Sunday, January 22, 2012

TAC-KC: 01.22.12

Tracy's Art Calendar — Kansas City metro for January 22, 2012

Arlene Stern, Happy Hanukkah, ink and acrylic on canvas, 2.5"x3", 2011 (painted by mouth; Ms. Stern is a Village Shalom resident).
Image: courtesy of Sherri Jacobs, obatined via KCJMCA for press purposes / may not be reproduced without permission

The Epsten Gallery, part of the Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art and housed within the Village Shalom senior living center, naturally has most of its exhibition openings on Sundays. It makes for a nice afternoon — never too early, finished before it's time to go make Sunday dinner or get ready for the work-week — and there hardly is ever a competing visual art event on the same day. Village Shalom celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, just as the Epsten Gallery celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2011.

As part of these milestones, the KCJMCA announced staffing changes last November: Executive Director Elieen Garry retired after 20 years of service. She received the well-deserived title of Emeritus and is an active member of the museum's Honorary Board.

In her place, the museum's curator since 2007, Marcus Cain, has stepped in, and I congratulate him. Artist, curator, and now, executive director. Well done. To provide him the space to continue to focus on developing programming and other aspects of running a successful gallery and community program, a new position for development director was added, too: welcome to Beti Weber Moskowitz, who started working amid final preparations for the popular UrbanSuburban annual auction last fall.

Here is what is on for this afternoon and at the gallery through February:

ARTicipation: Pop Up Studio
the gallery presents its first-ever exhibition of artwork created by residents of Village Shalom, including a series of workshops for them and members of the community to use the pop-up studio space in there for creating and sharing work: weekly activities continue until ARTcipation's closing date, and so ARTicipation work will become a part of each exhibition presented at the gallery all year
at The Epsten Gallery, 5500 West 123rd Street (at Nall), Overland Park, Kansas: 913-266-8413

Opening Reception: January 22, 1-4 p.m., with a graffiti wall by Sike Style/Phil Shafer and workshop with Art Therapist Nicole Martin; Artist Trading Cards for you to make; and the first opportunity for you and residents to sign up for free workshops or engage with any of the other self-guided project stations set up in the gallery. For a full (and sometimes changing) schedule of events, click here for a PDF from the museum and check back from time to time.
Open Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday 1-4 p.m., through February 26, 2012

Marcus was the editor of Review before my time there, as many of you know. You can read more about his work as an artist in this article archived on Present Magazine, which for six strong years provided a great online resource about Kansas City's culture. Thank you to Pete and Pam Dulin for keeping the archives active.

Ms. Weber Moskowitz is originally from Washington, Pennsylvania, and holds an MBA from Columbia University. She has a deep history with marketing campaigns and with the arts and has lived in the Kansas City area since 1986, when she moved here with her husband, Jules Moskowitz. From a KCJMCA press release: "Moskowitz worked at Horizon Group, a small marketing consulting firm, before hiring on at Hallmark Cards, where she worked for 10 years, first in New Product Development, and then strategic planning, focusing on trend analysis." She also "had been a Community Resource Consultant, a seasonal position, with United Way of Greater Kansas City  for the past three years, where she managed a series of successful fundraising campaigns" — so I have a welcomed confidence that her work for the KCJMCA will ensure its healthy future.

Rounding out and supporting this team is Abby Rufkahr (as of New Year's Eve, happily married and using a new last name — more due for congratulations!). I had the privilege to work with her at Review back when she was our graphic design intern. It was no surprise she landed "real jobs" right after gradutating from UMKC a few years ago.

PS, All opinions here are my own, and no one edits this, so any errors are also solely mine. Corrections are appreciated.

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