Wednesday, February 29, 2012

TAC-KC: 02.29.12

Tracy's Art Calendar — Kansas City for Leap Day, 2012
March into KC Design Week

Public artwork in the UMB Bank downtown headquarters plaza, as seen from near 11th and Walnut Streets in May 2011. Artist unknown … sometimes what you see from afar is all you'll see unless you happen to gain access through employment or an appointment. Public space and how we define it is one topic planners and architects grapple with.
Image: photo by author

A friend was telling me this morning about her little daughter: "She said she 'wanted to build things' when she grows up." First it was "want to be a teacher," then "piano teacher," then "maybe a lawyer," and now—"What do you call people who build things?"


When I was a kid, I thought maybe I'd become a veterinarian, but only because one thing I was sure of was that I liked animals. Later, a love of cetaceans gave me hints I'd thrive as a marine biologist, but, of course, my love of writing prevailed.

Besides, my mathematical skills are not strong, and biochemistry would have floored me; likewise, I don't have what it takes to be an architect, but I have a huge attraction to the art and science of creating the built environment. One of my best memories of working with Review magazine was getting to partner with the American Institute of Architects-Kansas City, when they hosted a regional AIA conference here in October 2009.

Starting today is Kansas City Design Week, when all of us can sidle up to the questions of how we deliberately shape our environment or what it means to build "sustainable" homes, workplaces, and structural communities: we get to see what our local architects are doing on the cutting edge of their profession. A list of events is here (most are free, but register ASAP).

Another opportunity the AIA-KC gave me was to present a Pecha Kucha slideshow about public art to their members and later at a public PK-KC event at the former Crosstown Station. If you haven't heard of Pecha Kucha, not to worry. It's an onomatopoeic Japanese phrase that means "chitter chatter," or, the sound of people talking. The talk is generated by presenters who tell stories about something, often related to their profession, using a series of 20 slides.

It's not the usual PowerPoint yawn-fest, though—each slide is up for a mere 20 seconds. The pace is lively, and the atmosphere is fun. (I've only ever seen one PK presentation that felt as if the 6.67 minutes were 30.99 : )

Tomorrow night, as part of KC Design Week, the nine presentations are at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and include the design finalists for the museum's upcoming temporary pavillion being built in conjunction with their World's Fair exhibition.

If you can't get a ticket (free) in time, there are other art-related options March 1st, too.


Artisan Thursdays
Work from three years by Krista Gagelman
at Boozefish Wine Bar, 1511 Westport Road, Kansas City, Missouri: 816-561-5995

Artisan Thursday Reception: March 1, 6-8 p.m., with light hors d'oeuvres and cash bar
Open Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Friday: until 1:30 a.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. (artwork changes monthly)

Current Perspectives Lecture Series
Hong Chun Zhang, whose work is in Hay Wire, on view at the Lawrence Arts Center through March 8, 2012
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: March 1, 7 p.m.
Free and open to the public; no tickets required

Pecha Kucha Night Kansas City #15
Presenters include: May Tveit (artist and art industrial design professor at University of Kansas); Jack Wagner (urban design professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City); Moltyn Decadence and Tajma Steton (female impersonators); Dawn Taylor (non-proft executive); Phil Gayter (painter); and the finalists in The Nelson-Atkins Museum's World's Fair Pavillion design competition: Ashley Hand; Dan Brown and CJ Armstrong; David Dowell and his KU design studio; and Mike Kress
at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Atkins Auditorium, 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, Missouri: 816-751-1278

Doors Open for PK: March 1, 7:30 p.m., with presentations beginning promptly at 8:20 p.m.
Admission is free (parking in the garage is $5 unless you are a member), but please register here to reserve your space in the auditorium (you'll get a PDF ticket to print out).

Vanguards and Visionaries
Hosted by the UMKC Women's Center, a reception honoring past leadership, including former Women's Center directors, staff, and advisory board members; featuring dance performances by Amanda McMaster and Amy Gardner-Wooddell from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, music by folk rock artist Elaine McMilian, and guest speaker Senator Jolie Justus (Missouri Dist. 10). Other speakers include Dean of UMKC Conservatory of Dance and Music Peter Witte, Co-Chair of the Women's Center's 40th Anniversary Committee Sloane Simmons, and Assistant Director of the Women's Center Arzie Umali; preview artwork in Vanguards and Visionaries: Kansas City Women in the arts, with Philomene Bennett, Rita Blitt, Shea Gordon-Festoff, Janet Kuemmerlein, Jane Booth, Cheryl Toh, Karen McCoy, and Jessica Kincaid

at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri: 816-474-1919; for more information about this event, contact the Women's Center at 816-235-1638
Reception: March 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Admission is free and open to all, but please RSVP here

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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