KCAI CROSSROADS GALLERY:
CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE
In 2015, Margaret Silva; alumna, former board member, and longtime supporter of the Kansas City Art Institute, generously gifted 1819 Grand Boulevard, the building that housed Grand Arts for 20 years, to KCAI. The facilities include two galleries, a large cross-disciplinary studio and an artist-in-residence apartment. Renamed KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice, the space provides an exciting opportunity for the college to be a part of the popular Crossroads Arts District. We envision programs that expand the academic curriculum by offering students a cooperative and cross-disciplinary learning environment. The site will also be the location for a new KCAI artist-in-residence program. Director Michael Schonhoff will guide the site’s programs, while a faculty group, the Center for Contemporary Practice Committee, will build the curricula for this location.
EVERY STREET IS CHARLOTTE STREET PRESENTS WORK BY MAX KEY AND SONIÉ JOI THOMPSON-RUFFIN
In association with Charlotte Street Foundation’s Every Street is Charlotte Street program, the KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice is pleased to present two exhibits opening June 2 and running through August 4.
Max Key is a 2005 Charlotte Street Award Fellow and alumni (’96 painting) of the Kansas City Art Institute. The exhibition features two new large-scale paintings. In regards to these works Key states:
“My paintings are meta-landfills. Wads of waste. Chewed mounds of collapsing leftovers and juicy catastrophes. It is in our culture of excess and gluttony where I find inspiration and the desire to find beauty and color in that blurry gray area between ‘need’ and ‘want.'”
The second exhibit Revolutionary Awakening features the work of Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin with Glenn North, poet, & filmmaker, Rodney M. Thompson. The exhibition features two series of works. The first, in conversation with written words by Glenn North, presents three new works by Ruffin reflecting on what has, or has not, changed in contemporary society as it relates to social activism. The second, My Mother’s Club: March On Kansas City, is a major work being debuted. Inspired by the history of African American women’s social clubs in Kansas City, these works are presented in tandem with the documentary film, My Mother’s Club, by Rodney M. Thompson.
Please join us for the opening reception of both exhibits on June 2 from 6-8 p.m.
Born in Dubuque, Iowa, Schonhoff’s experience as an arts professional extends nationally including projects involving exhibitions, collections, living artists, and publications. Curatorial projects include The Position We’re In, KCAI: Crossroads Gallery, Center for Contemporary Practice, Sunday Painter: Kansas City Plein Air Coterie, Greenlease Gallery at Rockhurst University, You’re Such A Good Sport, Paragraph Gallery, Charlotte Street Foundation, Black & Blue, University of South Dakota, and Colleen Burner, The Skin That Forms On The Surface, Project Wall, H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute. He is the co-founder of Kunstraum KC, an artists’ studio initiative located in Kansas City, Missouri and currently, he serves as the Director of KCAI Gallery.
His artwork has been presented in solo and group exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally and his works appear in numerous public and private collections including the Nerman Museum of Art at Johnson County Community College, the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University, the John and Maxine Belger Family Foundation in Missouri, AGB Graphics Collection in Wisconsin, and the Studio Place Arts in Vermont. Schonhoff also completed a studio residency at takt kunstprojektraum in Berlin, Germany through the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program and a curatorial residency at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, through KCAI.
As a musician and songwriter Schonhoff has written, toured, and recorded with the bands Male Nurse, Boba Fettish, Welton Founder, startruck, and thee DEVOTION.
Schonhoff earned his MFA in Visual Art at the State University of New York at Buffalo receiving an academic art scholarship. His BFA was completed at Iowa State University where he was awarded the Helen Beresford/Frances Seeds Scholarship in Art. He lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri.