New series aims to open art scene

ArtRageous looks to boost city’s economic development.
Sunday, March 25, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:59 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Dancers in the Missouri Contemporary Ballet will lend their bodies to a different kind of art form — body painting — during a new series of Columbia events, ArtRageous Fridays, which begin April 27.

The city may have never seen this type of live performance, Columbia Art League executive director Diana Moxon said, but she said not to worry: The dancers will be “decently covered.”


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The body painting will be put on display in windows of the league’s Ninth Street location.

Organizers of ArtRageous Fridays said it will be an expansion of downtown’s annual gallery crawl, which began in 2001 as an event only featuring Columbia galleries. Last year’s crawl attracted 500 people.

ArtRageous is an attempt at taking it a step further.

ArtRageous will be different in several key ways. For example, it won’t merely be hosted by art galleries. Rather, many downtown businesses are planning on taking part.

“This is an opportunity for people to gain an appreciation for what our community has to offer that they might not be exposed to otherwise,” said Poppy owner Barbara McCormick.

ArtRageous will also be the grand opening for Spare Parts Gallery, which will be located in what is now the Vintage Shop. There will be live music and an art exhibit from artists Lisa Bartlett, Jessie Lawson, Stephanie Foley and Doug Freeman.

“I think this is really fabulous,” said Bartlett, who is also the gallery’s owner. “It gets people out and about downtown, walking by all the shops and restaurants. It’s important for the economy.”

Currently, the 11 confirmed participants in ArtRageous are KOPN, Poppy, Makes Scents, Orr Street Studios, Alleyway Art, A La Campagne, PS: Gallery, the Columbia Art League, the Missouri Theatre, Spare Parts and Village Wine and Cheese.

KOPN is collaborating with Rock Bridge High School’s art department to create an “audiodacious gallery” that mixes art and power pop, a genre of music blending pop and rock.

“We will have special lighting to create a fun, active, energetic, art display,” said director of development Julie Baka.

Poppy will feature three artists: Craig Carey, Gay Bumgarner and Elizabeth Garvin. Folk artist Carey and photographer Bumgarner, who is nationally recognized for her nature shots, will be at Poppy to talk about their art. Bumgarner’s photos will be put on public display for the very first time for Art­Rage­ous.

Orr Street Studios will feature demonstrations by artists who will either paint or draw.

Makes Scents will host a reception for Alison VerPlank, a multimedia artist. And the Perlow-Stevens Gallery will hold an artist demonstration by Joel Sager. His exhibit will be displayed in full this summer at Orr Street Studios.

“The more you taste, the more refined your tastes become,” said ArtRageous coordinator Jennifer Perlow, comparing art to food. “I hope people come out and have a really good time.”

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