Visiting Critic and Curator Program

History of the program

Initiated in 2000 through support from the Missouri Arts Council, the Visiting Critic and Curator Program (VCCP) is designed to engage Kansas City artists in a dialogue with nationally recognized curators and critics. Hosted on a biennial basis by the Artspace, VCCP invites submissions through an open call to artists as well as submissions from Kansas City artists and M.F.A. and B.F.A. candidates in their final year.

VCCP invites a nationally recognized critic or curator –– alternating between critic and curator for each program –– to select a group of Kansas City artists for individual studio visits and discussions in Kansas City. The program opens up a dialogue between a Kansas City artist and a critic or curator from outside of the region and exposes the visiting critic or curator to the dynamic contemporary arts scene in Kansas City. The Artspace organizes a public lecture by the visiting critic or curator as the culmination of the program.

The 2014 visiting curator is David Everitt Howe (left), a Brooklyn-based independent critic and curator. He received his B..F.A. degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design and his M.A. degree in modern art from Columbia University. Recent curated performances, exhibitions and screenings include "Antifreeze" at Abrons Arts Center (2014); Julie Zando and Abigail Child at MoMA PS1 (2013); Derek Jarman's "Blue" at Judson Church (2013); Einat Amir and Jonathan VanDyke for Performa 09 and 13, respectively; Yve Laris Cohen's "Duet" and Bryan Zanisnik's "Every Inch a Man" at Abrons Arts Center (2011); "Chancing It" at 47 Canal (2011); and Paul Branca's "Waitings" at Scaramouche (2011). His writing has appeared in The Village Voice, Art Papers, Art in America, Flash Art International, Modern Painters, Paper Monument, Frieze, Kaleidoscope, Mousse, Afterall and ArtReview, where he is a contributing editor. He is a curator for the New York Performance Artists Collective, where he is working on a project with Dynasty Handbag at The Kitchen; and also at Participant Inc, where he is organizing a solo exhibition of new work by Emily Roysdon, to open in January 2015.


Previous visiting critics and curators include Michael Pittari, former editor of Art Papers in Atlanta; Amada Cruz, director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.; Kathryn Hixon, editor of New Art Examiner, formerly published in Chicago; Anne Pasternak, director of Creative Time in New York; James Elaine, curator of Hammer Projects at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; and Stuart Horodner, director of the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art and Dean Daderko, curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

Kansas City Flatfile

The first "Kansas City Flatfile" exhibition was held at the Artspace in 2001 in conjunction with the "Pierogi Flatfiles" exhibition featuring flatfiles from Joe Amrhein's Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y. The "Kansas City Flatfile" has since become a biennial invitational exhibition featuring a wide range of work by emerging and established artists from the Kansas City area.

The exhibitions include two-dimensional work in various media including drawing, photography, print, painting and mixed media. All of the work is contained in individual portfolios enclosed in flatfile cabinets. Visitors are invited to browse the files and handle the work, which offers a unique and personal viewing experience. In addition, the exhibition includes a videofile featuring a variety of time-based work which viewers can select and watch at their leisure.

Throughout the exhibitions guest curators from the Kansas City area and surrounding region are invited to curate temporary salon-style presentations from the flatfiles. The "Kansas City Flatfile" exhibitions have a studio-like characteristic for the participating artists and the public and encourage a natural exchange of ideas and practices through a hands-on approach.

The Kansas City Flatfile provides an opportunity for a wide range of Kansas City artists to show their work to an equally diverse audience, which often includes arts professionals and collectors in the Kansas City area and beyond. Artists are invited to participate and submission to the Artspace's Visiting Critic and Curator Program places artists on this list.

June 7– September 27, 2014
2014 Kansas City Flatfiles

Pictured at left: Artist, alumna and Greenlease Gallery director
Anne Austin Pearce reviews an artist portfolio with a Rockhurst student.