Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: the new Bloch Building [source]
The last time I was in Kansas City was 1996 for Murray’s graduation weekend at KCAI. Somehow, after the usual graduation rigamarole, Murray bought a 1973 VW bus from a friend who was selling it for the price of a one-way plane ticket to Hawaii (his post-grad plan being something along the lines of The Endless Summer). Murray and I set off from KC with a similar intention of pursuing some sort of “endless road-trip” ourselves and haven’t been back since.
When we found out last summer that we would be moving from LA to the Midwest for a yearlong stint as visiting artists, one of the things we were looking most forward to was revisiting Kansas City. So it was great fun to be included in the TRUCK: KC/STL Exchange show, which paired St Louis artists with the Urban Culture Project space La Esquina in Kansas City, and our KC counterparts with White Flag Projects here in St Louis.
Murray and I drove across the state for the opening weekend a couple of weeks ago and had the opportunity to survey a city that has matured from a scrappy art school scene into a full-blown art destination. From the new (still unopened) Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins to Jennifer Steinkamp at the Kemper to the outstanding facilities of Grand Arts, this city’s got it going on. For the next few days, we’ll be posting about our trip to KC that was 11 years in the making.
On a related note, while we were in KC, we met the Los Angeles-based art writer Shana Nys and Jennifer Vanderpool, an LA-artist showing at another Urban Culture Project space. Nys has been posting about her trip with thoughtful observations about regional and geographic differences between the West Coast and the Midwest on her art blog at the new social networking site for artists, Uber.com.
Additionally, KC art blogger Alex Schubert has posted generous images of the St Louis exhibition at La Esquina here, its sister exhibition at White Flag here, and Jennifer Vanderpool’s show at the UCP space Paragraph here.