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Now @ Cedar Roe: Sophia Reed

Monday, January 7 to Sunday, April 21, 2019

Sophia Reed’s work challenges the traditional function of portraiture by creating an unusual perspective that incorporates scenes from everyday life. She primarily uses unusual framing techniques to lead the viewer toward a visual experience that explores art history, the abject, the provisional and the everyday. Reed received a BFA from the University of Central Missouri in 2014 and has studied and taught in New York.


Introduce yourself and describe your work and the genre you work in.

I graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2014 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and another degree in Art Education. After graduation I moved to New York City for a couple years to learn from exposure to a new environment while challenging and stepping fully into my art practice. In 2016 I decided to move back to Kansas City in order to focus further on my work in a city that was more affordable and livable. I now live in Kansas City, KS and work in Kansas City, MO. I have a day job as an Assistant Distiller, the rest of my time is spent in my artist studio.

In undergrad I spent most of my time painting in oils, more recently I have started using an airbrush which gives a better sense of atmosphere in my work. This past summer I was able to take a Digital Fabrication intensive at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I learned how to use a laser cutter. I have been using the laser cutter in order to make unique frames and play with my old ways of working using a new media.


Talk about the work on view. What would you like people to know about it? Do you have a favorite piece?

In these works I am reimagining portraiture to be more inclusive, everyday images of the world I see. The important thing to know is a lot of these frames are inspired by famous works of art but I change the subject matter whether its a man holding a flower or a woman cutting her finger nails its about a more recognizable image. While in Chicago this summer I was disappointed by the images that filled the walls, they did not represent the world I saw. One kind of people group was represented, those with wealth are the common figures in portraiture of the past. I don’t have a favorite piece but Nail Clipper is the first Airbrush piece I ever did. King and Queen was made for a man I met at Home Depot. Mona in Space was the result of a frustrating day where the model I was originally going to paint never showed.


What’s the most challenging thing about your creative process?

Being an artist is not easy, it is the thing I most love yet it rarely pays. I have to spend a lot of time doing something I had to learn to be skilled at in order to make money in life. I have had countless jobs trying to make enough to pay my bills. Art making takes time and its hard sometimes to give so much of your time to someone else. Even though its hard, I am thankful to have a job. The creative process is not always as glamorous as people might think, I spend a lot of hours taking care of logistical everyday tasks in order to get a few hours into the studio. Its worth it though, it keeps me going and I am incredibly fortunate to be able to express myself through art.


Who are the other artists you look to for inspiration?

To name a few: Marisol Escobar, Robin F Williams, Catherine Haggarty, Anthony Cudahy, Nina Chanel Abney, Katsushika Hokusai, Titus Kaphar, Emilie Stark-Menneg.


What are your book/music/movie recommendations?

Books: Homegoing by Yah Gyasi, Another Country by James Baldwin, The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Music: Waxahatchee, Yo La Tengo, Tops, Car Seat Headrest, Little Dragon, No Name’s Telephone album.

Movies: Maniac the Netflix series, Black Panther, Lady Bird


Music Monday Local Spotlight

Kemet the Phantom is Kemet Coleman, Vibe Maker, urbanist, rap artist, CEO and performer. His reach as a positive social and entertainment force in Kansas City seemingly knows no bounds. As both a solo performer and a member of The Phantastics, Coleman's music (which he has called a "winding river of sound") is as multi-disciplinary and energetic as his work on social and entrepreneurial endeavors. We are honored to share an exclusive interview with the man himself about the origins of The Phantom, his creative process and much more. Enjoy!


Staff Picks, Free Lunch Exhibition, Music

We dedicated this episode of Did you hear? to Staff picks! Find out what our professional readers approve. You can find Staff Picks at 

Today Dave Carson, Bryan Voell and Michelle Holden host the Minister of Information and his partner in art Sara Star in our “What’s Happening” segment. Spoiler alert! They’re related. They discuss their exhibition and programs based on the topic of food insecurity. Then, Matt Fuegen joins Bryan & Dave to talk music we recommend.


Throwback Thursday: Lackman Library

To begin the history of the Lackman Library, one must delve back into the very early history of the Johnson County Library. Shortly after its 1953 founding, the Library opened the Lenexa Branch on November 2, 1954 in the Lenexa Grade School at 13400 W. 94th Street. It offered about 3,000 books for checkout and was open for only two hours a week--2:00 to 4:00 on Saturdays. Like all the others it was staffed by volunteers and offered donated materials. The most recent US Census in 1950 had indicated a Lenexa population of 803. That population soon began to burgeon. When the Library’s budget allowed, the branch’s hours were increased and it was moved into a rented storefront in downtown Lenexa.

In 1967, a bond issue was approved by voters to build the Oak Park Library, among other improvements. This branch at 9500 Bluejacket was intended to serve the library needs of the “southwest” portion Johnson County’s developing suburban region, including Lenexa. In preparation for the new branch, the Lenexa Library was closed in 1967. The city of Lenexa was promised that someday there would again be a library within its city limits. The Oak Park Library opened in 1970, after being housed in temporary space near 95th and Antioch. The population continued to grow and soon the need for a new library west of I-35 was apparent and was included in the 1979 facilities plan.

Ground was broken for the Lackman Library on March 5, 1986. The building was dedicated on November 14, 1986 and opened to the public on November 17. It opened with a collection of 22,000 items and was the first Johnson County Library location without a card catalog, as the Library made a leap into the computer age. During its first full year open—1987—the Lackman Library circulated 99,220 items.

An expansion of Lackman was never far from the minds of staff during the planning and opening of the Shawnee Library in 1992, the Leawood Pioneer Library in 1994, the Central Resource Library in 1995, and the renovated Antioch Library in 1996. By August 10, 1996 when the Lackman Library closed for expansion, it barely fit its building. The new facility, three times as large as its previous incarnation with almost 18,000 square feet, re-opened on August 12, 1997. 


Featured Staff Booklist: What the What: Brains

Want to learn how the mind works, or want to change how yours does? Check out this list »


Music Monday Local Spotlight

Scott Hrabko's music is equal parts folk, swing, blues and country with a twist that's unique to Kansas City. His second album and his first with his backing band The Rabbits, Biscuits and Gravitywas released in early 2015 to great acclaim. Working in a musical vein similar to such luminaries as Loudon Wainwright III, Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett, Hrabko describes in his interview how he learned to "trust my own ears" with his own style.


Meet the Author: Leanne Brown

You have two chances today to meet author Leanne Brown and hear her tips for a healthy, budget-friendly diet.

Break Bread without Breaking the Bank with author Leanne Brown Monday, March 11, 3pm @ Blue Valley Library

Leanne Brown, author of Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, will offer tips and tools to elevate the quality of your home-cooked meals without elevating your spending.


Meet the Author: Leanne Brown Monday, March 11, 6:30pm @ Central Resource Library

Presented with the Food Policy Council of Johnson County.