February 3rd – March 25th, 2017
E.G. Schempf: Pedestal View
Sherry Leedy: The Weight of Light
Blue: Doug Freed, Carl Corey, Jane Booth, Chris St. Leger, Mary Ann Standell, Jun Kaneko, Barbara Rogers, Michiko Itatani, Cary Esser, Jason Pollen, Karen Kunc
Art and the art-world depend heavily on photo documentation and the ability of the photographer to masterfully capture the essence of a work of art in a single image. In most instances photographs of artwork are more widely seen than the actual artwork itself and fully represent much of the art we know. E.G. Schempf is a master photographer of this world.
Since the 1970’s, Schempf has been photographing the evolution of the arts in Kansas City. He has known hundreds of artists, museum curators and directors, and documented individual artist’s work as well as rare museum artifacts. It’s not an exaggeration to say that when we think of the Kansas City art scene we are basing our impression on the photographs of E.G. Schempf.
Most comfortable behind the camera, photographing artwork by others, Pedestal View, will be E.G. Schempf’s first exhibition of his own photographs. Composed of images taken in artist’s studios and galleries, often behind the scenes, Pedestal View gives us insight into the artist photographers’ vocation. Taken together these beautifully composed photographs form a portrait of the photographer. Pedestal View reveals the keen eye behind the camera and notices what is often overlooked – the tools of the trade, light falling across an empty room, and the small details of all the stages of preparation for a photo shoot. The photographer’s tripod, empty pedestals and color chart serve as a metaphor for the artist himself.
E.G. Schempf is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute. His photographs have been published in virtually every major art publication as well as museum publications from every major Kansas City museum including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.
“My pastel drawings are based on direct observation and seek to tell a visual story about the beauty and depth of life around me, made precious by the truth of its transitory nature. I am interested in what is discovered and revealed during the process of slow looking over a long period of time, as the drawing evolves, creating itself, slowly, mark-by-mark.”
- Sherry Leedy
Sherry Leedy is best known for her day job as Director and Curator of Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art. Few know that she works the night shift drawing in her studio with soft pastels on paper.
Her drawings are connected to the long and rich tradition of Vanitas and the symbolic meaning of objects. Often loaded with personal meaning, the visual power of Leedy’s drawings resides in form, pattern, color, light, rhythm and line. In the over 30 years that Leedy has owned her gallery, this is her first one- person exhibition in the space she calls her own.
Leedy holds a BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute and a MFA from the University of Kansas. Her work is in the collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; the Los Angeles County Museum, LA, CA; University of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff; First National Bank, Columbia, MO; AT&T, Kansas City, MO and others.
The exhibition BLUE explores the use of the color by eleven artists in a variety of media ranging from ceramics, painting, printmaking, and fiber.
BLUE taken for granted today did not exist in the ancient world. The color blue came into being about 4500 years ago when the Egyptians began making pigments from the deep blue semi-precious stone, lapis lazuli. Before that time, there was no word for blue and no mention of the color in any written text. Slowly the expensive and rare Egyptian pigments began to travel around the world and blue, due to its rarity and expense, became the color of royalty, and in 431 AD, it became the official color of the Virgin Mary’s robe.
Ancient Egyptians believed that blue was the color of the heavens and, hence the universe. It was also associated with water and the Nile. Thus, blue was the color of life, fertility and rebirth. Today blue is commonly available and it’s almost impossible to imagine its absence. It is still a color associated with the heavens, innocence, trust, manual labor workers and, since 2000, the Democratic Party.
BLUE features artists Jane Booth, Jun Kaneko, Karen Kunc, Jason Pollen, Barbara Rogers, Cary Esser, Michiko Itatani, Doug Freed, Christopher St. Leger, Carl Corey, and Mary Ann Strandell.