“The 2009 Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Awards” to open Nov. 14 at H&R Block Artspace

4 November 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Nov. 4, 2009) – For the fifth time since opening in 1999, the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute will present an exhibition in partnership with the Charlotte Street Foundation. This year’s exhibition, “The 2009 Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Awards,” features new work by fellows Dylan Mortimer, Jaimie Warren and Andrzej Zielinski, which will be on view from Nov. 14 to March 27. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 at the Artspace, located at 16 E. 43rd St.

“Dylan Mortimer, Jaimie Warren and Andrzej Zielinski, all 30ish give or take a few years, spent some or all of their formative years as artists in Kansas City, and they all emit a certain and increasingly recognizable generational attitude,” said Raechell Smith, director of the Artspace. “They are more confident than a previous decade’s generation ever was about the viability of launching and sustaining a credible art career in Kansas City. It’s likely that each of these artists has benefited from the pioneering, DIY spirit that Kansas City has become known for, taking full advantage of the opportunities that exist and creating others along the way.”

The Charlotte Street Foundation has now recognized 68 Kansas City-based visual artists with Charlotte Street Visual Artist Awards, with a total of $422,500 in unrestricted case grants distributed directly to the artists over 12 years.

The Charlotte Street Awards recognize locally based artists who are creating outstanding artwork and provide financial support, critical attention and increased exposure for these artists with the aim of fostering their continued artistic and professional development. Through the Visual Artist Awards as well as new annual Generative Performing Artist Awards, launched in 2008, the Charlotte Street Foundation seeks to contribute to the vitality of Kansas City's art community and to enhance Kansas City's desirability as a place for artists to work and live.

About the 2009 Charlotte Street Foundation fellows:

Dylan Mortimer earned his B.F.A. degree at the Kansas City Art Institute and his M.F.A. degree from the School of Visual Art, New York. His work questions how expressions of private faith function in the public sphere and explores the boundaries of what types of faith expressions are permitted versus prohibited. Employing a range of formal, cultural and conceptual languages, Mortimer has most recently merged the iconographies and vocabularies of Christianity and hip-hop culture in a continued investigation of how religious belief, popular culture and social norms do and do not comfortably relate. Mortimer has presented public art installations in New York; Indianapolis; Jackson, Tenn.; Chicago; Bellingham, Wash.; Lawrence, Kan.; and Kansas City, Mo., including commissioned works for Avenue of the Arts and Art in the Loop Foundation. He has presented one-person shows at PS-122, New York; Boots Contemporary Art Space, St. Louis; and Vlepo Gallery, New York; as well as Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, the Cube @ Beco, Epsten Gallery, all in Kansas City area. His work has been featured in group shows at venues including Dumbo Arts Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Artists Space, New York; Longwood Arts Gallery, Bronx, N.Y.; David Zwirner, New York; University of Massachusetts Amherst Fine Art Center; Street Level Sculpture Competition, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City, Mo.

Jaimie Warren is a photographer, curator and performance artist who makes theatrical, humorous, self-portraits in different scenarios and locations. In addition to candid, snapshot style photographs documenting her own life and surroundings, Warren is the creator of Whoop Dee Doo, an ongoing curatorial and performance-based project that creates a wild platform for diverse community talents and participants in a kid-friendly, faux public access television program format. Warren attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and received her B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Higher Pictures in New York, White Flag Projects in St. Louis and Telephonebooth Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo., as well as in group exhibitions at venues including Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, France; Smith-Stewart, New York; Getsumin, Osaka; Beida University, Beijing; David Castillo Annex, Miami; Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, the Netherlands; Colette, Paris; and Max Wigram Gallery, London. Whoop Dee Doo has traveled to Deitch Projects, New York; Rocket Projects, Miami; and Bemis Center for Contemporary Art , Omaha, Neb. Warren’s photographs have been published nationally and internationally, including in “Don’t You Feel Better,” a book of her self-portraits published by Aperture in 2008.

Andrzej Zielinski received his B.F.A. degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002 and his M.F.A. degree from Yale University in 2004. Of his paintings of laptops, paper shredders and ATM Machines, painter/writer Joe Fyfe wrote in BOMB magazine: “Zielinski is in league with a number of young painters …who unite painterly abstraction with the language of caricature. … Zielinski has not chosen these objects as motifs for painterly investigation so much as oil paint, crayons, panels, graphite and paper are mediums utilized to help him define his attitude toward these singular objects. ... The intensely prosthetic relationship many of us have developed with our laptops is reflected in Zielinski’s discovery that it is impossible for him to create a stable image of one of them.” Zielinski has had solo exhibitions at Nicole Klagsburn Gallery, New York; Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles; and Dolphin Gallery, Kansas City, Mo. His work has been included in curated group shows including “Greater New York” at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, N.Y.; “Homecoming” at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kan.; “Possessed: Representations of Single Objects” at Dorsky Gallery, Long Island City, N.Y.; and “Blender” at Sundram Tagore Gallery, New York.

About the H&R Block Artspace  

Since 1999, the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute has been dedicated to presenting quality exhibitions of contemporary art and a range of public programs for students, educators, artists, arts enthusiasts and the general public. The Artspace is located at 16 E. 43rd St., one block east of Main Street. Public hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. For more information about upcoming exhibitions and public programs, visit the Artspace on the Web at www.kcai.edu/artspace or call 816-561-5563.

About the Kansas City Art Institute

The Kansas City Art Institute is a private, independent four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with majors in animation, art history, ceramics, digital filmmaking, fiber, graphic design, interdisciplinary arts, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and studio art with an emphasis in creative writing. KCAI also hosts a free public lecture series — “Current Perspectives” — and a range of public programs including exhibitions, events and partnerships in the community to benefit the general public as well as evening, weekend and summer classes in art, design, multimedia studies and desktop publishing for children, youth and adults. For more information, visit KCAI on the Web at www.kcai.edu.