From Worst to West Bottoms to Wilbur Niewald: your First Friday hit list for tonight, April 7

Would you go to something billed as The Worst Show Yet? What if it involves chainsaws?

See what Paintallica — a group of artists who united in 2002 at the University of Iowa — has improvised for an installation at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center (2012 Baltimore) that opens from 6 to 9 tonight. The collaboration promises to be raw and uncensored and to address immediate and taboo issues. Some of the artists are educators, and some have served in the military. Among them is a founder of the Free Art School, and someone who was censured by President Barack Obama. Expect antics.

Also of note tonight: Front/Space (217 West 18th Street) is open from 7 to 10 p.m. (and by appointment through April 16) for a photographic exhibition by Kansas City Art Institute BFA candidate Imani Nixon: Afro-Jamaican, American. Using patterns that reference West African textiles, Nixon presents the feminine form to demonstrate heritage and gender roles.

Intriguing action outside the Crossroads: You can meet 25 artists in their creative habitats at the Livestock Exchange Building (1600 Genesee, in the West Bottoms) when they open their studios from 4:30 to 10 p.m. tonight and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 8. 

Also in the West Bottoms, Haw Contemporary Gallery (1600 Liberty) opens two exhibitions by Wilbur Niewald: Recent Paintings starts in the 1970s, when the professor emeritus of painting at the Kansas City Art Institute fully adopted the representational style he uses today in his timeless still lifes, portraits and landscapes. And his abstract period is on view in Works From the ‘50s and ‘60s. An opening reception goes from 6 to 9 p.m., and the shows run through May 6.

The Haw also opens the MFA thesis exhibition of Ruben Castillo, called For One, In a Shared Room.


Jasper Johns: Prints

Belger Arts Center, 2100 Walnut

Dozens of prints spanning 40 years of the artist’s output are out of storage and on view through September 2.

Ready to Ware

Belger Crane Yard Studios, 2011 Tracy

A curated exhibition of contemporary studio potters whose work focuses on dinnerware sets opens (6-9 p.m.) and runs through July 8 (plenty of time to shop): Jake Bond, Julie Bond, Brin Baucum, Dale Baucum, Chandra DeBuse, Erica Iman, Meredith Host, Paul Donnelly, Lauren Smith and Alex Watson.

Road Trip

Blue Gallery, 118 Southwest Boulevard

Opening reception (6-9 p.m.) for new solo show of work by Peregrine Honig.


Centric Projects, 1814 Main

Students of the KCAI Printmaking Department exhibit new and recent works, with live demonstrations, 5-7 p.m.

Crossing Paths

Cerbera Gallery, 2011 Baltimore

Cerbera Gallery and the Nevica Project present an exhibition by Magdalena Suarez Frimkess and Michael Frimkess, who collaborated for 50 years on pottery projects, along with art by Peter Voulkos (who taught Michael); opening reception: 5-9 p.m.


Gallery 504-Crossroads KC, 504 East 18th Street

Cristin Stevenson is a mixed-media artist who does not hold back when transferring emotion and imagination into nontraditional portraiture and other of what she calls “windows of the soul.” The show is open from 5:30 to 10 p.m., with music by Jake Ruiz and, later, Tracer Heights.

First Friday at Garcia Squared

Garcia Squared Contemporary,115 West 18th Street

A series of works in progress by Chico Sierra and photographs by Israel Alejandro Garcia Garcia offer commentary on today’s political climate and the Latinex community’s cultural identity amid this hostile environment; stop for art and entertainment, 5-8 p.m.

10th Annual Human Form in Art Show

Hilliard Gallery, 1820 McGee

The human figure is a universal subject in art, dating back 25,000 years — or, for many of us, to that first crayon. Hilliard Gallery has curated a wide selection of contemporary depictions of the body and here offers them side by side for comparisons of beauty, technique and cultural influences. Viewers are invited to vote on the best work in the show (to determine the recipient of a cash prize marking the 10th anniversary); opening reception is 6-9 p.m., and the show runs through May 27.

2017 Annual BFA Exhibition

H&R Block Artspace at KCAI, 16 East 43rd Street

Opening reception for a group show by candidates earning their bachelor of fine arts degrees this semester, 5-7 p.m. Show closes with a reception May 5, 5-7 p.m.

Warm Wishes

Imagine That Gallery, 2010 McGee

Opening reception (6-9 p.m.) for a new exhibition featuring five artists represented by the gallery’s program, paired with one artist from the community: Nika Winn.

Formation Equations

Jones Gallery, 1717 Walnut

Lois Van Liew is fascinated with the natural geometry of crystal formations and how they express what she calls the “wisdom within the earth.” Her paintings are on view through April 28; the Jones is open till 9 tonight.

Art Starts at the Library

Kansas City Public Library, Central Library, 14 West 10th Street

“Gallery exhibits. Kids’ activities. Music. Munchies” is the motto of the library’s relatively recent First Friday offering. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., see Things Fall Apart, an exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and Todd McLellan in the Rocky and Gabriella Mountain Gallery (next to children’s area with related activities); go to the fifth-floor rooftop terrace, where new signage points out architectural landmarks in the cityscape. Architectural historian Cydney Millstein and designer Jeffrey Isom will be there to answer questions about the new installation.

Maryanna Adelman: Work on Paper

The Late Show Gallery, 1600 Cherry

Opening reception for a new body of work (6-10 p.m.); regular hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday and by appointment through April.

Jeff Robinson: Paintings

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore

Opens 6-9 p.m.; through May 27

Between the Front Door and the Kitchen Sink

Works by Lizzie Green in the KCAI Undergrads Underground gallery in Leedy-Voulkos Art Center opens April 7, 6-9 p.m.; through April 29.

Water Bank Boogie IV

Mid-America Arts Alliance, 2018 Baltimore

Susan Knight’s site-specific arrangement of hand-cut paper is modeled after Victorian techniques and mimics the porousness of groundwater deposits. It’s on view through June 9, with a First Friday opening till 8 tonight. 

First Friday Art Party

Pop Up Gallery, 918 Baltimore

The lineup at Pop Up includes performances by Jenna and Martin (bluegrass), Karla Aron (classically trained singer) and Guitarthur Leduc (classical guitar), with artist presentations by Danielle Frances, Laura Rendlen, Albana Ruiz Campagne and others. Open 6-9 p.m., with late night “art fun and games” following.

Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good

Rockurst University’s Mabee Theater, 1100 Rockhurst Road (Troost Avenue at 54th Street entrance)

Debuted in 1988 on London’s Royal Court Stage, Our Country’s Good follows the true story of the navy officers and convicts sent to New South Wales, Australia, in 1789 to start a colony. Is prison for rehabilitation or punishment? Performances are tonight at 7:30, and 2:30 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday. Tickets are $10 ($5 for students and seniors); directed by Susan Proctor.

Peter Pincus: Hall of Mirrors

Jun Kaneko: Wall Works

Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, 2004 Baltimore

Opening reception, 7-9 p.m.

The Vortex Trinity

Todd Weiner Gallery, 115 West 18th Street

New prints created this past year for a powerhouse exhibition by Hugh Merrill, Miguel Rivera and Jim Sajovic are on view through May 27. Opening reception is 7-10 p.m.

First Friday Play Readings: The Fragility of Relationships

Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

Potluck Productions’ April show features four plays, in dramatic-reading form, by seasoned actors (7-9:30 p.m., $5 cover): “May I Take Your Order,” by Jamie Berry; “Age Inappropriate,” by Alice Carroll; “Rembrandt at the Met,” by Minuette Layer; and “Cruising,” by Mary Wilkens. Readings begin at 8 and are preceded by a set of original music by Lezlie Revelle.

Wounded Nature

Vulpes Bastille, 1737 Locust

There is no one way to create, but Kelly Gazlay, Thomas Luna, Andrew Lyles, Sean Prudden, Crista Siglin and Lauren Sobchak have put together their disparate disciplines and media to produce what they describe as “tension in becoming.” Join them in person at an opening reception, 6-9 p.m.


Collective Toolbox

The Drugstore, 3948 Main

Part 1 of Olivia Clanton’s project is an exhibition and workshop series, spanning April 8 to a closing reception May 4. It’s a weekly workshop (select Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5 p.m.; RSVP to centered on craft processes, profit-free materials exchange and the sharing of personal histories.

Sensible Disobedience

La Esquina, 1000 West 25th Street

On view through April 22, this exhibition considers works, images, signs and symbols filling private and public spaces that are always political. Join Alex Savage for a “What’s Good?” discussion from 3 to 5 p.m. today; expect a late-night talk-show format, with guest artists Brandon Forrest Frederick, Julia Haile, Desiree Monique, Clam Simmons.

Coffee Talk

Kansas City Artists Coalition, 201 Wyandotte

Informal coffee and snacks, 10-11 a.m. This month’s topic is “I am an artist,” with guest Laura Nugent; join the conversation about why it is — or isn’t — important to let people know you are an artist.

Categories: Art