Tuesday, November 6, 2018

When you Make a Purchase, Receive a Free Gift as a Thank You for Helping Us Raise Funds for Toy Drive


We are excited to be collecting more toys for this amazing organization again, during the months of November and December. Not only will we be collecting toys from November 19-December 19 at all three Academie Layfatte campus' but during November 19-December 19 both;





and 




will be donating 15% of our proceeds to Operation Breakthrough's Toy Drive. And with each purchase online during our fundraiser, we will add a special free thank you gift. So enjoy the gift of giving while you get something handmade in return.

Operation Breakthrough Birthday Closet Toy Drive Drop Off

Thanks to all those that helped us raise more than 70 new toys for Operation Breakthrough's Birthday Closet. During the month of July we fundraised at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center and online through my daughters' Etsy shop, www.wearegoingtofrance.etsy.com.





We were asked to drop off all the toys after their new addition was complete and last month we were able to drop off the toys and get a new tour of their beautiful addition.















Operation Breakthrough has expanded! We will now be able to enroll more than 700 children. 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! 



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

*****************************************************************************





*****************************************************************************

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!!


******************************************************************************



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