In Exhibition

Embodying the New Emotional Landscape in an Upcoming Exhibition: Sweeping the Chimney through the Mantle of the Earth

Charlotte Street Foundation presents Sweeping the Chimney through the Mantle of the Earth, an exhibition of nine contemporary artists, on view from April 8th-May 21st, 2022, curated by Charlotte Street Studio Resident Andrew Ordonez. The exhibition examines the physiological extension between the body and the Earth through the lens of social and environmental unrest. Through works of artists Pia Bakala (Kansas City, MO), Kevin Demery (Kansas City, MO), Juan Molina Hernández (Chicago, IL), Jada Patterson (Kansas City, MO), Xime Prieto (Ciudad de México) Donald Pruitt (Kansas City, MO), José Villalobos (San Antonio, TX), Fred Vorder-Bruegge (Kansas City, MO), and Rachel Youn (St. Louis, MO) the exhibition presents new interpretations and recordings of nature, human nature, and naturalistic observation specifically in the North American Central Time Zone region. 

Fred Vorder-Bruegge, Happy holidays from Northpoint, 2022

“ ‘Every hundred feet the world changes,’ said Florita Almada. The idea that some places are the same as others is a lie. The world is a kind of tremor.” ― Roberto Bolaño, 2666 

Uprooting generational histories and lived experiences, the nine artists featured in this exhibition use objects of labor, landscape, and shelter as a means to navigate shifting geographical and cultural milieus. Politically nuanced, the survey of work alludes to Earth-related material such as dirt substances, terrains of tropics and drought, decorated floral material, plant-based environments, industrial rubble, objects of infrastructure, and composite grain. Emotionally charged in their relationship to the idealization of nature, these works draw surprising comparisons to the do-or-die attitudes of art historical movement known as Romanticism. The works obtain a highly expressive subjectivity of thought, consider the elements of the psychologically charged landscape, and entertain the spiritual realm. Fast-forward the horizon line two hundred years, these works lean more to a Mendieta-esque model featuring a livelier, more diverse, queer-centric North American landscape to explore. 

Contextualizing the exhibition further, Ordonez expressed an interest in “experimental and visceral works that address a haunting relationship between interior and exterior spaces. The parallels between a crashing housing market and an environmental climate crisis in the 2020 Global Pandemic accelerated this visualization. A ticking clock upon the fireplace mantel became synonymous with a ticking clock upon the Earth’s mantle. Perhaps, even on what feels like a decaying planet, these work samples are more concerned with matters of creation rather than destruction.” On January 23, 2020, prior to the global pandemic, the ​​Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists officially moved the Doomsday Clock Countdown to 23:58:20, declaring that the global demise now reads 100 seconds till midnight. Later that fall, artists Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd reprogrammed the Metronome Digital Countdown Clock at Union Station in New York City, reinterpreting the 100 seconds as an approximate seven-year deadline. 

Shifting the clock between 100 seconds, seven years, and 200 years in the past, selected artists present new signifiers of the alarming and decaying landscapes upon the horizon. Reinterpreting the landscape’s deadline, Pia Bakala quite literally sets an alarm in her figurative painting, T4M: 6:00AM. Through the employment of archetypal figures such as the siren, nymph, and naiad, Bakala contextualizes the Trans body as a native to nature, vulnerable and present in the canon of Art History. Donald Pruitt’s Selected Drawings forecast our seasonal rituals through media consumption and alert information. Using the drawing paper as a composition television screen, Pruitt writes, “BAD WEATHER EVENT” and “LIVE” in front of illustrated weather graphics, blurring the realm between meteorologist and poetic cosmologist. Other works, including Fred Vorder-Bruegge’s installation titled cheeky regulator, consider the value of repurposed earth-based material, as a method to challenge industrial and commercial development. Referencing his experiences in the Jackson Country region, Vorder-Bruegge presents a fictional and flawed history of objects and places through absurdist interpretations of land regulators and infrastructure development. The nine artists featured in this exhibition embody a collective consciousness of the natural, supernatural and spiritual world, boldly using the North American landscape as the subject and the medium. 

Sweeping the Chimney through the Mantle of the Earth premieres Friday, April 8th at 6:00-9:00 PM at Charlotte Street Foundation’s new gallery (3333 Wyoming).

Opening Reception

Friday, April 8th from 6:00-9:00 PM

Live Performance by José Villalobos 

Saturday, April 9th 

Virtual Artist Talk with Rachel Youn 

Tuesday, April 19th

Open Studio Curatorial Chat with Andrew Ordonez 

Saturday, April 30th 


Andrew Ordonez (b.1991 Fort Worth, TX) is a visual artist living and working in Kansas City, MO. He received a BFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2013. His studio practice currently explores the tension of cultural erasure and conservation using aggregate stone materials such as sand, gravel, cement, and paper. Ordonez has been a visual artist resident at the Charlotte Street Foundation since 2019. He completed an artist residency at Casa Lu in Mexico City in summer 2021. His work has been featured in multiple galleries in Kansas City, the Midwest, and across North America, including Monaco, Leedy-Voulkos Contemporary Art Center, H&R Block Artspace, Kiosk Gallery, G-CADD, and the Mexic-Arte Museum. In addition to his studio practice, he is a visual arts instructor, and a QIDP and site supervisor at Imagine That KC.


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 $2 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

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