KANSAS CITY, MO, June 10, 2019: Charlotte Street Foundation is proud to announce that the next iteration of the 2019-20 Artboards have been installed above Mobank at 125 Southwest Boulevard in the Crossroads District of Kansas City, MO. This version of the Artboards will showcase new works from Lilly McElroy and Kiki Serna with Xan Holt. The exterior, double-side Artboards will be visible to the public all hours of the day through the end of August 2019.
When asked about I Control the Sun, Lilly stated, “In May of 2013, I began an ongoing project titled, I Control The Sun. This body of work is made up of a series of photographs that show my arm repeatedly jutting into the sky and grasping the sun. The project is, in part, an act of defiance as well as an interruption of the beautiful. It also serves as a personal travel log, as I make a photograph whenever I enter a new geographic location. To date I have made 33 of these images. When I reach a new location, I insert myself into the landscape and perform a gesture that at once affirms and negates my importance – a demand to be on equal terms with the sublime is ultimately doomed to failure.
An echo of Icarus, I Control The Sun depicts a failed attempt to control something infinitely greater than myself. The act is performed for a vast landscape, the ultimate disinterested subject. My efforts have no effect, my attempted interruption is full of pathos. This project is romantic, pathetic, and humorous. It is about the American Dream, the gap between what we are told to hope for and our lived experience. It is also about wanting to make a mark in an environment which proffers a vision of reality beyond our reach and out of our control.”
Lilly McElroy grew up in southern Arizona amongst cowboys ridding bulls, coyotes howling on moonlit nights, beautiful sunsets, and vicious brawls. McElroy’s artistic practice revolves around translating those experiences and clichés into epic photographs and playfully antagonistic videos. The projects McElroy pursues are a reflection of her complex relationship with the American landscape and explore what it means to be an American in a time of diminished expectations. McElroy received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the University of Arizona. She was in residence at the MOCA Tucson, The Charlotte Street Foundation, The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her work has been exhibited internationally, in venues including Modern Art Oxford, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Figge Art Museum, Southern Exposure Gallery, and The Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA. McElroy lives and works in Kansas City and is represented by Rick Wester Fine Art.
Only Here, Nowhere Else is a context specific collaboration between Kiki Serna and Xan Holt. Initially deriving from a conversation discussing the unique qualities and colors in the sky of Kansas City, this piece aims to capture a specific moment – a moment that only Kansas City can offer. Further revolving around the documentation of Kansas City’s sky throughout 2018, this collaboration aims to remind the viewer how unique our home is. Only Here, Nowhere Else reflects on the wonderment that one experiences when looking up in awe at the vibrant beauty that unfolds over us, and around us, that is so often held for granted.
This piece is dedicated to the aspect of Kansas City being a home of diversity, and to the unrepeatable experiences that this city holds. Through this partnership, both artists shared their diverse artistic skills such as design, documentation, and aesthetic to develop this concept. Whether you call it KC, The City of Fountains, or The Paris of The Plains, this piece seeks to remind the viewers to look up, look around, and to remember the remarkable experience of this city.
Xan Holt is an award-winning designer and motion graphics video artist with strengths in videography, photography, illustration, branding, corporate identity, and product design. Xan aims to use his background in fine art to deliver unique design experiences to every situation regardless of media or limitations. By mixing these new and traditional techniques, he hopes to create thoughtful content that invokes conceptual emphasis through aesthetic choices and planning.
Aquetzali (Kiki) Serna is a Mexican visual artist living in Kansas City, Missouri. Kiki works within performance, painting, digital mixed media, and collage-based practices. Since her time at the Kansas City Art Institute, she has worked on telling her, and her family’s immigration story – deciphering it for herself, and sharing it with others. Once undocumented, now part of the DACA program, Kiki craves to find healing, catharsis, and a voice through her creative art practice. Her pieces develop from her inner feelings of alienation, confusion, and fragmentation as an immigrant. Kiki combats these thoughts by using color to celebrate the empowering aspects of her immigrant history and experience. Using color as her ally, she relives vicariously through the passages she once walked as a child – The brightly colored buildings, the sweet tastes of fruit outside her great grandfather’s home, and the lively, populated streets.
Kiki uses specific tools to guide her research; Stories from her parents, conversations with her family who still reside in Mexico, images from her relatives via social media, and other digital resources. This brings a question to thought – Which reality is most accurate? That which resides within the fragmented truth that these tools bring, a window to an ever-changing Mexico in which she has never set foot – or simply that which derives from her diluted memories? She finds herself asking if either truth matters more, the original, or the manufactured – and if there is a home for her among it all.
The Missouri Bank ARTBOARDS were launched in fall 2008 when the Bank purchased the building that currently houses its Crossroads Branch and renovated and converted the building’s existing double-sided billboards into a highly visible site for work by area artists. The project was completed by Helix Architecture + Design. To date, commissions by approximately 76 Kansas City area artists have been featured on the ART- BOARDS. For a complete listing and more information, go to www.charlottestreet.org/opportunities/artboards
Mobank is part of BOK Financial Corporation, a $33 billion regional financial services company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Company’s stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the Global Select market listings (symbol: BOKF). Through its subsidiaries, the Company provides commercial and consumer banking, investment and trust services, mortgage origination and servicing, and an electronic funds transfer network. For more information, visit https://www.mobank.com/.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE STREET
Charlotte Street identifies the needs and fuels the evolution of an ever-changing multidisciplinary arts ecosystem, acting as its primary provocateur. Charlotte Street cultivates the contemporary, the exceptional, and the unexpected in the practice of artists working in and engaging with the Kansas City art community. Since 1997, Charlotte Street has distributed over $1.1 million in awards and grants to artists and their innovative projects, and connected individual artists to each other and to the greater Kansas City community. For more information about Charlotte Street, its awards, programs, and initiatives, visit www.charlottestreet.org.