Charlotte Street Foundation identifies the needs and fuels the evolution of an ever-changing multidisciplinary arts ecosystem, acting as its primary provocateur. We cultivate the contemporary, the exceptional, and the unexpected in the practice of artists working in and engaging with the Kansas City Art Community

About “Cover Letters” — new exhibit at Paragraph


When Michael Krueger, curator of “Sincerely Yours,” mentioned to me that he was interested in a show about sincerity, I realized this was probably the only theme I was interested in anyway. In addition to operating outside my usual modes of sarcasm or irony, I wanted my written contributions to be much shorter than the sheets of text I’ve included in past Paragraph Gallery exhibits.

In order for my writing to appear alongside the innovative and distinctive artwork of Neil Goss and Monica Dixon, I knew it would need to have a physical as well as a visual presence. My wife, Jennifer, suggested I make cabinet doors with short titles on the covers and continued text within. I like the way the wood panels give depth to the gallery walls — part trompe l’oiel and part outsider carpentry.

The number of entries is equivalent to the number of days in a month, symbolizing the practice of writing as a natural extension of our day-to-day lives rather than an esoteric or extraordinary effort. While writing in the studio, I like to look at a two-dimensional calendar and imagine it as a sequence of trap doors, with each square containing a message that will be lost unless specifically documented and explored.

The words in this show are made up of recent studio scribbles, remarks made by friends, or lines I salvaged from the drafts of my (mostly unsent) emails. There are also several references to the experience of living in the city, which to me is an inherent component of being part of an arts residency that is based in downtown Kansas City.

Reading the printed-out list of all-caps titles reminds me of being 19 and looking at the tracklist of one of my favorite records, how before you even hear the lyrics (or in this case, read the wall text), your mind begins to make up little stories. I’m not sure what effect these writings will have on each viewer, but if they are at all successful, they should succeed in taking you somewhere.  — LW

“Cover Letters” is part of “Sincerely Yours,” an exhibit curated by University of Kansas visual art professor Michael Krueger, featuring the artwork of Neil Goss and Monica Dixon, and the writing of Lucas Wetzel. The show opens on Thursday, June 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Paragraph Gallery (23 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 64106) as part of the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Studio Residency Program. More information at 

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2016 by in Paragraph Series, Uncategorized and tagged , , , .

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