to obsolete things…, ” Gaunt said.

The show opens on Friday, July 3 and runs through Wednesday, Aug. 26. The opening date begins with an artist reception from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. that is free and open to the public.

The Box Gallery is open to the public Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free parking validation is available.

2015 Art in the Loop Kickoff Event: 7/1

ArtintheloopFrom singers, dancers, and musicians to a photographer, and a textile artist, the annual Art in the Loop project infuses downtown Kansas City with a variety of performances and exhibits.

As the four-month series ramps up, participating artists and performers deliver a whirlwind introduction to their works at the 2015 Art in the Loop Kickoff on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. They will be introduced by project curator Jessica Borusky, an artist and educator currently living and working in Kansas City through the Charlotte Street Foundation’s studio residency program.  The event begins at 6:30 p.m.

A total of 20 presenters or groups of presenters – offering 11 performances and nine exhibits – are featured in this year’s Art in the Loop, which is designed to bring cultural experiences to downtown employees, residents, and visitors and lend exposure to emerging and maturing artists from the Kansas City area. Most, if not all, will participate in the kickoff.

The lineup:

  • Singer-songwriter and pianist Camry Ivory: Coloratura, explorations of music and art
  • Nick Carswell of the band Carswell and Hope: The Hope Index
  • Performance Artist  Cat Mahari: Insta-bility
  • Visual artist Chris Daharsh: Reflections/Casts
  • Photographer Dan Frueh: Down Around the Corner
  • Artist Don Wilkinson: Work and Progress
  • Artist Jillian Youngbird: A Bear in Kansas City
  • Musician John Currey: Broken String Latin Jazz
  • Artist Kati Toivanen: Lacey Petticoat on Petticoat Lane
  • Textile artist Krista Jo Mustain: Print Party
  • Dancer Lauren Thompson and sound designer Jonathan Robertson: Downtown Replay
  • Dancer Maura Garcia: Everybody’s Chance Dance
  • Installation  artist Min DuPha: Insta-bility
  • Mnemosyne Quartet and Zach Shemon: Anomalous City
  • Artists Paige Hinshaw and Kevin Perkins: Neon Camouflage
  • Artist Shannon White: SkyWAVE
  • The Arts Asylum: Community Tile (community engagement)
  • Conceptual artist Tim Brown: The World Tree
  • Poet and spoken word artist Vincente Perez: B(lack)NESS and LATINI(dad)
  • Performing artist William Bradley: SOLLUS

The kickoff event is co-presented by Downtown Council and the City of Kansas City’s Office of Culture and Creative Services.  A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Admission is free.

Click here to RSVP: http://www.kclibrary.org/event/2015-art-loop-kickoff or call 816.701.3407.

Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.

The 2015 Art in the Loop series runs through September 2015. Details are posted at artintheloop.com and facebook.com/artintheloop. For more information contact Ann Holliday, ann@downtownkc.org or Jessica Borusky, jessicaborusky@gmail.com

Mnemosyne Quartet and Zach Shemon: June 16th, Prairie Logic

Join us for this experimental music performance on Tuesday, June 16, at 7 p.m. at Prairie Logic (the 6th floor greenspace on the parking garage, above Onelife Fitness Center and just north of Cosentino’s Downtown Market, 1217 Main Street).

Anomalous City

Mnemosyne Quartet and Zach Shemon present Anomalous City.  Their explorational sound defies expectations, adjusting the way we perceive the city-life that surrounds our everyday. Anomalous City will transport you above and beyond the sounds of the natural environment into the urban landscape of Prairie Logic as they introduce the environments of remote landscapes such as the African jungle, Australian Outback, and eventually to the future: a future where an artificially intelligent being becomes active, adding to the sound of the digitally driven modulation. This is a fantastic and incomparable experience that the whole family will enjoy! Anomalous City will feature music composed by members of Mnemosyne Quartet as well as Dr. Mara Gibson.


Mnemosyne Quartet is dedicated to heightening bystanders’ awareness of the auditory environments they interact with on a daily basis. Mnemosyne not only augments the listener’s physical environment, but also transports the listeners to remote destinations through the use of pre-recorded sound. They specialize in the creation of well-formed improvisation though the integration of old and new technologies. Mnemosyne recently performed for the opening of Adam Cvijanovic’s American Montage at the Kemper Museum of Art. Other notable performances include Analog Drift, a cross-disciplinary ArtSounds performance, and the inaugural Art in the Loop Foundation’s (AILF) 2014 Downtown Kansas City Street Art/Placemaking Pilot Project. Mnemosyne consists of Michael Miller- bass clarinet, Russell Thorpe- saxophone, Ted King-Smith- saxophone, and Eli Hougland- electronics. Mnemosyne Quartet- soundcloud- Stasis Oasis

Zachary Shemon is Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Since joining the PRISM quartet in 2007 as the ensemble’s alto saxophonist, he has recorded on the Albany, innova, Naxos, New Dynamic, and New Focus labels and performed on many of the world’s leading festivals for contemporary music including the Bang on a Can Marathon, Beijing Modern Music Festival, and SONiC Festival. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Indiana University, where he studied with Donald Sinta and Otis Murphy, respectively. Zachary Shemon is a Conn-Selmer artist and performs on Selmer (Paris) saxophones. As a D’Addario Woodwinds artist, he performs on Reserve reeds and aids in product research and design. Zach Shemon- Prism Quartet

Art in the Loop
This is the inaugural performance for the 2015 Art in the Loop project. Our goal is to infuse Oppenstein Brothers Memorial Park and the center of Downtown Kansas City with innovative and engaging temporary art that will refresh, intrigue and surprise our audience of Downtown employees, residents and visitors. Equally important, the project will also create an opportunity for local emerging and maturing artists to extend their practice into the Downtown environment with curatorial, professional and logistical support.

Artists were recently selected for the 2015 project. Performances, installation dates and other events will be announced soon.  Follow us on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/artintheloop and Twitter @ArtintheLoop for performance and installation updates or visit www.artintheloop.com.  For additional information contact Ann Holliday, program director, ann@downtownkc.org or Jessica Borusky, curator, jessicaborusky@gmail.com.

The 2015 Art in the Loop project is presented through the support of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the Missouri Arts Council – a state agency, ArtsKC and our generous corporate sponsors.

Pianos on Parade: Let the music begin!

The Downtown Community Improvement District (CID) Ambassadors are planning to set the tone for the Pianos on Parade by playing the public pianos in Oppenstein Park (12th & Walnut), beginning June 1.

The Downtown Community Improvement District (CID) Ambassadors are planning to set the tone for the Pianos on Parade by playing the public pianos in Oppenstein Park (12th & Walnut), beginning June 1.

Downtown Kansas City is on the verge of dancing to a more colorful, musical beat this spring and summer.

Thanks to the Pianos on Parade program, pianos will soon begin to appear in public spaces around Downtown, and throughout greater Kansas City.

“Pianos on Parade (POP) places ‘artistically transformed’ pianos around Kansas City in various outdoor locations for all to play and enjoy,” said Lisa Cattanach, POP chair. “In order to celebrate 100 years of excellence for the Kansas City Music Teachers Association, our goal is to place 100 pianos around our city during the summer of 2015.”

Children and professional artists will be painting these pianos this weekend – Saturday and Sunday – at Union Station, as they prepare to introduce the pianos into public spaces by June 1.

“These pianos will play host to both spontaneous and planned events and concerts throughout the summer. Other pianos will be on tour and will pop up at various outdoor fairs, festivals, restaurant patios, and sporting events, Cattanach explained.

POP is a program of Keys 4/4 Kids, a local nonprofit organization that sells donated pianos and uses the profits to fund charitable programs.

“Follow us on Facebook or visit our events page to find out about all the exciting events around outdoor pianos,” Cattanach said.


Memorial Day in KC – sizzling hot in Downtown


Marilyn Maye will be Jammin’ at the Gem; Gridiron Glory will open at Union Station; and the Kansas City Symphony will have us dancing in the street for Memorial Day during this amazing week ahead in Downtown … and those are just for starters!

Here are the highlights of what’s happening in Downtown KC this Memorial Day week from Wednesday to Wednesday, May 20-27:

Big Seanfeaturing Casey Veggies, will rock Downtown at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland.

Celebration at the Station will light up the skies over Downtown on Sunday night at Union Station.

Celebration at the Station – the largest, free Memorial Day celebration in the Midwest, featuring the Kansas City Symphony, fireworks and much more, is set for 8 p.m. Sunday at Union Station.

Central Library will present Why the North Won and Why It All Matters, as historians Terry Beckenbaugh and Ethan S. Rafuse, assess how the North prevailed and why the Civil War remains so compelling today. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Library. RSVP here!

Gridiron Glory – featuring the best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – makes its debut on Saturday at Union Station.

Josh Turnerone of country music hottest young stars, will light up the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Judy, Barbra, Lizaa musical showcase for the talents of divas Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Liza Minelli, opens Friday, May 29 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

Junior Brownthe country guitar legend, returns to KC for one big night at 10 p.m. Saturday at Knuckleheads Saloon.

Love Song and On An Average Day will be performed in repertory beginning Friday and running through June 28 at The Living Room.


Marilyn Maye will be honored by the American Jazz Museum with its Lifetime Achievement Award during a grand evening of entertainment on Saturday at the Gem Theater.

Marilyn Maye will be Jammin’ at the Gem in a very special evening that begins at at 6:30 p.m. Saturday with a reception and jazz talk, following by a Lifetime Achievement Award and performance at 8 p.m. at the Gem Theater.

Nitro Circus Live – featuring 40 of the world’s best action sports athletes performing in freestyle motocross, BMX and skate – will tear up Downtown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (May 20) at Sprint Center.

Shelby Lynne will light up the big town in the Cyprus Avenue Live evening at 8 p.m. Friday at the Folly Theater.

Sister Hazel will rock this town at 8 p.m. Friday at CrossroadsKC at Grinders.

Sticky Traps, presented by the Kansas City Rep, continues through Sunday at the Copaken Stage.

Turnpike Troubadours, featuring Jamestown Revival and Jonny Burke, will be in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at CrossroadsKC at Grinders.

And, for a more complete look at what’s happening around Kansas City, check out VisitKC.com early and often.

Downtown to get its ‘Backyard’ back!

LiveKC is coming together with a number of community partners, including the Downtown Council, this summer to transform Barney Allis Plaza into Kansas City’s best backyard complete with regular programs, art, food trucks a beer garden and more…

LiveKC and numerous partners are transforming one of Downtown Kansas City’s precious public spaces into a shared urban backyard for the summer. Located in the center of Downtown Kansas City and at the front door of some of the area’s busiest hotels, Barney Allis Plaza has an opportunity to become a bustling town square.

The Backyard at Barney Allis Plaza is a placemaking concept designed to bring together a refreshed look and vibrant energy to the park. The concept includes amenities such as food trucks and a beer garden, plus imaginative programs such as leisure sports, art, and music, all with the goal of adding more vibrancy to the downtown area.

“One of the most appealing things about cities like Denver, Portland and Austin is the fact that you see people everywhere,” said Erik Wullschleger, director of LiveKC. “Adding some basic programs that give people a reason to come over to Barney Allis Plaza will help build density in a very important part of our city.”

This summer will be an opportunity to test and learn from a number of concepts that could lead to permanent improvements over the long term. Food trucks, a beer garden, community artwork, recreational sports and new seating surfaces are just some of the first improvements visitors to The Backyard will get to take advantage of.

And, beginning last night, a competitive “Leisure Sports League” will kick off and run every Thursday at 5 p.m. for the next six weeks. While registration for this session is full, all are invited each Thursday evening for pick-up leisure sports games on designated open courts.

There will be an official preview event on Friday, June 5. The happy hour will begin at 5 p.m. and is a great way to kick off First Friday plans Downtown. This will be an opportunity to view proposed changes and add suggestions on how to further transform Barney Allis Plaza. Visitors will also have the opportunity to eat from food trucks, enjoy beverages from the beer garden and play lawn sports against friends.

Programs will continue to roll out over the summer but the community can already start to see what’s coming up and provide their input at www.livekc.org/the-backyard or on LiveKC’s Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

LiveKC will contribute funding and staffing that will be required for a number of the programs this summer but many of the permanent improvements are made possible by the newly available money from the City Trust.

A private donation was made in the early ‘80s to commemorate the life of Dutton Brookfield.  The “Bronco Buster” statue located on the north end of the plaza was purchased but this money earmarked for improvements to Barney Allis Plaza has gone unused for the last 30 years.

Through the collaboration of a number of local design and construction firms, downtown residents, workers and visitors can expect to see a reinvigorated park over the next 3-12 months.

About Barney Allis Plaza

Barney Allis Plaza is located to the south of the Downtown Marriott and north of the Municipal Auditorium between 12th & 13th streets. Built on the site of Kansas City’s original Convention Hall and located in the center of downtown, Barney Allis Plaza has been the site of many public gatherings including enormous Cinco De Mayo festivals, parades commemorating Elvis and even a professional tennis team.

In recent years, this plaza that is one of the downtown district’s precious few green spaces has been overlooked. People retreating from downtown in search of their own backyard found refuge in suburban neighborhoods and slowly what was once an active park turned into a passthrough for visitors to get from their hotel to the convention center.

Barney Allis Plaza is easily accessible on foot from all four corners, has a MAX Rapid Transit stop, a B Cycle station on the east side and sits atop nearly 1,000 parking spaces.

About LiveKC

LiveKC was founded in 2013 and aims to make Kansas City a more attractive place for Millennials to live, work and play. LiveKC is a privately funded organization managed out of Sporting Club and supported by 19 of the largest employers in the Kansas City region. For more information, visit LiveKC.org or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Open letter – on First Friday – by the Mayor

An open letter on the arts and ArtsKC by Mayor Sly James.

Last fall, I wrote An Open Letter to America addressing the many assets Kansas City has to offer. It came on the heels of our Kansas City Royals playoff run, but it wasn’t about baseball. Instead, the letter was intended to draw attention to our elevated profile across the U.S. and to highlight all the ways in which Kansas City is winning.

The Kansas City Arts Community is a large part of our rising profile – and rightfully so. Our Arts are incredibly vibrant and we are being recognized as a leader in many disciplines including fashion, theater, jazz, song and dance – just to name a few! In fact, we are one of only a handful of cities across the country that have all four of the major arts – opera, repertory theater, symphony & ballet. As we continue to build our reputation as a world-class city, the Arts are truly making us shine.

This Friday (today) our regional arts council, ArtsKC , will launch their annual digital giving campaign – #timetogive. This important campaign is essential to the vibrancy and vitality of Kansas City’s world-renowned arts scene.  By contributing to the ArtsKC Fund, you are funding grants to artists, arts organizations, and arts programs from all over the region.

Accessibility to the arts should be open to everyone and ArtsKC does that by funding grants that support transportation and education programming in diverse and underserved communities, and by working with organizations to provide free events throughout our five-county region.

I love this City and I find more reasons to appreciate & celebrate it every day. As we continue to see our name landing on Top 10 lists, our Arts will continue to propel us straight to the top. I hope you’ll consider making a contribution – yes, right now – consider it a significant investment in your City.


Mayor Sly James, Kansas City, Missouri

One day Flower & Art Show in Downtown on Friday

Fleur-ishing Art: An American Impression

The Westport Garden Club is collaborating with The Box Gallery and Commerce Bank for a one-of-a-kind art and flower show in Downtown Kansas City from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

Members of the Westport Garden Club will create 26 artistic flower arrangements – each inspired by a work of fine art from the Commerce Bank art collection. Judges from five states will help select prize winners.

Join us for a public reception from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Friday at the Box Gallery, 1000 Walnut St., as the show continues next door in the Trust Art Gallery. Parking will be available in the 1025 Main garage.

For more information contact Robin Trafton, director of The Box Gallery, 816-760-7885, robin.trafton@Commercebank.com.

Charlotte Street’s Open Studios: April 24-25

On April 24-25, Charlotte Street will hold its annual Open Studios event. 21 visual artists, 5 writers, and 11 performing artists and ensembles will open their studios for this annual event. The public is encouraged to take an insider’s look at these studios, interacting with the artists, viewing works in progress, and witnessing special performances.

On Friday night, all studios will be open from 6-10pm. There is also a special lineup of performances, happening in the Town Pavilion studio spaces.

On Saturday, Paragraph Gallery will be open 12-5pm for the exhibition 1 Infinite Loop, featuring the work of Studio Resident artists. At 1pm, several of the Writers in Residence will present an interactive reading. At 2pm, exhibiting artists will be present in the gallery for a walk and talk event, and a live musical performance.


Dates: Friday, April 24, 6pm-10pm + Saturday, April 25, 12pm-5pm


• pARTnership Place/906 Grand, 13th Floor

• Town Pavilion/1100 Walnut, 6th Floor

• Paragraph Gallery + Project Space/21-23 E 12th Street

Click here for more information including schedule, map and artist information.


‘Map of Rain Hitting Water’ performance set for April 15

Wednesday, 4/15, 7 p.m.
Map of Rain Hitting Water
@ Prairie Logic

Join us for an evening of the compositions by Mara Gibson, an award winning local composer who also teaches  at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, culminating in the first live outdoor performance of Map of Rain Hitting Water. Map will be performed by renowned percussionist Mark Lowry, founding member of the newEar contemporary music ensemble,  and is a collaboration with artist Caitlin Horsmon who is also an Associate Professor of Film & Media Arts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Also included in the program are Gibson’s works with moving-image accompaniment, E:Tip (images by Caitlin Horsmon) and E:Vespers (images by Rebecca Dolan). Click here for more information about the performance and collaborators.

The performance is free and open to the public. It will take place Wednesday April 15, 7 p.m. at Prairie Logic, the box car stage on the Green Roof above the Cosentino’s Parking Garage, 1271 Main Street, 6th Floor. Parking is available in the garage with automobile entry from either Walnut or Main Street between 12th and 13th Streets (first 30 minutes free; $1.00 per 20 minutes after, $15 max).

These performances are part of the Art in the Loop: Creative Placemaking Project, a series of performances and art installations with the goal of activating Oppenstein Park and the sidewalks of Downtown Kansas City with innovative, engaging and temporary art. Applications for 2015 Project will be accepted through April 15; apply on-line at artintheloop.com.

For more information about Art in the Loop and upcoming performances and installations contact Ann Holliday, program director for Art in the Loopann@downtownkc.org or Jessica Borusky, curator, jessicaborusky@gmail.com.

Follow us on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/artintheloop.

Receive 20% Off Tickets to KC Rep’s Angels in America

Get 20% Off* Tickets to
Angels in America when you order online at KCRep.org or by phone at 816.235.2700 using promo code: DOWNTOWNDISH
Limit four (4) discounted tickets per household. Valid on adult tickets only. Cannot be applied to previous purchases, used in combination with other offers, or applied to Level C or student seating.

Also, join us 30 minutes prior to the show for Making the Play!
Making the Play is a free conversation series at every KC Rep performance, 30 minutes prior to your performance, where you can learn more about the incredible history behind the play and get a peek behind the scenes with our artistic staff! 

Part I: Millennium Approaches & Part II: Perestroika
Copaken Stage / 13th & Walnut St.

Written by Tony Kushner
Directed by David Cromer

A world-class revival of a modern classic. The most honored play in a generation, winner of the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama,Angels in America melds love, hate, religion and politics into a uniquely American epic. Sensitively reimagined, Angels in America changed the landscape of American theatre.

Part I: Millennium Approaches and Part II: Perestroika will be presented in rotating repertory at Copaken Stage.

Part 1:  Millennium Approaches – Filled with poetry and haunting imagery, heroism and humanity, Millennium Approaches begins the story of two couples whose lives intertwine in New York City during the mid-1980s. This classic of American theatre begins KC Rep’s epic rotating repertory at Copaken Stage.

Part 2:  Perestroika – This seldom performed work completes the epic story of Angels in America, as eight incredible actors perform in multiple roles. Perestroika provides Kansas City audiences with a rare chance to see Tony Kushner’s work as it was meant to be seen – with the quality you’ve come to expect from KC Rep.

Appropriate for ages 17 & up. Contains adult language, sexual content, and brief nudity.

MAAA lights up Downtown with artistic ‘LUV’

For the month of February, Downtown Kansas City will be the site of Message Matters, a site-specific light installation by Nebraska-based artist Jamie Burmeister.

Featuring lights installed in key window locations throughout the area, the artwork, titled Message Matters (2015), will fade in and out sending the Morse code message,  “LUV U.” Seeking to transform Downtown into a message of love and community, the work will be on view at night throughout February at eight locations. The installation is organized by Mid-America Arts Alliance, which will serve as the hub at 2018 Baltimore Ave.

The artist’s expectation is that Downtown residents and visitors will be able see at least one of the lights sending the Morse code message “LUV U” each night.

Message Matters installation sites:

  • Mid-America Arts Alliance, 2018 Baltimore Avenue
  • Commerce Bank Building, 1000 Walnut Street
  • Kansas City, Missouri, City Hall, 414 E. 12th Street
  • Kansas City, Missouri, Public Library-Central Branch, 14 W. 10th Street
  • Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, 2345 McGee Street
  • Fine Folk, 122 Southwest Boulevard
  • Meers Advertising, 1811 Walnut Street
  • Charlotte Street Foundation/Paragraph Gallery, 23 E. 12th Street

Learn more about the installation and meet Jamie Burmeister on 6:00–8:00 p.m., Friday, February 6 at Mid-America Arts Alliance.

A previous installations of Message Matters occurred at the Bemis Center for the Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska:

“Message Matters” – Jamie Burmeister – Bemis Center for Contemporary Art from Jamie Burmeister on Vimeo.