Surface Design Conference, Kansas City

Greetings from the Kansas City Art Institute, where the biennial International Surface Design Association Conference is about to begin. I’ve been here a number of times already, always with talented, accomplished artists whom I’ve watched grow and develop over the years. My first year, two of us were trying to wean infants while we came to the conference. Both of us are back for the first time, and those infants are now 24 years old. In the meantime, KCAI is a wonderful place for student creativity, and sculptures abound on the campus, as well as an outdoor walkway of lit up ground squares that change color at night as you walk over them. Cool! Dorm life is interesting- the first time we were not aware the bathrooms were coed. The two middle aged males on our floor moved up one.

The conference consists of multiple sessions on a variety of topics – theoretical, technical, artist-profile, new media, you name it. There’s always a day of exhibit openings throughout the city, and this is one of the most stimulating elements for me personally. Look for updates in the coming days.

In the meantime, we also hope to visit the new wing of the Nelson Atkins Museum and its wonderful outdoor sculpture garden. One more view below shows one from the group of sculptures by Magdalena Abakanowicz, a Polish artist who made phenomenal weavings, then haunted sculptures in the 1970s and is now mostly known as a sculptor.