"I am a photographer whose work concerns itself with the exploration of heritage and a questioning of gender roles. My lineage hails from Jamaica and, ultimately Africa. I find interest in the intersection of my American heritage, Jamaican heritage, and African ancestry. My art attempts to address notions of “blackness” and to develop a concretization of this abstract cultural concept visual medium. For me, “blackness” concerns itself with an understanding of one’s connection to Africa. I employ such exploration through incorporation of patterns and textiles, which bear reference to African slaves used for labor in the colony of Jamaica. I hope that these patterns, juxtaposed with the female figure force viewers to acknowledge both their long, conflicted history, but also the role of the woman in this history. In addition to this juxtaposition, I am also aim to examine femininity through cultural expression, subject matter, and the poses of my models (which refer to the “duties” of womanhood). I replicate many of the African patterns and textures through printing on the gallery walls to expand the viewer's visual horizons beyond the framed image. The patterns will not only activate the space but, even more, create further conversations about the process of the work. This reconfiguration will break the boundary of traditional photography by making the image go beyond the frame and expanding inside the gallery space." - Imani Nixon
Opening Reception during First Fridays, September 1st, from 6-10pm
Pleasure Pusher: XXX presents Nixon's newest works from multiple series, including “Cock Paintings”, the “Q” portfolio, and “Remnants from Painting and Photography Sessions”. The artist also plans to execute an hour long action at the opening of the exhibition where she will invite the viewer to participate by feeding and or pouring/rubbing fruit and liquids onto her body. The artist dedicates Pleasure Pusher XXX to Michael Clinard, commercial photographer and brilliant artist. This is for you my friend. RIP. 100% of proceeds generated from this show will go towards a LGBTQ organization of Nixon's choice.
"My aim is to articulate truthfully what it means to inhabit my body. Rawness, pleasure, and deviant behavior are what excite me most. Currently, my studio practice is taking me on a search for a new kind of sexual imagery, one where lines are blurred between gender constructs. The work crosses into various fields from painting to digital media. Installation and performance are also appropriate platforms. Food and pleasure are a consistent theme throughout. My images allow me the freedom to embrace my sexual body anyway I please. I do not seek to establish a barrier between the work and explicit imagery. Nor do I seek to align my work with a grand aesthetic scheme. At this time, my images speak to sexual desires and fetishes outside of a normative framework surrounding sex. It is within this framework where I express my queerness, my vulnerability, and my need to constantly question." -Nixon
Trish Nixon recently earned an MFA from the University of Kansas and a BFA in Photography (with an emphasis in Art History) from Memphis College of Art. She has performed her action, “Food and the Visceral Body” for Flesh Crisis at Arts Dojo (Kansas City) and at Last Frontier (Brooklyn). Her proposed presentation, Body/ Pleasure/ Power: Locating Queerness Through Transgressive Self-Expression has been selected to be included in the Transgender Spectrum Conference in November at Washington State University (St. Louis). Within her studio practice, she investigates aspects of queer theory, gender, and art. She questions the normative framework relating to the body and sexual behavior by often times producing explicit gestures through various visual platforms.
"High Tide engulfs spectators with its thrashing waves. There are many components to this immersive exhibition. One of the large scale pieces, Swimmers, a painting made from collaged paper, reveals limbs reaching and heads gasping for air as sharks and seagulls descend. The viewer seems to have stumbled upon a terrifying scene in the middle of the ocean. This piece is surrounded by two mammoth waves, one on each side. These towering masses have reached their peak height as they crash onto the gallery floor. The viewer is left standing in painted puddles which have taken over, making their way to the adjacent wall where an underwater scene in unveiled. Here Reed investigates the calm beneath the water, dreaming of unexplored depths and new worlds. Reed’s paintings touch on themes of being overwhelmed by, and coping with, current climates. She questions the role of the viewer while challenging her voice as an artist. She attempts to make sense of world events while dealing with the confusion that is everyday life." -Reed
Reed is originally from Kansas City. She attended the University of Central Missouri where she received a BFA in Painting and BSE in Art Education in 2014. Shortly after graduating she moved to Brooklyn for two years. Last September she made her pilgrimage back to Kansas City to establish her painting studio practice. Sophia Reed’s private studio is located in Vulpes Bastille in the Crossroads Arts District of KCMO. For more information about her work you can visit her website at sophia-reed.com and follow her Instagram: @sophiapaints To contact her directly or schedule a studio tour, you can e-mail: email@example.com
Opening Reception during Friday, July 7th, from 6:00-10:00pm
All Together features twelve thematically and visually connected but independent drawings, depicting a single heterosexual couple, edited and arranged into a cohesive twelve panel "comic strip", cycling around the gallery. The work investigates ideas of intimacy and and closeness, and the manifestation of shared history within a romantic relationship. Each individual piece builds off the previous one, resulting in an open ended short story. The friction of dualities is evident throughout the show; the figures vacillate between unadorned naturalism and grotesque figurative abstraction. They represent a manifestation of their own psychological states and their assumed projection of their partner’s mental states onto themselves. Likewise, the works themselves vacillate between a collection of independent but thematically and visually connected single images to be looked at, and a string of interconnected and interdependent pictograms to be read as a single, unified whole.
My work concerns itself with notions and themes of physical, emotional and psychological closeness. These ideas are addressed in my work through the depiction of a single heterosexual couple. Their interactions and perceptions seeming to distort them physically, reflecting their psychological and emotional states. These shifts are visually manifested in the anatomical distortion of the two figures, and the clear, contrasting dimorphism between the two. In each drawing, the representation if the figures slides from naturalistic illusionism to flat expressionism, considering ideas of perception, self awareness, and body dismorphia: how one views the other and the self - made visually manifest. Ideas of “real” people, sliding into idealized, semiotic notions of “Man” or “Woman,” My work is heavily influenced by, and takes freely and openly form, the history of art, prints, comics, movies, and cartoons. my 2-D and 3-D work, all figurative, and all ink on paper, investigates ideas of physical closeness, emotional intimacy, body dysmorphia, narcissism, frailty, snuggles, and the social and interpersonal negotiations which occur within heterosexual relationships. Thayer Nicholas Granstrom Bray Is a draw-er, printmaker, bookbinder, and sculptor based in Kansas City. He earned a BFA in printmaking and minor in Art History from the University of Kansas in 2009. Thayer's work is heavily influenced by, and takes freely and openly form, the history of art, prints, comics, movies, and cartoons. His 2-D and 3-D work, all figurative, and all ink on paper, investigates ideas of physical closeness, emotional intimacy, body dysmorphia, narcissism, frailty, snuggles, and the social and interpersonal negotiations which occur within heterosexual relationships. He is currently the shop assistant at the Lawrence Lithography Workshop, Kansas City, MO, and head binder at Red Shorts Bindery.
Opening Reception on Friday, June 2nd, from 6:00-10:00pm
This group exhibition highlights various viewpoints of current events and social issues that are rampantly coursing through our country's veins. Ice Cream Socialism features works by Mark Allen, Tarin Eicher, Rif Raf Giraffe, Carie Musick, Kevin Perkins, Jillian Youngbird.
Opening Reception during First Fridays, May 5th, from 6:00-10:00pm
Particle & Wave by Joshua Browning & Matthew Lepley
This new video installation, from the multimedia artists Joshua Browning and Matthew Lepley, is based off of a series of light experiments done by the pair in 2016. The installation will be scaled to fit the intimate setting of the Plenum Space gallery, with the intent of creating the immersive experience typical of their other work. Utilizing reflection, distortion, and manipulation of projected video imagery, the piece seeks to press the user to examine and reflect upon the concept of a single entity being a sum of separate elements. The piece was also created to be a meditation on the intersection between rigid technological elements and organic form. Ultimately, the installation was conceived as a work of joy and has been described by the artists as "a psychedelic senior prom". Continuing on that theme, there will be musical performances by Bonzo Madrid and Stik Figa.
Opening Reception Friday, April 7th, from 6:00-10:00pm
A literal bit about the arist... Who: Mark Cesarik What: Graphic designer, illustrator, and painter with a BFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago/In-house designer of home textiles/Licensed quilting fabric collections with Free Spirit Fabrics/Direct sales in the home, craft, and apparel industries/Work has appeared on everything from wallpaper to pajamas Where: Chicago When: 1980's Why: Deep-seeded need to doodle and be creative
More: This exhibition features oil paintings of abstracted figures that have been sourced, mostly, from the 20th century and, in particular, the Great depression. This 2016 body of work aims to connect past and present, showing hope and pride in a time of despair. Which, at this moment of time and place in the world, is more than poignant. markces.com/
Opening Reception on First Fridays, March 3rd, from 6:00-10:00pm
This group exhibition features works as varied as the artists who made them; from painting to sctulpture to textiles to even a hint of street art. The show includes local artists Neil Goss, Laura Maloney, Marie McKenzie, Carie Musick, and Thomas Woodward.
A bit about the artists:
Carie Musick; Secrets, intimate moments, and once private lives are now readily posted, and permanent, on a worldwide communal stage. My work explores the dichotomy of the historic and religious female vs. the contemporary sexual female. As a wayward member of the Mormon Church, I seek to revive the traditional and stereotyped domestic arts of my heritage (such as embroidery, crochet, sewing, etc.) by illustrating and uncovering present-day feminine sexuality, relationships, and religion. 69naughtystitches.tumblr.com
Neil Goss; I’ve spent the past 6 years researching and working with fiber, natural dyes and hand dug clay and other foraged art materials. My experience has led me to desire something deeper and more relatable within my materials and processes than those found in purchasing canvas, brushes and paint from the store. I want to more thoroughly understand and develop a real relationship with the materials and processes that I use. I am interested in the Earth and the natural surroundings because I want to live with and utilize them through reciprocity. I don’t want to live like contemporary human beings, working against the land and building on top of it while owning and conquering it at the same time. I don’t need nor want that much control, dominion be not for me. As Chief Seattle said, “the Earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the Earth.” As soon as that is recognized, if it is recognized, true progression can ensue. And until then, I will continue to regress and simplify my life within this forward-driven world. My creations are offerings to the Earth, made and borrowed from the Earth. They are extensions of my spiritual and physical self, embodying all that I possess. The Earth provides me life and I must attempt to give it life and energy. I utilize the Earth as my art supply store. Through the use of natural materials like hemp, wool, fallen tree limbs, medicinal natural dyes and hand dug clay I utilize the bounty our Earth offers to create sustainable and biodegradable works of art. My art does not need to be permanent, as I do not intend it to last forever. My work can of course be preserved, but it possesses a desire to be ephemeral. The evolution and progression of age and degradation reflects our lives and my life. Why should the artwork that I create be any different? I believe it should, like me, have a birth, life and death. www.neilgoss.com
Join us this January FF for a duo show featuring works by Daniel Meeker and Ashley Krull. These two live and work (mostly) in the heart of the East Crossroads and truly embrace the free-flowing yet powerfully determined force that this community has become infamous for. Their styles refelct their own sensibilities, of course, and each offer us as the viewers a down-to-earth look on moments of raw humbility.
Dan walked into the opera in 2009 and hasn't missed one since. Dan thinks everyone should refer to Dan in the third person the way Dan refers to Danself, though rules are made to be broken. If a waking hours spare moment is available, he can be found at the Nelson reading the information cards obsessively. First Fridays you will see him eventually, with a beer in hand and often checking his phone for the International Space Station to appear in the night sky.
Ashley loves the vibe of the East Crossroads with the art on the walls and music in the halls. After years of letting her talent remain dormant, Krull was reawakened by sensuality and passion. Her creative senses were both inspired on and off the canvas in a series she calls "Light a Cigarette".
Opening Reception on First Fridays, January 6th, from 6:00-10:00pm