KANSAS CITY, MO, June 15, 2020: Two new works from local Kansas City artists are now installed in the heart of Kansas City’s Crossroads District. The newly installed Artboards feature work from artists Joe Bussell and Kylie McConnell, which can be found above BOK Financial’s Crossroads branch at 125 Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City, MO. As Kansas Citians find safe ways to explore the city amidst the heat, Charlotte Street Foundation encourages visitors in the Crossroads neighborhood to check out these beautiful installations while walking or driving along Southwest Boulevard.
The new Artboard designs will display above BOK Financial through August of 2020. The exterior, double-sided Artboards will be visible to the public all hours of the day above BOK Financial (formerly branded as Mobank), who has collaborated with Charlotte Street in the innovative Artboards program since 2008.
When asked about UNPACK’d, Kyle McConnell stated, “In UNPACK’d, the billboards have transformed into packaged ‘artworks,’ complete with a bubble wrap facade and shipping labels reading ‘FRAGILE, THIS SIDE UP,’ and ‘KEEP DRY.’ UNPACK’d plays with the illusion of depth and concealment, inviting the viewer to imagine what might be hidden under the packaging.
The visual language of ‘packing and shipping’ is a nod towards my job as an art handler. As an artist and an art handler, I am very interested in the relationship between art handlers and the art world. Art handlers are often overlooked due to the behind-the-scenes nature of their work. All throughout the country art handlers continue to unionize and fight for higher wages, benefits, and safer working conditions. I was inspired by several groups, publications, and social media presences such as The
The colors used throughout the piece are intended to reflect the bustling area of the Crossroads Arts District. Bright orange traffic cones and barriers signify areas of construction, while green and red traffic lights flash against sections of blue sky.”
Kylie McConnell is a visual artist currently living and working in Kansas City, MO. McConnell received her B.F.A in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2018. Rooted in experimentation and committed to the practice of play, her works exist in the expanded field of painting. The act of collaging photographic material provides a point of departure for the paintings and assemblages. She is interested in the translation that occurs when shifting between photographic and sculptural states. The process of editing, both digitally and physically, is seen throughout her work.
“These paintings are from the Blue Spit series and are acrylic on canvas,” states local artist Joe Bussell. “Blue Spit #1 and #2 represent ‘summer of love’ memories when I was in middle school with Kenny. Kenny and I have very different lives now, but memory flashbacks from our youth sparkle in these paintings as though it were yesterday.”
In 1979, Joe Bussell received a BFA in painting from the University of Kansas. From that time to the present, Joe has lived in London, on both US coasts, and a variety of cities in between. Joe has received two MFA’s, one in painting, and the other in ceramics from Washington University in St Louis. Joe Bussell has also taught art at Washington University in St. Louis, and Johnson County Community College.
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 $1.5 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.
ABOUT THE CROSSROADS ARTBOARDS
The Crossroads Artboards were launched in the fall of 2008 when the Mobank 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. In 2019, Mobank was rebranded to BOK Financial. For a complete listing of artists featured and more information, go to www.charlottestreet.org/opportunities/artboards
Read the press release in PDF format here.