First and Ten

Today is the first Friday of the month and in Kansas City that means that many of the local galleries are open for the art walk.

I stopped by the Belger Arts Center yesterday for a few reasons.  To begin, I like their story and their philosophy and their space.  Over the last few years I've appreciated so much the exhibits they've chosen and beyond that I like the people who are there.  The Belger is presenting a new show, "Beneath the Surface - Excavating the Belger Collection" in honor of its tenth anniversary.  The show features artists from the Belger's permanent collection including William T. Wiley (above) who came in to install his "Nomad is an Island," top.

William Christianberry's work focuses on his growing up in Hale County, Alabama.

The exhibit includes his sculpture, paintings and photography which capture the essence of rural poverty and decay, the menace of the Ku Klux Klan and the humor of trade signs that grace the buildings of the region.

This suite by Terry Winters is particularly powerful and the Belger has developed a nice way of displaying this portfolio to showcase its original book form while being able to see the individual prints.

The show includes a few etching by Jasper Johns, a favorite of mine, and it was a treat to see them so closely.

And.  And, I hate to add these as also-rans which is so not the case, it was just that Mo Dickens and I were so busy talking and looking that I did not take pictures, but Renee Stout, Ed Ruscha, Robert Stackhouse, Viola Frey and Terry Allen are there as well.  Allen's pieces are griping and wrenching in their raw post-Viet Nam ruminations.  They are painful and uncomfortable, still.

Information on the Belger, the full press release for the show and information about each of the artists are available on their site.  If you can't make it down tomorrow night (and the weather - oh, my gosh - it should be terrific) the show runs through August 6th.