Monthly Archives: June 2015

Throwback Thursday – KCAC Forum Apr 1978

KCAC Forum Newsletter Volume 4 Number 4 April 1978

by Colette Bangert

An art critic is anyone who writes or talks about a work of art.  When a critic says: “This work isn’t art, its like wallpaper.”, or, “It’s straight out of the underground comics!”, the critic isn’t trying to do a hatchet job on the artist’s work. Rather, the critic is trying to understand for herself or himself: “What’s going on here?”

People voice comments about everything: “There’s nothing to see at the movies tonight.”, “Deserts are a bore.”, or, “I could eat popcorn forever.” But artists are very serious people. Their work is not just a desert or popcorn.  “It’s like wallpaper.”, assumes greater critical importance when said in print than when exchanged as a comment between two friends.  Both an artist in a gallery and a critic in print are public.  Their work is exposed.  They are not just two friends trying to understand what the work of art is about.  The artist’s work and the critic’s words can influence and enlarge people’s understanding of art.

Artists know that their work communicates ideas, feelings and new things to see to other people. A positive or negative reaction to their work is communicated feed-back for the artist to consider.  Nothing, no comment, just total silence is real negative criticism.  The artist has not communicated well when the work provokes absolutely no response.  The work may be boring and bad.  Or the work may need a very special audience.  The work may be ahead of its audience, be very subtle or difficult to understand without preparation.

Critics are translators.  Critics attempt, like artists, to say what they think, feel and believe about the work of artists.  Problems arise from critics and artists because of the different languages uses. Critics, choosing work on which to focus their creative words, are being as personally creative as artists choosing a subject on which to focus their skills. Major problems can arise when a critic moves beyond translation.  When the art work is used as a source for the critic’s own creativity there is the danger that the artist’s work will be submerged within the creative prose.  Creative critical prose may be beautiful but by bypassing the work of the artist, the prose becomes another work of art.

Artists wish a critic or a friend to approach their work as they do, with the criticism beginning with their won creative premise, then suggesting whether or not the work deals successfully with their premise.  Artists give critics and friends a hard time because their premise isn’t clearly known to others.  Critics and friends give artists a hard time because artists think that the critic’s or friend’s understanding of visual art isn’t as soundly based or as unique and deep as theirs. Of course, some art is bad and of course some critics are not able to communicate personally about works of art without guidelines.  All critics aren’t Harold Rosenburg or one’s best friend.  All artists aren’t Paul Klee or Picasso.  Artists, critics and friends are people trying to communicate, be understood and grow with wisdom.

Artists, by taking a common sense view of a critic’s or a friend’s criticism of their art, will discover that criticism of their work is manageable.  As long as artists make art there will be people who attempt to understand and explain art.  Making art and the criticism of it are basic needs in people’s lives as are food and eating.  Some people eat meat and potatoes, others eat filet de boeuf roti and pommes de terre sautees a l’ail.  Some artists aspire to equal Cezanne, others Louise Nevelson.  Some critics are personal friends, other write for the New York Times or Art Forum.  Some people take time to cultivate a taste for olives and oysters, Duccio and Morandi, and others never do.

Genevieve Flynn

We hope you are loving the KCAC Artist Lifestyle Project on Instagram because we are starting it all up again tomorrow with our very first metal smith and jewelry artist Genevieve Flynn (@jewelarinaflynn)!

Genevieve is a long time KCAC Member and has participated in numerous exhibitions here at KCAC as well as across the world. Genevieve began her metals career in 1975 and is a self taught jeweler whose work is often inspired by nature and wildlife.

“The mysteries of nature’s designs have always intrigued me. The beauty of natural botanical lines lend themselves to contemporary form and functionality. As an artist I take liberties with the natural form while trying to maintain the purity of nature’s art.”

We are looking forward to seeing what a day in the life of Genevieve Flynn looks like as she begins her #KCACArtistLifestyle journey. Here is a little look at what she will be sharing with us over the next few days…

Flynn_Genevieve_Photo-1_AL_6_15      Flynn_Genevieve_Photo-2_AL_6_15      Flynn_Genevieve_Photo 3_AL_6_15

Make sure to follow Genevieve on her KCAC Instagram journey Thursday, June 25th – Tuesday, June 30th!

Also, be sure to see two of Genevieve Flynn’s works in the upcoming KCAC re:MEMBERS Exhibition that runs July 10th – August 20th, 2015 and join us for the opening reception Friday, July 10th from 5 – 8:30 pm.

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 Mar 1978

KCAC Forum Newsletter Volume 4 Number 3 March 1978


I am a transplanted Midwesterner.  In August 1970, I arrived here in Kansas City in a rented truck with my wife Anne, and our three children. In retrospect, it now appears that we had been working our way gradually westward; beginning in New York, then stopping for a few years in such places as Oxford, Ohio and Bloomington, Indiana before finally arriving in Kansas City.  Having grown up in New Jersey, I’m sure that I had been an Easterner to long to ever feel that I could be something else, regardless of where I lived.  Easterners tend to cling to that label, and I would hardly consider myself an exception.

I attended college during the era of the so-called “Silent Generation.” That term is seldom heard today. It was used to describe those of us who were college students during the Eisenhower years.  We probably were silent. Particularly, in contrast with the period of campus unrest and violence that followed us in the 1960’s.  As an undergraduate at Amherst College the only demonstration that I can remember occurred when a small group of students carrying placards and chanting, “We want Coolidge!” marched outside the library building.  The college had removed the bust of Calvin Coolidge (an alumnus) from the main reading room of the library and replaced it with one of Robert Frost. Obviously, relevance was not an issue then.

I have always thought that I learned something at Amherst, but I have never been sure what it was.  Why not irrelevance? I think I could make a case for that.  Whatever — it was more an attitude than a discipline.  After graduation, having studied very little art, I decided to become an artist.

It had been a circuitous route since.  But here I am on a bright, cold Sunday morning in Kansas City trying to put something down that will have meaning as a PROFILE in FORUM 5. As things have gone in my adult life I have been a teacher as much as I have been anything.  I like teaching — it has provided structure and meaning for me.  It is good, I think, to have contact with young people who aspire to be artists. I see the Artists Coalition in a similar way; as a continuing educational experience, but apart form the the educational institution. Aspirations and energy exist within the membership of the Coalition, and, maybe, a little anger, too.

I remember describing myself at a Coalition meeting not so long ago as a “bougeois” painter.  That was good for a laugh, but I was serious.  your are what you paint, and I am middle class – not only middle class, but East Coast, suburban, potted Ivy League, White, Angle-Saxon, middle class.  How do you put that in a painting, and particularly in a visually coherent way?

I haven’t come up with the answer yet.  I look to other artists, both living and dead.  I think that I can fairly say that I haven’t seen a great painting that I didn’t like – so many allegiances shift somewhat from time to time.  But some artists convey int heir art a sensibility that strikes a particularly resonant chord for me. Manet is such an artist; Van Dyck would be another.

I also look to experience – to the perceived experience of the world of tangible things.  I usually work directly from observation.  Painting for me is not only a matter of making something, but also, a matter of responding to something in the world outside the painting.

Kate E. Burke

KCAC Artist Lifestyle Project on Instagram is here again and we are excited to announce textile artist Kate E. Burke (@kate_e_burke)!

Kate is fresh off of her third appearance on the West 18th Street Fashion Show runway and is on route for a mini vacation in Arkansas this week. Images from her #KCACArtistLifestyle project will be a variety of inspiration from her travels as well as her day to day art making process.

Kate’s fibers and accessories capture fleeting emotions and thoughts and turns them into permanent reflections of daily life using drawing, watercolor, beads, sequins, fabric, textile, illustration and embroidery. She has exhibited her body of works on fabric pieces, fashion accessories, textiles and watercolors on paper in galleries through out the Kansas City area.

Born in Arizona to an Air Force family, Burke spent her youth in England and Kansas. She received her BFA from the University of Kansas in Graphic Design and has studied abroad in England and Italy.

We are very excited to see what inspires Kate and watch the art making process unfold for her on her #KCACArtistLifestyle journey. Here is a little peak into what she will be sharing with us over the next few days…

Burke_Kate_Image 1_RE_6_15   Burke_Kate_Image 2_RE_6_15   Burke_Kate_Image 5_RE_6_15

Make sure to follow Kate on her KCAC Instagram journey Thursday, June 18th – Tuesday, June 23rd!

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