Artist Salon Spotlight: Meet Stasi Bobo-Ligon!

By: Emma Stuart

This is the start of a segment of blogs highlighting local artists that will be involved in the Artist’s Salon, sponsored by the Women’s Center at the InterUrban ArtHouse on April 1, 6-7 p.m. This posting is about local artist Stasi Bobo-Ligon. Staci is a local to Kansas City and studied at UMKC before moving to Chicago. In Chicago she attended the Art Institute of Chicago where she developed her art as a contemporary artist. While studying there she received highly sought after, Art House Studio Gallery’s Artist-in-Residence position. While maintaining her residency her art practice thrived and allowed her to create an expansive portfolio. She is currently showing work at the InterUrban ArtHouse. To get to know our featured speakers we asked them some questions about themselves and their work.

Q: What is your preferred medium of creativity?

“My preferred medium of creativity is mixed media. I like to mix painting, with collage and assemblage work.”

Q: What is your interest in participating in the Artist’s Salon?

“I am always interested in exchanging information, feedback and ideas about what inspires and motivates creatives. I’m especially excited about this Artist Salon because I have the opportunity to talk with a diverse group of women about what motivated and inspired us to create for this show—I’m looking forward to hearing about and learning from their experiences! Also, I’m excited to be part of an art program hosted by UMKC’s Women’s Center because I’m an alum of the university.”

Q: What is a source of inspiration for your work?

“Because I currently have a full time job taking up most of my time, often, a primary source of my work is an emotional reaction or response to a moment. Like for example, the inspiration for my work in the Her Art/Their Art show was/is my reaction to various women rapper’s braggadocious and vulgar lyrics in their songs, as well as my reaction to last year’s Grammy performance by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion while rapping their collab, ‘WAP’.”

Q: Are there any projects you are currently working on that you are excited about?

“I’m excited about the Her Art/Their Art show because of the diversity of perspectives being shared artistically.”

Q: How do you see the intersection of art and gender in your own work? And how has this empowered you, or others?

“The intersection exists because I deliberately see and interpret the world through an identity that is first Black and then cisgender female. That empowers me because my art helps me share a perspective that can be left up to interpretation by the receiver.”

If you are interested learning more about Stasi and her work, she has a profile on The Art House Gallery linked here. And if you want to hear what Stasi has to say on the intersection of art and gender join us at the InterUrban ArtHouse on April 14, 6-7 p.m. for our discussion-, “Gender, Art, and Power”.

 

Artist Salon Spotlight: Meet Joy Zimmerman!

By: Emma Stuart

This segment is a continuation of the segment of blogs highlighting local artists that will be involved in the Artist’s Salon, sponsored by the Women’s Center at the InterUrban ArtHouse on April 14th.

This posting is all about  local singer songwriter Joy Zimmerman. She recently debuted a song called “Women Who Walk on Water” with an event at the InterUrban ArtHouse, accompanied by an exhibit. This exhibit is dedicated to important women throughout history, who are highlighted through a portrait gallery in the InterUrban ArtHouse gallery space and are mentioned in Joy’s song. To get to know our featured speakers we asked them some questions about themselves and their work.

Q: What is your preferred medium of creativity?

“I’m a singer/songwriter and presenter.”

Q: What is your interest in participating in the Artist’s Salon?

“I think this panel will be a fascinating discussion, and I look forward to hearing

the perspectives and insights of the other panelists.”

Q: What is a source of inspiration for your work?

“I love writing and sharing songs about the scope of life experience. Reflecting on artists whose songs have been meaningful to me, I dive into the joys and struggles of my own life to spur ideas.”

Q:Are there any projects you are currently working on that you are excited about?

“I’m currently participating in the Artist INC program, working on new collaborations, practicing for upcoming gigs, arranging small tours, writing new songs for a forthcoming album, and looking forward to attending several conferences and a songwriting retreat.”

Q: How do you see the intersection of art and gender in your own work? And how has this empowered you, or others?

“Women are vastly underrepresented in the music industry, so I feel stronglyabout representing the female voice and perspective in songwriting, performing, recording, and producing. It was gratifying to write a song highlighting courageous women past and present and curate a hall of portraits and a concert to celebrate their impact.”

You can find Joy’s music on streaming platforms such as Spotify, YouTube Music and Pandora. To learn more about Joy and her work visit her website, and if you are interested in hearing Joy’s take on the intersection of art and gender join us at the InterUrban ArtHouse on April 14th for our Artist’s discussion.

Emma Stuart Brings Passion for Art to Women’s Center

By Emma Stuart

Hello! My name is Emma Stuart (she/her/hers). I am a sophomore here at UMKC, as well as a Kansas City native. I am majoring in Art History with the hope to work as a museum curator someday! As I said I have lived in the Kansas City area my whole life and am familiar with the area both north and south of the river. I chose to attend UMKC because it is a local school that had all the things I was looking for in a university, with the Art History program and good connections to local museums. I plan on getting some advanced degrees, so I am staying close to home to save some money upfront (hoping to make it out with no loans, fingers crossed). The UMKC campus was also intriguing to me as it is so close to downtown as well as being accessible to North of the river.

What initially sparked my interest in the Women’s Center was the offer of working on the Her Art/Their Art Project. I was awarded the position of the intern for the Her Art/Their Art Project. This project is very interesting to me as it highlights female and non-binary artists here in the Kansas City area. Unfortunately, female, and non-binary artists are not awarded as much recognition in the art world as their male counterparts. The mission of this project really sparked my interest in the Women’s Center. I love the mission of the Women’s Center as a safe place for all students here at UMKC. With this position I am looking forward to working beside a professional curator that is leading this art project as well as expanding my knowledge of the local art scene here in Kansas City.

Some things that I enjoy doing in my free time include hanging out with my family and friends, reading, painting, crafting, and hanging out with my dogs. I also enjoy watching crime shows and I am trying to get into anime so if you have any recommendations let me know.

 

 

CALL FOR ARTISTS, STORYTELLERS, AND FRIENDS…

Seeking individuals to participate in

Her Life as Art: Coming Together Through Grandmother Stories

a special community project led by the Kansas City United Church of Christ, the UMKC Women’s Center, and the Mo-Kan Heart Quilt Guild

 

This art exhibit is central to a unique, multi-dimensional, week-long series of events. This call for artists is open to all individuals, of all skill levels who wish to celebrate the wisdom and legacy of the grandmother figures in their lives.

You may participate by:

  1. creating a 16” x 16” art quilt that tells the story of the importance of this grandmother figure in your own life, or
  2. by submitting an item created by your grandmother figure. This may be a poem, drawing, recipe, quilt, dress, apron, piece of pottery, doll, etc…(Please include a short explanation of your chosen This is an exhibit only. Artwork will not be for sale.)

This exhibit will be open to the public during the week of Saturday, November 6 – Friday, November 12, 2021 at Kansas City United Church of Christ (KCUCC), 205 West 65th St., Kansas City, MO 64113 

To Participate:

Drop off or mail your completed entry form to KCUCC (see address above) or email to: Jean Ayres, ayresjean@gmail.com before Monday, October 25

  • Bring your entry to the church Tuesday, November 2, 10:00 a.m.-12 noon.
  • Pick up your entry Saturday, November 13, 10 a.m.-12 noon.

Organizing Committee:

Jean Ayres, KCUCC

Judy Long O’Neal, KCUCC

Karen Hartzler, KCUCC

Arzie Umali, UMKC Women’s Center

Sherry Dicus, Mo-Kan Heart Quilt Guild

Yvette Morton – Mo-Kan Heart Quilt Guild

For entry form, contact Jean Ayres, ayresjean@gmail.com

CALL FOR ARTISTS: The Personal Universe

Presented by 50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics and the UMKC Women’s Center, The Personal Universe will be a competitive exhibition featuring artists who identify as women or non-binary from across the globe.

Awards:

  • First place
    A featured album on the 50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics Facebook page.
  • Three Purchase awards
    The jury has arranged with personal collectors to purchase 1 piece from the exhibition.
  • A “People’s Choice” award will be given to the piece that receives the most Likes/Loves on its Facebook post.
  • Ceramics: Art & Perception subscription award for one year

Calendar:

  • January 4, 2021
    Entries accepted at 50WomenCeramics@gmail.com
  • February 12, 2021
    Entries closed
  • March 17, 2021
    Exhibition opens
  • May 11, 2021
    Solo exhibition set up.

Rules and Regulations:

  •  NO ENTRY FEE
  • All submissions are electronic and should be sent to 50WomenCeramics@gmail.com.
  • Submission will be accepted between January 4 and February 12.
  • The work must either:
    a) Be made primarily of clay.
    or
    b) Be video or performance work where clay is prominent element of the work.
  • All entries MUST include: Title of work, Date of work, Dimensions of work, Date of Work, Artist’s name, Artist Location or Academic Affiliation. While not required, artists are encouraged to include their personal website address in the entry.
  • Any person who identifies as female, gender-fluid, or non-binary can apply.
  • Two entries– including up to two images per person.
  • Submission of work will be considered a release by the artist to allow 50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contributions to Ceramics organizers to use images in the exhibition as well as in any publication materials. Any use of images will include the maker’s name and contact method.
    • This release extends to publication of reviews of the exhibition on blogs, tweets, and in Facebook groups.
  • For the purchase award, the maker will be responsible for any shipping fees included in the sale of the work. The purchasers live in the United States.
  • All images need to be JPEG or PNG formatted.
  • Prices will be listed in the final exhibition. If no price is given, the work will be labeled “NFS.”
    • Will list prices in local currency ($, Australian $, €, ¥, R, etc…)
  • All entries must be original works of art.
  • All entries will be reviewed at the time of submission to ensure adherence to the artwork condition rules and regulations of the exhibit.
    • Inclusion/Exclusion in the exhibit is at the sole discretion of the Jury: Ms. Alex Kraft, Ms. Melanie Shaw, and Mr. Anthony Merino.
    • All works must adhere to Facebook’s policy regarding acceptable images.
  • “People’s Choice” award will be determined by total number of image Likes / Loves.
    • Likes = 1 point
    • Loves = 2 points
    • This award is independent of any other awards.

There is no formal application, just email the images and description to 50WomenCeramics@gmail.com, with subject line “Entry for The Personal Universe.” Please attach images and include the following information:

  • Title, Date, Dimensions, Price
  • Artist’s Name
  • Artist’s Location/Professional Affiliation
  • Artist’s Country
  • Clay/Process Information (optional, please keep under 75 words)
  • Webpages and Social Media information (optional)

For more information or for questions regarding this exhibition, artwork submissions, or awards, please contact Anthony Merino at merinoanthony@outlook.com.

For more information about 50 Women a Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics, check them out on Facebook.

Farewell to My Internship, But Not to the Women’s Center

By Allani Gordon

My time as the HerArt Project intern for the Women’s Center has been a defining and profound moment in my college experience. To be a part of a feminist organization, larger than anything I’ve ever been a part of before, and to work alongside so many brilliant women, has left an empowering impression on me.

When I walked into Brenda Bethman’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality class on my first day of freshman year, I had no inkling that this course would introduce me to an internship opportunity. I would’ve never expected I would be finishing my first year of college with experience at the Women’s Center under my belt. I’m so glad I can say that I have.

I’ve learned a lot of life-long skills and gained an immense amount of knowledge on women’s equity and women in the arts. I think I’ve learned even more about myself. Being much younger than everyone else at the center pushed me to evolve in order to perform at a professional level.

Despite the in-person aspects of my internship being cut short, I’m thankful for all the collaborative work I was able to do and help I was able to offer to my fellow interns with their on-campus events and programs. I’m proud of myself and the rest of the staff for being so resilient and adaptable to our online restrictions.

Brenda and Arzie have become supervisors-turned-mentors for me. I still have several years of college to go, but I know I can rely on them going forward. They’ll be around to offer me advice, give me guidance, or simply just have a good conversation with.

This will not be the last of my time at the Women’s Center. I won’t be an intern anymore, but I will continue to be a supportive member and advocate for everything the Women’s Center does.

 

“What About Her Art?” She’ll Tell You All About It

By Allani Gordon

When I was told to program some sort of event for the Her Art Project, as a requirement for my internship at the Women’s Center, I was enthralled and ignited with ideas. But little did I know how unique the situation would turn out to be, nor measured the creativity and innovation that had to be put into the event.

As I worked alongside the Interurban ArtHouse to curate the Who Does She Think She Is? Art show, I knew I wanted my event to coincide with the exhibit. I also knew I wanted my event to be about the women artists that are students here at UMKC. So, with the help of my supervisor, Arzie, we adapted a program for a one-day pop up exhibition that would take place on campus. We developed the title for the show “What About Her Art?” from a previous intern’s student art event. The show would feature artwork from four of UMKC’s female student artists: Makayla Booker, Lillian Taylor, Aliah Fisher, and Jasmine Alejandra.

Numerous forms were filled out, calls were made, and emails were sent to plan out the logistics of the event. The student art pop-up was coming to full fruition. Then boom. Pandemic. There was no possibility whatsoever that I could still have the event in person, nor did I have the resources to make a stellar virtual rendition of the show, like the InterUrban ArtHouse did for the “Who Does She Think She Is?” Show.

A few emails, some zoom meetings, and a Canva membership later, I was able to turn the “What About Her Art?” student art show into a digital platform. This way, it could be shared as a thread of posts that would mimic a “gallery” on the Women’s Center’s social media.

The women artists featured in the “show” have been incredibly understanding and cooperative throughout the process. The event is not perfect. And yes, I would die to see all of the students’ lovely work in a physical space together. Nevertheless, I’m proud of not only myself, but the artists who preserved through this situation with me, and my team members at the Women’s Center for their encouragement.

Check out the student featured artists on our social media!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/umkcwomenc/

Her Art Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/herartproject/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/UMKC_Womenc

Instagram: https://instagram.com/umkcwomenc

 

 

InterUrban ArtHouse’s Influence on the Creative Spirit of UMKC

By Allani Gordon

While the Who Does She Think She Is? Art Exhibition ended a couple of weeks ago, we still want to highlight our university’s relationship with our fellow collaborator, the InterUrban ArtHouse, beyond their participation in our annual art show.

Before the show even took place in the InterUrban ArtHouse, the space’s founder and artistic director Nicole Emanuel had already been showing her loyalty to UMKC’s creative community. Nicole served as one of the first featured artists for the Who Does She Think She Is? Art Exhibition, and has been showing her support for the event ever since. It’s extremely fitting that the all-female show now regularly takes place in InterUrban ArtHouse, as Nicole’s dedication to the local artist community is a symbol of the perseverance and resilience of all female artists.

Wolfe Brack, the InterUrban ArtHouse’s operations manager, also does great work alongside the Women’s Center for Who Does She Think She Is?. Wolfe has an established history with UMKC’s creative life, as his first solo show took place at the UMKC African American Culture House. With the help of our fellow Women’s Center member and HerArt Project founder, Arzie Umali, Wolfe was able to curate his show on our campus. Twenty years later and Wolfe still has a profound memory of the show’s influence on him as an artist. In my interview with Wolfe, he stated that “having that show at UMKC showed me that my art was valued and bolstered my confidence enough to keep showing it.” Wolfe continues to pay homage to UMKC as he collaborates and curates with the Women’s Center and the HerArt project.

It’s important to recognize the efforts of our local organizations and their involvement with UMKC. InterUrban ArtHouse is a non-profit organization that strives to help maintain and evolve creative life not just in Kansas City, but here on our campus too.

Meet the Artist: Lynn Norris

By Elise Wantling

Lynn Norris is one of our wonderful artists whose art was featured in our art exhibition co-hosted with InterUrban ArtHouse titled Who Does She Think She Is? I had the pleasure of interviewing Lynn and learning a bit more about her and her art. Lynn is a three-dimensional artist who sews, weaves, and makes jewelry, pottery, and collages. Occasionally, she dabbles in two-dimensional art, which she describes as black and white doodles that “look like a machine just vomited parts up, and it is punctuated by faces and strange creatures that do not exist in real life”. Her work typically features lots of bright and bold color choices.

Lynn has always made art, but began using art as a form of therapy in 2004 at the KC Veterans Center, where she partook in an art therapy group on Friday mornings. Lynn is a survivor of military sexual trauma and copes with PTSD, and uses her art to help with this.

Lynn served in the US Navy from 1983-1987 and is a proud veteran. She was stationed at Pearl Harbor and Barber’s Point Naval Air base. She began by maintaining grounds and conducting VIP tours of the Arizona Memorial, then worked as a security guard at the ASWOC (Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations Center). She eventually became a Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Petty officer and worked in the base photo lab.

Though she enjoyed art, she admits she wasn’t the best at drawing. She started collecting free magazines from the VA Center and noticed they would make great collage material, since they had the colorful and pretty photos. She was taking an abstract art class with a friend through the Raytown school district at the time, and consulted the art teacher, Dennis Helsel. He agreed with her that making collages might be easier for her than drawing. He helped her “figure out how to pull it off” as she says. The first two collages Lynn made were made of totally random clippings. For the third collage she decided she wanted to make one look like a stained glass window, and that was a jumping off point for her. She divided the clippings according to color, then did colored sections highlighted by a paint pen. She’s been using that technique ever since and has made many beautiful pieces inspired by stained glass windows.

One symptom of Lynn’s PTSD is that she has trouble feeling safe, and to deal with that she became obsessively organized and tidy. Her collages are a break from this. Instead of having strict order, she is able to incorporate randomness and chaos into her art. Just the colors are sorted, other than that there is no logic to her arrangements. She even chooses the titles of the pieces by clipping phrases from the magazines and then drawing them out of a hat. The collages have allowed Lynn to let go of her obsessive-compulsiveness and enjoy being in the moment. In her collages, Lynn has found some freedom while also being able to indulge her artistic side.

You can see Lynn’s work, and the work of many other talented artist, in our online tour of the Who Does She Think She Is? Art show. You can also check out more of Lynn’s work on her website, https://mankopowerudcuc.wixsite.com/lessdemented?fbclid=IwAR07lDkfdD9dWYOSnJyzJFqSjnMPpcMSHHS8E_AXJ_SxGrHwwoRob9oGOAI

“Who Does She Think She Is?” And How Does She Make An Art Show Virtual?

By Allani Gordon

Amidst a pandemic, our world is changing rapidly each day. Every aspect of our lives is being altered, revised, and even removed from daily routine, and it has required a lot of creative thinking in order to remain optimistic and unified in this unique situation.

Credit: Jolynne Martinez.

 

 

For the Who Does She Think She Is? Art exhibition, this is especially true. As I worked alongside Arzie Umali, the founder of Her Art Project, and Wolfe Brack from InterUrban ArtHouse, it did not occur to us, after hours of curating, hanging, and rehanging art work, that the show might not be physically available to the public.

However, after mandated social distancing and quarantine became a surreal part of reality, the idea of pursuing an art show wasn’t even in consideration anymore- well, in person at least.

Despite the obstacles faced, this did not stop our team member Wolfe from transforming the annual art show into a virtual gallery. Now, almost anyone from anywhere can celebrate and appreciate the showcased artwork from the 50 stellar female artists of our Kansas City community.

The virtual gallery not only highlights the perseverance of creative minds during chaos, but also recognizes the brilliance of the female artists in our Kansas City community. The show’s main purpose is to explore the challenges and experiences of artistic fulfillment and career and bring together family among women artists in America. With that being said, during this unclear and troubling time, the Who Does She Think She Is? Art show can offer us solace, inspiration, and unification.

Check out the gallery yourself!

Virtual Gallery Tour:  http://www.interurbanarthouse.org/virtual-gallery-tour-who-does-she-think-she-is

Online Store: https://interurban-arthouse.square.site/s/shop