By J. Sherrod Taylor
In solidarity with the Greater Kansas City, state, and national efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), programs, activities, and galleries sponsored by the Prairie Village Arts Council (PVAC) have been temporarily suspended. Re-opening dates have not yet been confirmed but will be announced on this website in the near future. In the meantime, we wish to encourage the arts-loving public, artists, and creatives to stay abreast of developments in the art world through the online offerings of this and the following organizations.
Our geographic region is fortunate to have a plethora of entities supporting a variety of artistic endeavors. Some of these and their activities will now be described. Although our own council’s R. G. Endres Gallery, located in the Municipal Complex at 7700 Mission Road, is presently closed, the current Art of photography exhibit appears on our website and on our Facebook page. Please join our virtual audience, as we strive to present the works of gifted artists in the ‘new normal’ environment.
Additionally, our two internationally-known museums, www.nelson-atkins.org and www.kemperart.org, are sharing a wide-range of resources with the home-bound public. Moreover, ArtsKC - Regional Arts Council (artskc.org), The Kansas City Artists Coalition (sharing: @kcartistscoalition), and the InterUrban ArtHouse (www.interurbanarthouse.org), to name a few groups, offer chats, concerts, tours, and information about artist funding and grants that are certain to be welcomed in these trying times.
Clearly, this pandemic affects every segment of our population. One unifying truth, however, is readily apparent: WE ARE ALL IN THIS SITUATION TOGETHER. Therefore, it is appropriate to remember that, in difficult times, art provides a modicum of comfort, solace, and life-affirming assurance unavailable in other forms of human activity. The urge to create, perform, imagine, and enjoy beauty resists curtailment even in harsh circumstances. Indeed, since artistic activities thrive in both good times and bad, being hunkered down at home supplies us all with opportunities explore creative outlets rarely entered in our ordinarily hectic world.
Although we can no longer travel easily to remote locations to enjoy works of art in museums, concert halls, and similar settings, online resources permit us to traverse times, distances, and cultures to revel in humanity’s noteworthy creations. Led by knowledgeable experts, we — the ‘virtual audience’ — may quickly become an engaged community, examining singular artworks within an attention-grabbing setting.
The following are a few examples of available resources. The Barnes Foundation of Philadelphia now offers the YouTube series “Barnes Takeout,” a collection of 10-minute discussions by its staff. For home-schoolers, the segment featuring Renoir’s “Writing Lesson” may be of special interest. Armchair travelers likely will also enjoy “Travels with Curators,” presented by The Frick Collection (frick.org). Finally, “Virtual Views,” which is available through moma.org, covers gallery art shows, e.g., The Judd Exhibition. If you have not yet taken advantage of such FREE programming, tap into your favorite arts-related websites and join the virtual realm.
We look forward to seeing all our patrons again in person soon. Until then take care and continue to check in with us for more information.