Three Art Events Not to Miss in August

Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin. Photo by Corie English

Now What? at the Leedy-Voulkos Gallery

After the Harlem Renaissance, the two terms of our first Black president, the furor over George Floyd’s death, and the founding of Black Lives Matter, we might well ask “Now what?”

In answer, over 30 Black creatives with ties to the Kansas City area gather their poetry, sculpture, paintings, dance, and music focused on the Black experience from yesterday, today, and what they envision for tomorrow.

Curated by acclaimed artist Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin, the exhibit runs through August 26, after which Thompson-Ruffin’s own contemporary fabric art will be on display. The collective aims to foster an inclusive and engaging environment, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the profound stories and experiences conveyed through various art forms.

Cool Summer Jazz on the Lawn

The Kansas City Museum has reopened after recovering from water damage inside the museum, and that includes the concerts on the lawn. 

On Friday evening, August 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. the Clayton DeLong Trio will perform, with Clayton DeLong taking the lead on guitar.

Born in California but raised in Kansas City, DeLong began playing the violin at age 12. After receiving a guitar for Christmas when he was 16, he immediately began pursuing a career as a guitarist. Working toward a degree in jazz guitar at The University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music., he studied under Kansas City greats such as Rod Fleeman, Danny Embrey, Doug Niedt, Michael Pagan, and Bobby Watson. 

Today that dream has come true and he performs in several bands in several musical genres.

Tickets are $5 per adult in advance, $10 at the gate, which opens at 6:30 p.m.

Click here for ticket and performance information. 

Chill Out at Blue Gallery’s Summer Exhibition

It’s hot. It’s August. And the perfect time to escape the heat to nose around a gallery specializing in contemporary art. 

Here is a sampling of the artists and works on view:

Jamie Chase works in acrylic on canvas or panel, giving the female figure a geometric form in subdued or vibrant colors because “image-making has such deep roots in the human psyche,” he says.

Joe Ramiro Garcia employs images from cartoons, animals, and objects in his work. He doesn’t believe in creating a specific narrative, but rather how we project our own stories onto these objects. 

If you look out of the plane window flying over the Midwest, the patchwork quilt of fields will be a familiar pattern in the work of Karen Mattheis, who punches it up with color and more abstract form.

Kansas City’s Kelly Porter, the artist behind Porter Teleo’s hand-painted wallpaper, shows original acrylic works with her hallmark contemporary flower imagery.

Go see them all for yourself.  Blue Gallery’s Summer Exhibition goes through August 26.