The last First Friday of 2015 ushers in winter on a collaborative note

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Twice a year, the Kansas City Art Institute lets everybody come survey the latest work of its students. The End of Semester Student Exhibition and Sale is a glimpse into what the class-of-insert-year is thinking, not to mention an opportunity to make some predictions of your own — and add to your personal collection before some of these people get big. Each department on campus (4415 Warwick) is open 5–8 p.m. Friday, December 4, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, December 5, and noon–5 p.m. Sunday, December 6.

In other retail-leaning events, Front/Space (217 West 18th Street) closes out its year with a one-night-only Ten + One pop-up shop, featuring handmade quilts, printed linens, industrial lamps, sculptural candles and other creations by 11 artists (Lola Rat, Emily Harrison, Renee Zagorski, Bailey Glass, among them). It goes 6–9 p.m.

Still have a little cash? How about no cash? Some Kansas City artists regularly “drop” free paintings, sculptures and other creations around the metro for anyone to find and keep. Free Art Friday here started in 2013, inspired by the Flood the Streets with Art movement (a counterpunch to Black Friday mega-retail day), and the latest evidence of its ongoing statement happens First Friday at the 504 Gallery (504 East 18th Street). Organized by Ruthie Becker, this second annual FAFKC group show features 21 artists who have participated throughout 2015. Go by for music, refreshments and art to purchase (nothing’s really free, right?) or to find (except when it is), 5–10 p.m.

%{[ data-embed-type=”image” data-embed-id=”” data-embed-element=”aside” ]}%Belger Crane Yard Studios (2011 Tracy) is closing Peregrine Honig’s Suites December 19, making this your last First Friday to see it. Besides this multimedia installation — inspired by Honig’s mini sabbatical at the Hotel Phillips and also including works by Johanna Brooks and Jane Gotch — Belger Crane Yard continues Schema: A Journey Through Traditional Patterns and Imagery, by German-born ceramist Melanie Sherman. And you can still see the highly crafted wood sculptures by Christopher Kurtz. Both of these shows run through January 23. Plenty of products made by Belger Crane Yard artists are for sale this weekend, starting with the 6–9 p.m. First Friday open house and continuing 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday.

Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art (2004 Balt
imore) opened four solo exhibitions last month, and they remain up through December 23. Two of them inquire into female roles in contemporary culture: Kate Clement’s Fa|eint showcases the delicate, spun-glass crowns that she has been perfecting since their debut in a KCAI senior show in 2011; and Patty Carroll’s Anonymous Women Draped comprises photographs of lone women hidden in the camouflage of domestic fabric patterns. Rain Harris’ Fasciculum Florum, meanwhile, arranges intricate ceramic botanical forms in tableaux that reward a full 360-degree walk-around. Finally, Mary Ann Strandell’s lenticular prints, gathered in Parallax, are equally opulent and fluent in their own cross-historical and -cultural vocabularies.

%{[ data-embed-type=”image” data-embed-id=”” data-embed-element=”aside” ]}%New at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center (2012 Baltimore) are two solo shows by Kansas City powerhouses. Cure is a collection of sign-based, glittering exclamations from Dylan Mortimer. He was born with cystic fibrosis, and this is his first showing of a body of work conveying his struggle with this degenerative disease. “Sometimes in the midst of the fight we find surprising things, beauty, joy, peace, hope and sometimes we find a cure,” he writes. “Sometimes we get a glimpse of what we can’t see. We can get a glimpse of what is real and true.” Cure opens with a 6–9 p.m. reception First Friday and runs through February 13. So does Gloria Baker Feinstein’s The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, which compiles new photographs made in the past couple of years in, among other places, Oregon, Minnesota, Louisiana and Uganda. She says that when she dreams at night, she’s photographing; she offers the images that she captures on camera as proof of her navigation of the world. “Like a hunter, my senses are fully engaged. I am looking. I am waiting.”

Beco Gallery (1922 Baltimore) opens Clarified Transparency and the Universal Framework, glass art by Alison Trent that appears almost claylike. The pieces are set in what she calls “interior spaces” or “personal spheres,” made from repurposed midcentury-modern furniture. The First Friday reception is 6–9 p.m., with regular weekday hours, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., through January 8.

The Jones Gallery (1717 Walnut) gets into the portrait genre this month, exploring the tension between reflection and introspection that happens as an artist paints the sitter. Visage features works by Aaron Krone, Matthew Miller, Nicole Thibodeau, Shannon Trevethan and Amy Warfield. It opens with a 5–9 p.m. reception First Friday, with weekday hours, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., through December 26.

Over the winter months, the residents at Vulpes Bastille (1737 Locust) are, according to the latest dispatch from the artist studios, “taking over the gallery space” there and working together. RE/WORK is about process, with Ami Ayars, Justin Border, Lydia Bryan, Colin Joseph Burke, Caranne Camarena, Lynn Collins, Jason Comotto, Dustin Downey and Brandon Forrest Frederick, who deliberately step out of their individual studios in favor of a less insular experience within Vulpes’ mini community. Expect collaborations to emerge. Things get under way 6–9 p.m. First Friday; open hours follow January 1 and 15, and February 5 and 26 (the date of a 6 p.m. closing reception). Or beat cabin fever until the end of February by watching 24/7 GoPro livestream on the building’s exterior and via

Before you batten down for the season, though, see Robert Bingaman’s Until It’s All You See at Studios Inc. (1708 Campbell), which closes December 18. The capstone to Bingaman’s three-year residency, the exhibition centers on massive, floating forms that refer to in-ground swimming pools at night. The art here pushes the show’s literal vocabulary of luxury items to visual limits equaled by Bingaman’s technique. Jump in 6–9 p.m. First Friday, or take a quieter wade through the show noon–4 p.m. that day.

Find more First Friday gallery shows and events here

Categories: A&E, Art