September art preview: Where to go, what to see in KC this month

Rickey’s Wall, courtesy of Imagine That!

On my to-do list for September: 

1.) Take a selfie in front of Rickey’s wall at Imagine That! 

2.) Browse work about British imperialism at the Kemper Museum while feeling slightly guilty thinking about how much I enjoyed last year’s royal wedding.

3.) Get idea-drunk listening to what all the new Charlotte Street residents are planning.

4.) Hit my head on the low ceiling of a temporary temple at Vulpes Bastille.

What’s on yours? Read on for recommended exhibitions and events to experience in KC this month. 


More Than What You Think / More Than What You Feel

Imagine That!

This month, Imagine That! has curated an exhibition centered on abstract works by the studio’s artists. This sneak peek IT! posted on Instagram this week has me hyped. Get thee to the Rickey wall!

Opening reception: Thursday, September 5, 6pm-9pm. 2010 McGee St.

Re:Prints—Hand Print Press at 25

UMKC Gallery of Art

Raise your hand if you love lithographs! Hand Print Press is a membership-based press that has supported UMKC students through funding and mentorship for 25 years. To commemorate a quarter-century of printmaking, members have dug into the archives for inspiration, creating new works inspired by (and in conversation with) what they find, using a wide variety of printmaking techniques.

Opening reception: Thursday, September 5, 5pm-7pm. Runs through October 18. 5100 Rockhill Rd.


Latch: Comfort Measures

Vulpes Bastille

Ari Fish continues her long-running Temple series, which began in 2010 at Grand Arts (RIP). This iteration of immersive and temporary installation features a long list of contributors, including Jorge Arana, Ryan Wilks, and Unicorns in the Snow. For the final week of the exhibition, Fish hands the reins over to Annie Woodfill for an “exhibition takeover,” where she will have full curatorial control to change things as she sees fit. You might have to crouch or crawl to get in: a dropped ceiling is promised, to the height of just five feet.

Opening reception: Friday, September 6, 6pm-10pm. Closes September 28. 1737 Locust St.

Feather as a Machine: Sculptures by Mike Miller

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center

Is a tree a machine? Is a human heart as much a machine as a car engine? Here, Miller blends together “nature-made” and “human-made” machines in kinetic sculptures. Use your machine of a body to get to the gallery, look at the work, and contemplate what it means. 

Opening reception: Friday, September 6, 6pm-9pm, 2012 Baltimore Ave.

(once upon a time) by Katy Stone

KCAI Gallery Crossroads

Katy Stone is currently an artist-in-residence at KCAI Gallery, and she’s creating site-specific installations for this exhibition. “The work exists on the border between abstraction and representation,” Stone says, “because it’s meant to be suggestive, not literal.” I’d argue most art is meant to be suggestive, but go judge for yourself.

Opening reception: Friday, September 6, 6pm-8pm. Artist talk Saturday, September 7, noon. 1819 Grand Blvd.

Hannah McBroom, “Ghost”

What Was Left: Hannah McBroom

Bunker Center for the Arts

With studio space becoming a scarce commodity for artists across America, I recommend you enjoy large-scale oil paintings by emerging artists while while they still have space to make it. McBroom is a recent MFA graduate of the University of Arkansas, and her paintings surround themes of transgender identity, materiality, the body, and alienation.

Opening reception: Friday, September 6, 5pm-9pm. 1014 E 19th St.

Chris Pappan

Kanza Shokhi (Homecoming): The Art of Chris Pappan


Kansas City sits on land that belonged to the Osage and Kaw—also known as Kanza—tribes. Pappan, who is of Osage, Kaw, and Chenne River Sioux heritage, pays tribute to his ancestors’ lands as he exhibits his work here. Pappan blends ledger art (a style of drawing popular with Plains Indians in the late 19th-early 20th centuries) with modern cultural references. This exhibition is part of a juried series at Travois featuring Indigenous artists. 

Opening reception: Friday, September 6pm-8pm. Artist talk at 6:30pm. 310 W 19th Ter.


Slide Slam

Charlotte Street Foundation / Capsule

It’s like speed dating, but replace romance with getting to know Kansas City’s emerging artists. This year’s cohort of Charlotte Street studio residents will introduce themselves to each other and the community with a three minute slide presentation about who they are, their work, ideas, projects, dreams, processes, or whatever they care to share. Thirty-two artists—visual artists, performance artists, and writers—will present. For those of you who don’t enjoy math, that’s 96 minutes of hot-and-heavy art intros. It’s gonna be a blast.

Wednesday, September 11, at 6:30pm. 1664 Broadway Blvd.

Hew Locke

Hew Locke: Here’s the Thing

Kemper Museum

Let’s talk about colonialism! Ships, coats of arms, royalty—all the iconography is there, ripe with multilayered meaning. Locke’s a British artist who was raised in Guyana, a former British colony. The exhibition proclaims to be the most comprehensive of this contemporary artist’s work to date, and includes painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and installation. If you appreciate art that is inextricable from the political realities in which we live, this show’s for you.

Opens Thursday, September 12. Runs through Sunday, January 19, 2020. 4420 Warwick Blvd.

Categories: Art