By LESLIE COLLINS
August 29, 2012
Kansas City Museum is highlighting another aspect of Kansas City history – Mexican culture.
Kansas City’s Mexican heritage dates back to the 1800s and to celebrate that rich culture, the museum is launching “Visions of Mexican Art,” which will showcase well-known Mexican artists.
“It only makes sense for the city’s history museum, which is interested in collecting, preserving and interpreting the history of the development of the city, to be interested in shining a light on the heritage of a very large number of our citizens,” said Kansas City Museum’s Historic House Director Christopher Leitch. “It was a very natural fit for us to participate in this project.”
The exhibit is made possible through a partnership between the museum, the Consul of Mexico in Kansas City and Mexico’s Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, similar to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
Several decades ago, a group of Mexican artists proposed that the Mexican government allow artists to pay their taxes with in-kind donations, like paintings and sculptures. The government agreed and has been accepting artwork ever since, Leitch said. That same artwork, along with collections from the Heritage Archive collection, will be on display at the Visions of Mexican Art exhibit, which will run Sept. 18 through Nov. 11.
Due to renovations at the Kansas City Museum, the exhibit will be displayed at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd. A free bilingual tour of the exhibit will be available every Saturday at 10 a.m.
One of the collection’s strengths is that it’s not a product of one person’s taste, Leitch said.
“The collection was assembled by artists who were giving their own work, so there’s a great variety of styles and content,” he said.
Media represented includes paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs. Fifty-five pieces from the 4,000-piece collection will be on display.
One of Leitch’s favorite pieces is called “Waters Above the Firmament, the Emptiness Beyond the Sky.” The oil painting depicts a tabletop in an artists studio with a variety of objects sitting on the table.
“It’s perhaps referring to the idea that we can find poetic and dare I say spiritual experiences of life within the confines of everyday,” Leitch said. “We don’t need to go searching for some idealistic spiritual situation. All we have to do is attune ourselves to that sensibility and then we’ll be able to find it.”
Visions of Mexican Art
•53 Mexican artists featured
•Artwork includes paintings, drawings,
sculptures and photographs
•Exhibit originates from the Government of Mexico’s “Payment-in-kind” and “Heritage Archive” collections
when: Sept. 18 – Nov. 11
hours: Tues.-Thurs. 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Fri. 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
where: Kansas City Power and Light Gallery located inside Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd.
cost: Free to the public