Kansas — shocker — saps art funding, your Third Friday starts in Columbus Park, and other art news

In a state where the governor has no qualms about cutting Medicaid — an action that “saves” the budget $57.4 million but leads to losing $72 million in federal funding — it’s no surprise to hear that art is getting shortchanged. By a lot.

That doesn’t mean screwing lids onto paint tubes for a while. It actually affects people.

Last fiscal year, 41,000 Kansans benefited from programs and services, thanks in part to the $370,000 granted by the Mid-America Arts Alliance to the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission. That translated to direct funding for artists and organizations and professional development, and it helped to ensure that traveling ExhibitsUSA shows reached Kansas audiences. The state’s fiscal-year 2017 funding to the KCAI would have dropped below the matching-funds minimum, to $191,200, so the M-AAA voted to suspend the organization’s partnership with the state commission.

It had no choice. The Mid-America Arts Alliance gets its rules (and some of its funding) via the National Endowment for the Arts, which requires partnering state agencies to kick in certain amounts; a couple hundred grand doesn’t cut it. So Kansas is out of the picture, at least until next July.

Mary Kennedy, CEO of the organization — which will continue to partner with state art agencies in Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas — released a statement. It reads in part: “We hope this decision will be short-lived and Kansas will be back in full membership to M-AAA next year. We stand ready to work to restore full public funding to the arts in Kansas.”

It’s not a hopeful moment, but there is precedent for improvement. Five years ago, Gov. Sam Brownback dismantled the long-standing Kansas Art Commission by chopping its $700,000 from the 2012 budget. That meant no NEA grants ($800,000) and no M-AAA grants ($400,000). In August 2013, however, the partnership with the M-AAA was re-established, with the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission created and then funded at $700,000.

This week’s art events:

The Drugstore (3948 Main) is hosting Archive Collective’s sixth Crit Night, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14. Under discussion this time: the work of Silvia Beatriz Abisaab, Hannah Carr and Will Toney. Archive Collective’s goal is to contribute to the critical discourse of lens-based media and photography.

Third Friday, July 15, is a good night to hit Columbus Park. The Trap Gallery (525 Gillis) presents a solo exhibition by Charles Ray, who has featured in five of the gallery’s annual Love Rust group shows. Pontification of Nothingness is a series of prints created by various methods and involving oxidation to provide shapes, color and texture, contrasting organic process with geometric order. The opening reception is from 6 to 10 p.m. Eight One Five Gallery (815 East Fifth Street), a more recent addition to the neighborhood’s scene, has booked musical act Fox Hat to play a 6-9 p.m. party for its opening. The show gathers colorful paintings by Zachary Laman and Lorrie Eigles; Color for the Living includes Laman’s realistic animals, which he elevates to totemic status with design elements, and Eigles’ energetic and detailed drawings. And Andrew Ordonez fills Kiosk Gallery (916 East Fifth Street) with prints and paper assemblages made by layering and recopying bits of mass-printed products such as coloring books and text books. That exhibition is titled Courtside Manner, and it opens from 6 to 9 tonight.

July 15 also marks the return of a certain basement apartment gallery on Warwick. What was Subterranean Gallery under founder Ayla Rexroth and the space’s second director, Melanie Mitchell, is now SUBspace (4124 Warwick, Apt. B) and run by director-in-residence (it’s a home, after all) Jordan Hauser. After settling in for half a year, Hauser presents Untitled Sequences, a selection of video, sound and photographic works by Justin Mellon. Exhibition materials say Mellon’s work relates ambient and dissonant sounds to each other and matches them with digital colors and light to see how they “can define and alter a space.” See it from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.

Weinberger Fine Art (114 Southwest Boulevard) hosts a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday. The show is a summer collective with Clare Doveton, Francis Livingston, Richard Mattsson, Jennifer Rivera, Jeff Robinson and Daryl Thetford. The party tonight means food trucks outside, and entertainment from DJ and dancer Leo Gayden inside. RSVP at weinbergerfineart.com.

From 11 a.m. to 4 .m. Saturday, July 16, the Inn at 425 (425 Gladstone Boulevard) is hosting an outdoor meet-and-greet, with several local artists displaying and selling work. “Art in the Garden” features ceramic artists Evie Englezos and Rebecca Koop, painter Peggy Wilson, photographers Ed Kendrick and Shane Rowse, and graphic designer Jackie Haltom. If it rains, the event moves from the award-winning garden, inside the 1888 home, a B&B that’s listed on the National Historic Registry.

Also showing:

Never Stop Shooting, by Ashlin Wang Land, and Land of Contemplation, by Chase Castor, are at Night Blooms Darkroom and Book Store, 529 Southwest Boulevard, through the end of the month.

Art by Francisco Gabuardy is up through September 30 at the Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania. (See franciscobuardy.com.)

Soul of a Dancer collects new watercolors by Isaac Tapia, centered on street dancers, movement and color. It’s on view through August 14 at Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery, 919 West 17th Street. Also there is a show titled Lucha Libre: Heroes, Mascaras and Acrobats.

Categories: Art