John & Maxine Belger Family Foundation

Belger Arts Center
Press Release

Howard Finster Gabriel Trumpeting Angel, 1990
Click Image for detail of image.
Jennifer Angus - "A Terrible Beauty," 2006  (Detail photograph)
Insects and pins - Size varies

Four Solo Exhibits in conjunction with
the 2009 Surface Design Conference

May 29th to September 4th, 2009
    ~ El Anatsui
    ~ Jennifer Angus
    ~ Alice Kettle

    ~ Ray Materson


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  • KETTLE (2007) BAC_'ORMO'
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Belger Arts Center to Open Summer Exhibit in Late May
For immediate release – May 5, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO – This summer the Belger Arts Center will host five exhibitions sponsored by the Surface Design Association in conjunction with the SDA’s biannual conference. In addition to the SDA’s official Members’ Show, the Belger will also host individual exhibitions by El Anatsui, Jennifer Angus, Alice Kettle, and Ray Materson. All five exhibits will open on Friday, May 29 (note: this is the Last Friday in May). The four solo exhibits will close on September 4. The SDA Members’ Show will close on August 15. The Belger Arts Center will also be open on Friday, June 5, for First Friday.

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.

The individual exhibits include:

El Anatsui

El Anatsui has artworks in the permanent collections of the Nelson-Atkins Musuem of Art and the Nerman Museum in the Kansas City area. His pieces can also be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and the British Museum. His “cloths” are constructed from a variety of found objects, prominently among them are labels and caps from bottles containing alcoholic beverages. El was born in Ghana, and currently teaches in Nigeria.

Click here to see a very high detail of one of El Anatsui's work
(Adobe flash plug-in required.)

Alice Kettle - A Pause in the Rhythm of Time

Alice Kettle of the United Kingdom describes the work she brings to the Belger Arts Center this summer as “a collection of work which evokes moments in our lives. Here are people and glimpses of stories marking themes of our very existence. Reminiscent works which reference mythology and story-telling, using the line of thread to connect relationships and define emotions such as suffering, hope and renewal. These are the punctuations which reveal the sense of self and identity, the making of connections between the touching and tactile quality of textile, and the expression of feelings.”

Jennifer Angus - Small Wonder, Secrets of a Collector

Jennifer Angus is a native of Canada who currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Jennifer tells us “for the past eight years I have been creating installations composed of insects pinned directly to a wall in repeating patterns which reference both textiles and wallpaper. My work takes inspiration from the Victorian era. Voracious collecting of all manner of plants and wildlife was extremely popular at that time. Often collections were arranged in a manner that has nothing to do with scientific genus, but was instead based on aesthetics and the eccentricities of the owner. Small Wonder explores the peculiarities of one collector.”

Ray Materson - Stitches in Time

Ray Materson has had quite a journey on his way to becoming a noted master of stitching. While serving a 15-year prison sentence for drug-related offenses, Ray traded some cigarettes for a pair of socks, secured a sewing needle from a guard and started stitching. Most of his miniature pieces contain thousands of stitches. His works have been displayed in the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, and other venues. Ray’s autobiography, Sins and Needles: A Story of Spiritual Mending, was published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, NC, in 2002. In 2003 he became the first artist to receive the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Innovators Combating Substance Abuse Award.”

SDA Members Show

Surface Matters

May 29, 2009 – August 15, 2009
(note different closing date than other exhibits)

We will host the SDA Members Show this summer in our ground floor gallery. According to SDA Vice-President Candace Edgerly, all SDA members were invited to submit an artwork that measured 18 inches in height and width. Ms. Edgerly says the Members Show will feature a range of materials including silk, wool, money, bamboo, sausage casing, silver, tea bags, and more. These materials will be manipulated through such methods as fusing, rusting, digital printing, burning, tearing, hooking, spinning, and others. More than 200 pieces were submitted for this exhibition.


  The Belger Arts Center - 2100 Walnut, 3rd Floor - Kansas City, MO 64108 - Office: (816) 474-3250  
  The Belger Arts Center is located on the 1st & 3rd floors at 2100 Walnut St. Kansas City, MO in the Crossroads Arts District.
Open Wed-Thur-Fridays 10am-4pm & Saturdays Noon-4pm or by appointment. Open "First Fridays" of each month until 9pm.
Exhibition is always free and open to the public. Please call to schedule tours for groups 10 or more.

 © 2004-2009 Belger Foundation : Website donated Nathan Sharfi 2004. Updated by: Staff 2005,06, Vetter 2007, Sharfi 2004-05,08,09.