ARTSPEAK RADIO with Collingsworth, McBride, & UNplaza Art Fair

Wednesday September 19, 2018 noon – 1pm

Host/producer Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes Heather Collingsworth, B.J. McBride, & UNplaza Art Fair.

Heather Collngsworth, Director Paper Birch Landing Contemporary Art Gallery-Art Call – Black and White Juried Show

Entries are due by October 4th
For this competition, artists are encouraged to submit their best art and photography using black, white and nuanced shades in between. This competition is open to all mediums of art and photography.
We are privileged to have powerhouse street photographer, archival photographer for the Nelson Atkins Museum and curator of PBL Contemporary Art, Trey Montgomery, as our Juror for the Black and White Show. With his guidance, we look forward to a spectacular show.
Day after day, we bask in the beauty of color after color. Daily, our brains are bombarded with Bright Blues, Happy Yellows, Calming Greens, Royal Purples, Angry Reds, Shocking Oranges, and the list goes on….
Black and White is as simplistic, as it is primal, as it is complex. The use of these two extremes on the spectrum encourages us to focus on the composition and subject within the piece. By pulling out colors that resonate such as blue for water, yellow for sun, we show that sometimes simplicity is far more complex than using the full spectrum of color.
Artists outside of the Kansas City area, that are not able to drop off/pick up artwork is chosen for this show, will be responsible for shipping to the gallery and shipping cost upon return of work if it is not sold during the show.
Entries are open until October 4th. Top pieces will be selected for this show. Artists selected will have an art reception in November. Show will run the month of November at Paper Birch Landing Gallery, at 405 East 19th Ave in North Kansas City.

A new show joins us for the end of the year at Paper Birch Landing Gallery! Shades of Red invites artists to submit their best work using shades of red as the dominant color. Other colors are allowed in the pieces submitted but the emphasis is on the color red or hues of red.

This show is open to all mediums and photography
Up to 3 pieces per artist / 15.00 per piece

The color red evokes many emotions across many cultures. This open art show invites artists to explore the color red and its many meanings. From the beauty of red in the leaf of a tree turning in the fall or the field of poppies that brings memories of the past. Red can mean war, fighting, anger, blood, fierceness. It can also mean passion, lust, love and romance. It can mean success, protection, prosperity, leadership. Red is an color that is strong and brilliant. Full of so much meaning. We invite artists and photographers to show us its brilliance and to let the patrons of the gallery during December decipher the meanings behind – Shades of Red.

Deadline to Enter – 11/04/18

The Paper Birch Landing Contemporary Art Gallery opened an unique exhibition featuring Kansas City artist Alexis Webb-Bechtold on August 21 through January 2019. The Curiosity Passport is a wacky wall of mini mosaics by Webb-Bechtold, that promises to inspire play and exploration of Kansas City. Pick up a passport and follow the clues to find hidden additional art (in the form of letterboxes) at the locations that inspired those mini-mosaics in real life.
The Curiosity Passport is more than just an art installation to be viewed in one location, more than just a scavenger hunt. It is interactive, exciting, exploratory, inspiring, open to all ages, and simply filled with fun! It fuses art with adventure. It encourages participants to join in a scavenger hunt for letterboxes hidden around the metro.
Audiences may start at the wall of eco-art mini-mosaics to find the catalyst of the project. Each mini-mosaic is created by the hands of eco-artist, Alexis Webb Bechtold, from upcycled used plastic gift cards (see the making of these unique creations on, and references an awesome location in the area.

Letterboxing is like geocaching, but with an art twist. Each letterbox has a clue (usually found online), that leads to a small box in real life. Inside the box is a hand carved rubber stamp, and a logbook. The finders of the letterbox are encouraged to record their find in the box’s logbook by stamping their own signature stamp (usually also hand carved) or a thumbprint, then use the box’s stamp in their personal logbook of finds. The Curiosity Passport letterboxes’ stamps look similiar to the image on the mini-mosaic that led to this box. The clues for the boxes will be in the form of photo clues or video clues. This will lower the barrier to entry for participants. The clues will be accessible through the robust letterboxing community website,

“In keeping with our dedication to installation art work by Kansas City artists, Paper Birch Landing Contemporary Art is pleased to launch The Curiosity Passport by Artist Alexis Webb-Bechtold of X37Adventures,” says Heather Collinsworth, the Senior Art Director of Paper Birch Landing Contemporary Art Gallery. “Webb-Bechtold’s work is groundbreaking in the history of Kansas City interactive art and merits the attention of a wider audience. This exhibition beautifully combines her innovative work with fascinating aspects of her passions in life and multi-potential-ite process.”
Webb-Bechtold has worked in letterboxing for 11 years and has served as a tour guide in the Kansas City, Missouri area for 4 years. Her love of well known and more hidden landmarks that tell the history of art in Kansas City public places is so apparent in her work.
Webb-Bechtold will lead a tour of the Curiosity Passport of North Kansas City Stops on Saturday, September 22 at 9:30 am. The tour is free but love donations are excepted to fund this grass roots art initiative.
This exhibition is organized and circulated by Paper Birch Landing Contemporary Art Gallery.
ABOUT Paper Birch Landing Contemporary Art Gallery
With rotating shows of more than 100 works of art any given month, Paper Birch Landing Gallery is a Contemporary Arts Space in North Kansas City, Missouri. The Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 am to 4 pm. Represented Artists include Alexis Webb-Bechtold, Codie Lea, Joseph Jurkiewicz, Taj Mattingly, Susan Kiefer, Xiao Chen, Jean McGuire, Penny Fairman (Las Vegas, Nevada), Chris O’Leary (New York, New York), Mia Filo Brayley, John Sandbach, Valerie Anderson – Giving River Images, Trey Montgomery.

Dave Pack, PeaceWorks, Kansas City
4509 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64111
(816) 561-1181,

UNplaza Art Fair slated for Sept. 22-23
An established tradition, now at Southmoreland Park
Since 1991, the UNplaza Art Fair has filled a unique niche in the Kansas City art scene, and 100+ artisans are gearing up to do it again, Sept. 22-23.

The annual fall event offers a unique blend of quality artwork at affordable prices, nearly all created locally. And the juried show not only supports local artists, but also benefits the peacemaking efforts of its sponsor—PeaceWorks, Kansas City.

This year’s event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Sunday, Sept. 23. Hosted from 2000 to 2016 at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, the fair this year (as last year) will be held at Southmoreland Park, just west of the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, at Oak Street and Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard.

Fair organizers are preparing for 2,000 attendees at the event. Through the years, the UNplaza Art Fair has developed a loyal and growing following of patrons who come in search of original works they can afford and enjoy, or to shop early for unique holiday gifts. Original art forms include ceramics, jewelry, glass art, wood carving, mixed media, fiber art, photography, and paintings—plus a variety of candles and teas, scents and soaps. Food trucks will be on site. In addition, fair-goers will be invited to visit the All Souls Used Book Fair at 4501 Walnut, Kansas City, Mo.

The UNPlaza Art Fair is the one fundraiser of PeaceWorks, Kansas City (, now in its 36th year of working for peace in KC and the world. The fair is staffed by volunteers, so all proceeds go to peace-related projects, such as conflict resolution training for the Urban Ranger Corps of KC, Mo.; support for The Learning Club of KC, Kan.; and peace studies awards for Avila University students.

Jake and Julie Bond are a husband and wife team who have created a business based on bringing unique ceramic designs into the lives of their customers. Julie graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a BFA in ceramics. At the same time, Jake was earning his art degree from Doane College in Crete, NE. They met while working in a tile studio in Omaha, NE. After three years of gaining experience in the world of custom tile, they decided to venture out on their own to open Archival Designs in Kansas City, MO, in 2001.

Archival Designs is a working clay studio that is open to the public daily. The Bonds invite anyone to come in and experience their process as well as the finished product of their custom work. The studio is located in the Crossroads District of downtown Kansas City, and participates in the district’s famous “First Friday” art walks, which take place on the first Friday of every month from 6 to 10 p.m. Archival Designs is a working clay studio that is open to the public daily. The Bonds invite anyone to come in and experience their process as well as the finished product of their custom work. The studio is located in the Crossroads District of downtown Kansas City, and participates in the district’s famous “First Friday” art walks, which take place on the first Friday of every month from 6 to 10 p.m.

Carl Richardson I have always loved natural colors and shapes and talking to others about the colors, shapes, and properties of the stones and crystals. This lead to putting those stones together in the form of necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings.
Making a circle out of them. Hence the name LiquidCircle Designs. I have been doing this for about 20 years and I love it!

Michael Toombs & B.J. McBride-Open Spaces lead artists on DECA, a community mural on view in the Swope Park Village August 25- October 28, What do you wish for Kansas City? Children from the Kansas City community have been asked this very question. Led by Kansas City artists, educators, and story tellers Michael Toombs and B.J. McBride, the wishes for Kansas City were incorporated into a beautiful mural entitled DECA, Latin for 10. All of the wishes for each community are visually represented and painted at ArtsTech.

Open Spaces: “Deca” The Wish Machine
Overview By bj McBride
In May 2018 Michael Toombs handed me the concept drawing for the Open Spaces sculpture, the parameters and the creative freedom to implement his vision. The sculpture was to be circular in nature, between 6-7 feet tall by 4 feet wide and include 10 pie-shaped pieces that represented 10 Parks & Recreation Community Centers. Hence the title “Deca” which means ten in Spanish. The sculpture also had to be kinetic and illuminate in some way enhancing the overall concept.
We began with scheduling 20 visits at 10 Park and Recreation Community Centers throughout the Kansas City area. We implemented a project that would produce work that would support the concept for “Deca”. Having only a brief amount of time with the children, the assignment needed to capture a snapshot of their hopes for themselves, their communities and the world-at-large. In society, children are the canaries in the mine. The “Three Wishes Assignment” captured those glimpses of truth that need to be heard.
Each session had 10-20 children so 3 instructors could help small groups do a 3-D design for name of their site and make sure the children’s wishes made it to paper. The first wish was for themselves, the second was for their community and the last wish was for the world-at-large. They were asked to go beyond asking for money and in return they provided profound insights as to how they feel about their worlds. In general they care deeply about politics, discrimination, gun control, pollution, infrastructure and homelessness. The more touching responses were, to bring loved ones back from the dead, the need for sidewalks on 53rd Street, the power to be impossible to be killed and the effects of psychotropic drugs on family members.
The wishes and images were collaged onto one of ten Plexiglas panels and illuminated from behind with LED lights. In order to be able to illuminate the images/words, gel pens and tissue paper were used for their reflective and transparent qualities. The work would mimic stained glass as a decorative element from a distance and up close it would keep the viewer engaged in reading the wishes.
My work is organic in nature and the creative freedom Michael gave me, allowed for that kind of process. Eventually the process is to reveal or expose an authentic truth. As my team interacted with the children we wanted to illuminate the voices of ten communities through the voices of their children. Each panel contains 10 of the most insightful wishes from that site.
The circular shape of “Deca” refers to life, the world and sacred traditional images in many religions i.e., the Dharma Wheel and the Rosetta stained glass window. The children’s voices are illuminated in a tear-dropped shaped panel making them the focal point. The rotation of the double-plated Plexiglas wheel allows the piece to act as a kaleidoscope, with confetti tickling over the wishes.
“Deca” was created at Storytellers’ studio at ArtsTech, with Michael Toombs facilitating the project, bj McBride as the project director and Blake (Woody) Woodward as the project coordinator. We also had Leslie Ponce who is on her way to the Rhode Island School of design in August, interning with us on the project. Bj McBride and Blake Woodward were responsible for the physical construction but mechanical aspect and the LED light installation were farmed out. Robin Doerffel, engineered the design and customized the motor, welding all the fittings and brackets. Yosh Gregory designed the lay out and installed the LED lights. The circular body of the sculpture is made of wood with ten tear-dropped Plexiglas panels inlaid in the central wheel with the remaining two, on the front legs.
The lights can be programmed to pulsate, transition from color to color or beat to the sound of music. For the purpose of display, the outer rim will be blue and the interior lights will be white. The motor is a 1/4 horsepower with a speed control module, requiring a 220 volt outlet. The main wheel will rotate very slowly so viewers can read the wishes and allow confetti to spill in between the double-paned Plexiglas panels.
“Deca” has an ephemeral and mystical quality to it with the lights and kaleidoscope effect but the content is profound, giving it its strength. Making the collective voices of the children from ten different communities heard was always the reason behind the rationale behind the method. The children referred to it as the wish machine but it could easily be titled “A 100 Wishes”. Not only listening but hearing the children is responsible for our inspiration, evolution and materialization of “Deca”.
The first time “Deca” was lit up, there was a quiet hush then a collective “Wow”. We knew the sculpture had come into her own because she went beyond us as the creators. The illumination and the movement draw the viewer in but it is the children’s words that keep them authentically engaged. The viewer cannot give “Deca” just a passing glance. The kid in us wants to look and the adult cannot walk away demising why we should care so much about those fragile and resilient canaries of our world.

Open Spaces-Works by more than 40 visual artists across a diverse range of media are now installed throughout Kansas City. Swope Park is the Open Spaces hub, but art can be found at venues in all the neighborhoods identified on maps. Our out-of-town visitors will be able to enjoy the exhibition over a fast-paced couple of days, but if you’re lucky enough to live here, you have 62 days to explore all this art. Detailed neighborhood maps provide the info you’ll need to locate each unique encounter.


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