Kansas City’s Creative Couples

Artist Peregrine Honig and musician Mark Southerland in the creative space they share. Photo credit: Julie Denesha / KCUR

KCUR’s new series uncovers artists who make a life together

Listen to the story here.

The work of iconic Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is on display this summer at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. They’re part of an exhibit called Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico.

Kahlo and Rivera are known not only for their paintings, but for their tempestuous marriage, which sometimes influenced their art.

Inspired by Kahlo and Rivera, KCUR-FM will profile some of Kansas City’s creative couples on air and online. From ballerinas to sculptors to musicians, KCUR will find out how two artists make a life together, and how their relationship influences their work.

Peregrine Honig and Mark Southerland

Ask artist Peregrine Honig if unhappiness in a relationship will lead to great art. Her answer: “Hell no.”

Her husband, Mark Southerland, mentions a quote from the French writer Gustave Flaubert that was part of their marriage vows: “Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

Honig and Southerland are at the center of the Crossroads art scene, as a couple and individually.

Honig is a painter and print-maker. She’s nationally known for her delicate and disturbing watercolors of prepubescent girls.  She also curates the work of other artists, and owns the lingerie shop, Birdie’s, on 18th Street.

Southerland  plays experimental jazz and makes playful horn sculptures. He attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. Recently, he’s created fantastic environments for his performances which involve costumes, dance, sculptural installations, food—even live animals, on occasion.

Together, they bring people together for happenings like Mardi Gras and the 18th Street Fashion Show.  And they’re always collaborating with each other and other local and national artists on installations and performances.

“Our art world, whatever it is, is nearly fully integrated into our husband and wifery,” Southerland says.

The Kansas City Creative Couples Series will air every week on KC Currents through August 18. 

KCUR-FM is a service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


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