“Here’s What’s Missing,” 5529 Troost Gallery

“Here’s What’s Missing,” installation view (5529 Troost Gallery)

If something is missing in your life, you may find it at the 5529 Troost Gallery. The exhibition “Here’s What’s Missing” brings together local and national artists who share personal narratives about tangible and intangible things that went missing. The multimedia works in the show speak to aspects of loss and grieving as well as forgotten moments and lost precious objects.

Offering a variety of colors, materials, shapes, and compositions, Joe Bussell’s six hanging three-dimensional works illustrate the idea that every person’s death experience is individual and unique. Bussell’s work, titled “Hanging Frag Installation,” represents six individuals who passed away under the care of the artist when he worked in AIDS hospice between the years of 1985 and 1990. He said, “The death processes I observed were very individual, (and) everyone’s process was unique. Some cursed, suffered, bucked and howled. While others died quietly. The observable moment of death, however, was very much the same for everyone.”

“Eureka Seagulls Eating Salmon,” Jo K. Morgan (5529 Troost Gallery)

Shirley Harryman comments on things gone missing in domestic space. Her diptych “Mom’s Blue Kitchen” displays cyanotype prints on cotton tea towels hung on two metal rods accompanied by a handwritten story on a recipe card. In the narrative, Harryman recalled how after years of restoration and care, her parents’ home in Versailles, Missouri, was finally demolished due to neglect. Visiting the empty lot where it once stood, Harryman and her sister picked up the remaining pieces of the lost home: two shards of tile from their mother’s beloved blue kitchen. Each half of the textile diptych features a disembodied hand holding a three-dimensional piece of fabric sewed onto the tea towel, suggesting a memory of the kitchen through those two fragments of blue tile.

Lisa Wild Healy’s “A Diamond, Lost, Found, Given,” presents a handmade book filled with lens-less light photographs that visually narrate an instance when her mother-in-law misplaced a diamond she had been given by her husband. Years later the diamond miraculously resurfaced, and she had the gem set in a new ring which she wears regularly. Gallery visitors can flip through and unfold Healy’s book, visually following a sequence of light that dances from page to page in her abstract photographic compositions.

“View from 31st and Fairmount, KCMO,” Jim Gubar (5529 Troost Gallery)

Karen Zuegner’s “Lightning Notebook Revisited” features a grid of nine 12 x 12-inch paintings that visually narrate her frequent experience visiting the Bowery Lighting District in Lower East Side Manhattan after being dropped off from the M103 bus. According to Zuegner, the stores in the district contained lit chandeliers, floor and wall lamps, and a multitude of glass and bulb types, lighting up even the darkest of nights. Zeugner’s recollection of that magical street inspired her to recall her memory of the district years later, and the nine paintings illuminate what is left in her memory of that place and the emotions it continues to conjure.

Gallery owner and exhibition participant Karen Williams opened 5529 Troost Gallery during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and is excited to see the number of visitors grow. Other participants in this exhibition include Michelle Casillas, Gary Hodson, Jo Kyle Morgan, Gail Williams, Terri Juarez, Ed Pastorini, Martha Dye- Walker, James K. Walker and Melissa Wolf.

“Here’s What’s Missing” continues at 5529 Troost Gallery, 5529 Troost Ave., through Oct. 28. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday. For more information, 646.323.3696 or 5529troost@gmail.com.

Ashley Lindeman

Ashley Lindeman is an art historian, educator, and arts writer. She recently earned her Ph.D. from Florida State University, and she works full time as Assistant Professor of Humanities at Johnson County Community College.

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