Monthly Archives: November 2016

beverly todd

We are slowly recovering after the holiday festivities and food over here, but that doesn’t stop the KC Artist Lifestyle crew from jumping right back in! This week we are getting a preview of our upcoming December exhibition with Mallin Gallery exhibitor Beverly Todd (@b.todd.arts). We are very excited to see what Beverly has in store for us and what little sneek peeks we will get of some of her paintings along the way. Her bright abstract paintings are just right to get us into the holiday spirit and liven up those blank gallery walls on December 9th. Follow along and then join us next Friday, December 9th from 6 – 8:30 pm for a chance to meet Beverly in person and see her artworks up close!

Through large-scale abstract painting, Beverly interprets nature, connects with ideas, and explores emotion. Her painting process includes, using hardware-store brushes, broken sticks, rags and her hands to move paint, to add layers, to pull back layers, to drip, scrape, wipe and pull the paint across the surface.

So, without further ado, here are a few words about Beverly and her work…

“I share what it has taken me a lifetime to understand.  Life is art. It moves us, in the deepest and most unconscious way.

What inspires me to create is using art as a translation, in color, shape, form and story-telling. It is painting how emotion feels.”

We are very excited to see what sorts of amazing things Beverly will be sharing with us on her Instagram journey, so here are a few images of her artwork and past Instagram photos…

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Be sure to follow Beverly on her KCAC Instagram story starting tomorrow Thursday, December 1st – Tuesday, December 6th!

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

chandra debuse

KC Artist Lifestyle is celebrating the Insta-holiday this week with Kansas City’s very own ceramic artist extraordinaire Chandra DeBuse (@chandradebuse). We ran across Chandra’s spectacular sculpture work several years ago at a Red Star Studio event and have been hooked ever since. Her playful imagery and bright colors have us smiling on the regular. We got so hooked on all things Chandra, we even follow her other insta-accounts @kcurbanpotters and @effindeebee! So, without further ado, here are a few words about Chandra and her work…

“My functional pottery incorporates narrative imagery, pattern and form to amuse and delight the user, imparting a sense of play.  My work, in practice and product, reflects my desire to escape through make-believe, which I identify through worlds of imagination with determined characters and landscapes of leisure.  I incorporate bouncing lines, candy colors, low relief and hand-drawn elements into my ceramic service ware, encouraging discovery and exploration. Illustrations of anthropomorphized animals and stylized humans employ exaggeration, humor, and metaphor to facilitate the viewer’s ability to relate to the narrative.

Patterns found within nature, such as tree bark, water waves, or flower petals are abstracted and simplified, ricocheting across forms.  My salt and pepper landscapes, treat servers, jars, plates, cups, and bowls become playscapes where pattern and/or character frolic, inviting human fingers to also roam the topography, seeking out their own morsels of delight.

Only through using each piece: holding and exploring it, can the whole image or pattern be seen.  When someone laughs at a character I’ve drawn, spills their drink because they were investigating the bottom of a cup, or finds joy in discovering a plump spoon nestled inside a pocket, I know the pots are successful.  Feelings of joy, delight, and amusement tickle the imagination and spark light-hearted behavior, resulting in an enriched life.”

We are very excited to see what sorts of amazing things Chandra will be sharing with us on her Instagram journey, so here are a few images of her artwork and past Instagram photos…

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Be sure to follow Chandra on her KCAC Instagram story starting tomorrow Thursday, November 24th – Tuesday, November 29th!

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

Throwback Thursday – KCAC Forum Magazine Jun 1992

KCAC Forum Magazine June 1992

by Michael J. Pronko

“Art on the computer” or “Computer Art,” which sounds better? “Computer art” brings to mind mathematical equations, x/y graphs, parabolas and rectangular grids, and more like math class.  “Art on the computer” sounds like the Mo wink or some kind of computerized collection of paintings used to print up T-shirts. Neither concept is accurate or current. Today, the computer is being used more and more to create fine art, and fine art it is.

Although finding mediocre art of any time is not difficult, the computer has generated, perhaps, more than its share of bad artistic work. But those early pieces were mainly simple plotings of mathematical formulas and usually done by computer programmers, not by artists. It was fine programming, but not fine art.

Now, with the spread of computers into almost every aspect of daily life, artists are finding this powerful technology helpful in creating art. Rather than simply using the computer to churn out mechanical patterns, artists are finding that the computer provides a marvelously new and almost limitless medium.  To talk with area artists and witness the possibilities and potential of the computer in art is truly an energizing experience.

More than being just another new medium, the computer offers completely new processes, requires new ways to thinking creatively and provides some totally new directions for art altogether. Art and technology have always interacted explosively, but is this an artistic revolution? if the tremendous changes brought by the computer in the past few years continue to take hold in the art world, we won’t have to wait long to find out.

Bill Crist, artist and professor of art at UMKC, initially used the computer in the early 70s strictly to help him design sculpture. Now, however, he works mainly on the computer, because “there are fewer roadblocks.” Colette and Jeff Bangert have collaborated since the late 60s on progressively more involved art works using the computer. According to Jeff, they use the computer “because of curiosity, a sense of play, but focused and goal-oriented.” Still the reasons for working on or with the computer are not so simply explained, nor is the process.

The computer is capable of expanding almost all dimensions for the creative process. Crist says, “The computer affects the three parts of creating: art history, aesthetic concerns, and the design; the natural part, getting inside nature, relating to nature; and the artist’s own creative urges and needs.” Each of these parts is expanded and more easily manipulated with the computer. One can literally have a complete set of historical and personal images, patterns, and designs in the files ready to use. The computer can allow an artist to explore a natural object more deeply. A giraffe or a piece of driftwood can be analyzed from any angle, inside or out. Notes Colette, “I can see things that I haven’t seen before and think things I haven’t though before.” The computer can increase the awareness of the artist’s needs by quickly allowing them to be examined by various changes easily accompanies by the computer.

The artist, then, is affected deeply. Colette continues, “Who an artist is changed, broadened, deepened. Using the computer is an eye-head thing, instead of an eye-head-hand thing.” Crist notes that although he misses the tactile feel of the objects, he also does not have to spend as much time, for example, polishing metal, waiting for glue to dry, or carrying out the physical manipulation of objects. The computer allows him to spend more time on the creating or the conceptualizing aspects of the art. He says, “I can play with a lot of things… that I could not do before [as a sculptor], and save each step to go back if I want.” An endless number of possibilities can be easily tried on the computer, without spending huge amounts of time just “manipulating material in mindless labor.” The role of the artist inside the artistic process is sharply re-defined and at least partially liberated.

An important possibility for Colette and Jeff Bangert is that they can more fully collaborate on a project. To somewhat oversimplify their method, Jeff primarily does the programming, while Colette does the printing. Still, it is not that simple, because an image can be worked and re-worked by both of them in different ways.  The computer is a catalyst and facilitator in the interactive process. this interaction tends to “break down a certain narcissistic tendency in the artist and creates another aspect of the artist’s being.” they look forward to possible collaboration with other computer artists in the future. “The computer has expanded our lives, and lives are what goes into art,” notes Colette. Still, even with such positive enhancements to the artistic process as the computer provides, it is easy to think of the computer as just another medium. But, Jeff disagrees, “It is not just another medium, it is not like another medium. It  is intelligent, complex, and time-consuming.” It does not simply expand already existing processes, but adds a totally new dimension. There is a complex interaction between artists and machine.

There are always variables which make each result unique. The Bangerts say they cannot predict the result of any programming very accurately because it is too complex. So, rather than computer mechanizing the artist, which many people fear, “I can humanize the technology by bringing my understanding of the creative process,” says Crist. The number of variables is multiplex by the computer making the number of possible results limitless.  This quantitative change in the process transforms itself into a qualitative change in the process.

Crist and the Bangerts emphasize the unpredictability of the outcome. The process becomes spontaneous in a very unique way.  it is not simply manipulation of images or a paint program but something altogether new and different. “The computer does generate surprises,”  says Bill Crist.  For example, in filling in space or creating a three-dimensional representation from several two-dimensional inputs, the computer leaves holes or fills in holes unpredictably. It blurs lines, it bleeds colors, it drops things out. That is not to say the computer acts irrationally in some human way, but rather that the unpredictability is increased tremendously by the power of the machine’s capabilities.

Some of the things the computer can do are just not possible to do any other way.  And those new things require a new way of seeing and a new way of thinking.

The computer can input any image and manipulate that image in countless ways. It can take two two-dimensional shapes, plot the cross-dimensional object and look at any of the interior surfaces from any distance. One can look from inside that object outward to see what that object might “see.” Also, the object can not fit only onto some other object but into that object as well. Using the computer, the artist can manipulate the object to fit into another object at any angle or position also.  The new object can then be rotated to see what it looks like from any angle, inside or out.  Changing the size, texture or color is also as easy as pressing a button.

Mathematical equations can also be plotted three-dimensionally and the resulting object viewed from any angle. The possibilities are indeed without limit both in number and degree of abstraction. The computer then is different because it is not an extension of the physical aspect of creating art, but is an extension of the mental-conceptual aspect. This is something new.

One finds oneself searching for similar changes in history, the change after the discovery of perspective, or after the printing press, or after photography or after motion pictures. Each of these changes was comparable to some change before it, but was also extremely different. With all of these changes, there was resistance to change. Certainly the same is true with computers.

It is somewhat doubtful that all art will be done on computers in the future or that entire shows will be on a disk, but the change for these artists personally is clearly profound.  As a result of using computers, “I’m totally different as an artist,” says Crist. The Bangerts concur that it has expanded their view of art and of themselves as artists incredibly. “Everybody has to give up something to get something,” says Jeff, but with computers you get a lot. “Change is the key ingredient to being human, to being alive, and computers have changed us a lot,” adds Colette. From these artists and indeed from anyone who uses computers to create, there is this sense of somewhat bewildering passion,a n almost embarrassing zest.

On a larger scale as well, computers have caused a huge social and cultural change, so there is no reason to think that the same will not continue to happen with art. the most advanced computer capabilities of fifteen years ago are now available and affordable for home use. Computers are already an essential component of almost all art school curriculum. That trend will only accelerate. And with the rapid advances in holography, animation and virtual reality, it is hard to even imagine the future possibilities.

But, more important perhaps even than those future developments, is the prospect that the computer will continue to profoundly change how we see the world. Art has always changed and reflected change in technology, but with computers humans will be able to see and visualize previously unimaginable possibilities. “You can see what you are imagining,” says Crist. Perhaps, then, we’ll even be able to see ourselves and our world more clearly, and maybe even more correctly.


steph kates

KC Artist Lifestyle is returning home this week with our newest Instagram takeover artist Steph Kates (@stephkates). Steph is a Kansas City-based artist working from her home studio. She earned her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University. We are very excited to share her incredible ceramic pieces with you over the next several days. Her playful images and line-work are something we think you will enjoy, so without further ado, here are a few words about Steph and her work from the artist herself…

“My first love has always been painting, but for the past two years I have been working in clay. Like my 2D work, my ceramics focus on pattern, line and contrast. I pull inspiration from fairy tales, nursery rhymes and mythology, creating illustrations and reinterpretations of iconic stories using sgraffito technique in the clay.

I hand-build my pottery, enjoying the organic look and feel. I love creating functional pieces intended to be used for eating and drinking. I find satisfaction creating objects that can be touched, felt and incorporated into daily life.”

SO, since we are very excited to see what sorts of amazing things Steph will be sharing with us on her Instagram journey, we wanted to share a few images of her artwork and past Instagram photos…

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Be sure to follow Steph on her KCAC Instagram story starting tomorrow Thursday, November 10th – Tuesday, November 15th!

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