Monthly Archives: June 2017

Throwback Thursday – KCAC Forum Winter 1998

KCAC Forum Magazine Winter 1998

by Richard Scherubel

I live just up the river from Kansas City in St. Joseph, MO. Our town is justly proud of its many fine old homes and other historic buildings. One of the finest mansions has become our own art museum, the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. People who have lived here longer than I persist in pronouncing Albrecht as “ALL-BRITE.” I have never heard a completely believable story about that, but it seems to have something to do with not wanting to sound German during the World War Years. Now there seems to be a movement to restore the correct pronunciation (“ALL BRECKT”).

The home that houses our museum was built in 1933 for William Albrecht, who founded the Western Tablet and Stationery Company, maker of the Big Chief Tablet. The original Indian head, which appears on old Big Chief tablets, is carved over the mantle of the fireplace on the lower level of the house. Much of the original wood work and paneling are in place,

In 1965, descendants of Albrecht gave the Colonial/Georgian style mansion at 2818 Frederick Avenue to the St. Joseph Art League, a ladies’ art study group. The Art League had already begun developing an art collection in 1913 with the purchase of A Venetian Balcony by William Merritt Chase. On May 6, 1966, Wayne Thiebaud was invited to show his work at the inaugural exhibition.

The permanent collection has continued to grow over the years. It now includes one of the best Midwestern collections of American art from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Included are portraits by George Caleb Bingham Rembrandt Peale, Gilbert Stuart, Mary Cassatt and Fairfield Porter. There are also landscapes by George Inness, Martin J. Heade, Fitz Hugh Lane and Wolf Kahn, as well as other works by George Catlin, Thomas Hart Benton, Wayne Thiebaud, Janet Fish, Robert Stackhouse, Jacob Lawrence, Debbie Butterfield, and Red Grooms, to name just a few.

Beginning in 1990, plans were developed to expand the house with major new gallery, storage, library and auditorium spaces. The building project was made possible in part by the generosity of long-time fiends Mary Boder and R. Crosby Kemper. The Duncan Architects firm has successfully wedded the modern, 21,000 square-foot addition to the original building.

Of course, not all of the extensive permanent collection can be displayed at once. A major portion of the large, new, open-space gallery is reserved for temporary and traveling exhibitions. Recent exhibitions included

  • William Christenberry: Retrospective, 1994
  • Lorna Simpson: Wigs, 1995
  • Native American Baskets: The Hartman Collection, 1996
  • A Study in Contrast: Prints of Warhol and Oldenburg, 1996
  • William Wegman: Paintings, Photographs Drawings and Video, 1996 (originated at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum, now on tour)
  • and its current show, William T. Wiley: 60 Works for 60 Years

William Wiley was present at the Museum’s winter open house to inaugurate the exhibition of prints, including some created in the summer of 1997 that have not been exhibited before.

Much of the credit for the strong exhibition schedule belongs to Mark Spencer, director of the Museum since 1994. Before accepting his current position, Spencer served as curator of the art collection of Yellow Freight System in Overland Park, KS. His resume shows an impressive history of curating, directing, teaching and publishing.

In addition to collecting and showcasing works of art the Albrecht-Kemper offers art classes for children and adults, as well as gallery talks, film series and performances. The Bradley Art Reference Library contains 2,500 volumes, plus periodicals. There is also a quality gift shop located near the museum entrance.

Membership in the museum has mushroomed with the completion of the new building addition. Many of the new members are artists who look forward to showing their work in the unjuried “Members Exhibition” held each February. I know I do.

There are many good reasons to visit historic St. Joseph. The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art is certainly one of the top attractions, and belongs on everyone’s must see list.


The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art is located at 2818 Frederick Boulevard, west of I-29 and East of Noyes Boulevard, in St. Joseph. The Museum is open 10 AM to 4 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 4 PM Sunday. It is closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, Easter, July 4 Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission for adults 18 and over is $3; under 18 and students with valid ID, $1 under 12 and members are admitted free. All guests are admitted free on Sundays. Group rates are available. For more information, call the museum information desk at (816) 233-7003

jill gapczynski

KCAC Artist Lifestyle Project is back this week with guest artist Jill Gapczynski (@jillgapczynski_art). Jill came to us several weeks ago and asked us if she could jump into the Artist Lifestyle rotation. We took one look at her stunning photos and beautiful abstract paintings and said “Absolutely!”. Jill received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and upon graduation has spent time as a Graphic Designer at Hallmark Cards, doing freelance graphics work and mixing in some fun exhibitions and pop up shops along the way! We are very excited to learn more about Jill and her art world through the KCAC Instagram lens with everyone else this week.

SO, without further ado, here are a few words about Jill, her work and her method:

“The relationships in my life have been a main source of inspiration. They inform the color palettes, textures and movements in my work. My abstract paintings reflect both my self-awareness and my awareness of others. Paint and the way it moves on the canvas, the push and pull, the light and dark, the thick and thin, all convey a sense of how I interact with the world and others. My work is a representation of change—change in the interpersonal relationships in my life.”

We are thrilled to see what Jill has in store for us! Here are a few images of her artwork and past Instagram photos to get things kicked off…

Gapczynski_Jill_Image-1_AL_6_17     Gapczynski_Jill_Image-2_AL_6_17     Gapczynski_Jill_Image-3_AL_6_17

Be sure to follow Jill on her KCAC Instagram journey starting tomorrow Thursday, June 29th – Tuesday, July 4th!

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 Spring 1998

KCAC Forum Magazine Spring 1998

by Deanne Pearson

Welcome to the latest issue of Forum. As editor, I’m still tweaking the format, adjusting the deadlines and trying to find a way to talk about what’s happening in Kansas City area galleries and art spaces with a small budget, a band of faithful freelance reviewers, and a busy personal schedule.

But together, we’re doing it.

In these pages, you’ll find reviews written by everyday people. Perhaps some are just like you. All of Forum’s reviewers write about art in their spare time. Some have “real jobs” where they write about other stuff. Others work in offices around town. A couple are visual artists themselves. One is retire, another is an art professor at CMSU. Me, I work in the communications department of a nonprofit organization. Several of us studied art or art history in college, but others have no formal training and enjoy learning as they go.

Regardless of our pasts and our presents, we all enjoy visiting local galleries and art spaces, meeting local artists, and sharing what we find through our reviews in these pages.

So take a minute. Read the reviews. See what we think.

Then go out and experience art for yourself. Pick a gallery or art space and stop in. Most are free, and all welcome visitors. Walk around the works and think about what they say – what they remind you of, what they look like, how they make you feel. If you have questions, ask them. Don’t be afraid – you won’t be asked to buy anything, and even if you find art  you wouldn’t want to take home, or even if you think something is downright ugly, it’s still art. Take  pleasure in knowing that you’ve tried it and you’re a richer person for it.

After all, art is out there too be looked at and experienced. If no one sees it, it’s like a book that isn’t read or a film that never leaves the canister. All are valid expressions of an individual; all are worthwhile results of work and labor. But if no one looks at, reads or watches them, they can’t enrich the culture and the community at large.

Art is for experiencing. Go out and try some today. You’ll be glad you did.

lisa ferro-ryan

Happy Summer Solstice to all of our awesome friends! To celebrate the beginning of all things summer, we are kicking it off with a brand new artist for the KCAC Artist Lifestyle Project! This week we are happy to jump into the world of local artist Lisa Ferro-Ryan (@lisaryancreates). Lisa’s work popped up on our feed several weeks ago as we went down the social media rabbit hole and we just HAD to invite her to join in on all the KCAC Instagram fun. Her playful images and bright colors are the perfect way to welcome summer to all our awesome followers!

SO, without further ado, here are a few words about Lisa, her work and her method:

“I fell in love with mixed media because it’s so messy and playful. I enjoy all the stages if it so much. I like getting my fingers in the glue and then playing with the layers of paint and other media to see where I can go with the painting. Most of the time I don’t have a plan, but I abstract a form that I see from the paint and papers. When I do have an image already in my mind I still work with the layers of media pulling out the images that I find like pictures that you see in the clouds. When I am painting I lose myself in the work and my only focus is on figuring out the puzzle in front of me and the story that wants to be told comes out every time. ”

We are very excited to see what Lisa has in store for us! Here are a few images of her artwork and past Instagram photos to get things kicked off…

Ryan_Lisa_Image-1_AL_6_17    Ryan_Lisa_Image-2_AL_6_17    Ryan_Lisa_Image-3_AL_6_17

Be sure to follow Lisa on her KCAC Instagram journey starting tomorrow Thursday, June 22nd – Tuesday, June 27th!

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