Monthly Archives: May 2015

Throwback Thursday – KCAC Forum Dec 1977

KCAC Forum Newsletter Volume 3 Number 12 December 1977

Michael Walling

Lynda Benglis is probably better known here for her sensational ad in Artforum magazine a few years ago than for her work as an artist. The current show at the Douglas Drake Gallery should change that.  The show consists of seven recent sculptural wall pieces: four from her series of knots, plus three lagniappes, another series.

(“Lagniappe” is, I was told, a Creole term meaning, “a little something extra.”)

omnicronThe knots are made from tubular lengths of cloth that have been tied in knot-like configurations, coated with plaster to retain their shape, and sprayed with metallic paint.  The lagniappe series is also based on tubular form, but more decorative, smaller, and simpler.  The show is elegant and a little baffling.

Each piece is characterized by a particular gesture that distinguishes it from the others. It is , however, an unresolved gesture; one that leaves the work looking somewhat fragmentary and incomplete.  Should it be otherwise? I think not.  The content of the work and the process of forming is so inherently formless as to defy coherence, and deliberately so.

How formless can a piece of sculpture be and still have form? This is a question that Lynda Benglis appears to ask through her work.  it is not necessarily answered; to ask in a clever way is enough.  Plasticity is maintained through the twisted and convoluted nature of the forms. In these terms the work sustains itself,  connecting with tradition at the same time that it questions the relevance of tradition.3405275569bd2c6b7

Lastly, the work is by no means a dry, formal exercise.  An emotional response is evoked.  The individual pieces look, in fact, a bit wistful.  The viewer is called upon to complete the work.  The show closes November 20.


Tommy Frank

The KCAC Artist Lifestyle Project on Instagram starts up again tomorrow with our very first ceramic artist Tommy Frank (@teeefrank). In addition to being a talented and successful ceramic artist, Tommy is the Studio Manager at Red Star Studios since 2011. We are excited to get a behind the scenes view of his 3D world, so lets get started!

Tommy’s works question how America’s economic downturn has influenced the state of the world.  Viewers can often find humor in his works on the surface, but when they dig a little deeper they can see much more is there. Or, as Tommy says “I do not intend to make light of our circumstances, but hold true to Emily Dickinson’s words to “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.” ”

Here is a little sneak peak of what we will be seeing from Tommy over the next several days…

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We will following Tommy on his Instagram journey Thursday, May 28th – Tuesday, June 2nd, so be sure to tune into Tommy’s 3D adventures!

If you have missed any of our previous Artist Lifestyle Guest Artists you can always catch up on the KCAC Instagram (@kcartistscoalition) to see what has been happening or search the Instagram hashtags: #kcartistlifestyle #kcacartistlifestyle

Throwback Thursday – KCAC Forum Nov 1977

KCAC Forum Newsletter Volume 3 Number 11 November 1977


PhilomeneBennettHave you ever been asked to do this? — write a profile? It’s rather interesting because, first, you have nothing to say, then you have everything to say, then you realize very few care anyway!!

Well, here goes! I was born 42 years ago in Lincoln, Nebraska in the middle of the country to middle class, middle income, middle of the road Czech, catholic democrats.  I spend most of my childhood waiting to grow up.  I was the youngest of six, and what they were all doing was much more exciting to me.  Many hours were spent drawing and from a very early age my identity was that of an artist. In Blessed Sacrament School, I remember spending a lot of time decorating bulletin boards with religious scenes — Madonna heads, Christmas mangers, Easter and other feast days.   I had an easel in my bedroom and I remember everyone took the whole thing very seriously.

In the early fifties, I found myself in the art department at the University of Nebraska.  Those were the years when all academic learning in art was tailored by what was happening in New York.  I’m not sure it has changed much — but at that time, abstract expressionism was everything.  A freedom of thought was encouraged and alive, new concepts were introduced to me there.

One month after graduation, I was married and moved to Kansas City.  During those early years, I spent many hours painting at night because the hours during the day were spent with my five children.  it was a reasonable situation because I require a lot of attention and little sleep!

Eight years ago, I decided to get a studio outside the home.  I spent a year as Artist-in-residence at Rockhurst College: then moved to a studio at 45th and Bell – next to the river Quay; and last August moved to 616 Central, our present studio.

It has always seemed to me that making drawings and paintings has been an integral part of my being — almost a desperate nurturing to compensate for hurts and disappointments that life brings to all of us.  I want my work to be fun for me as I do it and for the viewer as they see it.  it’s fun fantasy and I push for extremes.  My work tends to move along according to my life movements – and difficult times seem to produce fun fantasy trips.  I never have traveled much and I suspect I never should.  Each painting is a trip and right now I must be going around the world because I’m working on a large 10 by 12 piece thats outa sight!!!

Bob Travaglione

The KCAC Artist Lifestyle Project on Instagram will continue tomorrow with long time KCAC member Bob Travaglione (@fotoedge). Bob has chosen a specific project to bring to us this week, so let’s jump right in…

” I did not pick Saint Joseph for a Photo Project. The Place grabbed me and kept pulling me back. From the first trip to Saint Joe in the early 1970’s I was addicted. When sleeping I dream of my walks through this wonderland of a preserved past time. Around every corner, I found a new View, a Treasure Chest of Images just waiting to be harvested and preserved.

Saint Joseph is in many ways an island of a City, an Oasis in the Midwestern Prairie. Usually Overlooked, Driven Around or Zipped Past on the Interstate. Some Folks just fly over this cluster of souls living in this ancient time capsule, having no idea of the treasures and stories that are just a short distance away. It exists on its own, once destined to be the Queen City on the Missouri River now just a fragile skeleton hoping for salvation and recognition. Saint Joseph is like a Fading and Aging Prom Queen. During the years of Confidence and Growing Commerce, Believers built an unbelievable City of Riches. With some Bad Luck and Poor Timing, the Dream Slipped away. This little city, was out on the Midwest Prairie all on its own. It was close to the emerging powerhouse – Kansas City, but isolated enough to develop its own flavor and identity without too much influence from the Mega City to the South.

Most days I love to drown myself in the Richness and Blur of Colors and Grittiness of the old town. Sights, Sounds, Taste, Smells, the Texture and Spirit of this Place and I try to grab it all through a lens. I want to snag and squeeze all the intensity and glow of the Place etching it in an image. Remember as a kid, you caught fireflies and put them in a bottle with holes cut through the lid for air? This is what I dream of capturing in my photographs, when I shut off the lights, I want the glow of the captured images to glow in my mind and I hope, in my audiences’ eyes. I find a common thread in my travel adventures in the NorthEast, South & Midwest. Once you leave the large city areas, you find the real texture and colors of these regions. There is so much peacefulness and friendly people along the Roadways. If you haven’t traveled the backroads, you will be in for a treat when you hit the road. The Old Roads that parallel the Interstates are rich with Interesting Textures, Smells, Signs, Folk Art, Fences, Landmarks, People, Politics, Grit, Foods, Crumbling Relics, Speed Traps, & just a Great Time! There are no Boring Places, it’s all about Attitude & Priorities! I have become aware with the passage of the years that the true, dedicated photographer is a lonely figure, hunting the image, always with a hair trigger finger on the shutter, Ready to pounce and capture the moment for eternity.”

Here is a little sneak peak of what we will be seeing from Bob over the next several days…

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The Kansas City artists keep on coming, so make sure to tune in and check out the talent that is right here in KC!

We will be following Bob on his Instagram journey Thursday, May 21st – Tuesday, May 26th, so be on the lookout for Bob’s photo skills this week!

Also be sure to check out Bob’s upcoming exhibition located at the Saint Joseph Museum starting in May 2015.

If you missed any of our previous Artist Lifestyle Guest Artists you can always catch up on the KCAC Instagram (@kcartistscoalition) to see what has been happening or search the Instagram hashtags: #kcartistlifestyle #kcacartistlifestyle