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2007 Avenue of the Arts continues to invigorate downtown

Installation work will conclude later this week on one of Kansas City's most progressive public art projects. In its eighth year, Avenue of the Arts provides an opportunity for artists to gain direct experience with the development and installation of art in the public environment. This year's collection includes six site-specific public art installations positioned along Central Street between Ninth and 14th streets. The exhibition will remain on display through September.

The collection will be officially debuted at a Third Friday celebration June 15 from 4-6 p.m. at the Folly Theatre, 300 W. 12th St. This event will be preceded by a special gallery talk at 3 p.m. featuring internationally renowned artist Jun Kaneko. Kaneko will be reviewing his recently installed "Water Plaza" sculptures and mural at the Kansas City Convention Center's grand ballroom south plaza, located at 16th Street and Wyandotte Avenue. Both events are free and open to the public.

Avenue of the Arts is an annual summer exhibition of temporary public artwork created by six regional artists. Works are selected by a panel of art professionals, and business and community representatives. This year's program is administered by the Avenue of the Arts Foundation (360º Architecture and DST Systems Inc.), in partnership with the City of Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Art Commission.

These are the artworks included in the 2007 exhibition:

    "Stitching" by Alison Luoma -- located on the east wall of Bartle Hall at 13th Street and Central Street. It was designed to simulate a large-scale needle and thread, and it appears to be poking into an exterior wall of Bartle Hall.

    "Sculpture Garden, Wild Flowers" by J.D. McGuire -- located on the south lawn of the Lyric Theatre at 11th Street and Central Street. This is a surreal terrarium displayed in a glass vitrine, featuring faux flowers that rotate via a solar-powered motor and simulated soil made out of melted plastic toys.

    "Calling/Watching" by John Hachmeister -- located at the intersection of 13th Street and Central Street. The two standing figures made out of sand and molasses were designed to dissolve over the course of the exhibition.

    "Infinite Maquette, My God Your God" by David Ford -- located on the north side of Barney Allis Plaza at 12th Street and Central Street. This is a free-standing sculpture featuring a pillar coated in enamel car paint, topped by two steel spheres, each separately labeled "My God" and "Your God."

    "Staying the Course" by A. Bitterman and Deborah Pettid -- location to be determined in the vicinity of 12th Street and Central Street This is a giant banana sculpture made of extra durable papier mache. After it is installed, this piece will be attached to the side of an area building.

    "Hide and Seek" by Larry Thomas -- various locations, near intersections of 10th Street and Central Street, and 12th Street and Central Street. This piece is to-scale photos of people posed in various positions printed on a specialized adhesive material. It was designed to camouflage onto the building surface.

Avenue of the Arts is a public/private partnership program and it was initiated in 2000 by Jim Calcara of 360º Architecture.

"The partnership was forged out of a common interest in building a better city," Calcara said. "It has created mutual respect between public and private entities, and has let us accomplish something valuable together."

For more information about the 2007 Avenue of the Arts, visit

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