ArtsKC-Supported Artists Produce Thought-Provoking Work

From a short documentary film depicting music as an immigrant because of the way it assimilates into the musical landscape of countries, to sculptures that interact with fermented foods, ArtsKC Inspiration Grant artists bring fresh, diverse perspectives to their work.

The following artists just received ArtsKC Inspiration Grants and represent three of 37 artists who have received these grants during 2016 and 2017.

Dick Daniels: A painter, ceramicist and illustrator with a whimsical cartoon-noir style, Daniels is branching out into ceramics with his new project, titled 77 Rabbits, although, he noted, “it could turn into 100.” Daniels plans to create a series of ceramic cartoon rabbit heads, exploring variations for each face, morphing into a wide variety of expression and abstraction. “This project is very much a continuation of the cartooning world I live in,” he said. “Like comics made of sequential panels telling a story, my project will have rows of clay rabbit heads, each changing as the story progresses.” Daniels plans to show the series, which is funded by both ArtsKC and the Johnson County Library Foundation, in multiple exhibitions. He will use the funding to access studio facilities at the Kansas City Clay Guild and Hammerspace Community Workshop.

Ari Fish: Fish is a multi-media artist and clothing designer. Her work focuses on ideas of transcendental experience for the benefit of the human condition. Her ArtsKC-funded Prayer Robe Project is a series of ten robes designed and constructed based on the symbolic principles of numerology from one to 10, with each number representing a point of significance in the overall journey of a human. “What started as a study on Freemasonry and the vast ceremonies of secret societies, steadily evolved into the personal ceremony of making a prayer robe for someone,” Fish said. Pulling from religious and occult stories, as well as symbolism within numerology, this project addresses the universality of the essence of human experience from birth to death. Fish’s project will include exhibitions and collaborative performances in Kansas City and Los Angeles. “The exhibitions will not be traditional fashion shows, but installations,” she said. “Patrons will be able to try the robes on and stand in contemplation, ultimately feeling and assessing the power of the robe.” Fish will use funding from ArtsKC for materials and to purchase an industrial sewing machine — an investment for this project and her future studio work.

Cydney Ross: A sculptor and designer, Ross is known for her porcelain jewelry and accessories. With her ArtsKC-funded project, she plans to create porcelain accessories that cover large portions of the human body. “This collaboration will be an extension of my recent project Glitz&Grime in that we’re using porcelain in a non-traditional manner to adorn the body,” Ross said. “Unlike G&G, I want to expand upon the scale of the pieces, making them larger and more dramatic, to better understand how wearables interact with the body.” These accessories will complement the striking clothing and makeup chosen by designers Natasha Shangari and Grant Karpin in a collaborative, avant-garde photo shoot. The end result will provide hands-on experience for cross-disciplinary interaction and will encourage future partnerships. Ross will use funding from ArtsKC to hire a professional photographer, and to pay for copyrights, facility costs and materials.

ArtsKC supports the local arts community

Each year, ArtsKC awards more than 100 grants to artists like Daniels, Fish and Ross, as well as giving grants to arts organizations and arts programs. For more information on how to donate to this year’s “Ignite the Arts” Fund Campaign, or to apply for a grant, visit artskc.org/artskcfund.

–Susan Franke

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