Kemper Museum Block Party is back in August, marking the opening of “Pepe Mar: Rising Sun”

Kemper Museum Block Party is back in August, marking the opening of “Pepe Mar: Rising Sun”

Kansas City, MO–On Saturday, August 20, the Kemper Museum Block Party will return to the museum for the first time since 2019. Kemper Museum’s largest annual public program, the Block Party features music, car clubs, food trucks, cash bar, an outdoor movie screening, and art activities for the whole family. Coinciding with the opening of the 7th annual Atrium Project installation, “Pepe Mar: Rising Sun,” this free community event celebrates contemporary art and ideas after hours on the museum grounds.  

"We are thrilled to bring back this beloved Kemper Museum tradition," said Kreshaun McKinney, director of learning and engagement. "This year's block party welcomes the opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate great art and creativity. From cars to music to hands-on art-making activities–there will be something for every visitor to enjoy.”

Kemper Museum Block Party
Saturday, August 20, 6–10:30 p.m.

6–8:30 p.m. | Art activities, food and drinks, music with DJ Joe The Mad Scientist & DJ Ice Kole 
8:30 p.m. | Family-friendly movie screening. Title to be announced.

The Kemper Museum Atrium Project is an annual commission that presents the work of emerging and mid-career Hispanic and Latinx artists. In 2022, Kemper Museum commissioned a project by Miami-based artist Pepe Mar (born Reynosa, Mexico, 1977). Mar’s work is a reflection on contemporary culture and cultural alienation, engaging narratives found in secondhand stores (from which he often sources materials), science fiction, celebrity, commercial design, and social media. Titled “Pepe Mar: Rising Sun,” the Atrium Project installation will feature a monumental fabric that highlights the signature fabric featured throughout Mar’s recent practice—a medium-weight textile printed with images sourced from his 15-year career archive—stretched across the expanse of the main atrium wall as well as a new large-scale assemblage work depicting the newest iteration of the artist’s “Paprikas”: characters, or alter egos, that recur throughout Mar’s works.

“Mar’s inspiration for this installation comes from Hans Hofmann’s ‘Rising Sun’ (1958), a work that is part of the museum’s Permanent Collection,” said Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs for Kemper Museum. “Engaging vibrant color and expressionist mark making, Pepe channels this history alongside his own aesthetic inquiries inspired by fashion, culture, personal narratives, and overlooked queer histories. This major solo installation again transforms Kemper Museum’s atrium and opens spaces for continued dialogue on the significance and contributions of Latinx artists.”

KEMPER MUSEUM BLOCK PARTY COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Arie Monroe, Illustrator

DJ Joe The Mad Scientist

DJ Ice Kole

KC Jeep Squad

Twizted Individualz KC Car Club

KC Ryker Ryders