Board of Directors announces a change in Leadership

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Colby K Smith

The Board of Directors at Studios Inc welcomes Courtney Wasson as the organization’s new Executive Director upon retirement of Colby K Smith. Smith has been the Executive Director since 2003 when he co-founded Studios Inc. The organization is indebted to his vision and commitment for propelling Studios Inc to its present position.

Smith states, “I know now is the right time for a change. We have grown this organization into one of the most unique of its kind in the nation while providing substantial impact across all our programs. I am truly proud of our achievements. While my daily involvement with Studios Inc will change, my ongoing support will not, this I say with great certainty. It truly has been honor to serve this organization.”

Brad Nicholson, chairman of the Board, shares “Having met Colby when he came to Kansas City, I think it’s important to remind everyone that Studios Inc as we know it would never have happened without his vision and willingness to dedicate himself to its success. Each artist who has had the unique opportunity to be part of the program has Colby to thank for his vision.”

Wasson joins Studios Inc with 10 years of gallery experience, marketing, and business management. Wasson is to succeed Colby K Smith, who has been the Executive Director since 2003 when he co-founded Studios Inc. Studios Inc provides studio space, professional development, networking, and exhibitions for mid-career artists in Greater Kansas City.

Wasson received a BFA with honors from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2005. She majored in art history and printmaking. After graduation she has continuously worked to support artists through exhibitions, studio critiques, and marketing. Wasson began working for Weinberger Fine Art at the beginning of 2016, working as the Curator, Marketing and Gallery Director. Since 2010, Wasson has worked with the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center and is now the acting Executive Vice President for the Leedy Foundation. In 2016, Wasson began working with Linda Lighton as the Program Coordinator of the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program.

Wasson is a dedicated artist advocate whose mission is to service the promotion of artistic dialogue and connect artists to opportunities. She will be responsible for the general management and advancement of Studios Inc, building on the foundation established by Smith and the Board of Directors.

Wasson states, “My goal is to have a positive impact on the arts community and to further support artists within the Kansas City region through the programs available at Studios Inc. I love how Studios Inc engages and creates a community centered around the relationship between artists and patrons.”

Launched to serve mid-career artists, Studios Inc is Kansas City’s only nonprofit arts organization offering pivotal three-year residencies to mid-career artists who are poised to significantly expand their careers. Studios Inc offers a unique immersion experience for resident artists, who use their studio and exhibition space to produce and exhibit work, network and learn from one another, and attract and cultivate relationships with art patrons, collectors, and arts professionals.

Anonymous Women: Demise, Camouflage and Calamity

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The night of Patty Carroll’s exhibition Demise, Camouflage and Calamity filled Studios Inc with a good number of guests given an appetizing introduction into the Anonymous Women series, and as Caroll pulled back the curtain we gazed into the mind of an artist encapsulating the domesticity of mainstream America. I can say with confidence that everyone left with something new, burning and clawing inside of them that night.

Patty Carroll’s exhibition features twenty individual pieces and four installations. The installations are three-dimensional extensions of the staged photographs, Domestic Bliss, Picnicked, Plastic Fantastic, and Sweepy. The installations vary in their size, layout, scope, and medium.

Domestic Bliss is staged with women at the center of a room covered in thick, colorful, and glossy antique drapes hung over the room mixed with lace covered in pink floral prints. A large antique lampshade sits on an ornate, marble end table, illuminating a woman covered in more drapes and slouched over in her chair. Drapes fall into heaps on the floor as they envelop the entire piece. Domestic Bliss creates an elaborate, graceful, and florid outward expression of womanly domestication. However, the women and the room are obstructed by the drapes. The opaque material’s heaviness reference the veiled reality of the domestic sphere. We can only see the illusions of grandeur and happiness displayed within the piece and, by extension, the home. But, not the constrictive reality of domestication and, by extension, “domestic bliss”. (more…)

Studios New Residents!!!

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Anne Austin Pearce and Judith G. Levy join our eclectic and diverse residency program and bring their unique skills, talents, and abilities to Studios Inc. We are ecstatic that these two artists are joining our family this January.

Pearce’s work centers around the ambiguity of moments intermingled between our inner self or intimate moments in our personal relationships. She describes this ambiguity as a moment of loss or gain, bondage or freedom. “It happens when we are grappling with a dream deferred or an expectation not met. it is the time passed shifting sensibilities, wavering between resolution and avoidance, teetering at the threshold of debilitating anxiety or liberating submission, deciding what, when and how to speak, what to distill, and whether to scream.

Levy’s work explores the historical, social, political and identity issues that complicate and contradicts the state of commonality within society. “I am interested in how perceptions, definitions and concepts are shaped.”

These two capable artists compliment our storied residency program and we cannot wait to see what these two have in store!

Abigail Brightwell-Gray’s “conceptual views”

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Whenever art is mentioned in a conversation, Landscape Art is one of the genres thought of first. The form traditionally involves some form of painting or photography that encapsulates a large scenery, occurrence, or stereotypical event that focuses on the concepts of nature, its relationship with humanity, and the outcomes of their interactions. Abigail Brightwell-Gray(our exhibitions management intern) curated the newest studios.gallery exhibition: conceptual views. The show deconstructs, analyzes, and tinkers with landscape art through a contemporary lens.

 

I was excited to see Abigail’s first foray into curating an exhibition and I came away surprised with the deep connections she created through the diverse set of works. The pieces create a contemporary rendition of the genre, rooted in a traditional sense. Prototypical landscapes are spaced between pieces that bend, reinvent, and escape the genre.

(more…)

Studios seeks Executive Director

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art studios, free space, gallery, art, Art District, Downtown Kansas City, Events, First Fridays, Installations, Kansas City, Kansas City Missouri, Crossroads, KC Community, KCMO, Museums Opening, Opportunities, Residency Program, Resident artist, Visual Art, KC Visual Arts, Mid-career artist, art exhibition, exhibition, studios logoStudios Inc is now accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. Do you want to be a part of the premier, art based, non-profit organization of Kansas City? Does art based outreach into the community excite you? Do you believe in the overall development of Kansas City art culture? If so, shoot us a cover letter and resume! We’re all ears!

Executive Director Position Description:  The Executive Director (ED) is the key management leader of Studios Inc (SI) which includes studios.gallery. The ED is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing, gallery exhibitions and sales, facility management and maintenance, and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Chairman of the Board and the Board of Directors. The position allows (more…)

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Two events graced the hot Friday afternoon last weekend. The 14th of September served as the opening night of Colby K Smith’s Navah II and coincidentally my birthday.

Since the inception of Studios Inc, Colby K Smith has served as its director and guided the organization high up the hierarchy of Kansas City Art Culture, while also being a resident artist at Studios Inc. Colby’s time spent running the organization would seemingly distract from his work as an artist. But, after viewing Navah II the very idea of it seems preposterous.

Colby’s newest Navah exhibition follows in the same vein as the previous one. A frantic smorgasbord of techniques, materials, and concepts are at work within the exhibition and all point to a man who embraces and values the chaotic moments within their own artistry and life. All of the fourteen pieces within the exhibition have been built by  (more…)

Dylan Mortimer and Susan White

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In the past few weeks, Dylan Mortimer, Studios Inc alumni and Susan White, current resident artist, opened exhibitions in the Crossroads District. They’re located at the Haw Contemporary Crossroads Gallery, and the KCAI Crossroads Gallery respectively. In this post, I take an in-depth look at their exhibitions.

The first thing I noticed in Dylan Mortimer’s exhibition Blinded by Grace is that it’s so… blinding. Dylan Mortimer reinforces this theme with his own opinion of the exhibition, “Hopefully like a beautiful blinding light… it hurts to look at, yet you can’t look away.1” A view from the sidewalk in front of Haw Contemporary doesn’t do justice to the robust array of sparkling reds, pinks, greens, purples, and blues against the heavy black backgrounds of the paintings. Once inside you see the scope of the work. Small intimate pieces that feature broken bronchi2, Jordan basketball shoes and healthcare symbols contrast with the large interpretations of Christian altarpieces and mosaics based around Mortimer’s renditions of cells. At the center of the space stands Tree, Broken Tree, a giant rendition of a smaller bronchus tree painting. The bronchus and its broken limbs are covered in an immeasurable amount of bright pink, purple sequins while the inner pulp and sap bleeding out of the bronchial tree are made of lime green sequins.

To understand Blinded By Grace you need to understand the life of Dylan Mortimer. Dylan Mortimer lives with (more…)

Review of Allman’s current show!

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Ricky Allman: Seven Simultaneous Sunsets @ Studios Inc Exhibition Space
by Dana Self, KC STUDIO, October 2, 2017

Ricky Allman’s multisensory work evokes apocalyptic narrative and images from popular culture, science-fiction movies and books, and the inevitable cyborg. He writes, “The first 30 years of my life I was anticipating the imminent apocalypse; hoarding food, memorizing scriptures and warning the wicked. After leaving these ideas behind . . . my brain allowed me to think of a future, a hundred, thousand, or five thousand years in the future. I began to think about self-replicating printers. Buildings that begin to reproduce by mining their own materials from the earth; errors in the duplication process produce mutations the way DNA mutations happen. Over time some of these mutations will become useful and these buildings will grow stronger and replicate stronger buildings.”

Allman’s paintings are visually stimulating and psychically arousing and his precise renderings of the spaces, architecture, and bodies of his future are mind-blowingly detailed. Painted in subtle shades of neutrals with brilliant colors punctuating the compositions, Allman’s visions never equivocate. His full commitment to his vision, notwithstanding some of the creepier imagery, carries the viewer willingly along this strange trip.

Allman’s fantastical musings of posthuman bodies in a seemingly posthuman world emerge in his dense pictorial matrix. His large-scale paintings depict the architecture, cities, bodies, and infinite spaces that he imagines can create and replicate themselves in an era in which “humans will become autonomous computers, buildings, cities, and super organisms with power and intelligence beyond anything we can currently measure.” In other words, something as yet unnamed, beyond even advanced cyborgs.

But if cyborgs (or their next, next generation) are, according to feminist historian Donna Haraway, the “illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism,” we know they (more…)

Applications for 2018 Residency; APPLY NOW!

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Studios Inc is pleased to announce that studio(s) will become available in the beginning of 2018.  Applications are currently being solicited at www.studiosinc.org; materials must be received no later than 3PM on 9.16.17.

Aimed exclusively at mid-career artists, this three-year, free-of-cost program isn’t just about creating a body of work. We augment our resident’s portfolio with both connections intra-program and to the community itself. As our residents build their physical body of work, we work to help them foster relationships with collectors, patrons, and art professionals in the creative community.

Studios Inc provides a three-year residency to competitively selected mid-career artists intent on (more…)

Gerry Trilling exhibition review!!!

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“Gerry Trilling: Narrative AtlasStudios Inc Exhibition Space

We are a nation of immigrants and refugees. Always have been. Even if we have short memories of who came from where, or for what reasons, countless stories thread in and out and through the families that have come to this country generation after generation. “Narrative Atlas,” Gerry Trilling’s final solo exhibition as a resident of Studios Inc, explores the role of material culture as a vehicle for memories: of family, of place, of ethnicity, of class, of community.

Trilling’s welcome mat to “Narrative Atlas” is the 2017 piece, “Activated Shelter,” a cushy lean-to of woven fabric stretched between two pieces of PVC pipe. Alternating warm wiggly lines in shades of orange, the work is a tactile temptation with op art style. It may be a (more…)

Gallery Talk @ Haw: MIKI BAIRD & DAVIN WATNE

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GALLERY TALK – MIKI BAIRD & DAVIN WATNE @ Haw Contemporary
Saturday, June 24 (2-3PM)

Head to the Haw Contemporary this Saturday, June 24, for a gallery talk with artists Davin Watne and Miki Baird. Davin and Miki will discuss their current exhibitions that are on display at the gallery now through June 28. Light refreshments will be served.

See exhibition details below and stream or read the KCUR interview with Davin on his show Picture the Wall here.

Telephone: 816.842.5877
Address: 1600 Liberty, Kansas City, MO 64102 (map)
Hours: Tuesday through Friday 9-5, Saturday 12-5