Art Exhibitions

Deseos Deseos means desires in Spanish, and this installation is an abstract representation of the artist’s hopes and desires placed at the foot of an altar. Carolyn Kallenborn’s inspiration comes from the ubiquitous makeshift altars known as ofrendas, or offerings, found in Oaxaca, Mexico. Kallenborn has transformed this folk-Catholic tradition into a river of rose petals and painted stones that bisect the main room of the Pi Gallery and meet tendrils of purple-, crimson- and scarlet-colored yarn hanging from the ceiling. Adorning the walls are several banners designed on hand-woven Oaxacan cloth, bearing Spanish names and symbols designed from beads, dyed silk scraps and pieces of steel, each speaking at once about the plight and the hope of the poor and suffering. This installation cannot be broken into parts — it’s the artist’s prayer and an event that must be experienced in contemplation. Through Oct. 27 at the Pi Gallery, 419 E. 18th St., 816-210-6534. (Santiago Ramos)

Jun Kaneko Jun Kaneko is a Japanese ceramic artist who has lived in the United States since 1963, currently in Omaha. This exhibition contains many of the artist’s waist-high glazed ceramic sculptures, but the show’s main attractions are Kaneko’s experiments in painting. On both clay and canvas, Kaneko uses colors and lines in a minimalist style, drawing our attention to the balance of shapes and contrasting textures. This style, however, is best observed in “Oval,” a triptych with black and gray planes accented by streaks of gold; it’s the exhibit’s strongest work. Kaneko’s minimalism takes some getting used to — one must pause to notice the thickness of the lines enclosing solid planes of color, and the interplay between a smooth, glazed surface and a matte finish. Through Nov. 10 at Sherry Leedy, 2004 Baltimore, 816-221-8689. (Santiago Ramos)

Looking West The trains that pass the Belger Arts Center provide an ironic backdrop to the gallery’s exhibit exploring the American West. After all, the railroad spurred the beginning of the end for the frontier, a theme apparent in this gathering of sketches, paintings, mixed media and photos by 19 artists. Kansas City Star photographer Wes Lyle exhibits black-and-white photos taken just 40 years ago, which reflect an era seemingly buried much deeper in time. Frederic Remington enthusiasts might call the exhibit “unconventional,” especially after seeing Jennifer Zackin’s Hindu mandala — made of plastic cowboys and rubber — or Jenny Rogers’ “Trick Saddle” video. Through Feb. 1, 2008 at Belger Arts Center, 2100 Walnut, 816-474-3250. (Lisa Horn)

Categories: A&E