Artspeak Radio with Pepe Mar and Cathy Maxwell

Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, August 3, 2022, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes writer Cathy Maxwell, Emily Becker Mid-Continent Public Library Community Relations Specialist, artist Pepe Mar, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Erin Dziedzic, Director of Curatorial Affairs, and Kreshaun McKinney, Director of Learning and Engagement.

PEPE MAR- The Kemper Museum Atrium Project is an annual commission that presents the work of emerging and mid-career Hispanic and Latinx artists. In 2022, Kemper Museum commissioned a project by Miami-based artist Pepe Mar (born Reynosa, Mexico, 1977). Mar’s work is a reflection on contemporary culture and cultural alienation, engaging narratives found in secondhand stores (from which he often sources materials), science fiction, celebrity, commercial design, and social media.

Titled “Pepe Mar: Rising Sun,” the Atrium Project installation will feature a monumental fabric that highlights the signature fabric featured throughout Mar’s recent practice—a medium-weight textile printed with images sourced from his 15-year career archive—stretched across the expanse of the main atrium wall as well as a new large-scale assemblage work depicting the newest iteration of the artist’s “Paprikas”: characters, or alter egos, that recur throughout Mar’s works.

“Mar’s inspiration for this installation comes from Hans Hofmann’s ‘Rising Sun’ (1958), a work that is part of the museum’s Permanent Collection,” said Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs for Kemper Museum. “Engaging vibrant color and expressionist mark making, Pepe channels this history alongside his own aesthetic inquiries inspired by fashion, culture, personal narratives, and overlooked queer histories. This major solo installation again transforms Kemper Museum’s atrium and opens spaces for continued dialogue on the significance and contributions of Latinx artists.”

Pepe Mar is a cognoscente of materiality at the forefront of social fluency and personal obsession. Mar excavates the ritual narratives inherent in secondhand stores, science fiction, celebrity, commercial design, and social media to create abstract and anthropomorphic barometers of contemporary culture. His rich, experiential process recalls the history of assemblage and painting. Mar heeds the call of Roland Barthes’ universal signifiers and answers with icons both appropriated and original. The artist’s work is committed to a personal and universal exploration of cultural alienation.

Pepe Mar was born in Mexico and lives and works in Miami, Florida. He received his BFA from California College of the Arts (CCA), San Francisco. Mar attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine (2011) and his MFA from Florida International University in 2012. In 2013, the artist participated in the Bronx Museum International Residency Program. In 2014, Mar had his first institutional commission in the US at DiverseWorks, Houston. In 2015, the artist participated in the Banff Residency in Canada and was awarded an Andy Warhol Foundation Wavemaker grant for his project Versus. In 2016, the artist participated in the ISCP Residency in New York and was the recipient of both a Pollock-Krasner grant and a South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship. In the same year, he was part of the exhibition Woven at Deutsche Bank, New York and Philodendron at the Wolfsonian Museum, Miami Beach. His solo exhibition in 2017 was Excess of Sleep Produces Monsters at David Castillo Gallery, Miami Beach and Man of the Night at Locust Projects, Miami and a solo exhibition at The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh in 2019. His work has been exhibited throughout the US and venues abroad and is included in major collections in the US, Europe, and Latin America including public collections such as the ICA Miami and Perez Art Museum. His work has appeared in the New York Times, ARTnews, Art in America, Art + Auction, the Artnewspaper, and Artnet.

Kemper Museum Block Party will return Saturday, August 20, for the first time since 2019. Kemper Museum’s largest annual public program, the Block Party features music, car clubs, food trucks, cash bar, an outdoor movie screening, and art activities for the whole family. Coinciding with the opening of the 7th annual Atrium Project installation, “Pepe Mar: Rising Sun,” this free community event celebrates contemporary art and ideas after hours on the museum grounds. “We are thrilled to bring back this beloved Kemper Museum tradition,” said Kreshaun McKinney, director of learning and engagement. “This year’s block party welcomes the opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate great art and creativity. From cars to music to hands-on art-making activities–there will be something for every visitor to enjoy.”

Kemper Museum Block Party
Saturday, August 20, 6–10:30 p.m.

6–8:30 p.m. | Art activities, food and drinks, music with DJ Joe The Mad Scientist & DJ Ice Kole

8:30 p.m. | Family-friendly movie screening. Title to be announced.

CATHY MAXWELL, author-Mid-Continent Public Library will be kicking off Romance GenreCon Fan Fest with our Welcome Party where you can meet some of your favorite authors. We then follow with our Lady KC Readers Salon hosted by the one and only Cathy Maxwell!

Friday, August 5, 6:30pm – 10pm

Mid-Continent Public Library Woodneath Library Center 8900 NE Flintlock Road KCMO 64157


His Lessons on Love, New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell’s delicious Logical Man’s Guide to Dangerous Women series continues with this provocative romance between a reprobate earl and a sensible spinster who agree to marry under scandalous circumstances. Perfect for fans of Sophie Jordan and Sabrina Jeffries.

Cathy Maxwell’s enthusiasm for life graces the pages of her books and are the topic of the talks she gives to readers and writers groups about her chosen career.She is no stranger to the limelight. After graduating from college, Cathy started off as a news broadcaster. She later decided reporting was boring compared to making news and joined the navy. After a successful stint in Naval intelligence, including a tour with the Pentagon, Cathy proceeded to pursue writing. Now, she has over thirty-five published romance novels (and five anthologies) to her credit, many of them spending significant time on the New York Times and USA Today mass market best-seller lists. Several have been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award and has been honored with RT Book Review’s “Love and Laughter” award among others. Recently, the Washington Romance Writers named her a recipient of the Kathleen Gilles Seidel “Legend” award for her service to the chapter. Best of all, she has made some wonderful friends along the way and has had a great time.
Originally from Kansas, she now finds herself in Texas! When not writing she is likely to be busy with one of many local charities or packing her bags to research her next novel. Cathy’s motto is “travel light” and she enjoys meeting her fans all over the world.

Emily Becker, Mid-Continent Public Library Community Relations Specialist


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