First-Friday Hit list

Travis Pratt has been exhibiting at the Late Show Gallery (1600 Cherry, 816-474-1300) for years now, specializing in paintings of surrealist architecture. His rectilinear planes and surfaces, rendered in a cool palette, simultaneously haunt and distance while interrogating the viewer’s notions of dwelling and geographic place. Of the 6 p.m. opening, simply titled At the Late Show, gallery owner Tom Deatherage says, “It’s all-new paintings and installations. He’ll be showing the buildings he does — but these are houseboats and pontoon boats. Real interesting. And he’s building a porch in the gallery.” The second half of the October show is another series of portraits by David Gant, who follows up his previous American Family series with an exhibit of football-player portraits. “It’s called Sunday Gladiators,” Deatherage says. “We’re having a tailgate party from 3 to 6 on Sunday — we’re going to hang the art outside, and we’re turning the inside into a locker room. The musical guest is Blind Dog.”• The Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project is generally known for showcases of visual art, but the program continues its commitment to performance work with tonight’s opening at La Esquina (1000 West 25th Street, 816-221-5115), with the first of a two-part collaboration with the American Jazz Museum titled Call and Response. Referencing the interactions between speakers and listeners, or between onstage musical performers, tonight’s opening is Call. It features writers Robert Bauman, Glenn North, Shavonne “Queen” Standifer, Kynana Ramsey, Faith Scott and Jordan Stempleman, with music by the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance and jazz ensemble Synergy. The obverse show, Response, happens October 20 at the Jazz Museum’s Blue Room (1616 East 18th St, 816-474-2929).• Mood Swings Salon (809 West 17th Street, 816-221-0747), up the hill in the west Crossroads, may be one of the area’s more unconventional gallery spaces, but it throws some of the best First Friday parties in the district. The 7 p.m. opening reception for artist Trenton Matthews’ What the Fuck Is Wrong With This Kid is a showcase of paintings, clockwork assemblages and cartoony vinyl mascots. The mascots, reconfigured into sculptural collages, become small, dimensional showcases for Matthews’ acrylic line work. Worker and DJ Just provide the music.

Fri., Oct. 2, 2009