Dark Days, Bright Nights: Contemporary Paintings From Finland.

Sirpa Särkijärvi Viides sukopolvi (Fifth Generation), 2011 acrylic on canvas 41 1/2 x 55 1/8 inches (105.5 x 140 cm) Courtesy of the artist and Gallery AMA, Helsinki​ © Sirpa Särkijärvi, Courtesy Gallery AMA, Helsinki

Sirpa Särkijärvi
Viides sukopolvi (Fifth Generation), 2011
acrylic on canvas
41 1/2 x 55 1/8 inches (105.5 x 140 cm)
Courtesy of the artist and Gallery AMA, Helsinki​
© Sirpa Särkijärvi, Courtesy Gallery AMA, Helsinki

International Painting Exhibition Opens October 2 at Kemper Museum.
Opening and Artist Panel: Jarmo Mäkilä and Vesa-Pekka Rannikko
Free | Friday, October 2, from 5:00–6:00 p.m. is a CASH bar and FREE live music. 6:00 p.m. continues a FREE artist panel.
Exhibition curator Barbara O’Brien moderates a discussion with artists Jarmo Mäkilä and Vesa-Pekka Rannikko. Enjoy live improvisational electronica music by Kansas City–based Mnemosyne Quartet, and talk with docent guides in the exhibition throughout the evening.



Friday, October 2, 2015 to Sunday, February 21, 2016
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
4420 Warwick- Kansas City, Missouri

Dark Days, Bright Nights: Contemporary Paintings from Finland gathers together and investigates the inspirations, methods, and practice of Finnish painters. Dark Days, Bright Nights presents 43 works of art—stylistically disparate and often visually dazzling—from 13 artists ranging from the post-WWII generation to those who have come of age squarely in the 21st century. The exhibition features 41 two-dimensional paintings, a sculptural installation, and a projected video installation.

Dark Days, Bright Nights: Contemporary Paintings from Finland will be on view at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art from October 2, 2015, through February 21, 2016. With days of 24-hour darkness in the winter months and 24 hours of sunlight during the summer, what is real and what is a dream can seem a narrow distance apart in this most northern of the European countries. Dark Days, Bright Nightsis curated by Barbara O’Brien, executive director Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. “My travels in Finland allowed the opportunity to create a portrait of a time and place where support for the arts has been strong, and the notion of the painter as a respected cultural worker is palpable,” said O’Brien. Admission to the Kemper Museum and this special exhibition is free.

The 13 artists represented in Dark Days, Bright Nights were all born in Finland, and now work in locations including the city and countryside of Finland as well as Berlin, New York City, and Stockholm. Artists include Jani Hänninen, Heikki Marila, Marika Mäkelä, Jarmo Mäkilä, Rauha Mäkilä, Reima Nevalainen, Leena Nio, Vesa-Pekka Rannikko, Mari Rantanen, Mari Sunna, Nanna Susi, Sirpa Särkijärvi, and Anna Tuori. The artists selected represent a wide range of experiences and painting styles, but are connected by the Kemper Museum’s philosophical focus on investigating the history of the gesture in painting and in creating a conceptual and art historic bridge from the 20th to the 21st century in both exhibition program and the Permanent Collection.

Jarmo Mäkilä’s narrative tales of country life in the shadow of WWII are a counterpoint to the 21st-century inspiration of cityscapes and graffiti in works by Jani Hänninen. The relationship to the natural world, so important to the Finnish people, is vividly realized in the paintings by Lapland artist Sirpa Särkijärvi. The space between waking and sleeping seems to come to life in the snow-globe-like paintings by Anna Tuori. The desire to control and genetically manipulate nature is explored in a video installation by Vesa-Pekka Ranniko.

Anna Tuori Things I’ve Seen I Can See No More, 2013 acrylic and oil on MDF board 84 x 120 1/8 inches Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Anhava, Helsinki © Anna Tuori Photo: Jussi Tiainen

Anna Tuori
Things I’ve Seen I Can See No More, 2013
acrylic and oil on MDF board
84 x 120 1/8 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Anhava, Helsinki
© Anna Tuori
Photo: Jussi Tiainen

A full-color catalogue accompanies the exhibition, and is available for purchase in the Kemper Museum Shop. The catalogue provides art historical scholarship and cultural context to the exhibition and includes essays written by Peter MacKeith, Honorary Consul General to Finland; Timo Valjakka, an independent writer, curator, and critic based in Helsinki and London; and curator O’Brien.

Support for the Kemper Museum is generously provided by members and donors, especially Frame Visual Art Finland, and The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Consulate General of Finland. Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Field Trip to the Plug

The Fiber department at the Kansas City Art Institute recently went on a field trip to Plug Projects.  There, one of our favorite faculty members at KCAI, Marie McInerney, gave a presentation not only on Plug programming, but also about her piece in one of the galleries as well as what she knew about the other artist, Sonja Dahl, currently exhibiting there.

marie in lectureA little FYI about Plug:

*Plug hosts Exhibitions every other third Friday (6 exhibitions a year)

*unPLUGGED is a series of exhibitions that occur outside of the Plug Projects gallery space in which Plug works with galleries and organizations outside of the Kansas City area to promote the work of Kansas City Artists in the national arena.

*Critique Night Series happens in-between exhibitions. Crit nights feature a small rotating panel of artists and art professionals in the community who participate in live dialogue (open to contribution from the public) with local artists about their work.

…..and more. Check it all out here: PLUG Projects KC

As I am not an art critic but rather an informer, it is difficult for me to give a perspective on the work being shown at PLUG. I WILL share that after seeing both exhibitions twice, I experienced something meaningful and different each time.  Both of the installations are very poetic and definitely thought provoking, AND worth the trip down to the stockyard district in Kansas City where you can eat or have a cocktail next door at Voltaire.

Check it.

Author: Rochelle Brickner


Bag Sale @ The Studio (Knitting and Needlepoint)

Thought some of you might like to know about the…..


BAG SALE @ THE STUDIO – Knitting and Needlepoint

$5.00 a bag
(stuff in as much as you can)

Also, some other things to consider…….


waverly wool


This 100%Wool Persian Yarn is ideal for needlepoint. The plies can easily be separated to cover the different sizes of canvas. One strand of the three ply yarn will nicely cover a 13-count canvas.

Although this product is designed expressly for needlepoint, it is also a wonderful knitting yarn. It knits at 3 stitches per inch on size 10 needles. There are approximately 164 yards in the four ounce skein.


Overstock Sale
There are over 100 colors to choose from.  Some of the hanks are cut for needlepointing and some of the hanks are still whole.  Full skeins can not be cut.

Knitters – don’t miss this.  Get a sweater or poncho’s worth for next to nothing.  Consider hats and fingerless mitts.


The Studio Knitting & Needlepoint
9555 Nall Ave.  –  Overland Park, KS  –  66207

Stories….Between Blues

PLUG_9.18This upcoming Friday, September 18th, marks the opening reception of two solo exhibitions taking place at PLUG Projects, located in the Stockyards District of Kansas City.

The front space at PLUG projects presents Between Blues, a solo exhibition featuring Sonja Dahl and the Local Solo space in PLUG Projects will present …or the stories we tell ourselvesa solo exhibition featuring the work of interdisciplinary studio artist and Assistant Professor in the Fiber Department at the Kansas City Art Institute, Marie Bannerot McInerney.

Exhibition Opening: Friday, September 18, 6pm – 9pm
Gallery Hours: Saturday 10am – 5pm and by appointment
Contact: info@plugprojects.com
646-535-PLUG (7584)
*print quality images available on request

Mmcinerney…or the stories we tell ourselves: Featuring the work of Marie Bannerot McInerney

KANSAS CITY – Opening September 18, 2015 PLUG Projects is pleased to present, …or the stories we tell ourselves, in the Local Solo space, an exhibition by Marie Bannerot McInerney. In her installation, McInerney examines our sources of knowledge and the variability of our shared history. Her process driven work utilizes the properties of found materials and recontexualizes them through methodic augmentation. For her new installation at Plug Projects she will construct a pyramid form with roughly two thousand collected books that have been laboriously sealed within handmade paper skins and dipped into black ink.  Set against an atmospheric sound piece, the redacted texts call to question what we know, what we don’t know, and who controls our narrative.

About the Artist:
Marie Bannerot McInerney  is an interdisciplinary studio artist and educator.  Her work investigates conceptions of fragility, instability, truth, and experiential knowledge. is an interdisciplinary studio artist and educator.  Her work investigates She has exhibited across the United States and abroad including shows at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, WA, Mildred Lane Kemper Museum in Saint Louis, MO, Corcoran College in Washington, DC, The Schiller Garden House at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in Saint Louis, MO. McInerney co-authored an essay in the newly published book, Probing the Skin: Cultural Representations of our Contact Zone and was recently awarded a Cultural Exchange Grant from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin to travel and present work. Her formative years were spent in Houston, TX before she earned her BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA at Washington University in Saint Louis as a Danforth Scholar. She is currently Vice President of Annual Meetings for the Friends of Dard Hunter and serves as Assistant Professor in the Fiber Department at the Kansas City Art Institute. www.mbmcinerney.com

S.DahlBETWEEN BLUES: Featuring the work of Sonja Dahl

KANSAS CITY – Opening September 18, 2015 Plug Projects is pleased to present, Between Blues, a solo exhibition by Sonja Dahl which engages ideas of communities, collectives and collaboration. Her recent works involve looking at the complex relationships between humans and the natural and constructed worlds we live in. Utilizing the deep blue of indigo dye and of cyanotype prints, Dahl instrumentalizes natures “blues” to actively respond to our contemporary ecological devastation.

About the Artist:
Sonja Dahl is an independent artist and researcher with a fluid, traveling, and collaboration-focused practice. She is a founding member of Craft Mystery Cult (United States) and has worked with The Poetic Everyman Project based out of Indonesia and Australia. Her 2012-2014 research projects in Indonesia, supported by the Fulbright Foundation and Asian Cultural Council, focused on the culture of collaboration, artist collectives and participatory projects in Yogyakarta’s contemporary arts, as well as in-depth study of batik, ikat weaving and indigo dye production in Java, Bali, Sumba and Flores. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art, 2012. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Bezirksmuseum Neubau, Vienna, Austria; The Darwin Visual Arts Association, Darwin NT, Australia; and The Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR, USA. Her writing is published with Carets and Sticks Contemporary Arts online, Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, Dilettante, and forthcoming in Surface Design.


About PLUG Projects:
PLUG Projects is a curatorial collaboration and exhibition space run by six Kansas City artists who share the mission of bringing fresh perspectives and conversation to the local art community. Our goal is to energize artists and the public at large by exhibiting challenging new work, initiating critical dialogue, and expanding connections of artists in Kansas City as part of a wider, national network of artists.

PLUG Projects presents bi-monthly exhibitions featuring national and international artists who are actively challenging contemporary perspectives in all disciplines. Accompanying each exhibition, PLUG’s program includes critique nights, a curated blog, interdisciplinary events, lectures and studio visits to contribute to greater artistic dialogues.

PLUG Projects is in the Stockyards District of Kansas City, Missouri at 1613 Genessee Street, 64102.
Gallery Hours: Saturday 10am – 5pm and by appointment

Additional information regarding PLUG Projects programming and schedules are available at http://www.plugprojects.com

An Exquisite Corpse

There’s only a few more days left  to go see KCAI at SACI: An Exquisite Corpse, an exhibition featuring work from the summer 2015 Kansas City Art Institute program in Florence, Italy.  The exhibition is currently on view in the Dodge Painting Galleries – 3A space (take the elevator to 3A), located on the Kansas City Art Institute campus, and closes September 11th, 2015.

Especially if this program has ever been of interest to you, this exhibition might offer a taste of what the experience would be like with KCAI at Studio Art Centers International (SACI), per the artwork of the students exhibited.

KCAI at SACI: An Exquisite Corpse features the work of:
Katie Pilmaier (ceramics)
Davin Roberson (painting)
Lauren Seider (illustration)
Natalie Spicker (fiber)
Lauren Taylor (design)
Fazida Yathali (painting)

If you would like more information about the summer 2016 program, please contact Misty Gamble at mgamble@kcai.edu

For more information about Studio Art Centers International (SACI), please visit: www.saci-florence.edu

And Here We Are, Fall 2015

For those coming back to the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) to pursuit their BFA, and even to those outside of KCAI revisiting this blog because they love to hear about everything FIBER, welcome back to another school year at KCAI!  And a special welcome to all the new and wonderful sophomores who entered the realms of fiber in the Fiber Department at KCAI!  I suspect it is going to be a grand year as we welcome new technologies, processes, ideas, and collaborations in order to fulfill our goals as successful artists. 

On the topic of artists (in general), I would like to make an announcement, preluding with some facts about an awesome organization that exists in Kansas City, Missouri.  Every year Charlotte Street Foundation awards artists in Kansas City a studio residency in one of their two facilities.

These awards go out to visual artists, writers, and performing artists and ensembles qualifying them for a year-long Charlotte Street Foundation studio residency which provides them free studios, rehearsal space, and related support for artists of all disciplines in downtown Kansas City.

Max Adrian,

Max Adrian, “Max Adrian”, 2015

While approximately 23 artists were chosen for the full year from 2015-16, with two returning Fiber majors, I would like to highlight the two new Fiber majors that were accepted for their first time this year.  These awesome visual/ fiber artists are Max Adrian and Kadie Nugent, both who graduated last year from KCAI, 2015.  Congrats and mazel tov!

Kadie Nugent,

Kadie Nugent, “Kadie Nugent”, 2015



Also, per honorable mention, Hannah Carr and Lauren Sobchak from the Fiber Department at KCAI were awarded a second term with Charlotte Street this year as well.

FYI: To kick off the new studio residency term, the public is invited to meet the artists and learn about their work at a free “Studio Residents Slide Slam” Wednesday, September 16, 7:00pm at Charlotte Street’s la Esquina Gallery, 1000 West 25th Street. This fun, informal evening will feature 3-minute (timed) slide presentations (10 slides per artist) by 24 of the incoming studio resident artists—thus providing a rapid-fire introduction to the work, ideas, processes, and personalities of these diverse artists.

Max Adrian,

Max Adrian, “Act II, scene I: Outcry”, 2015

Kadie Nugent,

Kadie Nugent, “Laundry Day Was Last Week” detail, 2015

Kadie Nugent,

Kadie Nugent, “Please Sweep”, 2015


Author: Rochelle Brickner












































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Undergrads Underground

On behalf of the Educational Outreach and Exhibition Committee:

The Educational Outreach and Exhibition Committee is now accepting applications for exhibitions at Undergrads Underground, the KCAI gallery at Leedy Voulkos Art Center. Individual students or groups of students are eligible to apply. Applications are due by noon on Friday, October 2.  For any questions, contact Marie Bannerot McInerney and Kim Eichler-Messmer at eoec@kcai.edu.

See the Call for Gallery Submissions with application information and guidelines via the following link: undergrads underground call F15

Laura Spencer KCUR

Laura Spencer KCUR

Kansas City Art Institute receives a record donation of $25 million


Fundraiser at Potbelly

Mark your calendars for KCAI night at Potbelly Sandwich Shop, 4725 Broadway. This Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., 25 percent of sales will go toward’s KCAI’s annual fund, benefiting general scholarships, equipment needs, technology and more.


Nicole Leth will have items for sale at this event from her Sex & Ice Cream clothing line, including avocado t-shirts, watches, baseball hats, and assorted donut dresses!

Alvin Ailey Project

Recently, the entire Fiber Department worked together on creating some fabric for an upcoming Alvin Ailey production. The students were encouraged to submit design plans for a stage backdrop, curtain, and leotards. Sophomore Becca Gemeinhardt’s design was chosen. Congratulations Becca!

ailey winner

We had a fun day, all working together!




Photos by Rochelle Brickner and Kadie Nugent


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