Three of the artist installations included in the 2017 Art in the Loop Cue! project made use of the Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library Central Library.. Each artist discussed their research and what they learned from different aspects of the collection in an interview with Laura McCallistser, Digital Content Specialist with KC Public Library. The full interview and blog post can be found here: http://www.kclibrary.org/blog/library-life
Collaborators Lauren Thompson and Jeff Evrard used the MVSC search engine, KCHistory.org, to find images and information about cultural icons from Kansas City history. This information was used in the creation of Then & Now: Faces of KC. The optical installation near the River Market North KC Streetcar stop includes photos of past KC arts and culture icons, as well as new photos by Evrard of current community leaders in similar corresponding roles. As viewers pass along a section of fencing at the ideal angle, image sections placed on the fence pickets align, such that images of present-day leaders suddenly pop into clear focus. As they pass, viewers can than look back at that same angle to see the corresponding figures from the past.
Local photographer Chris Dahlquist used both the MVSC’s Sanborn Maps and Hargrave Photograph Collection during her research for The History Vendor. Dahlquist installed three iconic vending machines in City Market Park, at 3rd and Main St., just west of City Market . The machines dispensed- free of charge- three cards, each featuring a different historic photograph of buildings in the area, along with a map. Patrons were encouraged to position themselves using the map, so that they could compare the image in the photograph to the present-day appearance of the site. The cards also included interesting facts about the buildings, people, and cultural activities captured in the photographs.
Finally, artist Sarah Star used the MSVC to find images and articles pertaining to the buildings and surroundings along her 4-mile running trail Run the Town: A Civic Trail . The civic trail is marked by signs containing illustrations by fellow artist Sonya Andrews. The illustrations were inspired by historic photographs found in the MVSC, then executed as a playful visual mix of past and present. The trail head at The River Market West KC Streetcar stop, on Delaware between 3rd and 5th streets, also contains historical images from the MVSC.
Run the Town: A Civic Trail will be available to the public through October 6th. Viewers have until October 22nd to enjoy Then & Now: Faces of KC.
These art installatins are part of the 2017 Art in the Loop Project: Cue! The projects are made possible through the generous support of KC Streetcar; the City of Kansas City, Missouri; the Missouri Arts Council; Arts KC and our corporate sponsors including Stinson Leonard Street, Henderson Engineers, JE Dunn Construction, McCownGordon Construction, Port KC and UMB Financial Corporation. We appreciate in-kind support and guidance provided by the Downtown Council, the Downtown and River Market Community Improvement Districts, KCMO-Public Works Department, KC Streetcar, the City Market, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City Art Institute, Folk Alliance International and The Bridge 90.9.