William T. Wiley
Nomad Is an Island, 1981
Mixed media installation
108 in. x 216 in. x 240 in.
The Scream at 42, 2001
Acrylic and oil on board
36 in. x 36 in.
Recollecting Angel, 1972-96
Painted wood and wood lath
113 1/2 in. x 32 1/2 in. x 54 1/2 in.
Photo - "Raytown Historical Society
group vists the Belger"
Painting by William T. Wiley
Painting Titled - "Or We Could..."
Click images for detailed view.
Celebrating 10 years "Beneath The Surface -
Excavating the Belger Collection"
For immediate release – February 22, 2010
KANSAS CITY, MO – In celebration of the Belger Arts Center's tenth anniversary, we are pleased
to present an exhibition that brings attention to the Belger's collecting
vision - sometimes referred to in-house as "Cultural Anthropology and the
Unit Theory". It is widely publicized that the Belger's permanent collection
includes a large number of works across a span of time from seven artists:
Terry Allen, William Christenberry, Jasper Johns, Robert Stackhouse, Renee
Stout, William T. Wiley and Terry Winters. A loan program extends the
educational reach to arts institutions nationwide. What is less widely
understood is the breadth of the collection outside of these seven artists
and the vision for building it as we move forward.
"Cultural Anthropology" refers to the study of contemporary culture over
time and its markers as reflected in decorative and fine arts. "The Unit
Theory" is a nod to Duncan Phillips, founder of the internationally renowned
museum, The Phillips Collection, in Washington, D.C. Duncan Phillips
collected artists in "units" of works over time, reflecting the span of an
artist's career or the development of specific ideas. As in the Belger's
collection, he developed units for emerging and student artists as well.
Additionally, he believed it was important to install the units near one
another in the same galleries, to invite visual dialogue and gain additional
Dick Belger continues to collect work from artists of merit, both emerging
and mid-career. He is interested in following their artistic development and
understanding new directions, as well as their return to previous ideas or
imagery. He believes in art as a metaphor for the artist's life and a
reflection of the cultural influences at a particular moment. In acquiring a
piece, his intent is to follow that artist's work over time.
This exhibition features work from ten artists in the collection as an
of the unit concept - the seven artists mentioned above, as well as Viola
Frey, Ed Ruscha and Creighton Michael. Recent work, as well as older work,
hint at the breadth of the overall collection - from large conceptual
installations bursting with social commentary, to intensely personal
narratives, to tightly conceived, technique-driven explorations of esoteric
concepts. The placement of one artist's work next to another's creates an
opportunity for visual dialogue and understanding of the work within a new
context. Within the limitations of space, each artist is able to tell a
story, and each story becomes richer in the company of those around it.
A special thanks to Terry Allen for rearranging his schedule, without much
notice, to supervise the installation of Tables and Angels. Recreating this
piece was a logistical feat and would have been a lot to do by itself. The
Belger crew also completely redesigned the galleries, built new display
cases, and installed a complicated sculpture which included a 1,000 lb.
piece of steel. Much thanks to Alan Sells, Jason Puhr, Bill Leiber, Eddie
Roberts, Jesse McAfee and intern Ryan Fletcher. As always, much thanks to
Dick Belger, Alison Miller and Mo Dickens. Our tenth anniversary exhibition
is exceptional because of your efforts!
- Evelyn Craft, Executive Director, Belger Arts Center
This exhibition contains artwork which deals with mature subject matter.
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 www.belgerartscenter.org or contact Gallery Assistant Mo Dickens at
(816) 474-3250 or Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.