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Margaret Keough, director of marketing and communications
margaret (at) kemperart (dot) org or 816-457-6132

Works Informed by Artist's September 11th Experiences
on view at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
     The solo exhibition Acquisitions in Context: June Ahrens features the sculpture Still Standing (2010) and the installation Hiding in Plain Site (2008). The premiere of Still Standing, added to the Permanent Collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in 2010, is timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9-11. The experiences of that fateful day—June Ahrens was living in Lower Manhattan—have become a philosophical touchstone and conceptual framework for her artistic production. The exhibition is on view September 9–December 24, 2011, at the Kemper Museum. Admission is free.
     Ahrens has for many years transformed the everyday into the poetic; materials she uses have included fiberglass, felt, safety pins, wire mesh and hot glue. In the post-9-11 works on view, the primary materials used by Ahrens are broken and reconfigured glass jars (Still Standing) and broken and layered Plexiglas (Hiding in Plain Site) that creates a circular pool of refracted light. The experience of Hiding in Plain Site is immersive; a theatrical light mounted to the ceiling slowly spins throwing reflections first onto the walls of the gallery and then onto the viewer.
     A belief in the power of art to offer a place of meditation and healing is powerfully present in these works of art. Loss, pain, fragility and danger play roles in Ahrens’ sculpture and installation-based works. The dynamic interplay of both the industrial and the everyday evokes memories of use and new beginnings. Above:June Ahrens, Still Standing, 2010; reclaimed jars, glass, aluminum, 24 x 72 x 30 in.; Collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
     Ahrens attained a B.F.A. from the State University of New York in 1988. She has received grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Polaroid Foundation Grant, and National Endowment for the Arts, among others. Her works have been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions around the United States as well as in Scotland and Sweden. The exhibition at the Kemper Museum is the artist’s first in the Midwest. Ahrens lives in New Canaan, Connecticut.
     This is the third in a series of exhibitions, called Acquisitions in Context, at the Kemper Museum. This focused exhibition pairs new works to the Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection with others by the same artist. This allows visitors to see more works by the artist and makes more transparent the process by which works of art enter the Museum’s collection. Since the Museum’s opening in 1994, the Permanent Collection has more than tripled.

Exhibition-Related Programs
A Community of Memories: Adult Workshop with artist June Ahrens
Saturday, September 10, 10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE

Join artist June Ahrens for a conversation about her practice followed by a workshop to create memory vessels. Participants will work through exercises to recall and write about memories then transform and encapsulate their written pieces using glass containers, salt (a material that preserves and heals), and personal effects associated with their memories. The vessels will then be assembled into a temporary collaborative installation. Registration is limited to 20 participants. To register, call 816-457-6134 or email reservations (at) kemperart (dot) org. A list of required materials will be provided upon registration.

Film Screening: Objects and Memory (2008)
Sunday, September 11, 2:00 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE

In the face of sudden disruption and inexplicable loss, there is a need to bridge the irreplaceable past with a hopeful future. Narrated by Frank Langella and with music by Philip Glass, the film Objects and Memory (2008) follows people driven to preserve meaningful objects in the aftermath of 9/11 and other upheavals. Otherwise ordinary items come to symbolize experiences, aspirations, and identity. Without the objects, the stories would lack vibrancy; without the stories the objects would lack significance. Taken together, the objects and the stories they evoke lead the viewer on a journey where the commonplace is transformed into the remarkable and where the stuff of history is highly personalized. Directed by Jonathan Fein, the film is produced by Jonathan Fein and Brian Danitz of EVER. Seating is first come, first served.

Tour and Workshop: Memories in the Making
Wednesday, October 12, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE Tour: Meet Me at the

In collaboration with Heart of America Alzheimer’s Association, the Museum invites individuals with memory loss for a combined conversation and creative workshop related to artwork on view in the exhibition Acquisitions in Context: June Ahrens. Prior art experience is not necessary. Space is limited. To register, contact 816-457-6134 or reservations (at) kemperart (dot) org.

Lecture: Stages of Memory in Berlin and New York After 9/11
Sunday, October 23, 1:30 p.m.
Truman Forum at the Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch (4801 Main)
FREE, but reservations are required (details below)

International authority on memorial art and architecture Dr. James E. Young offers a meditation on architecture’s capacity for reflecting evolving narratives and mediating public spaces and personal memories through his experiences as a juror for national memorials in Berlin and New York. Young was appointed by the Berlin Senate to the five-member Findungskommission for Germany’s national “Memorial to Europe’s Murdered Jews,” dedicated in 2005, and by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to the jury for the World Trade Center Site Memorial competition, now under construction. He is Professor of English and Judaic Studies, and Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has authored several award-winning books on art, memory, and the Holocaust and his articles and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and collected volumes. Young is completing an insiders’ account about the World Trade Center Memorial process, titled The Stages of Memory at Ground Zero: A Juror’s Report on the World Trade Center Memorial Process. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Kansas City Public Library, and the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. Tickets are free, but reservations are required through or 816-701-3407.

About the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Kansas City’s renowned free modern and contemporary art museum, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 1994 and draws more than 120,000 visitors each year. The Museum boasts a rapidly growing permanent collection of modern and contemporary works of artists from around the world and in three locations—the signature Gunnar Birkerts-designed building, Kemper at the Crossroads, and Kemper East.

Kemper at the Crossroads (33 West 19th Street) is open noon–8:00 p.m., Friday and noon–6:00 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

The Museum (4420 Warwick Blvd.) is open 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday–Thursday; 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m., Friday–Saturday; and 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Sunday. Café Sebastienne serves lunch 11:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Tuesday–Sunday; and dinner 5:30–9:30 p.m., Friday–Saturday. The Museum and Café are closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission is free.

The galleries of Kemper East (200 E. 44th Street) are open 10:00 a.m.–4 p.m., Tuesday–Friday. Admission is free.

Thank you
Support for Kemper Museum exhibitions is generously provided by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; Francis Family Foundation; Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee; David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation; William T. Kemper Foundation—Commerce Bank, Trustee; ArtsKC Fund—Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City; DST Systems, Inc.; and Sosland Foundation. Frontier Airlines is the official airline of the Kemper Museum.

For more general information about the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art,


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