Four Art Events You Should Not Miss in February

TEDxKC 2020

Come and see Kansas City’s latest crop of  TED presenters with “ideas worth spreading” in this year’s themed TED. For the past 35 years, TED talks have inspired, rattled, moved, and challenged us to see beyond our own perspective in 20 minutes or fewer.

You are invited to join the presenters on Wednesday, February 5, for a reception and happy hour from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in Brandmeyer Great Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The performance starts afterwards. Your ticket includes heavy appetizers and a drink coupon. There will also be a cash bar.

Summer Wheat in Winter

With a technique described by Art in America as “completely novel,” contemporary artist Summer Wheat works by pushing acrylic paint through aluminum mesh. Her large, colorful paintings emphasize the relationship between drawing, painting, and sculpture and feature female figures as hunters, fishers, and beekeepers. We’re fortunate that this Oklahoma-born artist, now living in Brooklyn, will debut her new works in the exhibit Blood, Sweat, and Tears at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Wheat is the recipient of the 2019 Northern Trust Purchase Prize at EXPO Chicago, and her work has been acquired into the collections of institutions such as Pérez Art Museum in Miami; the Dallas Museum of Art; de Young Museum in San Francisco; and the Speed Art Museum in Louisville.

An opening reception with the artist will take place from 6:00–8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, followed by an artist talk on Friday, February 7, at 6:00 p.m. The exhibition will remain on view through May 24, 2020.

Palimpsest II

What is a palimpsest, you ask? It means something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form, like the house you’re renovating that still has the shag carpeting and avocado green countertops beloved by the previous owner.

But traces of the past can also be beautiful, evocative, and lively. Last summer’s sold-out Palimpsest prompted Tristian Griffin, a choreographer and member of the prestigious Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, to bring Palimpsest II to the vaunted halls of the Nelson-Atkins. African-American and Native-American themes inspire the multi-faceted performance of dance, spoken word, music, and art that will move throughout the museum.

On Saturday afternoon, February 15, visitors and performers will start in the Bloch Lobby at 1:30 p.m. and then wind their way through Galleries L1-3, Sculpture Hall and Noguchi Court. The grand finale takes place in Kirkwood Hall at 2:20 p.m. Free, no tickets required.

Valentine’s Weekend with Leslie Odom, Jr.

If you were very, very lucky last year, you got tickets to see the acclaimed musical Hamilton when it came to Kansas City. And if you were very, very, very lucky, you also got to see the original Aaron Burr—Leslie Odom, Jr.—make the Tony Award-winning role his own on stage in New York.

But you’re in luck again as Odom will be bringing his smooth, sassy self to Kansas City for a weekend of jazz standards, Broadway tunes, and love songs, performed with the Kansas City Symphony on Saturday and Sunday evenings, February 15 and 16.

If you forgot the candy and flowers, tickets to this performance is one way to redeem yourself.

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