National art exhibit opening in Kansas City

Thursday, May 5, 2011 | 7:17 a.m. CDT; updated 9:03 a.m. CDT, Thursday, May 5, 2011

KANSAS CITY — A national project that kicks off in Kansas City aims to get people talking about America with the help of art in myriad forms, from paintings and poetry to theater and conversation.

"America: Now and Here" begins its inaugural three-week run Friday in Kansas City before heading to Detroit and Chicago.

The concept started about four years ago when artist Eric Fischl became discouraged by the rancor he heard in so many discussions. He said art could help Americans deal with the acrimony he felt had developed since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Fischl recruited several high-profile contributors, including painter Jasper Johns and performance artist Laurie Anderson.

Their work will be on display in Kansas City's Crossroads Arts District alongside those of local artists. The event runs through May 28.


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