July’s First Friday is all about roster depth
There’s a hint of All-Star Game about July’s First Friday, a midsummer mini-classic for multi-artist invitationals.
Case in point: Weinberger Fine Art (114 Southwest Boulevard) is showing landscapes by six painters whose approaches range from the abstract (Jennifer Rivera, Clare Doveton) to the more clear-cut (Richard Mattsson and Jeff Robinson). Somewhere in between are Francis Livingstong and Daryl Thetford. First Friday at Weinberger is members-only from 5 to 8 p.m., so this makes a good last stop of the evening, when doors open to the public from 8 to 9. Or show up July 15, when, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., food trucks and entertainment from Leo Gayden add up to a party.
All are welcome from 7 to 9 p.m. at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art (2004 Baltimore), where pieces by 20 artists are on view, including Douglass Freed’s shimmering, contemplative landscapes. The rest of the lineup is equally noteworthy: Sasha Alexandra, Jane Booth, Marcus Cain, Patty Carroll, Mark Cowardin, Cary Esser, Damon Freed, Tanya Hartman, Maggy Hiltner, Tom Huck, Beth Lo, Anne Pearce, Kent Michael Smith, Caleb Taylor, Larry Thomas, Joey Watson, Maura Wright, Mary Zeran and Arnie Zimmerman.
Paige Davis’ Vacant / OCCUPIED, at Plenum Space Gallery (504 East 18th Street), is her first solo exhibition in KC. Her paintings and multimedia works here reflect her interest in real and imagined spaces, and how light can conceal or reveal surfaces of common domestic objects. The opening reception is from 6 to 10 p.m.
Downstairs at Gallery 504-Crossroads KC, there is, as usual, musical entertainment in the space from 5:30 to 10 p.m. This month it’s the Accidental Project providing the First Friday soundtrack, with the walls dedicated to Rho Albrecht’s abstract collages. Materials include feathers, leaves, shells and other items from nature.
Around the corner, Vulpes Bastille Studios (1737 Locust) has a solo exhibition of works on paper by Kaelyn Helmer. Join her from 6 to 9 p.m. and see what she’s been making since she graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012.
It’s been a while since Lori Raye Erickson has given us a whole room to take in, but the Late Show (1600 Cherry) ends the drought, hosting her Synthetic Selection with a 6-9 p.m. opening reception.
Presenting a series of portraits begun in 2012, Lacey Lewis’ Taking Sexy Back is about the objectification of people and, more specifically, the phenomenon of how women’s appearances — clothing and makeup choices — are blamed for male sexual aggression. Lewis was inspired by the confidence and beauty of the burlesque and sideshow performers she painted; she says she hopes viewers will feel their power in the images on display at Hilliard Gallery, 1820 McGee (opening: 6-9 p.m.).
Another series of portraits has gotten a lot of media attention lately and is intended to make people talk: Gender Treason includes interviews with the subjects of the paintings, people of Kansas City’s diverse queer community. Artist Ryan Wilks, who is gay and started this project a year ago as a way to understand other people, presents 12 stories and portraits in the lower-level gallery at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center (2012 Baltimore) through August 27.
Jones Gallery (1717 Walnut) is open all day (10 a.m.-9 p.m.) and is showing Real Art, paintings by Margaretre Gilespie and Bonnie Tolson.
Fraction Print Studio/Exhibition Space (130 West 18th Street) has impressive paintings from David Titterington, whose landscapes include evidence of being intertwined with humans. Beneath Our Feet is particularly resonant in “Dust,” an agrarian landscape seen from far above and spattered over with in-your-face particles of dancing color. The opening is from 6 to 9 p.m.
Front Space (217 West 18th Street) has an installation from Ryan Kuo called Are You Sure, tapping into our insecurities and, the gallery says, “examining contemporary displacement.” From 6 to 9 p.m., you can see “Nouns,” a projected video-game space cycling quickly through night and day as a background to multiple 3-D objects, and you’ll have time to interact with the hypertext-essay-based “File.”
Besides being riots of color, Thomas Gieseke’s complex scenes of mayhem and commercialism are tinged with commentary. Monkeys carry iPhones, and, in “Circus Maximus,” which gives this exhibition its title, chariots, race cars, animals and UFOs spin across a 9-foot canvas. The opening at Todd Weiner Gallery (115 West 18th Street) is from 5 to 10 p.m.