For Adults

Artist talks, special tours, hands-on workshops, films, lectures, and performances are scheduled throughout the year, many in conjunction with exhibitions on display.

Groups of ten or more may schedule free docent-led guided tours of Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection and special exhibitions; to see more information visit the Museum's Tours page.

In Conjunction with Polly Apfelbaum: Waiting for the UFOs (a space set between a landscape and a bunch of flowers)

Exhibition Opening Reception

Thursday, January 24, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
6:00–8:00 p.m.
FREE | Reservations required

Join us in celebrating the exhibition, Waiting for the UFOs (a space set between a landscape and a bunch of flowers), featuring new work by artist Polly Apfelbaum. Raise a glass with the artist and kick-off Kemper Museum’s twenty-fifth anniversary year! 

Thanks to Tom’s Town Distilling Co. of Kansas City for generously sponsoring cocktails, with complimentary beer and wine provided by Café Sebastienne.

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaum-opening.eventbrite.com

In 2004, Kemper Museum hosted a solo exhibition of Apfelbaum’s famous floor works that she describes as “fallen paintings,” hybrid works of rare beauty that exist somewhere between painting, sculpture, and installation and are arranged on the floor, spreading around corners in indeterminate shapes. Apfelbaum’s oeuvre is the very essence of transformation, innovation, and brilliance, accomplished with bold initiative. 

Artist Talk with Polly Apfelbaum

Friday, January 25, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
5:00 p.m. cash bar, 6:00 p.m. program
FREE | Reservations required

Polly Apfelbaum introduces her newest work while discussing major themes present throughout her career. Best known for expansive polychromatic installations, which coalesce the radical and the beautiful, Apfelbaum’s sensibility is informed by an encyclopedic knowledge of the applied arts, art history, and popular culture.

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaum-talk.eventbrite.com

Active since the mid-1980s, Apfelbaum uses found materials associated with craft traditions to create sculptural objects and sprawling, floor-based installations. She has referenced the aesthetics and principles of the Italian Arte Povera movement, French Supports/Surface movement, and First-Wave Feminist art – utilizing accumulation and dispersal as her preferred tools for installations. 

With awareness of how her floor-based installations draw from classic traditions of fine art, Apfelbaum defines staining and dyeing as acts of painting; cutting, a way of drawing in space; and assembling the cut pieces a sculptural practice. Expanding in recent years to focus on the site specificity of her work, Apfelbaum creates immersive environments that continue her interest in the cultural aspects of color and multi-sensory experience, transforming entire spaces with correlated objects including painted walls, wallpaper, ceramic wall plaques, hand-woven rugs, and intimately scaled and suspended ceramic beads. 

Waiting for the UFOs Tours: Curator-Led

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
2:00–3:00 p.m.
FREE | Reservations required

Enjoy coffee and a tour of the exhibition with Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs at Kemper Museum, and Jade Powers, assistant curator. They’ll discuss planning for Waiting for the UFOs, Apfelbaum’s work, and the importance of public programs.

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaumtour-curatorled.eventbrite.com

Hearts for Art

Thursday, February 7, 2019 to Thursday, February 14, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum Hours
FREE

Join us in this national movement to spread the love with Hearts for Art. All week long, you are invited to show your love for a work of art by placing a paper heart on the floor in front of your favorite artwork, available at the Visitor Services Desk. Share your love widely, and tag it #kempermuseum #heartsforart – we’ll share your favorites!

The Hearts for Art project was initiated six years ago by the Oakland Museum of California and Columbus Museum of Art. This year Kemper Museum joins the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Philbrook Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, and Saint Louis Art Museum as participants in the 2019 #HeartsforArt celebration.

Guided Meditation Series: Inner Panorama

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
7:00–8:00 p.m.
FREE | Reservations required

A series of guided meditation and sound healing inside Kemper Museum galleries with Laura Frank of Inner Space Yoga. Participants will be guided through meditation, qigong, breathing instruction, and sound healing. Some blankets and mats will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own blanket, yoga mat, and small cushion for meditation, if possible. No experience necessary. Space is limited.

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaum-meditation-feb.eventbrite.com

Colorful Weaving Workshop

Saturday, February 23, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
1:00–3:00 p.m.
FREE | Ages 6 and up

Polly Apfelbaum’s colorful rugs are designed by her and hand woven by the Artisans of Teotitlan del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico. In this intergenerational workshop, participants will learn about the art of weaving, will learn the process of how Apfelbaum’s rugs are made, and will create their own colorful woven artworks! No prior weaving experience necessary. All materials provided. 

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaum-weaving.eventbrite.com

*Note: parents accompanying children under 12 need to register themselves, too – thanks!

Performance: Calvin Arsenia

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
5:00 p.m. cash bar, 6:00 p.m. program
FREE | Reservations required

Calvin Arsenia is a Kansas City-based, internationally-acclaimed musician and performance artist most known for his elaborate and ceremonious sensory concert experiences. Self-accompanied on the Celtic harp, Arsenia draws from multiple musical disciplines (jazz, classical, folk, soul, electronic music) to construct a whimsical world where sacred and sacrilege are equal. 

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaum-calvinarsenia.eventbrite.com

Beginning with his first full length release, Catastrophe, and the follow up, Cantaloupe, Arsenia’s recordings feature his dynamic yet sensitive voice diligently searching for the silver lining of interpersonal hardships from the perspective of a multi-racial queer millennial male raised in the Bible Belt. 

Arsenia believes that live music has the power to unite and heal people unlike any other art form. Step into his magical world and take a look around the mind of this ambitious creative. 

Guided Meditation Series: Inner Panorama

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
7:00–8:00 p.m.
FREE | Reservations required

A series of guided meditation and sound healing inside Kemper Museum galleries with Laura Frank of Inner Space Yoga. Participants will be guided through meditation, qigong, breathing instruction, and sound healing. Some blankets and mats will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own blanket, yoga mat, and small cushion for meditation, if possible. No experience necessary. Space is limited.

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaum-meditation-mar.eventbrite.com

Waiting for the UFOs Tours: Artist’s Eye

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
2:00–3:00 p.m.
FREE | Reservations required

Enjoy coffee and a tour of the exhibition with Kansas City Art Institute senior and fiber artist Arianna Bonner. Hear about her work – focusing on form, shape, line, and color– and how she makes connections to Apfelbaum’s work.

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaumtour-artisteye.eventbrite.com

Arianna Bonner studied drawing, painting, ceramics and photography at Mississippi School of the Arts. At the Kansas City Art Institute, she has had the opportunity to immerse herself within the history of fiber processes and has discovered a love for color, pattern, and quilts.  Her studio practice is driven by simple elements of design with the intention of creating exciting, comforting, and visually pleasing works for those that are enthused by such. 

Art, Observation and Medicine

Thursday, March 28, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
5:00 p.m. cash bar, 6:00 p.m. program
FREE | Reservations required

A special panel discussion on the discourse of art in contemporary medical education and practice. Experience observation firsthand with a trained museum docent, and hear from museum educators and Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience students and faculty participants about the course, now in its second year.

Panelists:

  • Schoen Kruse, PhD, F-NAOME, Associate Dean of Integrated Learning and Associate Professor of Pharmacology, KCUMB
  • Reid Gamble, medical student, KCUMB
  • Joy Blake-Krug, MSW, Museum Docent
  • Diane Botwin, Museum Docent
  • Mary Susan Dubinski, MSW, Museum Educator for Docents, Schools and Tours, Kemper Museum

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-art-observation-medicine.eventbrite.com

About Art, Observation and Medicine: An art museum can create a safe haven for health professionals to deepen their own relationships with one another, promote individual reflection, foster empathy, and increase appreciation for the psychosocial context of patient experience. Through this course students recognize the value of collaborative observation and team work, while discussion encourages the development of observation, interpretation, and diagnostic skills. 

Visiting Scholar Ezra Shales: The Ins and Outs of Flying Carpets and Other Magical Decorative Arts and launch of the new Polly Apfelbaum catalogue

Thursday, April 4, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
5:00 p.m. cash bar and book signing, 6:00 p.m. program
FREE | Reservations required

Ezra Shales, professor of art history at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, focuses on the productive confusion that lies at the intersection of design, craft, and art in everyday life. Shales is among the voices included in the new catalogue celebrating Polly Apfelbaum: Waiting for the UFOs (a space set between a landscape and a bunch of flowers).

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaum-ezrashales.eventbrite.com

His book The Shape of Craft (Reaktion, 2017) fingers the wonder to be found in weaving and other tools we take for granted, from baskets to light bulbs. 

Guided Meditation Series: Inner Panorama

Thursday, April 4, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
7:00–8:00 p.m.
FREE | Reservations required

A series of guided meditation and sound healing inside Kemper Museum galleries with Laura Frank of Inner Space Yoga. Participants will be guided through meditation, qigong, breathing instruction, and sound healing. Some blankets and mats will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own blanket, yoga mat, and small cushion for meditation, if possible. No experience necessary. Space is limited.

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaum-meditation-apr.eventbrite.com

Performance: KC VITAs

Sunday, April 7, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
2:00 p.m. performance with reception to follow
FREE | Reservations required

Vocal ensemble KC VITAs perform a contemporary choral piece by New York-based composer Julia Barry, written in conversation with ensemble members on the theme of “Home.” Taking place as part of a nationwide initiative that encourages communication across our country's divides, this performance aims to constructively respond to the civic and environmental crises currently fracturing our homes, and encourage cultural democracy and empathy across the country.

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaum-kcvitas.eventbrite.com

Standing for the “Kansas City Vibrating Internal Thyroarytenoids,” KC VITAs is a group of professional singers with the mission to promote the continued creation and performance of “contemporary-classical” vocal music. The choir is committed to performing new music, benefitting composers and performers alike.

Jackson C. Thomas is the founder and director of KC VITAs. Originally from Carrollton, Missouri, Thomas is a conductor, tenor, clinician, and teacher based in the Kansas City area, who currently serves as an Instructor at the University of Central-Missouri where he teaches Voice, Aural Training, Opera Workshop, and Women’s Choir. 

Día de Arte Familiar en Español

Saturday, April 13, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
1:00–3:00 p.m.
Gratis | FREE, Todas las edades | All Ages

Recorre el arte de Polly Apfelbaum con un docente de habla hispana, crea obras de arte con un artista local, y disfruta de algo de comida! Todo este evento, incluyendo la actividad de elaboración de arte, se presentará en español, y todos los materiales serán proporcionados.

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-diadeartefamiliarenespanol.eventbrite.com

Join us at the Kemper Museum for Spanish Language Family Art Day! Tour the art of Polly Apfelbaum with a Spanish-speaking docent, make some art with a local artist, and enjoy some food! This entire event, including the art activity, will be presented in Spanish, and all materials will be provided.

Waiting for the UFOs Tours: Perspectives

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
2:00–3:00 p.m.
FREE | Reservations required

Enjoy coffee and a tour of the exhibition with Jason Pollen, Kansas City-based artist and teacher, as he reflects on the exuberance and layers in Apfelbaum’s work. Using connections between their careers, Pollen will focus on this uniquely colorful transformation of space.

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaumtour-perspectives.eventbrite.com

Jason Pollen’s creations reconnect him with that exuberant world of children at play, but also with the slings and arrows to which we are all so vulnerable. With fervent determination and undiminished curiosity, Pollen manipulates dyes, brushes, fabrics, threads and twigs and coax them into what he hopes will be compelling compositions, conveying more than the sums of their parts.

E(ART)h Extravaganza: Celebrate Earth, Celebrate Art

Saturday, April 27, 2019
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
FREE | Reservations required

Join us during the last weekend of Waiting for the UFOs for an unforgettable Earth Day-inspired event with flash talks about indigenous plant-host relationships by artist Amanda Gehin, earth-conscious art activities, storytelling with our friends at the Kansas City Public Library, a Pressed Flower Workshop with Duplika Jewelry maker Wanda Wolmar, live music, and much more!

RSVP on Eventbrite:
https://kempermuseum-apfelbaum-extravaganza.eventbrite.com

Drop-In Gallery Tours

Every Saturday from 1:00–2:00 p.m.
FREE | All ages

A casual opportunity for visitors to engage with artwork through informative conversations with Museum docents. Ask questions about the artwork on view and enjoy informative and lively dialogue.

No reservations required, just "drop in" and learn something new!