Will Toney Image Comp



February 10 – March 25

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 3, 5-7pm


The UMKC Gallery of Art is pleased to present Grayscale, recent work by William Toney. The exhibition includes street photography, Still Lifes, and installations that explore urban landscapes, detritus, and assemblage to contemplate contemporary Black culture.   While commenting on larger currents of race relations and socio-economics, Toney’s work also represents and normalizes Black joy and intimate instances of everyday life in America. 


Toney’s work investigates facets of a Black American experience. He mixes fine art, pop culture, and advertising aesthetics, to highlight art’s limitations in representing his entire culture. His Still Lifes couple found and personal objects to mix socio-political and autobiographical elements. Toney is looking at the contrasts between growing up black in Kansas City while consuming blackness as a part of popular culture. In his street photography, he uses devices such as typological photography to create narratives. A time-lapse of a midtown Kansas City business that was a part of his daily commute, Honk, explores themes of abandonment and urban revitalization that result in gentrification trends around the country. Toney’s work combines personal and political symbols to acknowledge the coded presence of these materials and objects in American culture.  


William Toney is from Raytown, Missouri. Toney earned a B.F.A. in photography from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 2012. He currently lives and works in Kansas City, MO. He is a recipient of the 2020 Charlotte Street Studio Residency.


Updated Spring hours: Monday/Wednesday: 9-11, 1-4. Tuesday/Thursday: 10-4, Friday: 12:30-4