By JOE JAROSZ
March 12, 2014
With time, comes change.
The organizers of Culture Without Borders know they are not immune to change. The annual event is celebrating 18 years this March, has already experienced some change by condensing the art exhibit from a traveling showcase into a single gallery location. In the future, organizers know there will be more change, as well.
The annual art exhibit kicked off on Friday, March 7, at the Vine Street Studio, 2033 Vine St., with an opening ceremony. The exhibits will continue to be on display for the public until Saturday, March 29, 2014. Admission into the studio is free.
Rebecca Koop, president and treasurer of Northeast Arts Kansas City, said the event has lasted 18 years because it has accepted change. In its 18 year history, Koop said this is the first time the pieces will be held in one venue. Culture Without Borders, she said, began as a traveling art show that crossed three months and three different locations.
The exhibit moved around to several locations in the Northeast before landing at the American Heartland Theater, formerly located in the Crown Center.
“That location was great because we got a lot more people to the shows,” Koop said.
Since the American Heartland Theater closed and the exhibit doesn’t get a big audience, Koop said the decision was made to have it at the Vine Street Studio. Since the exhibit has been condensed, Koop said she’s thinking about the future and what the next level of the show will be, which she thinks is digital images.
“Change is a good thing,” Koop said, adding she wants to continue to make the show affordable and accessible, while expanding the audience because “the show is for the artists. We put them on a pedestal.”
With each new year, the exhibit gets a new juror and this year it is Jennie Federick. She earned a bachelor of fine arts in fiber from the Kansas City Art Institute, followed by a master of fine arts from Indiana State University. Frederick apprenticed at Twinrocker Handmade Paper and founded Kansas City Paperworks, Inc. in 1983. Federick also taught at several local universities, has been featured in multiple publications and has showcased her work internationally.
When selecting a juror, Koop said she looks for someone with either experience in teaching art or practicing art. The juror spends several hours with the show’s pieces before selecting the winners, which include prizes for best theme, mixed media and 2D and 3D art.
This year’s winners include: Marion Caruthers for best in show, Pat Deeter for 2D art, Rebecca Lawrence for multi media art and Joseph Smith won the theme award.
The success and the future of the show is dependent on the artists and their enthusiasm. Even though she described the event as the little show that keeps going, she said changes are going to have to be made because Northeast Arts Kansas City can’t keep running the event at a loss.
“This needs the community’s support,” Koop said.
The gallery is open for public viewing from 3 – 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 4 – 6 p.m. on Friday.