Kansas City, MO, October 5, 2021: Driving down Southwest Boulevard, viewers can catch a glimpse of the newly installed Crossroads Artboards featuring local artists Ariana Chaivaranon and Israel Garcia Garcia. Located in the heart of the Crossroads District at 125 Southwest Boulevard, the Artboards captures the creative spirit of the Crossroads neighborhood, serving as an alternative, outdoor platform where artists’ work can be viewed during all hours of the day. The Artboards are sponsored by CBIZ and Humana Associates, via a collaboration with the Crossroads Arts Association. The new work will be on display for the next three months through the first week of January 2022.
Garcia Garcia’s selected work depicts two contiguous images of individuals and families living in temporary encampments alongside the US-Mexico border. When asked about the project, Garcia-Garcia states that his work “narrates one moment: telling the stories of my ancestors, elders, peers, and communities during their deadly migrant journey.” Garcia Garcia continues, “In the Fall of 2018 I hiked, drove, ran and hid as the Border Patrol harassed me on my 2000-mile journey along the U.S.-Mexico border. This gave me a new understanding of the assumed freedom I thought I had gained in becoming a citizen, as I witnessed the true inhumanities being carried by our government to those seeking asylum. I am looking to share my shifted perspective and highlight the immigrant experience and its heritage that is captured in a fraction of a second.”
Israel Garcia Garcia is an artist and advocate in Kansas City, MO. A native of Michoacán, Mexico, Garcia Garcia spent his formative years growing up in Los Angeles, California and moved to Kansas City in early 1997. Now a longtime resident and exhibiting artist of the Kansas City area, Garcia Garcia is the Creative Director/Curator of Garcia Squared Contemporary in the Crossroads Arts District, leader with the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), and recipient of several grants including a Rocket Grant with funds from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Interchange Grant through Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Inspiration Grant through Artist Inc., among others.
Installed on the East-facing side of the billboards is Chaivaranon’s Now You See Us, a pairing of two paintings titled Ai and A Eye. In Ai, Chaivaranon’s father imitates the portrait of Ai Weiwei that opened the exhibition, Trace at Hirshhorn, where a white couple mistook her father for Ai. Created during the time of increasing Anti-Asian violence, Ai’s pose was an entreaty to the American audience to “open your eyes” in the face of escalating international tensions and politically motivated violence.
Ariana Chaivaranon is an artist, educator, and museum professional. Born in Thailand, Chaivaranon studied Visual and Environmental Studies and the History of Art at Harvard, and is currently a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University where she is studying Global Affairs. Chaivaranon’s work has been shown by the H&R Block Artspace, Charlotte Street Foundation, Vulpes Bastille, and Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. She creates and supports art that intersects with activism, through collaborations with Rirkrit Tirivanija, Tania Bruguera, and Lee Mingwei.
ABOUT CROSSROADS ARTBOARDS
The Crossroads Artboards were launched in fall 2008 as a partnership between Charlotte Street Foundation and Missouri Bank (now BOK Financial). In 2021, Crossroads Community Association assumed sponsorship of the boards. To date, 84 Kansas City area artists have been featured on the Artboards. For a complete listing and more information, visit our website.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE STREET
Charlotte Street centers Kansas City’s most forward-thinking visual artists, writers, and performers— acting as the primary incubator, provocateur, and connector for the region’s contemporary arts community, and its leading advocate on the national stage. Since 1997, Charlotte Street has distributed over $1.85 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 OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH CBIZ / HUMANA / CROSSROADS ART ASSOCIATION
Through a serendipitous meeting, CBIZ and Humana associates were introduced to Suzie and the Crossroads Arts Association (CAA). After learning more about CAA, Charlotte Street Foundation and the history behind the Artboards – CBIZ, Humana and CAA decided to jointly sponsor the revival of the boards in 2021. A core value of CBIZ and Humana is to positively engage with our community in which we live, work and play. The Crossroads is a beloved place by many, and us personally, so we hope that our sponsorship of the boards brings a smile to those that love the tradition and is enjoyed by those just passing by.
You can read the press release in PDF format here.