Kansas City’s contribution to the cultural zeitgeist has never been more apparent. The city’s fleet of emerging artists and creatives are constantly bringing innovative, fresh, and exciting perspectives to a variety of mediums. We’ve highlighted a few of the emerging creatives that you should definitely know more about.
J.T. Daniels – Visual Artist
If you rode the Kansas City Streetcar through the Power & Light District any time this past summer, you hopefully caught a glance of J.T. Daniels’ riveting Wait Here mural, a public art installation on the 14th and Main streetcar stop. Wait Here features Daniels’ signature style of combining graffiti and illustration to playful, cartoonish, and beautiful effect. You can find Daniels’ work on murals, live painting events, and exhibitions all over the city.
Cyrus Console – Poet & Author
Cyrus Console is an acclaimed poet and teacher at the KC Art Institute, but it’s his most recent book, Romanian Notebook, that is garnering him national attention.
Romanian Notebook is Console’s personal account of traveling across Romania after having learned that the child his pregnant wife is carrying might have an elevated risk for Down syndrome. But it is so much more than that.
Confined to a country where few speak English and unable to express his thoughts with his wife, Console proceeds to commit his thoughts to paper, as winding and labyrinthian as they may be. The results is what The Los Angeles Review of Books has called “among the strangest, most compelling representations of human thought in contemporary literature.”
Firelei Báez – Visual Artist
Ok, so Firelei Báez is not a KC native (she was born in the Dominican Republic, and she currently lives and works in New York City), but this extraordinarily talented artist is definitely one you should know about. Her impressive solo exhibitions and prestigious residencies across the country caught the eye of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, who commissioned Báez to create a piece that is now on display at the museum through 2018.
The piece, To Access the Places that Live Beyond, showcases this artist’s immense talent for weaving together sumptuous shapes and gorgeous, colorful patterns with heavier symbols of power and oppression. Go see it while you have the chance.
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