Pop-Up Artist Residency at the Epsten Gallery

Summer 2015
June 29 – July 31, 2015

The Epsten Gallery is pleased to present Pop-Up Artist Residency this summer, a series of one-week interactive residencies and related programming with five artists: Casey Whittier, Barb Wishnow Jacobs, Matt Dehaemers, Mark Cowardin, and Hugh Merrill.

The artists are invited to transform the Epsten Gallery into a lively, interactive studio environment open for Village Shalom residents, their families, visitors, volunteers, youth groups, and adults of all ages and abilities. Open studio hours with the artists, organized workshops and studio sessions will occur during each artist’s residency.

This dynamic program is designed to connect professional artists with an intergenerational audience to provide a unique opportunity to interact directly with an artist, their studio practice, and to engage in unique creative processes.

Pop-Up Artist Residency will occur in conjunction with Village Shalom University in July. This pilot program is supported, in part, by a matching grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) and private contributions. Partners for this program include The Charlotte Street Foundation, Kansas City and Village Shalom.

Casey Whittier (June 29 – July 3)

Casey Whittier’s work explores the intersections between nature and imagination, desire and destruction and the overriding issue of mortality. Through intimate sculptures and large-scale installations, her work often addresses issues of scale and space in relationship to the human body.

Originally from Maine, Whittier received her B.F.A. from KCAI and an M.F.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her love for the outdoors and desire to collect and re-imagine relationships between objects was fostered by a family of environmentally literate individuals whose own collections were part of the daily landscape (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so they say).

Barb Wishnow Jacobs (July 6 – 10)

Barb Wishnow Jacobs has been making and teaching art for over 25 years. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute and a Master of Arts degree from the University of KS. She also studied visual arts and art education at the University of IL at U-C and Syracuse University in NY. Her current work primarily involves either mural painting, or mixed media painting/collage and hand lettering. Barb’s artwork has been shown/sold in various galleries, schools, community centers, studio art shows, and festivals. She currently teaches at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, and through various community art programs.

“I love the mystery and potential of the creative process; as well as teaching/inspiring others to uncover and develop their own creativity.”

Matt Dehaemers (July 13 – 17, in collaboration with Mark Cowardin)

Matthew Dehaemers received his BFA from Creighton University and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin. His national public art commissions include the recent work Confluence of Place and Time for Casper, Wyoming as well as Patterns of Energy commissioned by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Matt is embarking on a new body of personal work inaugurated with the sculptural work Descendants. Dehaemers has also continued to produce unique issue focused installations for various art center such as Project Reclamation for the Leedy-Voulkos Arts Center, Watered Down for the Creighton University Lied Center and (402)Disconnect/Reconnect for the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art among others. He has been awarded the Kansas Arts Commission Fellowship Award, the Joan Mitchell Fellowship, four Public Art Network Recognitions, an NAACP Community Contribution Award as well as numerous residencies.

Mark Cowardin (July 13 – 17, in collaboration with Matt Dehaemers)

Mark Cowardin is an associate professor of fine arts at Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and his master’s of fine arts from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He resides in Lawrence with his wife and children.

Cowardin grew up west of Joplin, Missouri, near Carl Junction in an area that had been decimated by mining. Even then, he said, he saw “beauty in what is not beautiful.”

“My playgrounds were chat piles and abandoned mining shafts. Looking back, I think ‘what a blight that was on the natural environmental but it also was a magical place for me.”

Hugh Merrill (July 20 – 24/29)

Hugh Merrill is a printmaker, educator, writer, community artist and the Director of Chameleon Arts Agency, a not for profit that facilitates new genre community and public art projects in Kansas City.

He was awarded the Southern Graphics Councils Distinguish Teaching award in 2007. His artwork and prints are in over 50 Museums internationally including the Museum of Modern Art New York. Merrill is a past President of the Jewish Museum of Kansas City and the Southern Graphics Council. In 2011 the book Divergent Consistencies charting 40 years of Merrill’s studio and community artwork was published by the Leedy Voulkos Art Center. He has published Portrait of Self on community art process and was awarded a 2013 National Endowment to the Arts grant for his ArtWorker project at the Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin Missouri. He has twice been a resident at the Guanlan Print Base in Shenzhen China 2012 and 2014. His new book coauthored with Adelia Ganson Shared Visions, Thoughts and Experiences in Social Practice was published spring of 2015.


ARTicipation Pop-UP Studio 2014: Perception & Reflection | Installation View, Epsten Gallery

ARTicipation Pop-UP Studio 2014: Perception & Reflection | Installation View, Epsten Gallery

ARTicipation Pop-Up Studio 2015: Transition, Experience, Adventure (Finding Your Voice)

April 12 – June 21, 2015

Public Opening Reception: Sunday, April 12, 1-4 p.m.

2015 Full Schedule

ARTicipation Pop-Up Studio 2015 is an integrative, dynamic exhibition program in which children, adults of all ages and abilities and their families can participate in creative, fun and enlightening projects that bring people and ideas together. Visitors will have the opportunity to contribute art they make in the gallery to a large, site-specific tree sculpture, share ideas on a Thought Bubble Wall, create organic Zentangle designs, and explore a Natural Materials Creative Station.

Now in its fourth year, ARTicipation Pop-Up Studio 2015 will once again transform the Epsten Gallery into a studio and exhibition environment for individual and group creation and exploration. With a theme of Transition, Experience, Adventure (Finding Your Voice), the show will feature artwork by Village Shalom residents who participate in individual and group art therapy sessions along with self-guided areas for individuals and groups to create. Selections of personal objects with individual stories from the collections of Village Shalom Villa residents will also be featured.

A series of collaborative workshops co-led by area artists, creative professionals and art therapists will occur throughout the exhibition. Participating organizations and individuals in the Kansas City area include: Hadassah; Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy; InterUrban ArtHouse; Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS); Kansas Art Therapy Association (KATA); Jewish Federation of Kansas City, PJ Library; Kansas City Senior Theatre; Enhanced HomeCare; Operation: Art 501(c)(3) & The Endowment for Veterans Art Campaign (EVAC) LLC; Village Shalom; Casey Whittier; Beniah Leuschke; Tanya Hartman; Michael Schonhoff; Hugh Merrill and his Community Arts Class at the Kansas City Art Institute; Debra Campbell; Kelly Reichman; Lynn Kaufman; Nicole Emanuel, Lauren McGill, Adriane Herman, Joseph Williams and Linda White. Art Therapists, Kaley Wajcman and Sherri Jacobs will lead the workshops supported by student Art Therapy interns, Courtney Cox and Katelyn Brewer.

Download the brochure to view the calendar of workshops.