April art preview: Where to go, what to see

Interactive, playful, and immersive exhibitions abound in April. Themes of time, memory, and identity are springing up in many places. And if you’re looking for opportunities to see a lot of artists in one place, we’ve got that too. Here’s our top recommendations for the new exhibitions and events you should see this month.


KCAI Crossroads Gallery

Sans façon: Here

The international artists Tristan Surtees and Charles Blanc, known together as Sans façon, explore the connections between place and self. During a residency at KCAI Crossroads, Sans façon conducted interviews with participants that blended techniques including psychoanalysis and theater rehearsal methods to draw out intimate memories and their attached geographies.

Opening reception: Friday, April 5, 6-8 p.m. 1819 Grand Blvd.

Imagine That!

Miranda Pratt: Lizards and Ladders

Miranda Pratt is a senior at KCAI and a volunteer at Imagine That!, a nonprofit art studio for adults with developmental disabilities. Artists of Imagine That! assisted in creating this show, and guests at the opening reception are invited to continue in collaborative creation: “Touching, cutting, sticking, feeling, building, dancing and twirling are not required, but highly encouraged.” There will be big plushy dice to roll and a tall ladder to build.

Opening reception: Friday, April 5, 6-9 p.m. 2010 McGee St.

Cerebra Gallery

Danielle Weigandt: The 5th Event

What is time? How do you experience it? Is it linear, continuous, or in our imagination? Inspired by quantum mechanics and geology, Danielle Weigant explores the concept of time with interactive ceramic installations.

Opening reception: Friday, April 5, 4-9 p.m. 2011 Baltimore Ave.

H&R Block Artspace

Kansas City Art Institute BFA Exhibition

Spring brings rain and flowers and heaps of graduating seniors. This annual exhibition includes work from those preparing to receive BFAs in animation, art history, ceramics, creative writing, fiber, filmmaking, graphic design, illustration, interactive arts, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

Opening reception: Friday, April 5, 6-8 p.m. 16 E 43rd St.

Hanger Gallery


How are our concepts of past, present, and future shaped by culture? Nostalgia, personal growth, and social identity are examined using a variety of media —painting, ceramics, video, and more. This exhibition is presented in partnership with Mizzou’s new School of Visual Studies, where all the exhibition artists are MFA candidates. The show includes works by Riana Bovill, Nathan Halwel, Madeleine LeMieux, Wilson Minshall, Eric Ordway, Tavia Sanza, and Dianna Temple.

Opening reception: Friday, April 5, 6-9 p.m. 1701 Oak St.


Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art

Robin VanHoozer: Echoes Through Time

Yes, St. Joe has an art museum. Yes, you should go. And this exhibit, which pays homage to the daily lived experiences of the women who came before us, is a perfect excuse for a day trip. Inspired by the journals of her grandmother, Robin VanHoozer has created an installation using media such as encaustic wax painting, collage, and dressmaking to honor and interrogate ideas of women’s work and responsibility.

Opens Friday, April 12. Artist talk Wednesday, April 17, 12-1 p.m. 2818 Frederick Ave. Saint Joseph, Missouri.

Open House

Welcome Home

Merrick Knudsen uses childhood motifs as a vehicle to explore weightier themes like sexuality and memory. Lizbeth de la Luna explores her childhood — shaped by the experience of being a first generation Mexican-American child of undocumented — by making artworks using traditional crafts of quilt- and piñata-making. Both artists are students at KCAI. Open House is an experimental, artist-run space in a house in a residential neighborhood.

Opening reception Saturday, April 13, 6-9pm. Tea party with artists Saturday, April 20, 3-5pm. 4419 State Line Rd.

Haw Contemporary Crossroads

Dean Roper: New Consumerism

Dean Roper is inspired by high school students sneaking bongs they made into the kiln, and his art reflects this. As the show’s title suggests, Roper is also interested in consumerism, which makes it fitting that he’s designed a collection for Urban Outfitters. Is this capitalist nihilism or Marxist subversion? You decide.

Opening reception Friday, April 19, 6-9pm. 19 W. 19th St.

Charlotte Street Foundation

Open Studios

On one very special day each year, Charlotte Street Foundation studio residents open themselves up to the public. With over 30 studio residents — visual artists, writers, musicians, and performers — there is an abundance of awesomeness. Be sure to catch the live performances, share your curiosity and praise, and generally revel in the inspiration that comes from being around so many talented people.

Open studios Saturday, April 20, 3-10pm. 1100 Walnut St, 6th floor.