PLUG Projects presents Future Human, an exhibition featuring the work of Shelby Burchett (Goo Witch), Kevin Heckart, Thad Kellstadt, Anne Vieux, and Angela Washko in response to the present landscape of ever expanding technologies. The artists of Future Human propose plausible futures populated with analog and virtual modes of connection and escape. Material, surface, and space are presented as unfixed and illusory within the works. These suggested futures invite conversation about the direction of human consciousness, call attention to approaching possibilities, and usher in new systems of philosophical, social, and spiritual beliefs.
September 16, 2016 – October 29, 2016Opening, September 16, PLUG Projects presents Momentarily, a solo exhibition featuring the work of Yoonmi Nam. In response to the ever-changing parade of disposable objects we encounter on a daily basis, Momentarily presents works made from cast glass, porcelain, and paper that contend with contradictory senses of time through materiality and image.
Yoonmi Nam was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, spending part of her youth in Canada. She received a B.F.A. degree in Printmaking from Hongik University in Seoul, Korea. She moved to America to study at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she received a M.F.A. degree in Painting and Printmaking in 2000. Her work considers the cross-cultural experience and sense of transience through prints, installations and drawings. Nam uses images of man-made environments and the culture of cut flower arrangements as metaphors to evoke a sense of time that is both fleeting and eternal. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Kansas.
As well as having our regular conduit programming for Rare Earth, Plug Projects had the opportunity to curate a group of local artists that deal with environmental issues in the City Ice Arts Space. This show lasted one week that was during the Urban Grown event, and it also hosted a Bread KC event.
The Local Earth exhibition of Kansas City and Lawrence based artists who are examining the natural world and current issues surrounding the environment. This show was in conjunction with the current exhibition on view at PLUG Projects titled, Rare Earth. Both of these exhibitions feature work that borrows materials and figures from the natural world to reevaluate the nature of nature and examine the many landscapes we all inhabit. Local Earth features the work of Theo Bunch, Mark Cowardin, Amber Hansen, Calder Kamin, and Jeff Tackett.
Bread KC, a local micro-funding organization, hosts dining events several times a year at which three presenters are given the opportunity to share their proposed projects with the community. At this event, three farmers and gardeners whose sites are featured on the Urban Grown Tour will be presenting proposals related to the “Rare Earth” theme, and at the end of the dinner attendees will vote for the project they would most like to fund. The presenter with the most votes will be awarded the funds collected through the entrance fee in order to complete their project.
Our Rare Earth show that focused on artists that interpret the environment in their work through various ways coincided with Kansas City’s city wide annual Urban Grown Farms Tour!
This conduit focused on touring two farms with Janet Moss as a tour guide. Participants visited the Sante Fe Neighborhood Garden and the Kansas City Academy Garden and also the Rare Earth show at Plug Projects and Local Earth, an exhibition curated by the Plug members of local artists dealing with environmental issues at City Ice Arts.
Part of the crew!
Above are photos from the Kansas City Academy, a school that uses its garden as a learning tool for their students and also in their cafeteria.
Janet Moss with the head of the Benton Community Garden
This site used recycled materials for their structures for the bed and the entryway. The beds are specially designed to be raised higher off the ground for easy access for seniors and the garden also offers a water pump on the land for the community and its garden.
Conduit programming manifests itself differently on a per-show basis, but the goal in each case is to bring community members with interests related to the exhibition in conversation with the artists exhibiting and/or expanding discussion of the exhibition themes beyond the work on display. Examples might include studio visits, alternative approaches to lectures, site-specific talks, and other casual gatherings of smaller, more intimate groups.
This month three Kansas City galleries, Plug Projects, La Esquina, and Grand Arts are hosting shows offering a dialogue on systems of structure within art practice. Thursday, February 28 at 7pm, La Esquina will be hosting a panel discussion Making with Architecture with artists represented in the three shows to cultivate this ongoing discourse.
These three exhibitions offer differing views of systems of structure within art, further proving this to be a fruitful investigation. Jill Downen’s solo show at Plug Projects provides an intimate view of her Three Dimensional Sketchbook as she exhibits small monochromatic forms of plaster and balsa wood along a long table, as well as a small sketchbook-like cabinet of drawers. These forms allow the spectator to visualize themselves within this world she has established and the objects maintain a similar scale relationship throughout. However, this intimate scale allows for surprises along the way, either through opening a drawer or bending down to see a new perspective. The setting of the gallery mimics that Downen has created and it becomes an all encompassing experience of a micro scale shift.
Similarly to Three Dimensional sketchbook, Anthony Baab’s solo show at Grand Arts, A Strenuous Non-Being commands a focus on scale to operate. This scale created in the work functions differently between each picture plane and is not constant. Baabs video, A Strenuous Nonbeing comes closest to giving us a key, as the cats act as “our only guide, so we should pay close attention and try to learn something useful.”1 We become subjects that submit to this fantastical realm that Baab creates, and spectators are forced to find themselves within this existential soup.
Composite Structures at La Esquina facilitates a displaced dialogue of structure across America, with artists from the Midwest and Los Angeles. Scott Hocking’s photographs operate on a context that is depicted within the work to create a fantastical structure. Jaclyn Senne’s multi-function backstop guarding courted plates in a complex sporting structure with loose-ends and play cues to point you in the right direction, adversely relies on the gallery for her painted installation, but while doing so displaces the gallery context, giving it a performative, sport playing question of function. In this show, each artist proposes a different solution to systems of structure within art and design, furthering the dialogue both Plug Projects and Grand Arts have proposed. The panel discussion Making with Architecture held this Thursday at 7pm at La Esquina will bring together artists from the three shows and cross pollinate the solutions to structure each gallery has focused on.
1 Stephen Lichty, Anthony Baab: A Strenuous Nonbeing Exhibition Catalog, Grand Arts 2013.
In connection with the Carrie Scanga exhibiton “Breathe: The Emergent Colony” I wanted to post a link to a brief article I found online today that features the work of Hilary Berseth. Hilary builds sculptural forms out of wire and wax with the intention of collaborating with bees to make organic, sculptural hives. The image below is an example of this work.
I recently have became familiar with Kansas City based artist, Gehry Kohler. More specifically, his process-based drawings. The drawings, at first glance, resemble minimalist works of the 1960’s, but upon closer examination his detailed labor intensive process starts to show. Layer after layer of ball point pen atop flat opaque color. This additive/reductive process pushes the bright painted surface closer to where it began; the color begins to disappear.
On Friday night Kohler will be showing new work at City Ice Arts (formerly City Arts Project) along with New York based artist, Vincent Como.
Correlation of Space: Gehry Kohler & Vincent Como
Opening on Friday, September 7 from 6-9pm
At the City Ice building in Hospital Hill, Kansas City, Missouri
Last week I spent a few days exploring San Francisco and fell head-over-heels for the city, the weather (or micro-climates), and the landscape.
We did the touristy thing and headed to hike around Alcatraz. I was surprised to learn about the Occupation of Alcatraz by Indians of All Nations in the late sixties. It was a gesture to bring to light the systematic loss of land, culture, and heritage of Native nations at the hands of the US government. The Indians desired to set up a new Center for Education, Spirituality, and Agricultural Sustainability. This struggle continues to this day in many forms.
We then scoped out the current protest, “Occupy San Francisco” situated near the Ferry Building. This particular sign caught our eye. Young protesters carry the torch by connecting with this country’s history of protest. This underscores how multifaceted Occupy efforts are.
Life, it seems in SF, is inerstricably intwined with politics. They let it all hang out, if you will. This protestor’s flag above reminded me of Geoff Oppenheimer’s recent work that we checked out at Ratio 3, in the Mission.
Oppenheimer’s show is appropriately titled, “Inside us all there is a part that would like to burn down our own house.” I particularly liked the intersection of color field/expressionistic painting and weapons ballistics in his “Modern Ensembles” (below). Ratio 3’s Director, Kent Baer, was superb to chat with about the SF scene.
We took the train to Oakland for a talk with painter, Carrie Lin, to discuss her exhibition at Royal NoneSuch. Lin was extremely generous with her time and info on the paintings. We concluded with, “you just gotta keep painting.” It was great to visit a similar store-front gallery and see how Oakland is developing and changing as an art community.
Later I did a studio visit with installation artist Amy Ho. Amy has a show coming up at MacArthur B Arthur. A really interesting artist-run space that emphasizes “visual, sound and performance art by emerging Bay Area artists.” Check out that perfect void Amy masterfully crafted in the corner. We talked about James Turrell’s work, manipulating sound, and cats, among other topics. Can’t wait to see the final installation!
We ducked into the Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro. A selection super fresh Well Fleet, Kushi, and Lopez Island oysters, respectively. These are by far the best oysters I have ever eaten!
Surprisingly, public transportation was quite functional and not really all that terrible. You can choose from bus, electric bus, cable car (don’t call it a trolley), BART, and electric street cars. Plus, their Municipal transportation logo is refreshingly trippy-retro:
Between the arts, politics, and sightseeing we snuck a tour of the Japanese Tea Garden. Located inside Golden Gate Park, it was well worth the cost of admission. Super lush. A great place wander and muse, have miso soup, and get out of the drizzle.
We ended up spending alot of time in Japantown. Really amazing traditional Japanese food at Maki.
We briefly toured City Hall, as our Aunt who kindly lent us the apartment for a week, works there. I wonder if the designers placed TRUTH strategically and knowingly to line up or is this the most ironic serendipitous moment ever captured?
Finally, we headed to Muir Woods. It was like descending into Fern Gully, magical. We hiked 1.5 hours to the top of the canopy to glimpse the ocean.