John & Maxine Belger Family Foundation
Belger Arts Center
Press Release

Rare Visions - Detour Art
Curated by Mike Murphy & Kelly Ludwig
March 6, 2009 - May 1, 2009.

Rare Visions

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For immediate release – March 11, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO – “Rare Visions – Detour Art,” a tribute to Outsider Art curated by two Kansas Citians with extensive knowledge in the field, continues through May 1. Curators Mike Murphy and Kelly Ludwig have chosen more than 150 pieces of art by over 60 artists to represent all regions of the United States. Among the artists are The Baltimore Glassman, Ab The Flagman, and Mr. Imagination. There are also five pieces by Howard Finster, a Georgia preacher who brought much attention to folk art in the 1980s through his collaborations with two rock bands, Talking Heads and R.E.M.

Howard Finster Gabriel Trumpeting Angel, 1990

Click Image for Detail
Howard Finster Gabriel Trumpeting Angel, 1990
Acrylic on wood 50 in. x 12 in.
From the collection of Kelly Ludwig

Ms. Ludwig is the author of Detour Art: Outsider, Folk Art, and Visionary Environments Coast to Coast. This 160-page hardback book was recently published by Kansas City Star Books. Ms. Ludwig says her obsession with outsider art has roots in her family: “I grew up with an outsider artist of sorts, my mother. Like so many of these artists who are products of the Depression-era, mom was thrifty and resourceful, and resourcefulness inevitably spawns creativity – using common objects in uncommon ways.” Ms. Ludwig is a graphic designer and holds a BFA from the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Howard Finster Gabriel Trumpeting Angel, 1990
Click Image for Detail
Ronald Cooper
Hell Bound, 2001
Wood, found object & paint
25 in. x 24 in. x 18 in.
From the collection
of Kelly Ludwig

Mr. Murphy is co-host of “Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations,” a PBS television show that can be seen on stations across the country. The show is produced by KCPT of Kansas City. Mr. Murphy, with his co-host Randy Mason and “Don the Camera Guy,” has traveled to more than 40 states over the last twelve years and filmed hundreds of artists in their homes, studios, and workshops (sometimes all at once). Mr. Murphy once said he knew the show was taking a special place in the field of folk art when he found out her appearance on RVRR was mentioned in the obituary of one of his interviewees.

Ms. Ludwig and Mr. Murphy are exhibiting work from their personal collections, plus borrowing works from artists and organizations such as The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things. The Grassroots Art Center of Lucas, KS, is also lending pieces from their collection.

Note: See "Belger Arts Center Statement" below and include with all Belger Arts Center Press Releases.

Belger Arts Center Statement.

The Belger Arts Center is located at 2100 Walnut Street (one block east of Main) in the Belger Cartage Service building. The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 am – 4 pm, Saturday from noon – 4 pm, non-holiday First Fridays from 10 am – 9 pm, and by appointment.

The office for the Belger Arts Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 am – 4:30 pm. For more information please visit or contact Gallery Assistant Mo Dickens at
(816) 474-3250 or Email at

Since March of 2000 the Belger Arts Center has hosted more than 35 exhibitions featuring a variety of media including fiber, ceramics, painting, sculpture, digital projections, and innovative design. More than 50,000 visitors have attended exhibits and other events at the Belger Arts Center.

This exhibit was featured on NPR's (KCUR) Walt Bodine Show.  
(Click here to listen to this show.)


  Artists in Rare Visions – Detour Art  

Minnie and Greg Adkins
Leroy “Lee” Almon, Sr.
Butch Anthony
Linvel and Lillian Barker
Gregory L. Blackstock
Ree Brown
Dennis Clark
Jerry W. Coker
Ronald E. and Jessie F. Cooper
Paul “The Baltimore Glassman” Darmafall
Mamie Deschillie
Teresa Disney
Herman Divers
Russell Easterwood
“Dr. Evermor” Tom Every
S. Evets
Rev. Howard Finster
Homer Green
Stanley Greer
W.H. Harden
Rev. Herman Hayes
Jesse Howard
Viola “L.V.” Hull
Levent Isik
Roger Lee Ivens
James Harold Jennings
Bill LaCivita
Ralph Lanning
Myron “M.T.” Liggett
Inez Marshall
Carl McKenzie
Sam “The Dot Man” McMillan
Reuben “R.A.” Miller

Sam Miriles
Karl Mullen
Virgil Myers
Kathy Ruth Neal
Erika Nelson
J.L. Nipper
John North
Melissa Polhamus
Stephen Powers
Mary Proctor
W.C. Rice
Sulton Rogers
Ed Root
Matt Sesow
Svein “Slim” Sirnes
Dan Slaughter
Robert E. Smith
Bob Smithy
Reuben Sorenson
Glenn Stark
QJ Stephenson
Jimmy Lee Sudduth
Alfred “Big Al” Taplet
Annie Tolliver
Mose Tolliver
Joe Wackerman
Hubert Walters
Gregory Warmack
John Woods
Clarence and Grace Woolsey
Purvis Young


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  The Belger Arts Center is located on the 1st & 3rd floors at 2100 Walnut St. Kansas City, MO in the Crossroads Arts District.
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