Published June 17th, 2020 at 12:00 PM
Tucked away in a corner of old downtown Overland Park is a 5,000-square-foot building dedicated to local artists. The nonprofit organization that calls this space home is the InterUrban ArtHouse, which was the brainchild of artist Nicole Emanuel.
Emanuel moved her family to Overland Park in 2010 and started her quest for studio space after receiving a large commission and finding herself making 80 small sculptures literally on top of her washer. Unfortunately, there were no studios to be had in her new community.
Emanuel used her background in arts activism to gather artists, arts organizations, civic and business leaders to assess the needs of the community. Using that information, along with the help of many others, she created the InterUrban ArtHouse. It began in a small storefront and finally settled into a rehabbed post office building.
The goals of the InterUrban ArtHouse are to provide affordable studio space and a place for artists to have their work seen and sold.
“Especially those from marginalized and underrepresented groups,” says Operations Manager and Curator Wolfe Brack.
An exhibition for just such artists begins Friday, June 19, at 7 p.m. and is called, “Exhibition: the Queer Experience.” In its third year, Brack explains that this juried show is for all artists, musicians and storytellers in the LGBTQIA community and the work will take many forms with visual art, music, spoken word and performance art.
The virtual event begins on the InterUrban ArtHouse Facebook page with a livestreamed concert featuring non-binary singer-songwriter Ivory Blue, formerly known as Ivory Black. Blue is a performer whose music, according to the Facebook page, “is a passionate fusion of full-bodied rock with a dash of pop hooks and a healthy dose of swagger.”
The InterUrban ArtHouse website will host an artist profile, statement and suite of work for 11 artists. In addition, there will be periodic social media postings highlighting a specific artist throughout the exhibition.
Artist Joe Bussell, featured in the attached video, will be presenting his newest work, “Bright Black.” Bussell explains his work as “incapsulating fragments of my own LGBTQ history and interpreting our time and place, our culture and challenges.”
About the yearly exhibition Bussell says: “The first year Wolfe sent out a call for the Queer Experience Exhibition and I thought it would be a great venue to revisit ‘The Apartment’ series. I discussed it with Wolfe and he was so welcoming and helpful I have participated every year since.”
“Exhibition: the Queer Experience” runs June 19 – July 31.