Arts notes

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Lawrence artist opens exhibition at KC gallery

The work of Lawrence artist Lisa Grossman will be on display March 1-April 12 at the Dolphin Gallery in Kansas City, Mo.

An opening reception for the show will be 6 p.m.-10 p.m. March 7, which coincides with the Crossroads Arts District's First Fridays gallery walk.

The exhibition, "Twilight and Reverie," will feature about 30 oil paintings depicting vast stretches of rural eastern Kansas and the Flint Hills. Grossman paints "en plain air" or on location, on canvases or wooden panels. Using the Kansas landscape, she explores concepts of distance and open space, the shifting effects of light and weather, the way days and seasons evolve, and the relationship of land to sky.

The Dolphin is located at 1901 Baltimore. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-5 p.m. Saturday.

Party to celebrate jazz legend's birthday

Kansas City, Mo. -- A party and jam session today will celebrate the 95th birthday of Kansas City jazz great Claude "Fiddler" Williams.

The all-star bash is from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. at The Blue Room with the jam session following at the Mutual Musicians Foundation.

Born Feb. 22, 1908, in Muskogee, Okla., Williams played the guitar, mandolin, banjo and cello in string bands by the age of 10. Through the years, Williams has collaborated with many great artists, including Twelve Clouds of Joy, the Cole Brothers (which featured a young Nat "King" Cole), Count Basie's Band and another of Kansas City's living legends, Jay McShann.

Admission to the party and the jam session is free. Both the Blue Room and the Mutual Musicians Foundation are in Kansas City's Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, the Blue Room at 1616 E. 18th Street, the Mutual Musicians Foundation at 1823 Highland.

African dance troupe portrays cultural rituals

Kansas City, Mo. -- An Ann Arbor, Mich., dance troupe will share the cultural experience of an African learning circle when it performs "Dance! Mbongi!" Friday and Saturday at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Mbongi Dance Theater will perform traditional, social and contemporary dances of the Congo during the 7 p.m. performances in Atkins Auditorium.

The appearance is part of the Ford Free Fridays series. Admission to the performances and the museum collection is free.

Also free is a Saturday matinee performance during which the troupe will introduce songs and stories reflecting the customs and rituals of Congolese culture.

Mbongi, pronounced bone-gee, is a Congolese work interpreted variously as "the learning circle" or "the healing circle." The Mbongi, an ancient African tradition, is a community gathering that typically features drumming, singing, dancing, healing, storytelling and teaching.

JCCC play tackles issue of terrorism

Overland Park -- "The Just Assassins," a play based on the true story of a Russian assassin who couldn't bring himself to kill the czar's uncle in 1905, will be staged this week at Johnson County Community College.

The assassin, part of a group of Moscow terrorists, was unable to complete his assignment because he saw the Grand Duke's niece and nephew in the carriage with their uncle.

The Albert Camus play, translated from French into English by Stuart Gilbert, traces the unusual circumstances leading up to and following the assassination attempt.

Masoud Delkhah, JCCC adjunct professor and the play's director, is a Kansas University graduate.

The play will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Feb. 23 in the Black Box Theatre. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and are available by calling (913) 469-4445.

'Fearless Loving' author to speak at Unity Temple

Kansas City, Mo. -- A woman who as a child witnessed her father murder her mother and then turn the gun on himself will speak Tuesday at Unity Temple on the Plaza about her book, "Fearless Loving."

Rhonda Britten's message is that love can alter your life forever. She'll tell her story at 7:30 p.m. at Unity, 707 W. 47th St.

Despite having witnessed her parents' murder-suicide in the summer of 1975, Britten went on to earn a full-ride scholarship to the University of Minnesota and became the youngest director of marketing for a Minnesota hotel chain.

She later moved to Los Angeles, where she pursued a career in acting before starting her own public relations business.

Acclaimed trumpeter coming to Gem Theater

Kansas City, Mo. -- The American Jazz Museum's annual Jammin' at the Gem concert series continues Saturday with a performance by jazz trumpeter and film composer Terence Blanchard.

Though jazz audiences know Blanchard for his trumpeting, movie audiences may not know he's the driving force behind film scores like "Mo' Better Blues" and "Malcolm X." Also among Blanchard's credits are music for "Love and Basketball," "Next Friday," "Summer of Sam" and "Jungle Fever."

All Jammin' at the Gem shows begin at 8 p.m. in the Gem Theater, located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. Cost is $25; museum members are $22.50. Students are $15. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling (816) 474-VINE.

Club Crawl to benefit KC blues society

Kansas City, Mo. -- The 12th annual Mardi Gras Blues Club Crawl, sponsored by the Kansas City Blues Society, will be 8 p.m.-midnight March 4.

The Club Crawl will include clubs throughout the city, including the City Market area, Downtown, Midtown, Westport, Waldo, South Kansas City, and Kansas City, Kan. Buses will run regularly between participating clubs.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 the night of the event. Proceeds from the Club Crawl benefit the many programs of the Kansas City Blues Society, a nonprofit organization devoted to keeping the blues alive as an art form. For more information, call (913) 649-0383.

ArtBreak offers alternative Spring Break

Kansas City, Mo. -- Area children can explore their artistic interests March 18-21 at the Kansas City Art Institute's Art Break, an intensive day camp program for seventh- and eighth-grade students.

Students will attend studio classes in two of the following four areas: computer graphics, drawing, painting and photography. Classes are 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, with a closing exhibition at 3:30 p.m. March 21.

Cost is $195, all materials included, but students are expected to bring their own lunches. Interested participants can register and pay up until the event begins.

For more information, call (816) 802-3449.

Regional exhibition calls for artists' work

Kansas City, Mo. -- Entries for the 2003 River Market Regional Exhibition are due April 12.

Artists older than 18 who are living in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas and Oklahoma are eligible to enter the Kansas City Artists Coalition's 21 annual juried competition. The exhibition will run from July 18-Aug. 23.

The juror is Debra Singer, associate curator of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Entry fee is $20 for one to three entries, $30 for four entries and $40 for five entries. Fees are nonrefundable.

For more information about the exhibition and entry guidelines, call (816) 421-5222.