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
Come one, come all! The opening for the third and final 2015/16 Charlotte Street Foundation visiting curator show is tonight at Paragraph Gallery from 6-8pm. “Sincerely Yours,” is curated by Michael Krueger (Professor of Printmaking, University of Kansas) and features new work from residents Lucas Wetzel, Monica Dixon and Neil Goss.
It has been a fantastic ride and we are very excited to share this show with you. Stop by tonight for a beer, good conversation, and a variety of art works. Here is the statement written by Krueger for, “Sincerely Yours,”.
Finding in art something completely sincere is a gift. There is an authenticity in sincerity that is undeniable, and it’s not that artworks absent of sincerity are not authentic, it’s just that through the practice of sincerity certain immutable emotions and truths are shared. The interest here is in examining what happens when artists step away from the contemporary trappings of sarcasm, double-downed irony, the smirks on smirks, the layers of tangled references, the love hate relationship with the art world and share something sincere.
We find in these three artists all that is comfortable about being honest and sincere, we find real longing, joy and struggle, nothing is cloaked. Being sincere doesn’t make the work in the studio any easier for the artist, it doesn’t make the process any less arduous, in fact one could argue being sincere is hard to take serious. Nor is the process of relating to a work of art imbued with sincerity any less formidable, but there is something comforting in knowing that the artist isn’t interested in toying with you, no one is going to be testing your savvied understanding of the latest cultural insider joke, or what’s uncool to be cool about.
Neil Goss and Monica Dixon, the two visual artists in the exhibition, have a deep seeded desire to live a life in sync with nature, as much as that is possible. Humbled by and honoring of the Earth, each makes choices that support conscience-raising awareness of the fragility of the planet, as well as, material choices that are gentle and harmless.
As he gestures toward a recently completed large wall-hanging, Neil Goss mentions to me in a studio visit that he wants to make a work about himself—a work that embodies the joys in his life, but also the hardships. And I thought, yes, perhaps that is the best we can hope to do, to share fully of ourselves and to relate the human experience. Neil’s work is a powerful celebration of how valuable it is to embrace all our emotions, and reminds us how remaining cool is quite limiting. And in all honesty, it’s not that the work asks us, or persuades us to be a less cunning, or offers some therapy, but rather the work allows us to access our own storied sorrow and joy.
Through Monica Dixon’s inventive use of materials and optimistic outlook in her practice, a visual idea is laid out for filtering pollutants and moving forward an energy that heals. Monica’s work with Earth-healthy materials is a great thrust in her practice, as is her interest in understanding beauty. Thankfully, the work does not shout or guilt the audience into a corner, but welcomes and spreads a fresh, bright aesthetic of hope and balance. Emotive abstraction is one way to describe Dixon’s work(s)—between the use of color and perceived movement, a certain feeling is retrievable one that we have perhaps felt before but lost.
In reading Lucas Wetzel’s writing for this exhibition, I encountered the rare instance when I realized that I don’t have to back track on these ideas and find the double meaning. I don’t have to read his words with one eye squinted, waiting for the sucker punch. I can believe what he has to say and even find help in his words—a connection. In the testimony that he shares, day-by- day, we get to know him and ourselves. Through his writing, we’re able to deepen the understanding of what we know to be true—life isn’t easy, and I want you to be sincere with me as we try together to get by. Perhaps, if the audience is open to feeling without the masks of irony, of sarcasm or overly intellectualized actions, one might take a deep breath and read something moving, or see that these artists want to commune, quietly and alone and publicly and loudly.
– Michael Krueger, Artist / Curator
We hope to see you all out tonight to experience this show. Thank you kindly to everyone who has made this happen including but not limited to Lucas Wetzel, Monica Dixon, Michael Krueger, Pat Alexander, Brian Gutek, Elizabeth Gault and Amy Kligman.
As always, Live and Dye Naturally,