Ani Hoover, Role the Dice. Photo courtesy of the artist.
The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art is excited to introduce two new temporary exhibitions this fall: Then is Now: Works by Ani Hoover and Current Works, the Kansas City Society for Contemporary Photography’s 2023 juried exhibition.
Then is Now: Works by Ani Hoover is both a spiritual and physical homecoming for the artist. The Buffalo, New York-based artist is returning to her hometown of St. Joseph with this exhibition of recent works that explore cultural practices of memory making and memorials. Hoover’s interest in art began with visits to the Albrecht-Kemper with her family. She spent many years primarily as a painter, but around 2010 her practice shifted to working in sculpture and fiber arts techniques, often using recycled or unusual materials. These works are a return to some of the domestic materials and traditional crafts from her earliest experiences with artmaking.
Hoover’s memory jars are a synthesis of Victorian decorative boxes covered with decoupage or shells, 1970s classroom art projects and African American grave decorations descended from the custom of placing vessels on graves to help connect to the spirit world via water. These sculptures, assembled from toys, craft supplies and everyday items that surround us, cover familiar forms like bottles and cookies jars to create a memorial to our modern culture. Hoover has created wax candles that echo layers of sedimentary rock and an altarpiece that seems to have formed almost organically, like a coral reef. These monumental-sized pieces place our cultural ephemera and detritus on a geographical time scale.
The Kansas City Society for Contemporary Photography’s Current Works will showcase the work of photographers working in the region. Each year the exhibition is juried by a highly qualified art professional who brings their knowledge of photography to the selection process. This year’s exhibition is juried by Elijah Gowin, professor in the Department of Media, Art, and Design at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. This exhibition highlights the contemporary work of photographers in all forms of photographic processes. Both modern techniques and traditional photographic methods present the viewpoints and voices of some of the most talented artists in the Midwest.
Then and Now: Works by Ani Hoover and Current Works will be on view Sept. 23 through Nov. 5 at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph. For current information about special events and programming related to this exhibition, visit www.albrecht-kemper.org.
Financial assistance provided by the St. Joseph, Missouri Visitors Bureau.