2019 Art in the Loop Project: Make/Believe

“Endless,” by Alonso L. Ortega, is one of three large-scale, viewer interactive installations in Washington Square Park selected for the 2019 Art in the Loop Project: Make/Believe. (from the artist)

Musician Calvin Arsenia. Dancer Jane Gotch. Spoken word artist Sheri Purpose Hall. Visual artist Ari Fish. Hip-hop master SugEasy.

These are just a few of the top talents presenting outdoor installations and performances as part of this year’s Art in the Loop, organized around the theme Make/Believe. It began in June with performances by Arsenia, SugEasy and others, and continues through September.

The Kansas City streetcar is a popular touchstone for many of the featured artists, including Karen Lisondra, who introduced riders to a life-sized grandmother puppet during a performance in late June, and Christina Bereolos and Amanda Gehin, who have transformed a streetcar into an evocation of a monarch butterfly caterpillar through the application of white, black and yellow stripes and patches.

Gotch, with videographer Ian Garrett, will give a mixed reality live dance performance at 3 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Union Station streetcar stop; Hall will present a suite of poetry titled “A Wonka-riffic Trip” Sept. 7 (time TBA), at the Union Station stop.

Visible all summer long are “Art on the Line” artworks installed at various streetcar shelters, including an immersive doodle by Evan Brown at the Union Station stop, a gathering of lacy bird silhouettes by Rachelle Gardner-Roe at the Kauffman northbound stop, an image by Angie Jennings that viewers can activate with a free app at the River Market West stop, fanciful “New Atlantean Tourism Posters” by Evan Maddox at the Crossroads southbound stop and Amanda K. Guerra’s large-scale landscape photo, “Earth Bound,” at the North Loop stop. In addition to her live performance, Jane Gotch is presenting site-specific virtual reality dances that viewers can access through their phones at the Union Station, Library and River Market West stops.

There’s more: Washington Square Park is home to three large-scale, viewer interactive installations: a sacred space by Ari Fish, a 7-foot-tall obelisk of bonded sand by John Hachmeister and an urban mirage produced by reflective, stainless steel planks by Alonso Ortega. The park will also be the site of an Aug. 17 electronic exhibition and dance party by UN/TUCK Collective.

Music too factors into the Art in the Loop program, with local musicians performing on the streetcar or at streetcar stops from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays through August 1, except the week of July 1.

Alice Thorson

Alice Thorson is the editor of KC Studio. She has written about the visual arts for numerous publications locally and nationally.

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