Glass Box is an artist-run, community facing, nomadic art space operating to support underrepresented demographics of artists and systematically inaccessible communities. Over the course of the next year, Glass Box will house revolving installations in a box truck, featuring work from young Kansas City artists. In this space, we will host a variety of public programs and events, it will also function as the backdrop of and screening space for documentaries made about included artists.
To start, the Lost Thought team will purchase and renovate a used box truck. The cargo area-turned-gallery will feature painted and framed walls insulated with upcycled materials. A mounted short throw projector, projection screen, and outdoor speakers will allow Glass Box to transform into a mobile micro-theater. In constructing this blank template for artists, we want to encourage them to be experimental, to spend time exploring and developing their concepts, and to create freely without limitations.
Post-construction, Glass Box will host revolving art installations from underrepresented demographics of artists in our community. Each artist will spend one-month creating site-specific work in the Glass Box, and one month touring that work. The mobility of the project allows our artists to complete authority over their outreach and community engagement.
After building their installations, artists will select a location important to their practice to be used as the backdrop for a video interview with them inside of their finished installation. The resulting film will be exhibited right before each artist opening and will be highlighted in a feature-length documentary post project. The subsequent exhibition locations will be important to the artist and supplemental to their practice in some way.
Kansas City’s art community was built by people who weren’t afraid to break barriers. This arts community is rich with history, culture, and a do-it-yourself attitude. Those who started our community have been faced with many complications over its time but now more than ever, artists here have a clear and hovering threat of losing all they’ve worked tirelessly for because of corporate interference in beloved DIY spaces. Glass Box speaks with and for those removed from their spaces and practices. This project acts to alleviate the pressure put on young up and coming artists as they struggle to find spaces that will take a chance on them.
This creative space is 100% owned and operated by artists and in that way is unique in our city. Without being bound to a building with exponentially rising rent costs, overhead from a landlord, or fear of abandonment, artists can experiment and take the gallery as if it were their own. Even if our space eventually ceases to exist, Glass Box will remain as an expansive archive of everything that unfolds and everyone we collaborate with. Over the next year, everything will be documented, from the construction of the gallery to the artists time occupying the space, from every exhibition and event held to artist interviews both written and in video. Our repurposed box truck will break down the existing barriers of what Kansas City has defined as a gallery and reorient it back into a place of gathering. Collaboration is the foundation of Glass Box.
We have invited in six phenomenal and up and coming artists to roll up the door in locations all across the city in order to engage and connect with communities who are otherwise unexposed to the arts.
As Kansas City artists, we all have watched our peers create innovative, important work but struggle to find proper support in traditional art spaces which almost exclusively feature well-established artists who seldom hail from this city or even state. All of the artists involved have experienced first hand the lack of accessibility and media for our community as well as the disconnect between our community and other groups of people who have been systematically separated from the arts. This leaves powerful voices and meaningful conversations underrepresented and underappreciated.
So we have chosen six local artists who are speaking loudly, starting important conversations about sexuality and identity, about race, ethnicity, and what it means to be a person of color in America, what it means to be a woman in America. These artists are telling stories about motherhood, transition, interpersonal relationships, and documenting the landscape of our planet while we watching it change so dramatically. These artists are challenging what it means to take up space, challenging our truths about perception while letting the materials and the colors guide them.
We have invited each artist in not only to create a site-specific installation but to also to boldly emphasize their unique voice. We have asked the artists to create a representation of themselves, a pure portrayal of their artistic position to the world; highlighting their beliefs, themes, motifs, styles, their iconography and the aesthetic disposition that allows them to create work that says something.