Field Trip for Paseo and Pembroke Artists

Last Saturday we took a group of teenage artists from Paseo Academy and Pembroke Hill on a painting-and-photography field trip to the Flint Hills.  “We” is a group of well-organized parents, teachers, and meself.  The idea is to inspire these young adults and provide instruction from professional artists.  It culminates in a show at my gallery, which will be in Nov.  This is the second year for the program.

Artist-Instructors in order of appearance: Allan Chow, Jane Booth, Zak Barnes, Richard Raney, Jeremy Collins.  Then the whole mob at the end. 








Everyone had a great time, which story is told in part by the photos.  Other instructors: Kevin Sink, Brud Jones, Cally Krall, Jonathan Chester, and I don’t remember who-all.  Man I love doing this stuff.  There are few things better than having an impact on a kid’s growth, whether yours or someone else’s.  It’s all one big planet.

Artists’ Reception, Boston Museum of Fine Arts

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It’s been a long day.  Started with a breakfast at the Museum honoring the artists, followed by speeches and a tour of the exhibition, followed by a press conference, followed by a luncheon, followed by interviews, followed by an evening reception.

Arlie Regier stood by his piece off and on during the day, as different patrons and artists came by to ask him about it.  Being the eternal teenager, meaning forever excited about his work, he never wearied of explaining it.  That’s passion.  His natural humility and humor were a big hit with the Bostonians.  Me?  I wandered around and chatted with potential collectors.  Otherwise, I’m just here to ensure he enjoys the experience, and doesn’t have to fool with the details of the journey.

Now it’s late, he and I are done-in, and all I’m going to show are these two rather poorly shot photos.  Details later, after we return home.  But please note the book Arlie’s holding, published of course by the museum.  He and his work are featured in it.  Well, it only took us 14 years to get here.

At the Gardner in Boston



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 Arlie and I got to town around noon.  I took him to lunch on The Commons, then to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to dig on the late-Renaissance structure, the insane courtyard, and of course the collection.  I don’t think he’d ever seen a Manet so large.  I hadn’t since it I was last here with friends, in 1985, when I lived in CT.  I remember we had lunch in the garden.  Those were great days.  So are these.  Anyway, Arlie was all agog.  Notice how thrilled he is?  Yeah, well he’s in the big leagues now, and knows it.  Further, being Arlie, he’s grateful for same.  None of these things get us to “heaven” any faster; as he well knows, what still matters is how you live, and give, each day.

Dinner tonight in some Italian joint in the North End.  Tomorrow?  A press conference at the Boston Museum, then lunch, then an evening reception.  Will we wear suits?  Nah.  We’re artists; we ain’t gotta. 

Friday Tips: Arlie Regier and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston



Hemisphere in Steel, Stainless Steel, Arlie Regier 

I met Arlie Regier in 1992 at a modest art fair in Kansas City (he was still doing fairs in those days).  I was impressed with his work in painted steel, but much more impressed with the new work he was doing, at age 62 then, in stainless.  In other words, at a time when most people are considering retirement, Arlie was still evolving as an artist.

Two years later he joined my young gallery, and I learned a bit of his back story.  Reared on a Kansas wheat farm near Newton, as a teenager he was always welding things together that made no sense to anyone else.  So his dad, a Mennonite as Arlie is, decided to send him to art school.  Now dig that for a second: on the heels of The Depression, and just after the hardships of World War II, this Kansas farmer realized that his son would be happier as an artist than raising wheat–despite how that father needed the extra hand.  That openness is typical of Mennonites, as I’ve learned over the years.

So Arlie studied sculpture and design, then also for awhile studied under Richard Stankewicz, the great “junk sculptor.”  But he found he couldn’t make a living by his work in the 50s and 60s, so took a job teaching shop metal in a Kansas City junior high (to this day his former students still seek him out).  Even so he always kept sculpting, and evolving.  He joined my gallery in 1994, I encouraged further evolution with his concepts, he pursued same, then in 1996 I began placing him with galleries in San Francisco, Aspen and Santa Fe.  Why?  Firstly, because I knew major collectors frequent those markets.  Secondly, I knew that success in any major market would favorably impress collectors in my region.  

Eventually Anita and Ronald Wornick, serious collectors from California, stumbled onto Arlie’s work, fell in love with it, and acquired an early Hemisphere.  Each Hemisphere is made of roughly 1000 pieces of stainless steel, and no two are alike.  This piece, along with several other works from their craft collection, is being donated to the Boston Musuem.  The exhibit opens on 9/11, and is called Shy Boy, She Devil, and Isis: The Art of Conceptual Craft.  

Arlie and I fly to Boston this weekend.  We’ll have a little chowder, tour the Constitution, eat at some Italian joint in the North End, and go to the reception on Monday.  I can’t tell you what an honor it will be for me to take this quiet, humble man to this great city, and great museum, where he and several other artists will be honored.  We’ve both worked very hard for this–he much harder than I.  Now, at last, serious payoff will result.

So if you live in a region that is outside the mainstream of the gallery world, and you’re confident that your work is unique, I can’t advise you strongly enough to gain representation in galleries in other cities, especially major cities.  You never know who might walk in the door next.

Tom Bloyd and Sprint Center Glass in Kansas City Star


(Photo by Joy Toyoshiba, Kansas City Star)

An Article came out this morning in the Star about the huge glass sculpture we’re creating for the new Sprint Center.  Tom Bloyd, above, is one of the artists.  Janine Daniels, a glass artist in her own right, assists in his studio.  Drew Hine and Jason Forck are two other primary glass artists on the project.  Ed Tranin was the lead designer, with assistance from me.  Leopold is responsible for coordinating, steel fabrication, engineering headaches, installation (and attending headaches), safety concerns, overall aesthetic, etc.

This thing will weigh 3000 lbs, be composed of 300 large glass elements, and will hang from the ceiling.  Safety issues are a prime consideration.  But so are aesthetics.  I’ve been focusing on both for five months.

Installation begins in Oct.  I’ll have progression shots then.  It’s going to be a blast.

That Crazy William Lobdell


Intersection, William Lobdell, Mixed Media 

So I met William–who’s a St. Louisian, which I suppose means I should despise him but I’ve never gotten that cross-state rivalry thing, even if we did beat the Cards in the ’85 Series, even if they did have the better team and we won partly because of a bad call, even if St. Louis is a more sophisticated city–I met William when we did the Block call for artists.  Man am I glad I did.  Just placed one of his large wall sculptures with Consumer Growth Partners, and they’re ecstatic.

The piece above?  Haven’t placed it yet, but think I will soon.  Amazing perspective and execution, eh?  Remember, it’s very nearly 2-D.  So is William.

Canoeing the Missouri

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We love to canoe, commonly on clear rivers in the Ozark Mountains, northern New Mexico, or northern California.  But sometimes, just for the hell of it, a float on the Missouri River through downtown KC is a hoot.  It gives you an entirely different perspective of the city, and maybe a hint of the ordeal the Lewis and Clark expedition endured in paddling upstream for 1500 miles.  Call us weenies, but we prefer going downstream.