Jasper Johns at the Belger, the West Bottoms on canvas at Haw, Imagine That’s retrospective and your other First Friday highlights

Give a cup, get a cup. Michael Strand’s Misfit Cup Liberation is in Kansas City, at the KCAI Crossroads Gallery (1819 Grand), through March 10, and you’re invited to add to the more than 700 cups collected worldwide so far.

Originating in Fargo, North Dakota, in 2011, his project has a few hundred vessels to go. Do you know anyone who has a cabinet of perfectly matched coffee cups? Me neither. From the theme-park gift-shop glass with your name on it to the chunky mug from a 1950s diner and the avocado-green thing handed to you by a downsizing relative, each has a story. Bring one to Strand during his First Friday reception (6-8 p.m. March 3) and share its personal significance; you’ll receive one he made in exchange. The party is preceded by a 5 p.m. talk at Epperson Auditorium, on the Art Institute’s main campus (4415 Warwick), as part of the school’s Current Perspectives lecture series.

Dorothy Day reportedly called her friend Peter Maurin “a genius, a saint, an agitator, a writer, a lecturer a poor man, and a shabby tramp, all in one.” For curator Christopher Lowrance, that cupful of adjectives sums up the the new normal for artists and how they now bundle their various projects, roles and practices. To test that thesis, he has invited Maryanna Adelman, Kait Arndt, Melanie Johnson, Marco Rosichelli and Justin Shaw (all teachers at the University of Central Missouri) for a show at Fraction Print Studio (130 West 18th Street, behind Oracle). It opens March 3 and is up through April.

Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery (919 West 17th Street) opens MUJER/WOMAN: Latina Artists as Examiners, Documenters, and Creators March 3 with a 6-10 p.m. reception. RosaLinda Martinez Avilés, Celia Ruiz Calderón, Christina Erives, Ruby De La Fuente Art, Marbel Mattsson, Jasmine Mendez, Sue Moreno, Coco Rico, Sharon Rodriguez and Vania Soto are highlighted in a show that weighs the multidimensionality of being a woman artist of color today. A 1 p.m. gallery talk happens March 25.

A serious collection — started when Dick Belger acquired a 1971 Jasper Johns print — anchors the Belger Arts Center (2100 Walnut). Come and see what’s out of storage — dozens of iconic Johns prints (such as the flag seen here), spanning 40 years of art history, that flew in the face of the Abstract Expressionists and opened the door to the pop-art movement — starting March 3, with a 6-8 p.m. opening reception. Born in 1930, Johns is still working in Sharon, Connecticut.

Friday, March 3

A Hard Swath to Mow: University of Arkansas Ceramics Faculty

Belger Crane Yard Studios (2011 Tracy)

Benjamin Cirgin, Jeannie Hulen, Linda Lopez, Adam Posnak each provide a different kind of window with their ceramic work to deal with the uncertainty of difficult terrain (6-9 p.m.).

Urban + Abstract

Buttonwood Art Space (3013 Main)

Fifty-seven artists share works in various media influenced by city scenes such as what you see along the Main Street corridor. Fifty percent of sales benefit MainCor’s development work, and the show is on view through April 28 (reception: 5-9 p.m.)

March Salon

Cerbera Gallery (2011 Baltimore)

Current selection of works, along with the usual wide selection of contemporary ceramics.

Where Is Your Heart — Stephanie Weiss

Gallery 504-Crossroads KC (504 East 18th Street)

Self-taught painter and yogi Weiss works with bright, bold colors and deep contrast to capture her subjects. March 3 reception (6-9 p.m.) includes music by Rex Pryor.

Bordes Carnosos

Garcia Squared Contemporary (115 West 18th Street)

Featuring the works of gallery director Israel Alejandro García García and guest artists, including Chico Sierra, this series of works in progress documents the immigrant experience and shows how the Latinx community has come together to secure and maintain cultural identity in a hostile environmen (5-9 p.m.).

Selected Prints from Lawrence Lithography Workshop, 1979-Present

Greenlease Gallery at Rockhurst University (1100 Rockhurst Road, 5400 Troost)

The legacy of Michael Sims’ commitment to providing artists with the opportunity to reproduce their work in high-quality lithographs is on view, with works by Ron Adams, Susan Davidoff, Luis Jimenez, Roger Shimomura, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Robert Stackhouse, Patti Aarashina and others; through March 18.

Master Graphics, a selection of prints from the last 50 years

Haw Contemporary (1600 Liberty, West Bottoms)

Works by contemporary artists Anthony Baab, Archie Scott Gobber, Michael Krueger, Carly Kurka, Yoonmi Nam, Roger Shimomura and Andrzej Zielinski are juxtaposed with modern masters’ work, including art by Alex Katz, Sol LeWitt, Robert Motherwell, Frank Stella and Donald Sultan; through March 25.


Hilliard Gallery (1820 McGee)

Russell Horton zeroes in on lonely landscapes found underneath interstate ramps — particularly, in this new body of work, Kansas City’s West Bottoms (6-9 p.m.)

The Grand Salon

Imagine That (2010 McGee)

Founded in 2012, this nonprofit arts program for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities is celebrating a move and a grand reopening by showing work from all 58 of its artists. The 6-10 p.m. reception includes live music by Katy Guillen and the Girls (at 7:30) and Boulevard Brewing Co. refreshments.

No Apathy Zone

The Jones Gallery (1717 Walnut)

A new group exhibition featuring Mental Wasteland and Kevin Vorndran, through March 31.

Auction Preview

Kansas City Artists Coalition (201 Wyandotte)

Following a successful auction, KCAC opens new solo exhibitions by Ada Koch and Amy Wright, and Many Faces of Neurofibromatosis (NF) by Rachel Mindrup.

Multiverse: Stories of This World and Beyond

Kemper at the Crossroads (33 West 19th Street)

Works from the museum’s permanent collection, tending toward psychological landscapes by Nicole Awai, Elizabeth Huey, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Susanne Kühn, Malcolm Morley, Robyn O’Neil and Lisa Sanditz.

Decade: Selected works by Misty Gamble, 2006-16

Wonderland Remains: Four Views, Recent Photography by Chuck Avery, Jeff Burk, Don McKenna and Russell Phillips

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center (2012 Baltimore)

Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland

Mid-America Arts Alliance (2018 Baltimore)

The National Endowment for the Humanities’ On the Road exhibition previews locally from 6 to 8 p.m. First Friday before traveling to Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History in Bryan, Texas.

Artists of Roanoke

Main Street Gallery (1610 Main)

The midtown neighborhood where Thomas Hart Benton made his home and studio also attracted Blanche and Cecil Carstenson in the late 1940s, and Lynn Smiser Bowers from the 1970s to 2003. Curator Jodi Wilkins has collected today’s resident artists of Roanoke: Brandon Boulware, Steve Cook, William Hess, Jenn Isom, Sarah Lugg, Frankie D. Messer, Dana Regan, Jeff Robinson, the Wade brothers, Courtney Watkins and Mary S. Watkins; 6-9 p.m. opening reception.

Broken Brain

Night Blooms Darkroom, Bookstore & Coffee

(529 Southwest Boulevard)

Don Beasley presents ink and watercolor works from a sci-fi storyline in progress (6-9 p.m.).

Diminished Returns

Plenum Space Gallery (504 East 18th Street)

Mark Cesarik’s work has appeared on everything from wallpaper to pajamas through licensed fabric products. This solo show presents abstracted figures, produced last year, that reference the Great Depression (6-9 p.m.).

March First Friday Art Party

Pop Up Gallery (918 Baltimore)

Tony Butler, Albane Ruiz Campagne, Tim Cott, Robert Cort, LeRoy Grubbs, Merlyn Lazorow, Jonathan Brice Lyma and Laura Rendlen.

Pedestal View: E.G. Schempf

The Weight of Light: Sherry Leedy

Blue: Jane Booth, Carl Corey, Doug Freed, Cary Esser, Michiko Itatani, Jun Kaneko, Karen Kunc, Chris St. Leger, Mary Ann Strandell, Jason Pollen and Barbara Rogers 

Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art (2004 Baltimore)

Through March 24.


Todd Weiner Gallery (115 West 18th Street)

Three-dimensional art by Steve Pistone, Jarret Mellenbruch and Dave Root, based on the necessity of pollinators.

Categories: Art