Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, December 14, 2022, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio www.kkfi.org
Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes Sherry Leedy artist/Director of Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art with gallery assistant Elise Gagliardi and entertainer Jerry Rapp.
SHERRY LEEDY Contemporary Art
Roger Shimomura: 100 More White Lies
“This suite of 100 small paintings…., offers images and juxtapositions that may first appear random in relation to each other…. [It] is an attempt to make fresh sense out of nonsense, or to discover inherent truths in lies.”
The series of paintings, 100 More White Lies, was started in the middle of the covid pandemic in Roger Shimomura’s studio in Lawrence, Kansas. The word “More” in the title refers to the suite’s immediate predecessor, Little White Lies, which too was comprised of 100 paintings. Taken together the paintings, which began in late 2019 and complete in this series in late 2022, span the pandemic and political confusion of our recent history. They reflect a visual record of ideas and images but not a logical narrative. Instead, the combination of images in each painting echo’s themes that run throughout Shimomura’s over 50-year career paired with elements of chance, choice and randomness, which is in itself a theme in the artist’s work.
References to his own life experiences are central in Roger Shimomura’s paintings. Barbwire and wooden buildings reference the Minidoka “interment” concentration camp where he and his family were sent during World War II. This experience continues to resonate today. Shimomura often confronts racism head on and does not shy away from using depictions of ugly racial caricatures of the Japanese “enemy” from publications of the time.
Roger Shimomura is a third generation Japanese American and he grew up immersed in American culture. His love of comic books and later Pop Art imagery, with its’ inspiration in popular and commercial culture, developed into a painting style uniquely his own. Shimomura’s paintings tell a story, through a distillation of information, pared down to an essence of visual economy. The design, crisp, flat and lively color carry the story.
Shimomura’s visual language takes on the history, art and stereotypes of American identity. He compares and contrasts East and West, Superman and Donald Duck, Warhol’s American icons, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, rice cookers and samurai figures painted in the style of 19th Century Ukiyo-prints, to name but a few. This is a sophisticated shifting play of subverted or reinvented cultural icons.
The paintings in 100 More White Lies, like all of Shimomura’s work, pulls the viewer in with recognizable images combined in unexpected ways with humor and beauty. A longer look often poses more questions than answers. The artist pokes and prods the thinking viewer to look and think and look again.
Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art has the same goal today, as when we first opened in 1985, to present contemporary works of art and artists of exceptional quality and merit. The gallery is now one of the oldest sustained contemporary art galleries in Kansas City and the Midwest representing emerging, mid-career and internationally established artists making exciting work in all fine art mediums.
The gallery maintains a large inventory of artwork and offers individualized art consulting services. Our clients include both the first-time art buyer and the experienced collector, as well as, corporate and museum collections throughout the United States. The gallery works with clients and artists on individual acquisitions as well as commissioned works of art.
The gallery has placed over 150 works of art in museum collections and gallery artists are represented in over 100 museums worldwide. Designed by Greenlee Schmidt Architects, the gallery has been instrumental in the revitalization and success of the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Missouri.
Gallery exhibition highlights include over 100 Solo shows with established and mid-career artists including Hung Liu, Patty Carroll, Roger Shimomura, Sarah Sense, Peter Pincus, Judy Onofrio, Vera Mercer, John Balistreri, Peter Voulkos, Jun Kaneko, Rudy Autio, Therman Statom, Chris Gustin, Tom Huck, Jeff Aeling, Larry Schwarm, Barbara Rogers, Michael Schultz, Dale Chihuly and others. The gallery represents the estate of Peter Voulkos.
Located in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, MO, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or by appointment. For additional information, please call the gallery (816) 221-2626.
Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art 2004 Baltimore Ave Kansas City, MO 64108 www.sherryleedy.com
Sherry Leedy, Director, established Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri in 1985 and works as both Director and Curator. Leedy’s role as an important leader in the Kansas City arts community is well known and she has been influential in the rejuvenation of the visual art scene of the city. Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art enjoys the prestigious position of being the first and longest running contemporary art gallery in the Crossroads Arts District. Leedy and her gallery have been an essential component in the transformation of the Crossroads neighborhood into the heart of contemporary cultural life that it is today. From the start, Sherry Leedy championed artists from the region as well as those nationally and internationally known including some of the most important American ceramic and glass masters of our time. The hundreds of solo and group exhibitions that Leedy created and exhibited established the gallery’s importance and set a high standard for excellence that is ongoing. Sherry Leedy holds a M.F.A. degree from the University of Kansas, Lawrence and a B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri. In addition to her work at the gallery, Leedy continues her commitment to her art practice at her studio in Kansas City.
Elise Gagliardi, Gallery Assistant, originally from Denver has a BFA from University of Colorado at Boulder with an emphasis in Painting and Photography. Elise has been an active participant in the Kansas City art community for 14 years, as an exhibiting artist and curator. Elise is a founding member of the Kansas City Artist round table, which has spear headed the Kansas City Site Exhibitions. She was a recipient of the 2022 Inspiration Grant from Arts KC.
JERRY RAPP studied for several years in California with notable groups including The Groundlings, The LA Connection and Improv Slam. In Kansas City he has worked with The Improv Shop, The KC Improv Company, Comedy City and the Bird Comedy Theater. Jerry is also an experienced stand-up, musician, writer and filmmaker. He wishes to thank his Matey, family, friends and the incredible Maestro cast and community for the support and opportunity to create smiles!
The MAESTROS PRESENT: THE COMPANY HOLIDAY PARTY!
Experience the annual celebration of The (mythical) Company, now a whopping 35 years in business and ready to get crazy! Make new friends, enjoy appetizers from specialty caterers, and fun libations.
And expect surprises – some ‘Guests’ are not who they seem!
We have an EARLY and LATE show to choose from!
From your suggestions, anecdotes, questions, shout-outs and call outs, The Maestros create a multi-level musical and interactive show-stopping night before your eyes! – and EARS!
Our celebratory price of only $35/individual table ticket (for every year ‘The Company’ has been in business), includes first class appetizers, a beer or wine ticket, and if you desire different libations we feature a cash bar with select alternatives.
If you want the BEST value, wrangle a GROUP of your friends and family together and select the TABLE option for $275. (a savings of up to $9.50 per ticket!).
We hope you can come laugh, sing and play with The Maestros… at THE COMPANY HOLIDAY PARTY!
MORE INFO: www.themaestroskc.com
WHEN: Friday, December 16 at 6:30PM and Friday, December 16 at 8:30PM
WHERE: Unity Performing Arts Center Theater (in the Plaza) 707 W 47th St Kansas City, Missouri