Current Perspectives

The Kansas City Art Institute is pleased to announce the fall 2014 lineup of artists, designers and scholars who will speak as part of the college's "Current Perspectives" series.

Unless otherwise noted, all lectures are free and open to the public and will be held at 7 p.m. Thursdays in Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.

Fall 2014

Sept. 11: Julie Malen

Julie Malen collages photographs with natural fragments and cultural debris in mixed media installations to create the dizzying feeling of moving through many places and histories at once. She completed her B.F.A. degree at the Kansas City Art Institute in 2009 and received an M.F.A. degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including: the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Paragraph Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri; The Clay Studio in Philadelphia; and the Museum of International Ceramic Art in Middelfart, Denmark. 

Malen has participated in numerous artist residencies including: the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project in Kansas City; the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont; Mildred’s Lane in Narrowsburg, New York; the International Ceramics Research Center in Skaelskor, Denmark; and The International Ceramics Studio, Kecskemét, Hungary. She is a fall semester 2014 instructor for the Kansas City Art Institute ceramics department and has been awarded a residency at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, Colorado for winter 2015.
Pictured: "Erratic Boulders;" Julie Malen; 2014 installation; ink jet prints on canvas, ceramic, granite, foam, wood, video, ready-mades; 10 inches by 21 inches by 10 inches.
Artist's website

Sept. 18: David Everitt Howe

David Everitt Howe is 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 Ponument, Frieze, Kaleidoscope, Mousse, Afterall and ArtReview where is a contributing editor.

Howe is a curator for the New York Performance Artists Collective (NYPAC), 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, opening in January.
Pictured: David Everitt Howe


Sept. 25: Karyn Olivier

Information to come.

Oct. 2: Marilyn Lysohir

"Victor Babu," a new documentary produced by Marilyn Lysohir, will be screened.
Babu, who taught in the KCAI ceramics department from 1968 to 2001, is an important figure in contemporary ceramics. This film offers a rare glimpse into the retired professor’s special world of art and philosophy. He is well known for his teaching and for his large, ornately decorated porcelain wares, which exhibit exquisite beauty and technical virtuosity. The film documents Babu working in his studio in 1993 and discussing his completed chargers on display at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in 2008
The film was shot and produced by Marilyn Lysohir, who hails from Moscow, Idaho. An artist, clay is her preferred medium, and her monumental sculptures and installations can be seen in major ceramic publications and collections. She is also the founder and owner of Cowgirl Chocolates, based in Idaho and marketed in the United States, Canada and Europe. She graduated from Ohio Northern University and holds an M.F.A. degree from Washington State University. Lysohir has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute, New York State College at Alfred, Ohio State University, University of Idaho and WSU. 
Pictured: Marilyn Lysohir's Cowgirl Chocolates promotion – Marilyn Lysohir, Head Cowgirl
Artist's website

Oct. 9: Alejandro Thornton

Born in Buenos Airies, Argentina, Alejandro Thornton graduated at the National School of Fine Arts "Prilidiano Pueyrredón." Thornton's work revolves around word and image, covering both painting as well as graphic, visual poetry. He explores the conventions of language and communication to produce unique and new meanings in his work. Thornton has been featured in a number of solo shows in Argentina and Chile, and his work has been selected for a number of awards internationally. 
Pictured: "A#22," Alejandro Thornton, 2011, acrylic, 59.1 inches by 59.1 inches. 
Artist's website





Oct. 16: Helen O'Leary

Artist Helen O’Leary was born in County Wexford, Ireland and studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. She continued her studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a B.F.A. degree in 1987 and an M.F.A. degree in 1989. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. She joined the faculty of the School of Visual Arts at Penn State in 1991 and is currently a Professor of Art there.

She has participated in group exhibitions around the world, including at the National Gallery of Art in Limerick, Ireland; the Glasgow Museum of Art in Scotland; the Scott Pfaffman Gallery in New York City; the Galerie le Petit Port in Leiden, The Netherlands; the Contemporary Arts Centre in Sydney, Australia; and in Shanghai, China. The Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago; the Michael Gold Gallery in New York City; the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia; The Beverly Art Centre in Chicago; the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi, India; the Kerlin Gallery in Dublin, and the Catherine Hammond Gallery in Cork, Ireland, are among the many venues that have mounted solo exhibitions of her work.

Helen O’Leary’s art has been honored with two Pollock-Krasner awards (1989, 1996) and a Joan Mitchell Award for painting and sculpture ((2000); several grants from the Arts Council of Ireland; residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Monaghan, Ireland, and the Fundacion Valparaiso in Almeria, Spain and most recently both the Culturel Irlandaise and Guggenheim fellowships. She has also been a visiting artist in Ireland, at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, GMT Galway, and the University of Limerick; in Scotland, at the University of Glasgow; in Australia, at Edith Cowen University in Perth and Victoria College of the Arts in Melbourne; as well as at several universities in the United States.

Long interested in the relationship between language and literature and art, she will be spending her Guggenheim Fellowship term in New York, Paris and Berlin where she hopes to further explore the texts and letters of Samuel Beckett and shape her material response to them.
Pictured: "The Geometry of Orange," Helen O'Leary, 2014, egg oil on constructed wood, 9 inches by 10 inches by 2 inches.
Artist's website

Oct. 23: Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner is the author of three books of poetry: "The Lichtenberg Figures" (2004), "Angle of Yaw" (2006) and "Mean Free Path" (2010) – all published by Copper Canyon Press. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry, a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, a Howard Foundation Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow. In 2011 Lerner became the first American to win the Preis der Stadt Münster für Internationale Poesie. His first novel, "Leaving the Atocha Station" (Coffee House, 2011) won The Believer Book Award and was named a best book of the year by The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Guardian and The New Statesman, among other publications. His second novel, "10:04," will be published by Faber/FSG this fall. He lives and teaches in Brooklyn. 
Pictured: Ben Lerner




Oct. 30: Bruce Willen

Information to come.

Nov. 13: Peter Plagens

Peter Plagens is a painter and art critic. He’s shown his work with the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York since 1974, and was also art critic for Newsweek (1989-2003). His work was the subject of a retrospective in 2004-2005 at the Fisher Museum at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles; the exhibition traveled to Columbia College in Chicago, and the Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio. He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (painting), the National Endowment for the Arts (painting, art criticism), The Andy Warhol Foundation / Creative Capital (arts writing) and the National Arts Journalism Program.

Plagens is the author of two books of art criticism — "Sunshine Muse: Art on the West Coast, 1945-70" and "Moonlight Blues: An Artist’s Art Criticism" — as well as a novel, "Time for Robo." His online novel, "The Art Critic," was published as an e-book by Hol Art Books in 2012, and his monograph, Bruce Nauman: The True Artist, was published by Phaidon in May 2014. Currently, Plagens writes the a bi-weekly art-review column for The Wall Street Journal. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter Laurie Fendrich.
Pictured: Study 3 for "I Wish I Had a Deeper Rudder," Peter Plagens, 2013, mixed media on panel, 20 inches by 16 inches.
Artist's website