Of Trees and Air

Thanks to the wonder of time-lapse photography, it takes only nine minutes to watch a 56-foot tree emerge in Kansas City. The operative word is emerge. This silver tree didn’t grow in the traditional, one-ring-a-year way. The newest addition to the sculpture garden at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak) is an arboreal behemoth called “Ferment,” the latest in New York artist Roxy Paine’s series of Dendroids — great, branching, stainless-steel formations that have sprouted from various museum lawns the world over. See more of Paine’s work inside the Bloch Building, plus a slideshow of “Ferment” being fabricated in the artist’s New York workshop and time-lapse footage of the sculpture’s installation here. Paine’s sculpture-producing “Scumak”
machine also periodically spits out hamburger-like lumps of polyethylene until August 28. And that’s not all. “There’s so much with Roxy Paine and his process that we thought we might immerse people in that more,” says the Nelson’s Kathleen Leighton. The more that she refers to is the Creative Café, where museum visitors can make their own art using paintbrushes and water on special drawing surfaces called Buddha Boards. Leighton explains: “You make your creation, and the air gradually dries it, and then it disappears, and you can make something else.” (That’s a nice way of saying, Let someone else have a turn.) The Creative Café is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free. Call
816-751-1278 or see nelson-atkins.org for hours and additional information.

Wednesdays-Fridays, Sundays, 2011

Categories: Art