GEO/MATRIX | Miguel Rivera's solo exhibition

Inertia I by Miguel Rivera, 2019 mixed media on paper, 40x28 inches

Inertia I by Miguel Rivera, 2019
mixed media on paper, 40x28 inches

Studios Inc is pleased to present the solo exhibition, GEO/MATRIX, featuring resident artist Miguel Rivera.

In his work, Rivera searches for new forms and complex paths embedded in abstraction.  He accomplishes this by reinventing structures and routes that stem from one’s daily life such as maps, the magic of belief in forces of physics, and architectural forms from baroque church facades.  

This body of work titled Geo/Matrix has evolved into layers. It is a progression of manipulated photos, hand drawn images, painted or printed shapes, and vector drawings that become edited by the destructive nature of laser energy. 

GEO/MATRIX will be on view from 09.13.19 to 10.18.19

The opening reception Friday, 9.13.19 from 6 - 9 PM and will feature a performance by the group MYTH-SCIENCE TRIO (Thomas Aber, Dwight Frizzell, and Michael Miller). Struck by by reducing the history of the Oregon Trail to an essential flow of water (rivers, tributaries) and people (moving along the trail which moves along rivers), the performance will involve both a coordinated and literal sonification of the entire map of the Oregon Trail, and then a memory-directed traversal that opens up the work.


The winner of the exhibition initiative Her Story was just announced!



Patty Carroll

and it’s our own Patty Carroll! Her Story is an initiative created to place a specific exhibition at the Affordable Art Fair, NYC this weekend in honor of Women’s History Month. The art organizations, See Me, Artsy, and the Affordable Art Fair worked together to create this endeavour for feminist artists to share artwork centered around womanhood and the feminist movement. Thousands of pieces were submitted to the initiative and an expert panel selected a number of works to be featured at the Affordable Art Fair in New York City, and from those Patty Carroll was selected as the grand prize winner. This prestigious grand prize features a personal exhibition at the Affordable Art Fair, NYC; another solo exhibition in NYC at a later date; a cash prize; an artist profile video featured on See Me’s website; and advocacy and PR support from See Me.

The Affordable Art Fair, NYC is at the Metropolitan Pavilion from Wed, March 27th 6:00pm to Sun, March 31st 5:00 pm. If you’re in New York, pop in and to view Patty’s breathtaking work!

Congratulations Patty!

We’re thrilled to see what else 2019 has in store for both you and our other Studios Inc artists!


Artist Emily Sall brings her architectural bending artwork to Studios Inc

Studios Inc announces the arrival of Emily Sall. Sall joins our Artist Residency Program, finishing the board’s exhaustive search for the final spot in the program. Sall thanks Studios Inc, “for the opportunity to work amongst a great community of artists within this organization and to have an amazing space to really stretch out and see my larger projects and ideas come to life.”

Unbent by Emily Sall

Emily Sall received her B.F.A in painting from KCAI in 2005.  She has shown both locally and nationally. In 2007 Emily was awarded the Charlotte Street Foundations Visual Artist Fellowship, and was commissioned to create work for Missouri Bank Artboards in 2009. Emily lives and works in Kansas City and recently completed a large scale mural for the Plaza Academy.

Sall’s mediums of choice are painting and drawing with various materials; centered on the relationship between structure and shape. Sall states that  "My work has always been architecturally influenced. I am interested in creating shifting, mounting, teetering landscapes of tension, balance, imbalance and harmonious visual landscapes"  Sall describes herself as a “builder of these ideas.”

Launched to serve mid-career artists, Studios Inc is Kansas City’s only nonprofit arts organization offering pivotal three-year residencies to mid-career artists who are poised to significantly expand their careers. Studios Inc offers a unique immersion experience for resident artists, who use their studio and exhibition space to produce and exhibit work, network and learn from one another, and attract and cultivate relationships with art patrons, collectors, and arts professionals.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Casey Price at (816) 994-7134, or email


Lori Raye Erickson brings her unique vision, passion, and aesthetic to Studios Inc.

Studios Inc is pleased to announce the arrival of Lori Raye Erickson; now a member of our Artist Residency Program. Erickson states that “the next level is to diversify my practice with the aim of exhibiting at a wider selection of venues and facilitating the inclusion of my work into museum collections.” Erickson believes Studios Inc is a springboard to take her art to the next level.

Erickson was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. She spent her formative years studying at the Des Moines Art Center and then earned her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. She’s been awarded the Charlotte Street Grant, the Avenue of the Arts  and Liquitex Award of Excellence, among others. Erickson’s work can be found in various collections around the world.

Erickson addresses the political, cultural and economic landscapes through humor. Mediums such as painting, drawing, installation, and sculpture are a part of her repertoire and she allows her message to manifest freely within the artwork. Erickson states that “to be a part of something so lasting and encouraging of mid-career artists in Kansas City is just incredible. I look forward to being productive in the space, producing larger works as well as multiple pieces simultaneously. I intend to utilize this opportunity to tighten my career focus and build a portfolio that creates new opportunities previously unavailable to me.”  

Launched to serve mid-career artists, Studios Inc is Kansas City’s only nonprofit arts organization offering pivotal three-year residencies to mid-career artists who are poised to significantly expand their careers. Studios Inc offers a unique immersion experience for resident artists, who use their studio and exhibition space to produce and exhibit work, network and learn from one another, and attract and cultivate relationships with art patrons, collectors, and arts professionals.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Casey Price at (816) 994-7134, or email



A group exhibition featuring Studios Inc’s 2019 resident artists

Journey Miguel Rivera

Studios Inc is pleased to present the group exhibition, STUDIOS INC:2019, featuring resident artists: Ricky Allman, Patty Carroll, Lori Raye Erickson, Caitlin Horsmon, Misha Kligman, Kathy Liao, Miguel Rivera, Benjamin Rosenthal, Emily Sall, Debra M Smith, and Susan White.

Please join us for the opening reception on Friday, March 8th from 6 - 9pm.

STUDIOS INC:2019 will be on view from 3.08.19 to 4.12.19

Launched to serve mid-career artists, Studios Inc is Kansas City’s only nonprofit arts organization offering pivotal three-year residencies to mid-career artists who are poised to significantly expand their careers. Studios Inc offers a unique immersion experience for resident artists, who use their studio and exhibition space to produce and exhibit work, network and learn from one another, and attract and cultivate relationships with art patrons, collectors, and arts professionals.

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Please email for more information regarding the exhibition, artists, or Studios Inc.

Steve Maturo designs rooms around artwork


The arts magazine, KC Studio tasked Steve Maturo, co-owner of Museo to design a room or space centered around a piece of artwork. Instead of the artwork enhancing the space; KC Studio and Maturo asked “Why not turn that around: buy a statement work of art and choose furniture to complement it?” Maturo claims in the article that “I have never purchased art because I needed something on the wall above the fireplace or on a blank wall in the bedroom.”

Maturo designed six spaces around six pieces of art. Two of the artworks were created by the Studios Inc artists: Susan White (current resident) and May Tveit (resident alumna). Susan White’s honey locust thorn installation, Shadow Sink, is paired with a Moooi smoke armchair, on top of a colorful Moooi rug. May Tveit’s installation, The Road, hangs above a chair and footrest made of brazilian hardwood and black raw cotton.

Maturo’s designs serve as backdrops or as accents to the pieces. His spaces complement the artwork, instead of the artwork complimenting the space. Maturo creates an environment that fosters discussions about the piece and not one that uses art as a highlight. To complement is to complete or bring to perfection, Maturo’s minimalist use of furniture makes room for discussions about the pieces; allowing them to breath and mature within their spaces. The conversations created from these spaces complete the work, because, art at its core is a conversation.

Written by Aaron K. Turner

Board of Directors announces a change in Leadership

Colby K Smith

The Board of Directors at Studios Inc welcomes Courtney Wasson as the organization’s new Executive Director upon retirement of Colby K Smith. Smith has been the Executive Director since 2003 when he co-founded Studios Inc. The organization is indebted to his vision and commitment for propelling Studios Inc to its present position.

Smith states, “I know now is the right time for a change. We have grown this organization into one of the most unique of its kind in the nation while providing substantial impact across all our programs. I am truly proud of our achievements. While my daily involvement with Studios Inc will change, my ongoing support will not, this I say with great certainty. It truly has been honor to serve this organization.”

Brad Nicholson, chairman of the Board, shares “Having met Colby when he came to Kansas City, I think it’s important to remind everyone that Studios Inc as we know it would never have happened without his vision and willingness to dedicate himself to its success. Each artist who has had the unique opportunity to be part of the program has Colby to thank for his vision.”

Wasson joins Studios Inc with 10 years of gallery experience, marketing, and business management. Wasson is to succeed Colby K Smith, who has been the Executive Director since 2003 when he co-founded Studios Inc. Studios Inc provides studio space, professional development, networking, and exhibitions for mid-career artists in Greater Kansas City.

Wasson received a BFA with honors from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2005. She majored in art history and printmaking. After graduation she has continuously worked to support artists through exhibitions, studio critiques, and marketing. Wasson began working for Weinberger Fine Art at the beginning of 2016, working as the Curator, Marketing and Gallery Director. Since 2010, Wasson has worked with the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center and is now the acting Executive Vice President for the Leedy Foundation. In 2016, Wasson began working with Linda Lighton as the Program Coordinator of the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program.

Wasson is a dedicated artist advocate whose mission is to service the promotion of artistic dialogue and connect artists to opportunities. She will be responsible for the general management and advancement of Studios Inc, building on the foundation established by Smith and the Board of Directors.

Wasson states, “My goal is to have a positive impact on the arts community and to further support artists within the Kansas City region through the programs available at Studios Inc. I love how Studios Inc engages and creates a community centered around the relationship between artists and patrons.”

Launched to serve mid-career artists, Studios Inc is Kansas City’s only nonprofit arts organization offering pivotal three-year residencies to mid-career artists who are poised to significantly expand their careers. Studios Inc offers a unique immersion experience for resident artists, who use their studio and exhibition space to produce and exhibit work, network and learn from one another, and attract and cultivate relationships with art patrons, collectors, and arts professionals.

Anonymous Women: Demise, Camouflage and Calamity

The night of Patty Carroll’s exhibition Demise, Camouflage and Calamity filled Studios Inc with a good number of guests given an appetizing introduction into the Anonymous Women series, and as Caroll pulled back the curtain we gazed into the mind of an artist encapsulating the domesticity of mainstream America. I can say with confidence that everyone left with something new, burning and clawing inside of them that night.Patty Carroll’s exhibition features twenty individual pieces and four installations. The installations are three-dimensional extensions of the staged photographs, Domestic Bliss, Picnicked, Plastic Fantastic, and Sweepy. The installations vary in their size, layout, scope, and medium. Domestic Bliss is staged with women at the center of a room covered in thick, colorful, and glossy antique drapes hung over the room mixed with lace covered in pink floral prints. A large antique lampshade sits on an ornate, marble end table, illuminating a woman covered in more drapes and slouched over in her chair. Drapes fall into heaps on the floor as they envelop the entire piece. Domestic Bliss creates an elaborate, graceful, and florid outward expression of womanly domestication. However, the women and the room are obstructed by the drapes. The opaque material's heaviness reference the veiled reality of the domestic sphere. We can only see the illusions of grandeur and happiness displayed within the piece and, by extension, the home. But, not the constrictive reality of domestication and, by extension, “domestic bliss”.Carroll’s works play on similar expectations, symbols, metaphors, allusions to literature, and folkways. These references pepper the pieces, describing womanhood affected by the patriarchy ingrained within western civilization.  Every time I enter this exhibition, I discover something new. Only recently did I make the connection between Yellow Wallpaper, an exhibited piece, and The Yellow Wallpaper written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Gilman’s acclaimed short story focuses on a husband who ignores his wife’s pleas for help as she slowly loses herself to mental instability and depression that manifests as acute psychosis. Similarities between Carroll’s series Anonymous Women and the short story abound, though these pieces were created nearly a century apart. Carroll’s work is almost the last scion of a past era, nearly eclipsed by the aging baby boomer generation. Carroll recreates the themes of the ’40s, ’50s, and 60’s to explore the cultural shift of the late 20th century. Its difficult for me to pin down exactly what Carroll is trying to say, but I always ask myself why?Written by A.K. Turner

Studios New Residents!!!

Anne Austin Pearce and Judith G. Levy join our eclectic and diverse residency program and bring their unique skills, talents, and abilities to Studios Inc. We are ecstatic that these two artists are joining our family this January.Pearce’s work centers around the ambiguity of moments intermingled between our inner self or intimate moments in our personal relationships. She describes this ambiguity as a moment of loss or gain, bondage or freedom. “It happens when we are grappling with a dream deferred or an expectation not met. it is the time passed shifting sensibilities, wavering between resolution and avoidance, teetering at the threshold of debilitating anxiety or liberating submission, deciding what, when and how to speak, what to distill, and whether to scream.Levy’s work explores the historical, social, political and identity issues that complicate and contradicts the state of commonality within society. “I am interested in how perceptions, definitions and concepts are shaped.”These two capable artists compliment our storied residency program and we cannot wait to see what these two have in store!

Abigail Brightwell-Gray's "conceptual views"

Whenever art is mentioned in a conversation, Landscape Art is one of the genres thought of first. The form traditionally involves some form of painting or photography that encapsulates a large scenery, occurrence, or stereotypical event that focuses on the concepts of nature, its relationship with humanity, and the outcomes of their interactions. Abigail Brightwell-Gray(our exhibitions management intern) curated the newest exhibition: conceptual views. The show deconstructs, analyzes, and tinkers with landscape art through a contemporary lens. I was excited to see Abigail’s first foray into curating an exhibition and I came away surprised with the deep connections she created through the diverse set of works. The pieces create a contemporary rendition of the genre, rooted in a traditional sense. Prototypical landscapes are spaced between pieces that bend, reinvent, and escape the genre.For example, Jill Downen’s Upstairs and Quake are small three-dimensional models that are bare, three-windowed rooms with slats of wood or broken concrete as their floors. The two pieces are small enough to fit in both of your hands. The enormity of your size in relation to the miniscule models creates a sense of deviant voyeurism as you view the piece. Interestingly, this is a necessity within the genre. Landscape Pastorals display farmers and field hands toiling away in the fields, while mothers are feeding, watching, or disciplining their children. The pastoral sums up the lives of the average farmer, but also places the viewer in a far, unseen place. Downen’s pieces change the perspective of the viewer into a more intimate, but jarring position.Other pieces like Patty Carroll’s Tea Party limits the size of the landscape and creates a more intimate and expressive work. Tea Party is a part of Patty Carroll’s series Anonymous Women that focuses on the stereotypical roles of women within the American patriarchal system through a 1950’s era cultural aesthetic. Within the confines of the exhibition, the concept of landscape revolves around the anonymous woman’s world within Carroll’s piece. The woman is forced into the role of housewife/servant/host and centers around the idea that the home is her world, and is her landscape. conceptual views deconstructs and renews the Landscape Art genre. Brightwell-Gray worked with a diverse set of mediums to question where the genre is headed next. In her eyes, giant, descriptive, and idyllic portrayals of admired or exotic lands are giving way to intimate and expressive portraits based around reality and its complications. She doesn't seem to be wrong. Written by A.K. Turner

Feelings Defined: A One-Question Interview of Interns

I applied for the editorial and content management internship at Studios Inc because of a tagline on a flyer. “No making coffee, no filing, no busy work! This internship is designed with you, for you!” This quick, comma-filled description pushed me to send in my resume, and that on-a-whim decision has loomed large over my Junior and Senior year in college.The Executive Director, Associate Director of, and Office Manager encourage, aid, and advance our talents as we work as the photographers, videographers, graphic designers, writers, social media specialists, and exhibition assistants of the organization. But, I’ve always wondered how do the other interns view their internships here? I’ve wanted to do an article that highlights the cogs of the Studios Inc engine for a while, and asks them, ‘What is the point of it all?’The best way to understand the morale of the troops is to live, work and be amongst them, always asking questions and listening carefully. So, I did just that. I decided that an open-ended question would elicit a more honest and thought-out response. But, what question? It took only a few minutes to think back only a few years, wherein small classrooms in high school and college I was asked questions like, what do you want to gain from this class? Or how do you expect to grow from this experience? Good questions that needed in-depth answers. So from these experiences, I thought of a variation of a classic, difficult, first day of class question. “Describe your experience in one word and why did you pick that word?”  I started with Ben Cottrell, our Digital Media intern, he’s been with us only for a few weeks, but is already an integral member of the team. “Can you describe your experience in one word?” I asked. “I don’t know… Fun.” He answered. Slightly annoyed at the fun cop-out, I asked why’d he choose fun. He responded that I’d only asked for a one-word response. Fair enough. I’d forgotten to ask the second part of the question, and I didn’t want to push for it, I’d caught him off-guard as he’d walked into the office. I moved onto the next intern, Abigail Brightwell-Gray our Exhibitions Management Intern whose importance and weight around the office cannot be understated. After the initial groaning and complaints that became synonymous with the question, she answered it the way I was hoping for.  “Thrilling,” she said as I nodded in approval. She explained the various intricacies and delicate procedures that come along with prepping, setting up, and dismantling a gallery space, creating a show from scratch, all while dealing with artists at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised with Abbey’s response and received something similar in the rest of the interns. Buzz-words like strengthening, diverse, informative, and reassuring were flying around in my head after a slew of one-question interviews. But, I couldn’t help but think about how simple, yet meaningful Ben’s response was. Yes, as interns we’re learning plenty of career-changing lessons, skills, and developing our talent. But, to match that with fun is like a cliche, movie-plot paradox. As I was contemplating the inner workings and meanings of the word Fun, Thang Nguyen our Video Editing Intern waved and smiled as he walked by. I remembered that I never interviewed him. So I called after him and pulled out my recorder to ask the question.“Describe your experience in one word.”“Fun.” “That’s it?,” I asked. “I don’t know, it’s just fun.” At first, I was exasperated. But, as I started writing the article, the idea of Fun as the most illuminating description of our experiences at Studios Inc buried itself within my mind, bundled itself with my conscious and tunneled its roots into my head. Studios Inc has served as a point of education, relaxation, fulfillment, and created a few relationships that I now cherish as close friendships. I don’t know if I could survive the juggling act of college, work, and interning without the endearing support we receive from the staff here. After asking the interns here the same question, I know that they feel the same. Written by A.K. Turner 

Studios seeks Executive Director

art studios, free space, gallery, art, Art District, Downtown Kansas City, Events, First Fridays, Installations, Kansas City, Kansas City Missouri, Crossroads, KC Community, KCMO, Museums Opening, Opportunities, Residency Program, Resident artist, Visual Art, KC Visual Arts, Mid-career artist, art exhibition, exhibition, studios logoStudios Inc is now accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. Do you want to be a part of the premier, art based, non-profit organization of Kansas City? Does art based outreach into the community excite you? Do you believe in the overall development of Kansas City art culture? If so, shoot us a cover letter and resume! We’re all ears!Executive Director Position Description:  The Executive Director (ED) is the key management leader of Studios Inc (SI) which includes The ED is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing, gallery exhibitions and sales, facility management and maintenance, and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Chairman of the Board and the Board of Directors. The position allows flexibility so applicants should be self starters in setting appropriate hours to accomplish the role of ED. (Occasional evening and weekend hours are required.) Visit to learn more.


 Board Governance: Works with the Board in order to fulfill the organization’s mission.

  • Responsible for leading SI in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of
  • Responsible for communicating effectively with the Board and providing all information necessary for the Board to properly function and to make informed decisions in a timely and accurate

Financial Performance and Viability: Develops resources to ensure the financial health of the organization.

  • Responsible for the fiscal integrity of SI including submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget and financial statements as needed, which accurately reflect the financial condition of the
  • Responsible for fiscal management that anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial
  • Responsible for anticipating facility’s maintenance/management needs and developing proper reserves to ensure the sustainability of
  • Responsible for fundraising and revenue generation (via grants, donors, patrons, rental income, art sales) as well as developing other resources necessary to support SI’s
  • Manages cash flow, reimbursements, fund requests, and expense allocations.
  • Overall responsibility for data entry into accounting system and integrity of accounting system
  • Responsible (along with SI’s accountant) for tax matters and completion of 990 Tax
  • Procurement and review of Board and facility insurance

Organization Mission and Strategy: Works with the Board to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning, and community engagement.

  • Responsible for implementation of SI’s programs that carry out the organization’s
  • Responsible for strategic planning to ensure that SI successfully fulfills its mission into the future.
  • Responsible for the enhancement of SI’s image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with local and national art organizations and other professional, civic, and private organizations.

Organization Operations: Oversees and implements appropriate resources to ensure successful operation of the organization.

  • Responsible for effective administration of SI’s
  • Responsible for the hiring, management, and retention of competent, qualified staff including job descriptions, performance goals, and salary
  • Management of the Artists in Residence Program, gallery Director, staff, and

Facility Operations: Responsible for preserving the good condition of the building and infrastructure, ensuring that facilities are safe and well functioning, and optimizing the use of space and equipment while reducing operating costs.

  • Manage the upkeep of equipment and supplies to meet safety
  • Inspect and properly care for building’s structure and grounds on an ongoing basis to determine short and long-term needs for repairs, renovations, improvements, and
  • Review utilities consumption and strive to minimize
  • Hire and supervise all facilities staff and external contractors such as janitorial and maintenance staffs, technicians, groundskeepers,
  • Manage activities such as parking space allocation, waste disposal, building security, etc.
  • Create a suitable environment for the purpose and needs of the
  • Compare costs for various services and goods before choosing the best options for the facility.
  • Manage the maintenance of the building by performing repairs or contracting maintenance services as
  • Perform administrative tasks such as preparing and maintaining facility reports and
  • Ensure the security of the building and respond to emergency situations or other urgent issues involving the


  • Establish administrative policies and procedures for all functions and for the day-to-day operation of
  • Serve as SI’s primary spokesperson to the organization’s constituents, the media, and the
  • Establish and maintain relationships with various organizations and utilize those relationships to strategically enhance SI’s
  • Report to and work closely with the Board of Directors to seek their involvement in policy decisions, fundraising, and to increase the overall visibility of
  • Supervise and collaborate with organization staff, interns, and volunteers. (SI has 3-4 interns per semester who assist with various tasks of the organization. It will be up to the ED as to the number of interns or if the program should be scaled back or phased )
  • Strategic planning and
  • Oversee and prepare for organization’s Board
  • Oversee marketing and other communications
  • Review and approve contracts for
  • Other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.


  • Strong knowledge of contemporary
  • Transparent and high integrity
  • Knowledge of donor relations, grant writing, and fundraising strategies unique to the nonprofit
  • Strong presence in the arts
  • Strong business acumen including solid, hands-on budget management skills such as budget preparation, analysis, decision-making, and reporting.
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development, and task
  • Ability to convey a vision of SI’s strategic future to staff, Board, volunteers, and
  • Skills to collaborate with and motivate Board Members and other volunteers.
  • Engaging public speaking ability and strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to interface and engage diverse volunteer and donor
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee, motivate, and collaborate with artists and
  • Familiarity with building maintenance and
  • Nonprofit experience highly

So, if you believe you have the skill set and are excited about the possibility of being the leader of a dynamic not-for-profit arts organization, we want to hear from you. The compensation for this position starts at $48,000 annually paid monthly as an employee of Studios Inc. We will also consider Independent Contractors at $50,000 annually if circumstances align with the organization’s mission and requirements. Neither employment option includes healthcare benefits.We’re interested in filling this position quickly to allow a new ED adequate time to work alongside our current ED, Board, staff, and interns to enable a smooth transition by year end if feasible. Please send all inquiries, qualifications, and resume’ to 

Two events graced the hot Friday afternoon last weekend. The 14th of September served as the opening night of Colby K Smith’s Navah II and coincidentally my birthday.Since the inception of Studios Inc, Colby K Smith has served as its director and guided the organization high up the hierarchy of Kansas City Art Culture, while also being a resident artist at Studios Inc. Colby’s time spent running the organization would seemingly distract from his work as an artist. But, after viewing Navah II the very idea of it seems preposterous. Colby’s newest Navah exhibition follows in the same vein as the previous one. A frantic smorgasbord of techniques, materials, and concepts are at work within the exhibition and all point to a man who embraces and values the chaotic moments within their own artistry and life. All of the fourteen pieces within the exhibition have been built by Colby using 2x4’s, chalk lines, plaster, tubing, sandpaper, plywood, corner beads, and paint with most of the materials being recycled. The pieces are 3-D sculpture-like paintings attempting to create structure and make sense out of the diverse cast of elements. For example, the plywood and wood 2x4s have been cut to different lengths and glued together into graph-like shapes. Reminiscent of office spreadsheets, bringing the atmosphere and external control of a corporate system. But, thick spontaneous paint strokes, cords coming out of the graph-like constructions, or bleeding chalk-lines denote a sense of chaos bubbling beneath the surface.As I walked through the exhibit and jotted a few notes down in my pocketbook, my mouth’s corners kept twitching into a slight, knowing grin. One that was bursting with feelings of amazement, shock, and pride in Colby’s work. Throughout my time at Studios Inc, I’ve only known Colby as the director who is always losing cups of coffee, cracking jokes as he moves around the cramped, tight office, and marks furiously through my drafts with his personal black pen. Finally, I was able to meet Colby, the artist. I wasn’t disappointed.Navah II, an exhibition featuring resident artist Colby K Smith, on view from 09.14.18 to 10.19.18  

Dylan Mortimer and Susan White

In the past few weeks, Dylan Mortimer, Studios Inc alumni and Susan White, current resident artist, opened exhibitions in the Crossroads District. They’re located at the Haw Contemporary Crossroads Gallery, and the KCAI Crossroads Gallery respectively. In this post, I take an in-depth look at their exhibitions.The first thing I noticed in Dylan Mortimer’s exhibition Blinded by Grace is that it’s so… blinding. Dylan Mortimer reinforces this theme with his own opinion of the exhibition, “Hopefully like a beautiful blinding light… it hurts to look at, yet you can’t look away.1” A view from the sidewalk in front of Haw Contemporary doesn’t do justice to the robust array of sparkling reds, pinks, greens, purples, and blues against the heavy black backgrounds of the paintings. Once inside you see the scope of the work. Small intimate pieces that feature broken bronchi2, Jordan basketball shoes and healthcare symbols contrast with the large interpretations of Christian altarpieces and mosaics based around Mortimer’s renditions of cells. At the center of the space stands Tree, Broken Tree, a giant rendition of a smaller bronchus tree painting. The bronchus and its broken limbs are covered in an immeasurable amount of bright pink, purple sequins while the inner pulp and sap bleeding out of the bronchial tree are made of lime green sequins.To understand Blinded By Grace you need to understand the life of Dylan Mortimer. Dylan Mortimer lives with Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that builds up mucus in the lungs and eventually leads to death. Mortimer’s work centers around the qualms of an artist’s life, finding inspiration, joy, and fulfillment within their artwork, while always living close to the edge of life. Mortimer finds an equilibrium to this problem by expressing his Christian faith within his work and artistically challenging the disease within him.Blinded by Grace is open from 8.24.18 to 9.22.18 at Haw Contemporary Crossroads Gallery.“Wow,” was the first thing Sicily Lewis, Studios Inc’s social media intern said as we reached the window front of the KCAI Crossroads Gallery and saw Susan White’s Province of the Surreal. Susan White’s thorn works play with ideas of structure, cultural themes, the intrinsic symbolism of the thorns. White’s sprawling installation continues that tradition. The window encapsulating two-piece installation is an immense tour de force of Susan’s thorn works. Hundreds of pieces cascade down a white wall in two distinct structures, one blue and one red, like spontaneous columns and flow across the floor and up into the window sill. The two structures are close to each other but rarely interact and touch each other.In my opinion, this is White’s most political piece. The thorns play with the ideas of structure and symbolize the rooted political system that's been building gradually and became the dominating, teetering instrument of American culture. Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives are represented in the colors, and the lack of interaction between the two columns of thorns represent the burgeoning divide between the two political sides and speaks to the lack of stability within the two-party system. But, interestingly, both sides resemble each other. The only differentiation between the two is the coloration, not the structure, nor the lengths of the columns. Like politics, on the surface level, they’re vastly different, but the intricacies of the thorns, the length, the number, and variety are basically identical, pointing to the reality of the American political system that is spiraling out of control.Province of the Surreal is open from 8.25.18 to 11.28.18 at the KCAI Crossroads GalleryWritten by A.K. Turner1. Mortimer Dylan. Accessed August 28th, 2018.2. Tubular branches within the lungs, in this exhibition Mortimer calls them trees.

Miguel Rivera featured in The Hand magazine!!

Resident artist, Miguel Rivera is the featured artist of The Hand Magazine’s Issue #20. The Hand is a locally owned art magazine operated and edited by photographers, Adam Finkelston and James Meara.  “The Hand magazine is dedicated to being the world’s premier forum for innovative and experimental uses of reproduction based media.”   The co-editors praised Rivera’s progressive interpretation of artistic printmaking. “It is serendipitous that our feature artist, Miguel Rivera, is at the forefront of print-makers embracing what digital imaging can do to enhance their work,” (The Hand Magazine, pg. 2). Rivera’s feature in the magazine includes an interview conducted by the co-editors. The interview explores the conceptuality, practice, and influences within the framework of Rivera’s artistic process.More recently, Miguel Rivera was interviewed on the Art Speak Radio show on KKFI 90.1 FM.