Tuesday, June 26, 2018

We are going to France Trunk Show, Sale & Toy Drive to Support Operation Breakthrough's Birthday Closet



We are thrilled to announce that during the month of July We are Going to France Designs is having a special Sale and Fundraiser Event. 20% off all online sales this month will go towards Operation Breakthrough's Birthday Closet. Leedy-Voulkos Art Center will be partnering up with us to help fundraise as well. During this month, feel free to drop off a new toy for a child ages 6 months - 12 yrs old in our donation bin located in the LVAC Shop. Then at the end of the month come to join us at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center Cora and Emma will be having a trunk show. Here are the details;
and Operation Breakthrough Birthday Closet Toy Fundraiser Event 
Leedy-Voulkos Art Center
2012 Baltimore Ave, KCMO
Saturday, July 28th, 11 am -5pm

Our last day to donate but the most fun!!

* Enjoy Birthday treats, activities, shopping and the joy of giving. 

*With each toy or cash donation and you will receive 20% off your 'We are Going to France' purchase. 

*If you cannot make it to this event and still want to participate, the girls will have a one day 20/20 FLASH SALE online. Make a $5 cash donation to OB and receive a 20% off coupon towards your purchase. More details to be announced. A link to their shop is down below. 
https://www.wearegoingtofrance.etsy.com

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A little background story:
Cora and Emma Jones of We are Going to France Designs are raising funds for two causes: Operation Breakthrough’s Birthday Closet, a stockpile of birthday gifts for children in need, and their class trip to France. Both girls go to a French immersion school that will give them the opportunity to go to France with the classmates at the end of their 6th grade. Emma is going into 3rd grade this fall and Cora will be in 6th grade. Cora now has less than a year to go, so she needs and wants to sell more of her handmade goods like origami star garlands, greeting cards, yarn necklaces, bracelets, and more. 

So during the month of July, 20% of their profits will be donated to Operation Breakthrough's Birthday Closet and the remainder will go towards funding her class trip in 2019 and Emma's in 2022. Thank you so much for all your support!! We truly appreciate it all!!


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Operation Breakthrough is expanding! Soon they will have 290 more children for a total enrollment of more than 700. That means they will have a lot more birthdays to celebrate! 

For many years, the community has stocked the Birthday Closet at Operation Breakthrough with new toys so that every child, from ages 1 to 14, can receive a present on his or her birthday. This kindness makes a big difference for the children and their families. More than 70% of families at Operation Breakthrough are living on earnings of less than $12,000. Some children might not receive a gift on their special day without help from the Birthday Closet.

If you would like to help make the children's birthdays special, please consider donating a new, unwrapped toy or book. Especially popular are board games, Legos and other building sets, arts and craft supplies, cars and trucks, footballs, basketballs, science kits, journals and educational toys for children under age 5. 

For more information, contact Jennifer Heinemann at jenniferh@operationbreakhrough.org or 816-365-5059. Thank you!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Women to Watch (Metals) FeaturingCheryl Eve Acosta


Cheryl Eve Acosta, Ericius (cuff), 2012, copper, enamel, glass, 5¼ x 5¼ x 1½ inches, 
Courtesy of the artist, Kansas City, Missouri © Cheryl Eve Acosta. Photo: Gene Starr

Life as an Artist: Making it Work in Kansas City

Artist Panel
Cheryl Eve Acosta
Debbie Barret-Jones
Angelica Sandoval
Jessica Thompson-Lee
Desiree Warren

Thursday, September 28
5:00 p.m. Cash bar

6:00 p.m. Panel discussion, moderated by Barbara O'Brien,

Exhibition Curator and Executive Director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, in cooperation with the Kansas City Chapter of National


Written by Barbara O'Brien, Exhibition Curator and Executive Director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Cheryl Eve Acosta blurs the distinction between organic sculpture and personal adornment. A relative newcomer to Kansas City, Acosta has become a significant voice in the Crossroads community of artists. Her unique, sculptural jewelry has been prominently featured in KC Fashion Week, Fashion for a Cause, and 18th Street Fashion Show. Sitting and talking in her small, Crossroads storefront, where she has been for nearly five years, it was apparent that the objects she creates reflect not only the melding of cultures in her own life story but also the symbolic meaning of the organic forms forms incorporated into her artistic vocabulary.

"The story of my work," she said, "is the cycle of life. My mom was French, and I lived in France as a child. My dad was Puerto Rican. Living in Puerto Rico [were she moved at age six] shapes you as a Latina. My inspiration was the ocean, beach, life." After earning her master's degree at Rhode Island School of Design, Acosta spent a year in India "to decompress." Then she moved to Kansas City to be with her sister: "I have stayed in KC. The support here has allowed me to express and manifest my creative side. In a bigger city, that would have been more challenging. Here, I can create my DNA, my brand, my voice."

In 2009, Acosta began "growing metal"-drawing with copper on organza, using a conductive process in a liquid environment that she named her "own little ocean." The process "slowly became about birth," and she calls the resulting objects, including Open to Heal (cuff) and Withered Bloom (brooch) (both 2009), "sculptural jewelry." 

In her most recent work, Ciclos (2015), thirteen brooches scatter across the expanse of a body or a museum vitrine. The spiral form, which Acosta calls "the shape of a life," is the dominant shape. Six layers of enamel that start as a wax form and come fused as glass in 1500-degree heat create the palette of Birth (2015), a cluster of copper barnacle-like forms with brilliant blue ringlets sparkling along the edges.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Women to Watch (Metals) Featuring Artist Jessica Thompson-Lee


Jessica Thompson-Lee, Untitled, 2017, bronze with marble base, 12 x 13 x 5 inches, 
Courtesy of the artist, © Jessica Thompson-Lee.

Life as an Artist: Making it Work in Kansas City

Artist Panel
Cheryl Eve Acosta
Debbie Barret-Jones
Angelica Sandoval
Jessica Thompson-Lee
Desiree Warren

Thursday, September 28
5:00 p.m. Cash bar

6:00 p.m. Panel discussion, moderated by Barbara O'Brien,

Exhibition Curator and Executive Director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, in cooperation with the Kansas City Chapter of National


Written by Barbara O'Brien, Exhibition Curator and Executive Director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Jessica Thompson-Lee inhabits a small studio space at the Belger Crane Yard Studios that belies some very big ideas, starting with her "lineage of art making practice." Her father, a retired Hallmark graphic designer, now shares his knowledge of casting and metalwork with Thompson-Lee. "When I was growing up, I was interested in art, but I never did art with my dad. It's only recently part of our relationship."

Thompson-Lee works in the traditional sphere of lost-wax bronze casting mounted to a marble base. Her elegant forms, ranging from thirteen to eighteen inches in height, interpret her unique method of transforming fluid porcelain slip in the language of bronze. "I am constructing the mold making process; turning slip into the clay. I kept the idea of the slip and making unique things. I draw onto a plaster slab. I am not building; not throwing; but drawing with clay." Thompson-Lee files and sands the cast forms. "The bronze fights back," she says. Mounted on solid black marble, the sculptures connect with a classic viewing experience that is in playful dialogue with their open, organic forms. 

Thompson-Lee draws inspiration from forms found in nature, especially caves and coral-neither of which she has experienced firsthand. "I look at a lot of caves. The inside of a cave is just beautiful. There is net fungus that literally grows in a net form. I look at a lot of coral and forms from the ocean-diatoms and microorganisms. I experience them through the reproduction of images...a mediated experience."

To my eye, the compositions in the three untitled works on view (all 2017) relate to the spine and the stance of a human figure finding balance against the forces of gravity. Thompson-Lee, a museum educator, defers to the viewer. "So much about contemporary art is about the viewers' experiences. When you title a piece you are planting an idea in a person's head. Everyone comes with different experiences, and their interpretation of a piece of art shows that."



Jessica Thompson-Lee, Untitled, 2017, bronze with marble base, 
Courtesy of the artist, © Jessica Thompson-Lee.

Jessica Thompson-Lee, Untitled, 2017, bronze with marble base, 
Courtesy of the artist, © Jessica Thompson-Lee.

Jessica Thompson-Lee, Untitled, 2017, bronze with marble base, 
Courtesy of the artist, © Jessica Thompson-Lee.










Women to Watch (Metals) Featuring Artist Angelica Sandoval

Angelica Sandoval, Untitled (detail), 2017, porcelain, steel, LED’s, dimensions variable, 
Courtesy of the artist © Angelica Sandoval. Photo: Barbara Sullivan Photography

Life as an Artist: Making it Work in Kansas City

Artist Panel
Cheryl Eve Acosta
Debbie Barret-Jones
Angelica Sandoval
Jessica Thompson-Lee
Desiree Warren

Thursday, September 28
5:00 p.m. Cash bar

6:00 p.m. Panel discussion, moderated by Barbara O'Brien,

Exhibition Curator and Executive Director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, in cooperation with the Kansas City Chapter of National


Written by Barbara O'Brien, Exhibition Curator and Executive Director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Angelica Sandoval grew up in Turner, Kansas and studied 3-D design at KCAI. While earning her master's at Cranbrook, she started "leaning more toward ceramics and light installation." After graduation, "The Crossroads was blowing up at that point and my family is here, so I moved back." Fore Women to Watch exhibition, Sandoval created the site-dependent installation Empyreal (2017) in response to the sloping ceilings of the Sally Kemper Wood Gallery, but also as the culmination of an ongoing conceptual and formal investigation. More than fifty suspended from steel cables, drawing in space with flowing irregular lines. "Gravity will push and pull them in certain directions that are not determined until I install," Sandoval explains. 

Sandoval carefully considers the gallery experience: "I extended the length of the steel rods to encourage the viewers to have a more intimate face-to-face interaction with the pieces." Lit from within by LED lights and staggered at heights from six feet (a near face-to-face experience) to just a few feet from the gallery ceiling, the porcelain forms feel like stars strewn across the night sky. The steel rods become gestures; their curvilinear form suggesting movement and animating the viewing experience, moving strongly away from any utilitarian function.

According to Sandoval, "Empyreal is the word the ancients used to describe the highest form of heavens, formed of pure fire and light," and this installation culminates her "pursuit of the uncharted beauty of my orchestrated anthropomorphic pieces." The porcelain slip, which Sandoval uses in an unconventional way for its translucent qualities. "The varied thickness of the porcelain become visceral, playing into the attraction and repulsion of the beauty and ugliness of the pieces."

Angelica Sandoval , Untiled (detail), 2017, aluminum, paint, vinyl














Monday, September 25, 2017

Women to Watch (Metals) Featuring Artist Desiree Warren


Desiree Warren (Drape), 2017, aluminum, vinyl, 24 x 24 inches, Courtesy the artist © Desiree Warren

Life as an Artist: Making it Work in Kansas City

Artist Panel
Cheryl Eve Acosta
Debbie Barret-Jones
Angelica Sandoval
Jessica Thompson-Lee
Desiree Warren

Thursday, September 28
5:00 p.m. Cash bar

6:00 p.m. Panel discussion, moderated by Barbara O'Brien,

Exhibition Curator and Executive Director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, in cooperation with the Kansas City Chapter of National


Written by Barbara O'Brien, Exhibition Curator and Executive Director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Desiree Warren infuses an irreverence into her paintings that I cannot resist. Her instinct for combining materials creates a unique artistic vocabulary that bridges design, Pop-and Eco-culture. Outside the windows of her Hyde Park studio-a spacious room in the back of her home-is shed and a yard filled with recycled and gathered materials waiting to be turned into art.

Her senior sculpture project at the University of Kansas resulted in "a giant, wood carved, and anthropomorphic thing" related to growing up on eighty wooded acres. More important to the development of the work in Women to Watch, however, was a series of guerrilla sited street signs that showed a sense of humor and disruption. "I was doing a side project making fake street signs. I wondered if the recognition [for the viewer] was by signs [the shape] or by the reading[the text]." She changed "bide route" to "dyke route" and danger voltage" to "danger cleavage" and installed them in a park in Lawrence. The signs were removed, but Warren was allowed to retrieve them and took the opportunity to ask where official city signage material is sourced. Her discovery that an Ottawa business provides aluminum for street signs become the point of departure for the works on view. Aluminum became the support upon which her paintings would be created. "I'm not using fire," she shared, "but it is definitely metal."

Warren's artistic vocabulary combines these aluminum supports with vinyl die-cut into "orzo" shapes- a form she developed over seral years- and hand applied. The process also includes many layers of paint, either spray or brushed, and sanding, using resist and sgraffito which lends an element of mystery to the viewing experience.

Drape (2017) creates a tone-on-tone depth with the paint application process: "I did a white spray-on primer. Three layers of white or cream and darker white. I sand between the layers of the three shades of white. Titanium acrylic is hand-brushed and then also sanded." In Flow/Spark (2017) Warren painted the panel a blue then applied transparent vinyl to create visual layers. "I painted over with yellows and greens and then sanded a halo with an orbital sander [to] leave a nice shadow. ... I like the tension of leaving space or an edge. It adds a tension to the story."

Desiree Warren (Flow), 2017, (Spark) 2017, aluminum, paint, vinyl


Desiree Warren (Family of Four 1-4), 2017, aluminum, paint, vinyl









Friday, June 23, 2017

Fundraising for New Weaving Loom July, 8, 12-3pm | Weaving Loom Fundraiser Event

Fundraising for New Weaving Loom
July, 8, 12-3pm | Weaving Loom Fundraiser Event | Debbie Barrett-Jones Textile Studio | 633 East 63rd Street | KCMO 
 I could purchase a new loom if I sold......



Last spring, I moved my loom outside of my home for the first time in 11 years, into my new studio space located in East Brookside. For the first few months, it went really, really well and I loved to show anyone that walked into my space, how a woven piece of textile was made. But when October came around, I really started missing having my loom at home....

( Click on this link to read my blog entry from Monday, February 6, 2017. )


I think by now, most of you know I love to weave.....especially scarves! I have owned my small used Baby Wolf Schacht 8-harness Loom for more than 12 years. And on that loom, I have woven more than 600 scarves.  I purchased my used loom when was a junior at the Kansas City Art Institute. Now my loom is more than 20 years old and is not as smooth weaving as it used to be..... I  would love to purchase another loom just like it. I know by now, that I absolutely love to weave from this type of loom and would definitely put two looms to use. The loom I have right now will stay at home and this new loom would be located at and worked from my East Brookside studio. I am confident both will be well used and appreciated.

I am now needing to raise close to $3,000 for a new loom with a bench. I am hoping to purchase it by the end of July or sooner, so it can be included in my upcoming show in August-September at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center with my sister Kristine Barrett called Sanctuaries. So, since the Opening Installation/Performance is Thursday, August 3rd, I need to raise the money quickly. A purchase of any of pieces will help pay for this loom. I will have an Open Studio this Saturday, June 17th 12-3pm to help start funding and a Weaving Loom Fundraiser Event on Saturday, July 8th, 12-3pm. (Details to come in next newsletter.)

 If you would like to help in any way, here are some ideas. 


I could purchase a new loom if I sold......
100-120 Yarn Necklaces

Yarn Necklaces cost between $25-$60

These handmade accessories can be wrapped around your neck two or three times, depending on how you like it and can be paired with a woven scarf. The perfect gift, each packaged in a cute box with a clear lid, all ready to be given. (Also, I take custom orders.)

or


I could purchase a new loom if I sold.....
 24 - 11x14 -Digital Prints of Original Weaving on Paper


11x14 Print with 1.5" white border, ready to frame costs $125

or

I could purchase a new loom if I sold.....
* 18 Woven Scarves


Woven Scarf cost $150-$350

Along with weaving large-scale commission pieces for sanctuaries, businesses, and the home, I develop new ideas on a smaller scale. Weaving scarves and shawls are like sketches; each one is a new composition. I have made sold more than 600 scarves and each one is one-of-a-kind and unique. Color is where I find inspiration, and that is why I hand-dye each color in these pieces. I consider each scarf as a piece of artwork that is wearable.

or

I could purchase a new loom if I sold.....
* 5-10 Digital Prints of Original Weaving on Metal- Small to Medium Size

Unlimited Edition Digital Print of Original Weaving starts at $300

For many years, I have loved sitting at my loom weaving but have been frustrated that I can only work with horizontal and vertical lines. Now I can take my original woven textile and through digital manipulation, I can move those horizontal and vertical lines in all different directions by coming up with new designs and compositions that still show off the beautiful weaving structure that I love.  

or

I could purchase a new loom if I sold.....
* 1-3 Fine Art Woven Textile or Limited Edition Digital Print of Original Weaving


Fine Art Woven Textile or Limited Edition Digital Print of Original Weaving start at $700

There is truly something amazing about having artwork in a room, lobby and hallway that helps bring warmth, new life, and energy; not only to your space but also to the viewer. I would love to help transform your space, big or small, rather it is your living room, bedroom, staircase, office, lobby, hospital waiting room or a sanctuary, by creating the perfect custom woven art piece.

Here are just a few ideas, if you would like to help out with raising funds for my new loom. Please contact me if you have any questions about my artwork and/or would like to set up an appointment for a consultation. Feel free to check out my website to view examples of my woven textiles in homes, businesses, hospitals, places of worship and gallery spaces and my online shop to purchase my necklaces, scarves, and prints. Thank you so much for all your support throughout the years. You have helped be a part of my passion. 

All the best and hope to see you soon!
Debbie Barrett-Jones

Contact Information:
Debbie Barrett-Jones Textiles Studio/Retail Space 
633 East 63rd St.
Kansas City, MO 64110 

Email: debbiebarrettjonestextiles@gmail.com
Phone: 816-718-6732 

Women to Watch | METALS | Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Image above; Debbie Barrett-Jones | Navy to Aqua to Brown Waves Tryptic |
 Digital print of original textile/weaving on aluminum Edition of 5 75" x 105"


Friday, June 16, 2017, to Sunday, January 28, 2018
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, in cooperation with the Kansas City Chapter of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), is proud to host Women to Watch | Metals June 16, 2017–January 28, 2018. 
The Women to Watch exhibition series features emerging or underrepresented artists from the states and countries in which NMWA has outreach committees. From the ornamental to the functional, this year’s exhibition explores metal as a medium.
Juried and curated by Kemper Museum Executive Director Barbara O’Brien.  
Panel Discussion with Artist
Thursday, September 28
5:00 p.m. cash bar, 6:00 p.m. panel discussion



Juried and curated by Kemper Museum Executive Director Barbara O’Brien.