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|KCMag.com: ARTISTIC EXPRESSION|
After casually picking up a sketchbook at a softball game and penciling a portrait of the batter, Rose was swamped with requests from parents asking for drawings of their athlete kids. Pencils turned to charcoal, and charcoal evolved into large-scale oil paintings that “capture emotion and the power of the subject matter,” Rose says.
For many of his pieces, he takes somber-faced models, who are often close friends, down to the stockyards or to brick-and-mortar buildings, and the juxtaposition between a beautiful woman and the rough exteriors creates a stirring conflict on canvas or paper.
Rose has completed large-scale commissions, sold his work to prominent art collectors such as Chicagoan Howard Tullman and landed his sketches on the cover of American Artist magazine. Just when Rose felt he accomplished it all, Hollywood called.
Director Lawrence Roeck was collaborating with Clint Eastwood on a film depicting a teenager who gets into the lucrative business of art forgery, and Roeck needed an artist to create the artwork. Three months, 50 charcoal drawings and one ceiling painting later, Rose had created all the drawings and paintings used in the film “Carmel-by-the-Sea,” which is expected to debut in June.
Now, Rose paints many of his masterpieces at ARTichokes (10557 Mission Road, Leawood), where he enjoys engaging with other artists coming into their own. “I love having people watch me work because we get to dialogue and interact with the art,” he says. “I end up selling paintings that are only half done due to conversations that start because of them.”
As a former photography major at the University of Northern Iowa, Nybeck couldn’t get into a required photography class and decided to try her luck in a sculpture course. Working with wood, stone and metal got the young artist thinking in 3-D concepts, leading Nybeck to put down the camera and pick up a welder and sander.
As her college graduation neared, a professor drew her attention to the Arts Incubator program in the Crossroads Arts District. Nybeck moved to Kansas City the day after graduation and set up shop at MachineHead, a Crossroads studio owned by Dick Jobe. Her transition from one city to another spawned her first local project, “Break Away,” in Lawrence, which is symbolic of the difficulties of ungluing oneself from “the pack” and following a dream full-force, even if it means saying goodbye to the familiar and hello to the unknown.
Another source of inspiration for her work is the Chaos Theory, which manifested itself in “Constrained Chaos” in Concourse Park. The mass of metal tubing welcomes climbers and observers alike to engage with the notion that the world is a delicate balance of organization and dishevelment.
Nybeck’s career really took flight when investors for John Wayne International Airport in Orange County, California, chose her from hundreds of applicants to create a piece for the new airport. After working for more than a year, she evolved the project into a 100-foot sculpture that suspends 21 aluminum birds from the airport ceiling. The birds’ wings are translucent aviation maps similar to those still used by pilots of smaller planes. Nybeck’s inspiration for “The Flight of Ideas” was man’s first attempt to mimic the birds and the courage it took to pursue dreams of being airborne.
Although she’s often found hauling a flatbed across the country with her newest sculpture in tow, Nybeck still returns to the roots she’s developed in the Crossroads. “I feel so blessed to have the mentors and teachers here,” she says. “There’s a group of artists here that are actively seeking, doing and engaging, and this place has such a rich artistic culture.”
His work in the semi-abstract, figurative realm doesn’t struggle for a definition. “I don’t really want to define my work as an –ism,” Wright says. “Expressionism, impressionism, realism—I like to just do my work and see what happens.” His paintings are composed with muted colors, and each subject creates ambiguity between itself and the background. “I like things to pop out at the viewer, but I always try to leave it loose and unrefined so it leaves room for viewers to read into,” Wright says.
From his attic studio in his Midtown home, Wright begins most of his work with a charcoal drawing he’s fashioned from a session with a live model. As he transitions to a painting medium, he relishes the challenge of recreating the piece in a different light or posture, creating a quasi form of the muse.
As the son of a father who championed the do-it-yourself way of life, Wright grew up learning how to tinker with gadgets and cars. After his dad passed away 10 years ago, Wright went back to the rusted cars they worked on together for projects he sees as a tribute to him. With a cutting torch, Auto-Body Bondo, spray paint and a grinder, Wright produced several pieces on steel hoods of the clunkers they used to fix up. “There’s something about working with your hands and cars that came from him, and I wanted to take what I knew because of my father and apply it to my work,” Wright says.
Staunch followers and new fans of Wright’s work regularly head to the Crossroads First Friday events or the Westport and Prairie Village art shows. He also has pieces for sale at Kansas City Artists Venue in Crown Center, and though the philanthropic angle of the shop has waned, Wright still loves to donate his time and work to other local organizations, such as the Medical Missions annual art auction last month.
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