a charlotte street 15 year anniversary project considering the history and future of artist-driven pioneering in Kansas City and the changing nature of the city's "frontiers"
Frontier: Momentum + Trajectory
A frontier is a feature of a community’s potential. It is a boundary, a limit and a challenge. The works on view in this video and a connected series of blog posts (see https://thefrontierkc.wordpress.com) represent the relationship between an individual artist’s work and a community’s support of that work. The support provided by the Urban Culture Project Residency program has an enormous impact on validating and nurturing a community of artists. In their own words, the artists have commented on this residency program as an animating force in their personal trajectories as makers, thinkers and social actors. It has engendered them to take risks, delve deeper, and challenge their own personal boundaries. In doing so, the Urban Culture Project Residency program has expanded the Kansas City arts community’s boundaries significantly.
Many of the artists-residents came to their UCP Residency with an energetic body of work and a desire to grow. These energies directly translated to a sense of communal momentum that creates a culture of ambition. Artists like Calder Kamin, Caleb Taylor and Rachelle Gardner saw their work expand from its medium. These transitions often take several years in a solitary studio practice. Other artists like Luke Rocha, Lee Piechocki and Nicole Mauser found their residency an ideal way to connect with new communities, further expanding their relationship to Kansas City itself. An artist’s studio practice is often presented to the community via highly structured venues (exhibitions, public lectures, studio visits, etc.) The UCP Residency program allowed new members to the Kansas City arts community to rapidly integrate and participate in the local discourse insuring its diversity and momentum.
Clarity of focus and quality of peers often animates an individual artist’s studio practice in unexpected ways. The unexpected is often integrated into an artist’s professional development. Teri Frame, Erica Mahinay, Samantha Persons and Elaine Michalski have all seen their professional lives unexpectedly aided by their time as UCP residents. This residency has incalculably altered the trajectory of their artistic/professional lives. Individually they have successfully written for grants, attended prestigious graduate programs, found employment in the arts, and simply put, thrived.
There is an exchange between the individual and their community. In Kansas City, through the Urban Culture Project’s Residency program, this exchange has amplified an arts culture that favors ambition, growth, and potential. The featured artists and their work demonstrate the Kansas City arts community’s commitment to the personal trajectory of an artist’s work and its affect on the momentum of that community. Artists in Kansas City continue to expand our boundaries, test our limits and reveal that our frontiers are a point of contact between who we want to be and who we can be.