Reflecting the City

Reflecting the City

Charlotte Street Foundation, Kansas City, 2024

Charlotte Street Foundation presents Reflecting The City, including works by Jill Downen, Corey Antis, and participating artists from the Kansas City community.

In their 1983 song “Cashing In,” Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye asks us: “[t]here’s no place like home / So where am I?” His question seems even more present at this moment. How do we locate our places in a landscape under pressure, in flux, and through constant reinvention? This project began with artists discussing how to physically reflect these experiences, using material processes rooted in their creative practices. By joining those interests and inviting community partners to learn and explore with them, the artists Jill Downen and Corey Antis will create an installation of how we engage with our surroundings through touch, sight, and interpretation.

Reflection is a process that animates ideas with materials and allows the imagination room to explore. We will collectively reflect on the Kansas City urbanscape’s surfaces, depths, and fluidity in three workshops and a gallery exhibition. Participants will work with artists Jill Downen and Corey Antis to explore a sense of place and create artwork. Three workshops will focus on separate but related topics; all are welcome to collaborate. The first workshop will focus on textural drawing methods and site specificity. During the second workshop, participants will make concrete bricks that convey the textures of the city. The third workshop focuses on gold leaf techniques for three-dimensional objects found in the city. The work will culminate in a joint exhibition showcasing the diversity of ways that we approach, see, and touch our built and natural environments.

The ideas in these workshops and the works in this show all challenge the assumption that the spaces we inhabit are fixed in time and space. They change, and we change with them. By making our sense of the city tangible through drawing and sculpture, reflection erases the boundary between public and private space, inside and outside, and individual and collective ideas. Direct experience through artmaking offers an opportunity to attend more closely to how the city can be a space for thought and feeling while holding the power to transform our preconceptions about our environment. Each of the works in this exhibition is open and subject to change; they allow us to see the city through other pairs of eyes and hands.

Minor Threat, “Cashing In,” 1983, track 9 on Out Of Step, Dischord, 1983, vinyl.

-Corey Antis and Jill Downen

error: © 2003-2020 Jill Downen