Here are weekend calendar picks from KC Studio editor Alice Thorson! This is your last weekend to see Unicorn Theatre’s production of Chesapeake, along with The Outwin: American Portraiture Today at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. First Friday, stop by opening receptions at the Jones Gallery downtown or The Writers Place in Westport. Also Friday night, see the comedy web series YidLife Crisis live for one night only at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. For more ideas this weekend, visit Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.
December 19, 2017 – January 7, 2018
In a strained political season, the provocative work of one edgy performance artist comes up against a conservative senator running for re-election. The senator has a lovable dog; a charming, folksy manner; and a campaign to cut “frivolous arts spending.” The artist has a plan for one final shocking performance with his NEA funding. How much could a dognapping really cost, anyway? In this tale of an attempt to kidnap and retrain a politician’s pooch, Lee Blessing explores the mysterious connections between dogs and their humans, politics and artists, and miraculous wonder in our lives.
October 5, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is honored to be the only Midwest venue to host The Outwin: American Portraiture Today, an exhibition on view at Kemper Museum October 5, 2017 through January 7, 2018. Every three years, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery invites artists across America to investigate the art of portraiture through the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Established in 2006, it is the premier national competition celebrating excellence and innovation in portraiture.
Jurors of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition selected 43 winning works from more than 2,500 entries. The featured artists tackle topics of pertinent cultural and political significance, including investigations of race and gender, the fragility of childhood in our increasingly complicated world, and the psychological impact of migration.
“At a time when creating empathy and understanding among people is a pressing cultural imperative, The Outwin: American Portraiture Today offers a very special opportunity to the citizens of and visitors to Kansas City,” said Barbara O’Brien, Executive Director of Kemper Museum. “The more than 40 artists, whose work is on view, build a bridge of understanding across the cultural landscape of gender, class, race, and opportunity.”
As the artists demonstrate a mastery over their chosen mediums, they express their convictions and reveal the diversity of experiences that connect us—as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. First place winner Amy Sherald draws on her experiences as an African American growing up in Columbus, Georgia while using her work to confront the psychological effects of stereotypical imagery on African American subjects. Second place winner Cynthia Henebry explores the relationship between order and chaos in the internal lives of children and adults. Third place winner Joel Daniel Phillips pays tribute to individuals who live on the margins of society. The Kemper Museum is proud to present these and all of the artists whose contemporary portraiture is included in The Outwin.
January 5, 2018 – January 26, 2018 | Free
Curated by Teigan Jeanne Hockman and hosted by Jones Gallery-Crossroads KC, this incredibly inspiring new exhibition includes artists Brie Duey, Brandy Cornwell, Rose Leonard, Omar W Shamz Al-Shams, Kelly Marie Johnson, Teigan Hockman, & Jesse Sinz. All featured artists work with disabilities, including chronic illness, mental illness and neurodivergence.
Opening reception: January 5th, 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
January 6, 2018 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm | Free
The Writers Place
Seven Works by Glyneisha Johnson open doors to Black American domestic life. Seven local poets respond, one page per poet, each dedicated to one of Glyneisha’s works. Glyneisha replies to the poetry with a final, visual statement. Don’t miss this exceptional DIALOGUE IN COLOR.
Glyneisha Johnson is a recent graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute’s Painting department. She is also a recipient of Charlotte St Foundation’s 2017-2018 studio residency program. She has exhibited in various solo and group exhibitions in Kansas City, including Undergrads Underground at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center. Through collage, painting, and drawing, Glyneisha Johnson’s work echoes nodes of black culture and her experience of being raised in the South. The work also acknowledges the importance of Black domestic spaces within a society that often overlooks these spaces and the people who inhabit them. She uses the language of collage as a metaphor to describe the dislocated, collaged nature of Black history due to colonialism.
January 6, 2018 @ 7:30 pm
The White Theatre at the Jewish Community Campus
YidLife Crisis is a Yiddish comedy web series and evolving Jewish cultural brand created by two friends, Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman, wanting to pay homage to the yiddishkayt in their upbringing and the questioning Jewish comedic lens on life with which they were raised. Best friends and debating adversaries, Jamie and Eli tackle life, love, and lactose intolerance entirely in their grandparents’ Yiddish. RATED CHAI+ (Over 18 years – and under 81)
Get a taste of Jamie & Eli’s sense of humor and be sure to see them for this one day only show!