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Jill Downen receives award and to speak at the Nerman


Jill Downen: Alignment, installation view, 2014, photo courtesy of the Bruno David Gallery

The Charlotte Street Foundation selected resident Studios Inc artist Jill Downen as one of its 2015 Charlotte Street Visual Award Fellows for her continued investigation of the symbiotic relationship between the human body and architecture through her art’s temporal installations, drawings, and models.  Downen is one of three artists who will receive the $10,000 grant and exhibition in October at H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Downen will also speak at the Third Thursday Visiting Artists’ Presentation, along with Hong Chun Zhang, at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art this Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 3:30-4:30 p.m.  The presentation will be held in the Hudson Auditorium at Johnson County Community College located at 12345 College Blvd in Overland Park. It is free of charge with no reservation or ticket required.

As Downen describes, “I want to offer viewers immersive environments that heighten the senses and ways of knowing that are often private and experiential.”

StudiosInc:2015 Exhibition featured in KC Star

Blue Sky V 13, mixed-media piece by Colby K Smith

Blue Sky V 13, mixed-media piece by Colby K Smith

Group exhibition showcases new art from Studio Inc’s underwriting program
By Hallie Smith – Special to the Star
Kansas City Star

In today’s fiscally challenged world, an artist’s prospects of finding a benefactor often remain a dream. Fortunately, there are exceptions.

One example is Studios Inc, a nonprofit organization that provides studio space, professional development, networking and exhibitions for mid-career artists in the Kansas City area. Those selected are matched with a patron, whose fully tax-deductible donation underwrites a studio for one year.

A group exhibit now on view in the Studios Inc exhibition space showcases new works by the group’s current beneficiaries.

As viewers enter the show, a floor installation in the center of the room grabs the attention.   Dust and Distance II by Jill Downen mesmerizes, in part because of its sheer magnitude. The gypsum and mixed media piece resembles an arctic mass, a Siberia at the viewer’s feet. Strewn across its barren landscape are fossil-like objects, along with a tangled piece of blue string attached to a metal weight.

Downen notes that her installation “evolves from the characteristics of the gallery space and the concepts it inspires.” Standing in the midst of the massive, grayish-concrete environment, one feels she has succeeded.

Colby K Smith’s Blue Sky V 13 embodies its own somber tone of cool contemplation, mixed with a sad beauty. Though it appears to be a painting, it is more, composed of gypsum, graphite, fiberglass, foam, rubber, butyl and paper. The work’s landscape aesthetic tends toward the abstract, and it draws forth an almost unspeakable emotional truth. Its imagery evokes not just nature’s layers of sky and earth, but the ever-changing layers within the self.

While the show claims no specific theme, the works by Smith and Downen induce meditation on the wintry aspects of life. Elsewhere, viewers will find a hint of summer.

In Hermit Reflecting on the Ten Thousand Things, Jarrett Mellenbruch uses plants, a hermit crab, wood, mirror and grow lights to create a world of lush, living green. Standing over this microcosm of fertile flora (encased in a large, unfinished wooden crate) and breathing in the moist, pungent scent of plants, one feels a sense of renewal on several sensory levels.

Another striking piece is Brett Reif’s Cloudy. True to its name, the work of mixed media and tile appears as a cluster of clouds. From a closer angle, however, it becomes more amusing as one notices the rubber stoppers, complete with chains, inserted within its sculptural curves.

Virginia Woolf’s manifesto A Room of One’s Own emphasizes the creative benefits of a private space for a writer to focus on her work. Judging from this show, which also includes works by Miles Neidinger, Debra Smith, Ricky Allman, Gerry Trilling, Tanya Hartman and Robert Josiah Bingaman, a visual artist who is granted a studio of his or her own enjoys the same benefits.

Studios Inc:2015 continues at Studios Inc Exhibition Space, 1708 Campbell St., through 04.17.15. Hours are 10:00-12:00 PM and 1:00-4:00 PM Tuesday through Friday, 12:00-4:00 PM on Saturday, and 6:00-9:00 PM on First Friday. For more information, call 816-994-7134.

Read more here:

Opening Reception This Friday – StudiosInc:2015

PrintThe Studios Inc Exhibition Space is pleased to present StudiosInc:2015, an exhibition featuring resident artists Brett Reif, Jarrett Mellenburch, Colby K Smith, Jill Downen, Miles Neidinger, Robert Josiah Bingaman, Tanya E. Hartman, Gerry Trilling, Ricky Allman, and Debra Smith.

Studios Inc:2015 will be on view from 1.09.15 to 2.15.15, with an opening reception, Friday, 1.09.15, 6:00 – 9:00 PM.

The Studios Inc provides studio space, professional development, networking, and exhibitions for mid- career artists in Greater Kansas City. The Studios Inc will be a catalyst for creating a nationally viable visual arts community in Greater Kansas City that contributes to the area’s cultural significance and economic sustainability.

Studios Inc:2015
1.09.2015 to 2.15.2015

Gallery Hours
Tues – Friday 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM / 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Saturday 12:00 – 4:00 PM

Studios Inc Exhibition Space
1708 Campbell
Kansas City MO 64108


Studios Inc will be closed for the holidays starting Dec 24th and will resume normal business hours on Jan 6th at 10:00 AM,  have a great holiday and safe travels for those of you venturing out and about!!!

HAYA FLYAfilm flyaThis weekend Studios Inc will be hosting two UMKC  events. Tonight The University of Missouri Kansas City’s GlobeMed organization will be holding an art auction, showcasing work from student artists at 7 PM. All proceeds will be donated to fund the construction of a health center in rural Uganda. Saturday December 13th The University of Missouri Kansas City’s Student Film League will be hosting the first annual student film celebration. This event is a collaboration between the film students of UMKC and KCAI, it will be located in the Cosmic Cowboy’s studio at 6 PM. Both events will be free and open to the general public.


Studios Inc hosts UMKC events this weekend

Studios Inc Exhibition Space will be closed this Wed…

Studios Inc Exhibition Space will be closed this Wed and Thursday and will resume normal hours of operation on Friday. Happy Holiday to all!

Opening Friday: Jaimie Warren

no nippleThe Studios Inc Exhibition Space is pleased to present I Will Always Love You, an exhibition featuring resident artist Jaimie Warren, on view from 11.14.14 – 12.14.14 with an opening reception Friday, 11.14.14 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM.  I Will Always Love You is an exhibition of photographs, videos, and photographic gifs that are a culmination of her creations made throughout the past three years at Studios Inc, and through projects and residencies in San Diego, Los Angeles and New York City. Warren will also create a small performance during the opening reception as

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Miki Baird meditates on memory in exhibit at the Studios Inc
posted 10.29.14 on Kansas City Star

Miki Baird’s “Read This … Part Two” at Studios Inc Exhibition Space is a meditation on death, trash and dissolution through the medium of shredded paper. The exhibit, a sequel to “Read This” at Haw Contemporary last November, builds on Baird’s previous work and explorations with her deceased father’s junk mail. Entering the gallery, one is immediately struck by the enormous scale of Baird’s works. “Chronicle 3” is a 30-foot pile of shredded junk mail, light in tone and perfectly shaped. At 4 feet wide, it’s like an enormous hotdog covered in sawdust. Another work, “… having been there,” composed of brightly colored paper fragments frayed and layered like a shag rug, is 4 feet by 24 feet and hangs on a wall. Glancing at the works, one sees Continue Reading…

Last day to submit applications!!!

ApplicaPrinttions for residency are currently being solicited at ; materials must be received no later than October 15, 2014.

Residencies are open to all visual artists. The Studios Inc does not discriminate on the basis of age, ethnicity, gender, economic or social standing, political or religious beliefs, marital status, or sexual orientation.


2015 Residency Applications Due October 15th

Attention artists please apply online at

Studios Inc is pleased to announce that studio(s) will become available in the beginning of 2015.

Material must be received no later than October 15, 2014.

The Studios Inc provides a three-year residency to competitively selected mid-career artists intent on moving to the next level of success.

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