Return the Gaze

February 8 – March 23

Return the Gaze explores the figurative impulse and considers the rising prominence of the Black figure in global contemporary art. The exhibition introduces exciting new work by eight artists, an emerging wave of figurative painters working in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and the United States. Featured artists include Tizta Berhanu (Ethiopia), Cydne Jasmin Coleby (Bahamas), Shanique Emelife (Bahamas/United States), Arjan Martins (Brazil), Zanele Muholi (South Africa), Emma Odumade (Nigeria), Tajh Rust (United States), and Cinga Samson (South Africa).

Jayson Musson: His History of Art

February 8 – June 17

Jayson Musson: His History of Art s a Midwestern premiere of the new three-episode video series written, starring, and co-directed by Jayson Musson and produced in its entirety as part of his artist residency at Philadelphia’s celebrated Fabric Workshop and Museum. His History of Art playfully deploys costumes, props, puppets, and scenery and centers on a sitcom-style video series, in which Musson—performing as “Jay”— endeavors to educate his skeptical puppet sidekick Ollie on the relevance of art. Jay and Ollie journey across a three-episode arc from prehistoric art through the present, encountering figures as varied as Pablo Picasso and a larger-than-life Venus of Willendorf along the way. 


View current, upcoming, and archived contemporary art exhibitions featured at the H&R Block Artspace.

Project Wall

The Artspace Project Wall is an ongoing outdoor site for temporary public art projects by contemporary artists.

Cohen Resource Room

A variety of resource materials and a setting conducive to reading, research, and quiet contemplation

About Artspace

Dedicated to artists, art, and ideas since 1999, the Artspace serves the mission of the Kansas City Art Institute as a dynamic teaching museum, engaging students and introducing audiences to important contemporary art and artists.

Student Opportunities

The Artspace serves the mission of the Kansas City Art Institute by providing extraordinary learning opportunities for KCAI students through a student work program and an internship program.

Artist Opportunities

The Artspace is dedicated to artists and there are several opportunities for artists to get involved.

Contact and Visit the Artspace

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