Images Gallery + Prairie Village Arts Council
by: Nancy Kalikow Maxwell
Most people looking at puffy clouds in the sky imagine seeing animals or birds or faces. Few would picture the puffs overhead as a human spine. But that’s evidently what artist Marilyn Lyons must have seen because she titled her photograph of a cloud formation, “Backbone of the Storm.” The Lyons piece imagining touching clouds as a body part is just one of 24 creative works included in the “Images Art Gallery Member Show” at the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse Gallery (9101 Nall Avenue, Prairie Village, KS 66207).
The “Images Art Gallery Show” was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Prairie Village Arts Council and Johnson County Parks and Recreation District. All of the works included in this exhibition were produced by regional artists who belong to the Images Art Gallery. This member-owned, Overland Park based facility is one of the oldest cooperative art galleries in the Kansas City area. The organization, which has been promoting and educating about the fine arts since 1988, strives to foster the development of local artists in the community and provides a venue for the sale of outstanding work produced by emerging and mature regional artists.
The works selected for the Meadowbrook Park show include watercolors, photographs, glass and acrylic works. Some of the art is abstract, while others depict images ranging from Jim Kilmer’s Nova Scotia seaside to Steve Johnston’s Country Club Plaza to Dawn Thomas’ plants and poppies. Several artists, like Lyons, were inspired by looking up. Nancy Basinski calls her painting of trees “Gazing Upwards,” while Wanda K. Tyner produced glassworks entitled “Sunset” and “Rainbow Swirls.” To see what inspired all of the artists, the exhibit can be seen from now until September 30 during Clubhouse hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am to 4:00pm).
by: Nancy Kalikow Maxwell
What does the light-filled, delicate artwork of Lori Stanziola have in common with the bold, arresting scenes and portraits produced by Eugene P. McNerney? Very little it turns out, which makes the curated art exhibit at the R. G. Endres Gallery such a double bonus. Gallery-goers will be able to enjoy 50 exquisite pieces produced by the two artists while experiencing two widely differing artistic styles.
Lori Stanziola and Eugene McNerney are prominent Kansas City-based artists. A former designer for Hallmark Cards, Lori Stanziola puts her printmaking skills to use to create hand-printed single and small-numbered editions. As she describes it, her work “focuses on observations, contrasts and rhythms present in and inspired by natural and man-made forms.” Among her works on exhibit are scenes of beaches, lakes, flowers, and palm trees. Exuding a sense of serenity, her works offer what has been described as “plenty of breathing space to them.”
According to his website, Eugene McNerney has been a professional artist and designer for more decades than he cares to count. His artwork has been represented in collections across America and in Europe. Since childhood he “has been aware of the ways in which various cultures, from ancient to modern, have seen the world” which he transcribes into his artwork. His works in the show demand attention, especially the powerful portraits of cowboys, jesters, and a bullfighter. Comments overheard from those viewing his paintings included, “Amazing,” “Cool,” and “Looks like photographs.” Also on display are “A Mother’s Lulla-by,” an intimate mother-and-child portrait and the timely work, “Will the Flowers Grow Again Someday,” featuring a bandaged teddy bear holding a Ukrainian flag.
McNerney and Stanziola’s works were originally planned for a November/December showing, but were re-scheduled to this summer. The exhibit is available from now until September 2nd and can be seen Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00pm at the gallery in the Prairie Village Municipal Offices, 7700 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS. For more information, see artspv.org.
by: Nancy Kalikow Maxwell
Looking for an unconventional way to help support Ukraine? How about buying a sunflower? Or, to be more specific, an artistic rendering of the bloom that happens to be the official flower of the state of Kansas and country of Ukraine. You’ll have nearly 100 flower-themed works to choose from, thanks to the efforts of local artist of Holly Ann Schenk.
As Schenk explains it, “When the war came out, I felt so helpless.” She asked herself what she could do and decided to ask as many artists as she could find to donate a piece of sunflower art to auction off. The result: “Sunflowers for Ukraine”, an art benefit sponsored by Global Ties KC, (a citizen diplomatic organization), the Prairie Village Arts Council, and the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District.
The entire collection of artwork available for auction can be seen online. All proceeds from “Sunflowers for Ukraine” will go toward providing humanitarian aid to Kyiv’s population and displaced people in Ukraine’s capital. Bids will be accepted from July 9 to August 4.
The exhibit will culminate in a special in-person event at the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse on Friday, August 5 from 5:30-7:00 pm. For $15.00 attendees will be able to enjoy drinks and light appetizers while viewing the artwork and placing final bids. Register HERE.
The 94 pieces included in “Sunflowers for Ukraine” span a variety of techniques, styles, and contexts through a range of colors. The flowers appear as close-ups, landscapes and open fields and are presented through photographs, watercolors, pencil, and acrylics.
Thirty of the works are physically on display at the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse (9100 Nall Ave., Prairie Village, KIS 66207) from July 9 to August 4. This collection includes such works as: Charlie Podrebarac’s watercolor featuring a tree-size sunflower towering above cartoon figures; Jeff Garrison’s digital painting “Collieflower Friends” with a dog wearing a sunflower collar; and Cindy DeGraw’s “Standing Tall” with a sunflower proudly upright above those words.
Additional works can be viewed at Cliff's Taphouse (3044 Gillham Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108) and Centering Souls (5215 NW Crooked Rd, Parkville MO 64152).
With all these sunflowers to choose from, your problem may be deciding which one(s) to buy. Unfortunately, none come with sunflower seeds, but perhaps that will be next.