TIME is the only constant that continually changes. Depending on who you ask, there's either too much TIME or never enough. Whether it's reflecting on the past, looking to the future or exploring the here and now, Johnson County Library is investing in TIME this spring featuring ceramics by Dick Daniels, painting by Nicole Emanuel, photographs by Ken Thompson and 100 Years of Dress from the De De DeVille Collection.
In 100 Rabbits, Dick Daniels used the production of ceramics to create 100 different versions of the same rabbit. The series of ceramic cartoon rabbit heads is an exploration of variations for each face, morphing into a wide variety of expression and abstraction. The work allowed Daniels a method of investigation into how we measure time. Each rabbit is unique yet there is a commonality to them, highlighting how time impacts our approach to work, influences our expertise and alters our perception. Viewing his role as an artists as simply an “entertainer,” it’s the artist’s hopes that 100 Rabbits brings some levity and good cheer to you as a viewer. Kansas City born illustrator, painter, ceramicist, and part-time junk collector, Dick Daniels is a child of the 50's who blossomed in the full glare of the psychedelic 60's - influenced by the underground comix movement, American folk art, and cheap commercial packaging. Daniels worked as an illustrator at The Kansas City Star for five years and currently is a card artist for Shoebox Greetings/Hallmark Cards since the late 80s. For extra fun he creates oddball wooden signs in his ramshackle basement studio, surrounded by a sprawling mess of artifacts from his past, present, and future. Carnival punks, Rat Fink model kits, wooden processed cheese boxes, half-finished robots, MadBalls, Smurf collectibles, stacks of Roi-Tan cigar boxes, millions of old plastic and hard rubber toys, boxes of parts and weathered wood. For more info on the artist and purchasing inquiries, visit: funhouse57.com. Funded in part by an Inspirational Grant managed by ArtsKC.
On April 12, 2017, Johnson County Library held its annual teen, literary launch party elementia at Johnson County Community College. As part of celebrating the teen writers and artists in the publication, local artist Nicole Emanuel painted the work Time during the reception. Presented with a canvas, some paint and a few prompts on the notion of TIME provided by the attending teens, Nicole created a visual story in 60-minutes. Using symbolic images, such as clocks and books, Nicole demarcates – quite literally – the passage of time in the mere act of painting this time-based work. The old adage “time well spent” is aptly applied to the finishing result. A first-generation-American-Jew, born in 1961 to a South African father and French mother, Nicole Emanuel lived in and around New York City until 1980. She studied Philosophy and Psychology at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, until she accidentally moved to San Francisco for 9 years while on a 2-week vacation. At San Francisco State University, Nicole finished her BA in “Design & Industry” (summa cum laude) with a minor in “Community Arts” in 1985. There she began her career in public art and Creative Placemaking construction for Artists’ Live/Work spaces. Nicole has created 20 large-scale murals and 2 large-scale public sculptures; her paintings and drawings are in numerous corporate and private collections in New York, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas and Missouri. In 2011, Nicole developed InterUrban ArtHouse (IUAH), her current obsession. IUAH is a Non- Profit organization dedicating to purchase and renovate an under-utilized industrial building into affordable, stable art studios, community exhibition/event space and sculpture garden with some of the area’s preeminent artists and craftspeople. IUAH won one-of-four ‘Our Town Grants’ given by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to national pilots in the field of Creative Placemaking. For more info on the artist and purchasing inquiries, visit: nicoleemanuelstudios.com.
A politically-engaged photographer, Ken Thompson worked during the 1960s for the General Board of Global Ministries, an organization connected with the United Methodist Church. He traveled throughout the United States to make visible many of the leading social and political issues of his day. Rarely exhibited or published, his photographs provide an eyewitness account of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, voter registration efforts in the South, the United Farm Workers in California, the aftermath of the Watts riot, conditions on the Cheyenne Indian reservation, and anti-poverty and anti-war demonstrations in Washington, D.C. This exhibit, Dissent in 1960s America: The Photography of Ken Thompson, is presented in conjunction with Race Project KC – a series of public events that explore Kansas City's racial history and how that history affects the present – and Then & Now – Johnson County Library programs which offer a historical perspective on past events and the impact they have today. Exhibit is a funded project of the Kansas Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National endowment for the Humanities.
Why do fashions change? The answer is probably as simple as the fact that people change. Over time, the new replaces the old, and we are in an every changing state of taste. Influenced greatly by popular culture - athletes, musicians, movie stars, politicians, royalty, as well as popular films, television shows, books and music – our taste in clothing design and style have changed decade to decade. The shapeless mini dresses of the sixties were replaced by form-clinching bell bottoms of the seventies, marking a new trend for women’s fitted pants that continues to this day. In 100 Years of Dress, the everyday wear from 1900s through 1990s takes the lime light. Focusing on the accessories and garments of the secular times, each decade is represented by a prominent trend that has become a hallmark of the decade. Fashion continually changes – from trendy to passé and back again to being in style – and like time itself, perhaps, repeating trends that previous generations do not want to relive. 100 Years of Dress is supported by the De De DeVille Collection and includes 1900s-1990s everyday wear and accessories from the local drag legend and cofounder of Late Night Theatre, De De DeVille. De De was born and raised in McPherson, KS, attended a theater summer camp between then and now, and has performed in both traditional and nontraditional productions and venues. Over the years, she has created several characters as a Kansas City performer, using photography and the smaller stages of bars and cabarets to showcase her work. Curated by Joseph Keehn, Event Producer of Johnson County Library. Research and label content provided by Denise Morrison, Director of Collections & Curatorial Services of Kansas City Museum.