Steve Snell

From the Canoe: A Missouri River Adventure

September 5th – 29th

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 7, 5-7 PM

Artist Lecture: Thursday, September 28, 12:30-1:30 PM

The UMKC Gallery of Art is pleased to announce a new exhibition by artist and professor Steve Snell. From the Canoe: A Missouri River Adventure is a video and painting exhibition exploring the confluence of art, adventure, and life along the Missouri River told through the act of painting, storytelling, and paddling all 2,341 miles of it, from Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri.

The exhibition consists of 44 paintings, a video installation from the bow of the canoe, and a newly created video series titled, Adventure Art on the Mighty Mo’. Each episode in the series takes place at a different site, in which a watercolor painting is created. Painting becomes the vessel through which larger questions are asked, observations made, and river stories are told. The exhibition becomes an updated portrait of the river, challenging some of the stereotypes associated with it, and inspiring broader public engagement and appreciation for our local water resources.

Steve Snell is inspired by the mythology of American history and the Western landscape and how it materializesin popular culture. He explores, critiques, and celebrates this heroic, constructed, and complicatednarrative through paintings, videos, and wilderness adventures. With experiences ranging from pushing a Conestoga-like wagon across fifty-five miles of frozen Nebraska farm roads (previously the Oregon Trail) to paddling and painting the entire Missouri River in a canoe, Snell seeks connection with the present moment through a reinterpretation of past stories and legends.

This project is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. It is also supported in part by the Kansas City Art Institute.