Thursday, February 16, 2012

TAC-KC: 02.16.12

Tracy's Art Calendar — KC for February 16-18, 2012
Midtown Thursday; West Bottoms Friday

Promotional image for CEPH love YOU too, provided by UMKC

I have a weakness for cephalopods. I tend to have an unexplained attraction to all mollusks, even the slimy slug, a creature that used to plague me as a child by suddenly getting stuck on my shoes or even skin whenever I would play in piles of oak leaves in the back yard. Found all over the planet, gastropods like slugs and snails are also a gardener's enemy.

But the cephalopods—the shy and lovely octopus, the chambered nautilus of Oliver Wendall Holmes's poem, the squiggly squid (which are also so amazing in the way that certain species can grow so incredibly huge), and, to me, the charming cuttlefish—are attractive for their intelligence, which recent scientific research has started to reveal. They show that they can learn. They also have chromatophores, or thousands of pigment-filled sacs in their skin, which allow them to change colors rapidly. If you have ever watched a public television show about them, you know that this phenomenon is beautiful; it's like a light-show, and the variety of patterns and pulsing colors is remarkable, especially since it functions as a form of communication, not just for the purpose of blending in to the creatures' surroundings.

Ryuta Nakajima's artwork explores the way cuttlefish use color for camouflage. He is in town from Minnesota, where he is an associate professor of art at the University of Minnesota Duluth; his exhibition, CEPH love YOU too, opens at the UMKC Gallery of Art this evening.

From UMKC:
"Ryuta investigates the effect and implication of visual culture through an exploration of cuttlefish camouflage patterns. He substitutes natural elements with digital images of major 20th century paintings, photographs and videos, and records the information provided by the cuttlefish."
My best guess from his website, is that we will be seeing something like these images. If you click around, you will see he has a fascination with mollusks, particularly cephalopods, and he has other styles of work; his training and his teaching is in painting. The reception is from 5 to 8 p.m., and usually, there is an artist's talk about the work around 5:30 or 6 p.m.

Kansas City is lucky to have two high-profile guests in town.

Tonight is also the Thursday Current Perspectives lecture series at KCAI. The presentation at 7 p.m. would be difficult to pass up: David B. Levy is showing a selection of his award-winning animation work, with commentary about what it's like to work in that industry. It sounds like a dream-job, working for companies like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and National Geographic, and I expect his talk to be interesting.

Levy is also an author of three books about the business, and his sixth animated short film, Grandpa Looked Like William Powell, came out last year. Having seen the 2012 Oscar® Nominated Animated Short Films at the Tivoli Cinema last Saturday, I was reminded of how much I respect this form of artwork and of how far the technology has come during my lifetime. (You can still see these through next week.)


CEPH love YOU too
Ryuta Nakajima
at UMKC Gallery of Art, Department of Art and Art History, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 203 Fine Arts Building (between Nichols Library and the main student center), 5100 Rockhill Road / 5015 Holmes Street, Kansas City, Missouri: 816-235-1502

Opening Reception: February 16, 5-8 p.m.
Open Tuesday: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesday: 1-6 p.m.; Thursday: 1-7 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., through March 31, 2012

Current Perspectives Lecture Series
David B. Levy
at Kansas City Art Institute, Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall, 
4415 Warwick Boulevard, 
Kansas City, Missouri; usual events contact: 816-802-3423

Thursdays during school semester: February 16, 7 p.m.

The Oscar ® Nominated Short Films 2012
Animated, Live Action Program, and Short Documentaries
at Tivoli Cinemas, 
Westport Manor Square, 
4050 Pennsylvania Avenue, 
Kansas City, Missouri
: 913-383-7756 (showtimes); 816-561-5222 (tickets)

Showing: various times through February 23, 2012; please click to see schedule

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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