Category Archives: Contemporary Perspectives


This May Subterranean Gallery hosts our second relaunch exhibition, HOME // SPACE featuring the work of R.Shrum. The Exhibition opens on Friday May 2nd from 7-11 pm and will run through May 30th by appointment. The work of R. Shrum uses digital image and design based installations to explore the idea of home in relation to memory.

R. Shrum is a 2014 BFA Fiber candidate of the Kansas City Art Institute, Shrum has participated in the Ox-Bow School residency in Saugatuck Michigan and has participated in several shows in Kansas City, Missouri. Shrum lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri.

Shrum reconstructs childhood memories of domestic spaces through playfully arranging object and image. His work combines the production of image and concept inherent in printmaking, with the study of craft, technique and object based construction in relation to textile.  He utilizes the style of Mid-Century American living to activate feelings of security and comfort inherent in the home.  Surrealistic, portrait-like photographs of objects, serve as an entry into the mind of the child expressing the spirit of play. Light and reflection employ important roles in blurring the lines between time and space. Shrum uses an retro-specific language of color, form and motif allowing the viewer to draw personal connections by creating visual phenomena within familiar spaces and utilizing artifacts from their past.



Through the duration of R.Shrum’s Exhibition, Subterranean Gallery will be facilitating programs to help engage the public with his work.

Here are the program dates and themes:
Sunday May 4th1-3pm PDF Club guided artist talk and discussion with R.Shrum

Sunday May 11th1-3pm Curatorial Activity// The Hidden Stories of Objects

Sunday May 18th1-3pm Social Activity // What Makes Contemporary Space?

Sunday May 25th: 12-2pm ART BRUNCH // Gender and Identity in the Home – LIMITED SEATING RSVP REQUIRED-

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Te ak San

A solo exhibition by Krystal Jolicoeur

Opening Reception: May 2, 2014 6-9 pm

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center: KCAI Undergrads Underground

2012 Baltimore Ave.

Kansas City, MO 64108


Tè ak San, or Soil and Blood, introduces Kansas City to the work of mixed-media artist, Krystal Jolicoeur. While living in a remote Australian aboriginal desert community, she observed the communal treatment of death by the residents. Individuals, deceased or living, did not simply pass or mourn, they experienced a transformative process. Those left behind were reminded of the true value of their life. Following a mourning ritual they embraced rejuvenation. Observing others’ external style of mourning made it easier for Jolicoeur to address her own losses, which she had quietly internalized. The patterns left in the red soil from the “sorry” ceremonies, had a lasting impact upon the artist, attracting her to the irrefutable connection to the human condition embedded in soil. Soil gives life, nurtures, and erases existence. The land supplements human needs and determines their lifestyle, all people are bound by blood to its constraints and freedoms. In Jolicoeur’s solo exhibition at the Leedy-Voulkos Underground Gallery, she presents a series of earthen sculptures and installations that correlate with the inevitabilities of life and its regenerative processes.


Krystal Jolicoeur is a Haitian-American artist who resides in Kansas City, Missouri. Krystal was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International scholarship in 2013, to travel internationally, where she studied in Tasmania and later volunteered in a remote Australian aboriginal community. Jolicoeur will graduate from the Kansas City Art Institute in May 2014 with a BFA from the fiber program, and is a mixed media artist whose work deals with culture and the human condition.

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Pieced Together

Just a reminder that the opening reception for the Junior show, Pieced Together, is this Friday night from 5-7.




“Pieced Together”, curated by Danny Orendorff, will feature work by eight junior fiber majors, creating work using a variety of materials and methods including weaving, quilting, fashion garments, and installation. The opening reception will be held in the gallery space on April 18th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The show itself will run from April 7th – April 28th. Featured artists include: Kadie Nugent, Lexie Abra, Zulian Martinez, Lauren Ventura, Nicole Leth, Alexis Flores, Kerry Hagins, and Aneesa Shami. Please join us for a fun and informative exhibition!


Simultaneous Contrast: Quilted Color Works




Simultaneous Contrast : Quilted Color Works

A Solo Show by Mariah Gillespie

Quilts have played a large role in America’s domestic history and are closely tied to the female experience. Women have created these objects for generations, contributing their time and expertise to the home. In contrast, paintings are understood through an art historical or museum context as objects of wonder or artifacts of history. By pairing quilt as object and paint as direct color a contrast forms between our expectations and known experiences.

Gillespie’s recent body of work, Quilted Color Works, uses quilt and paint as medium to transcend the ways color, shape, pattern, and material can interact. The work is dependent on the formal elements of composition, shape, and color pairing inspired by the work of painters Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella. Each quilted piece playfully overlooks this historical divide through the whimsical use of shape, color, and line.

About the artist:

Mariah Gillespie, originally from Norman, Oklahoma, is a senior at the Kansas City Art Institute pursuing her BFA in Fiber. She is interested in the history of quilt making, gender constructs, modern and vintage textiles, and color theory. Originally coming to KCAI to focus on photography, she soon realized that the textiles she was photographing were more important than the photographs themselves. This lead her to transfer into the Fiber department. Gillespie’s rich Oklahoman background, flled with memories of her grandmothers, home- made textiles, and near-by farm animals nurtured an aesthetic that is intrinsic to her daily life.

About Kansas City Textile Studio:

The Kansas City Textile Studio is a small art center in the historic Columbus Park neighborhood of Kansas City that is dedicated to providing education in textiles and fber arts, affordable and well-equipped communal work space, community gatherings, and fber art related exhibitions.

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Synthetic Ties

Senior, Shenequa Brooks was featured in the Kansas City Star earlier this week, promoting her thesis show which opens tonight at Silver Screen Hair Salon.

Check out the article here and be sure to check out Shenequa’s show tonight!

The Textile Museum

Last semester, Junior, Aneesa Shami received a scholarship from the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. to attend their annual symposium. Following is a brief description that she wrote about her experience there.


The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. holds an annual symposium centered around a specific exhibition they organize, and this year’s focus was Southeast Asian textiles (from October 12-13). The Textile museum offers a program for undergraduate and graduate students to apply for a scholarship that waives the symposium fee, and I was one among seven chosen. Saturday, all the selected speakers presented for the symposium, while on Sunday, the Textile Museum curator led a group tour through the Southeast Asian exhibit. The symposium had two anthropologists offering presentations on Javanese culture and how it relates to their textiles in the context of globalization, the CEO of Jim Thompson speaking about his Thai Silk Company and an art historian presenting on weavers from Laos and the textiles they produced.

During the symposium’s ten minute intermission, I talked with the students sitting next to me in the audience and learned about their graduate art programs. One girl was in FIT’s program, giving advice for my own graduate school journey. She told me that if I was interested in research, I should look to a school’s museum or gallery–if I enjoyed what they displayed, then I would probably work well within the program. Two other girls went to George Washington University, both in a design program; their primary professor sat in front of us, and I told them about how KCAI’s fiber program works. All three of them were envious of the extensive facilities and knowledge I had access to, telling me that they were dying to get just one textile class at their school.

The next day, the curator led us around the exhibit and two of the contemporary artists, Nia Fliam and Agus Ismoyo, showed up to talk about their work. It was incredible to hear them explain each piece, the concept behind their technique. The curator paired their pieces with traditional batik cloth from Java, the primary technique used in their work. Both of the artists talked fluidly about their processes, and I felt lucky to see them actively discuss their ideas.

Overall, it was a wonderful opportunity to see people that live in different areas in the U.S. and learn about what they work on; I enjoyed meeting many of the symposium goers as well as listening to the presentations. It helped center my identity further in what I want to do in future years; it encourages me to continue with my work by knowing there are others that love doing theirs.


For more information about the Textile Museum, visit their website at

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Lepodordric Dichotomy

Lepodordric Dichotomy is a collaboration between Emily Blaser and Kristen McLaren, seniors in KCAI’s fiber program.  They are working with moths (Lepidoptera) which both create the material, silk, and destroy, wool. They are working with traditional textile processes, including weaving, and video projection. They are using the scientific approach in order to create their work, treating each piece as an experiment.  In order to help fund this collaboration, Kristen and Emily have created an indiegogo check it out Indiegogo
Their show will be at the Locust Factory, May 2nd, located at the Locust Factory, 504 East 18th St. Kansas City, MO 64108!
Also they are updating their progress on their Blog, and on Tumblr
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OBJET~ boutique pop-up shop + Tea Time ‘zine

You are all cordially invited to OBJET~ boutique pop-up shop opening this Friday night!!!

Curated by Charlotte Street Studio Resident Dean Roper, OBJET ~ boutique is a pop-up shop hosting a selection of utilitarian objects made by contemporary artists.

Opening Reception: January 31, 2014

Time: 6-9pm

Venue: Paragraph Gallery / 23 East 12th Street KCMO 64105

Dates: January 31- March 8, 2014

Gallery Hours: Wed, Fri, Sat 12-5pm; Thurs 11-6pm

The KCAI Fiber Department’s very own Maegan Stracy and Hannah Carr both have items in the shop, so be sure to go check it out!

For more information visit the event page on FB:

or the Charlotte Street website:



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One of our lovely and talented teachers, Kim Eichler-Messmer has a book coming out on November 1st.


You can pre-order it here:, you can hear Kim talking about it during this interview on All People Quilt:

Kim is hosting workshops and other events through the Kansas City Textile Studio, which she just co-opened with Debbie Barrett Jones. You can find the schedule of events on their website:

And just for good measure, here’s Kim’s website:


Modern Color

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Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project Open Studios Weekend

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The Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project will be hosting their annual Open Studios Weekend this weekend Friday from 6:00-10:00 pm and Saturday Noon-3:00 pm.  Open studios gives the Kansas City community a chance to see what the Charlotte Street Studio residents have been doing during their residency term. Visitors will be able to see the work for 20 visual artists including 2012 Fiber Alum Katy McRoberts, Skye Livingston, and Maegan Stracy. Throughout the open studios weekend there will be live performances by the performing arts residents as well as a sneak preview of the studios at the Paragraph gallery.

A full schedule of events can be found on the Charlotte Street Foundation’s website. Hope to see you all there!