Programming is generously supported by the Jack and Karen Holland Visiting Artist Program.

Artist Talk: Christian Ruiz Berman

Why are humans like lichens? What role do humor and narrative play in art today? What is the secret of joyful discontent and how can we use it to live better lives? Artist Christian Ruiz Berman visited Kemper Museum to answer these questions and more in this artist talk recorded November 10, 2022.

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Artist Talk: Pepe Mar

In this lively Artist Talk, Pepe Mar (born Reynosa, Mexico, 1977) dives into his process for creating colorful collage (2D), assemblage (3D), and large scale installations. He often incorporates objects found in the course of his daily life –be it a $5 thrift store lamp, or a priceless malachite artifact borrowed from a museum collection. Learn more about this exhibition. 

Artist Talk: Paul Anthony Smith

In this artist talk, Paul Anthony Smith discusses the creation of paintings and unique picotage on pigment prints which explore the artist’s autobiography, as well as issues of identity within the African diaspora. Referencing both W.E.B. Du Bois’ concept of double consciousness and Franz Fanon’s theory of cultural confusions caused by colonialism, Smith alludes to diasporic rituals of adorning the body.

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Artist Talk: Shinique Smith

In this artist talk, Shinique Smith gives insights into the historical and contemporary concepts and ideas that inspired this healing performance Breathing Room: Evocation. Shinique Smith’s multidisciplinary practice includes painting, sculpture, video, photography, installation, and performance. Exploring ideas of transformation and ritual through materials such as fabric, clothing, and personal belongings, breath, bundling, collage and gesture, Smith has built a complex visual vocabulary that resonates on intimate and social scales. 


Artist Panel: The Regional

To celebrate the opening of The Regional, Kemper Museum hosted an artist panel discussion with Jonathan Christensen Caballero, Rashawn Griffin, and Alice Tippit, moderated by Jade Powers. The Regional is the first major multi-museum survey exhibition of contemporary artists based in the Midwest. Learn more about the exhibition.

Artist Talk: Natalie Frank

New York-based artist Natalie Frank (American, born 1980) discusses her creative practice and "Unbound", an exhibition of drawings inspired by some of the best-known and most controversial literary narratives. This program was recorded May 12, 2022 at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. Learn more about the exhibition.

Artist Talk: Aliza Nisenbaum

New York-based artist Aliza Nisenbaum (born Mexico City, 1976) speaks about her newest commission for the museum’s sixth annual Atrium Project, "Aliza Nisenbaum: Aquí Se Puede (Here You Can)." These large-scale portraits of individuals connected to Kansas City’s salsa music and dance communities.

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Artist Talk: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Mexican-Canadian, born 1967) presents on Pulse Topology and major themes throughout his career. All programming is generously supported by the Jack and Karen Holland Visiting Artist Program. This virtual artist talk received additional support from the Consulate General of Canada, Chicago. Learn more about the exhibition.

A Conversation with Dyani White Hawk & Carmen Hermo

Enjoy this virtual discussion about the exhibition, Dyani White Hawk: Speaking to Relatives

Dyani White Hawk is a Minneapolis-based artist who works across cultures in a variety of media to expand notions of abstraction within art history and bring attention to Native contemporary culture. 

Carmen Hermo is the associate curator for Elizabeth A. Sackler Center For Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Her essay in the exhibition's catalogue, Dyani White Hawk: Accumulating Collective Power, explores feminism and collective care in White Hawk’s work. 

Tour Across the States: Native Artists

Enjoy this virtual tour of Native artists in Haskell Indian Nations University’s permanent collection with artist and instructor David Titterington and Dr. Daniel Wildcat, professor of Indigenous Studies.

Artist Talk: Dyani White Hawk

On March 4, 2021 artist Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋǧu Lakota) gave a virtual artist talk via Zoom. Her presentation covered the creation of works included in Kemper Museum's exhibition Speaking to Relatives.

Artist Talk: Joiri Minaya

Kemper Museum’s fifth commissioned installation in the Atrium Projects series is Divergences by Dominican Republic-raised New York-based Black Latinx artist Joiri Minaya (born 1990). Minaya’s work often focuses on decolonizing imposed histories, cultures, and ideas. For this Atrium Project installation, she was inspired by the idealized Midwest, complete with lush greenery and river scenes, having made a site visit to Quindaro Townsite in January 2020.

This exhibition is made possible in part by a generous gift from Christy and Bill Gautreaux.

Panel Discussion: Elias Sime Tightrope

Artist Elias Sime with Curator, Anthropologist, and Collaborator with Meskerem Assegued,Tracy L. Adler, Johnson-Pote Director, Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College and curator of the exhibition Elias Sime: Tightrope, and James Cohan, owner of James Cohan Gallery, moderated by Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs at Kemper Museum, discuss Sime’s early introduction in the U.S., the current Tightrope exhibition, and Zoma Museum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Artist Talk: Summer Wheat (full video)

On February 7, 2020, artist Summer Wheat gave a lecture on her large scale painting work. The artist talk coincided with the opening weekend of Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. She shared stories from her youth in Oklahoma and her journey to invent new and ingenious methods of creating paintings inspired by medieval tapestries and mysterious artifacts.

Artist Talk: Liza Lou (excerpt)

Last May, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art had the honor of hosting internationally-renown artist, Liza Lou, during the opening events of the Museum's twenty-fifth anniversary exhibition, Lexicon: The Language of Gesture in 25 Years at Kemper Museum. Here is an excerpt from her inspiring talk, reminiscing on the experience of taking her studio assistants to view their work in a museum setting for the first time.

Artist Talk: Liza Lou (full video)

Los Angeles-based artist Liza Lou gave a special artist talk in honor of Kemper Museum’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Lou's major exhibition Backyard and Kitchen ignited amazing public interest in her work. Returning to Kemper Museum, Lou talks about how her work has evolved.

Liza Lou (b. 1969, New York; lives and works in Los Angeles) first gained attention in 1996 when her room-sized sculpture Kitchen was shown at the New Museum in New York. Representing five years of solo labor, this groundbreaking work introduced glass beads, a material Lou has consistently used since then. 

In 2005, Lou moved to KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa where she employed a team of Zulu women, versed in the tradition of beadwork. Working side-by-side with women artisans enabled the artist to reconsider her practice in a non-Western, historical and sociological framework and to highlight material and labor as subject matter in themselves. Over the past decade, Lou has focused on a minimal palette using the natural variations of color caused by the sweat, oils, and imperfections of the human hand as a form of tonal mark-making.

Siah Armajani: Bridge Builder | Arts Upload

Take a look inside the work of Siah Armajani in this clip from Season 4 Episode 4 of KCPT's Arts Upload.

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A Whisper of Where It Came From: Mark Cooper

Artist Mark Cooper discusses his site-specific installation as part of the exhibition, A Whisper of Where It Came From, at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

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A Whisper of Where It Came From: Jiha Moon

Artist Jiha Moon discusses her site-specific installation as part of the exhibition, A Whisper of Where It Came From, at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

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Artist Talk: Huma Bhabha

Huma Bhabha's sculptural works incorporate materials such as Styrofoam, animal bones, and clay. Her curious figures feel unstable and ephemeral, recalling figurative traditions from a range of cultures and historical periods—a kind of neo-primitivism yet decisively contemporary. In this talk, the Pakistani-born American artist discusses her unique choice of materials, her influences, and what it is to make art now.

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