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Artwork at Bartle Hall receives national recognition

The “Water Plaza” artwork on the south side of the Kansas City Convention Center Ballroom was recently named No. 17 in the top 21 list of public art pieces in the country by Art in America magazine in its 2008 Annual Guide.

Omaha, Neb., artist Jun Kaneko created the work, which features a plaza design that represents flowing water with decorative concrete, seven colorful ceramic sculptures and a complimentary interior mural.

“The distinction represents Kansas City’s standing in the national public art landscape and reaffirms the significance of the arts in our region,” said Porter Arneill, director of the City of Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Art Commission. “Kaneko's impeccable sense of scale and design is key to the success of Water Plaza as it humanizes the massive surrounding architecture of Bartle Hall, the Grand Ballroom and the soon-to-be Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.”

The Water Plaza is part of the City’s One Percent for Art program, which requires one percent of the construction budget for new and renovated municipal buildings be allocated for artwork.

This is the fourth time in the past eight years that a piece of the City’s public art collection has been featured on Art in America’s list.

Media inquiries about this issue should be directed to Deanna Nelson, communications specialist in the Capital Improvements Management Office, (816) 513-2757.

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