Elevate at 21c presents temporary exhibitions of works by artists living and working in the communities surrounding Kansas City. Elevate provides hotel guests with unique access to the work of notable regional artists while featuring their work in the context of 21c’s contemporary art space.
EMBODY shares depictions of everyday life, journeys through the subconscious, and studies of the bodies that carry us through both. The visions of dreams and lived experiences coexisting in the complex, colorless microcosm of Nika Winn’s illustrations, are contrasted by Stephen Proski’s paintings, which use vivid color and clearly defined, simplified forms to convey his perception of a world he cannot physically see. Winn and Proski present worldviews that acknowledge the vast spectrum of our individual and shared experiences. Emily Elhoffer’s “plops” are plush, biomorphic samplings that amplify the beauty hidden beneath the negative body image and complement Celina Curry’s paintings that portray the shifting gestures of the human body in an awkward harmony. These works by Elhoffer and Curry invite us to think about how our bodies are connected to our environment and consciousness of self.
As an artist dealing with degenerative vision loss, Proski explores the complexities of sightlessness in a sight-driven world using vivid color and clearly defined, simplified forms. His paintings reflect the absurdity of our post-cultural landscape; drawing attention to how our knowledge, and therefore choices, are influenced by globalization and mass communications that foster a homogenized experience.
Stephen Proski currently lives and works in Kansas City, MO. He received his BFA in Painting and Creative Writing from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2010. He works at a non-profit art studio supporting adults with developmental disabilities. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, with exhibitions spanning Chicago, New York, and Russia. Recently, he was commissioned to create a permanent installation for the Kansas City Museum.
Nika Winn’s illustrations bridge the gap between the abstract subconscious and the concrete events that influence it. Drawing inspiration from contemporary and pop culture, news headlines and personal thoughts, she creates landscape narratives through a repetitive, meditative process. Using pared back materials of pen and paper, the cartoon manipulation of a dreamworld and reality are realized in monotone.
Nika Winn is a Kansas City based artist and illustrator. She graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2013 with a BFA in Painting and Art History. She was a recipient of The Fish Factory Artist Residency in 2018 and her illustrations have been featured in The KC Pitch as well as Art in the Loop KC.
Emily Elhoffer creates plump, vibrantly textured soft sculptures whose forms are abstracted from body parts. Through these sculptures, Elhoffer explores ideas about body image, body dysphoria, and a cultural conversation around unrealistic beauty standards. Her work glamorizes fat, irregularity and non-normative forms, visual reminders of the importance of a positive body image. Materials such as spandex, tinsel, glitter and crushed velvet celebrate the body in its multitude of forms, colors, and textures.
Emily Elhoffer is a nationally shown artist and designer. After studying at Kansas City Art Institute, she moved to St. Louis, Missouri to help found an artist collective on Delmar Boulevard. She has shown across the Midwest and East coast and is easily recognized by her Instagram alias lumpyplop.
Figure drawing from life has long been a cornerstone of Celina Curry’s artistic practice. Celina’s fascination with all things campy drew her to the lurid world of retro adult magazines, filled with pulpy sets, costumes, and “so bad, it’s good” graphic design. She became entranced by the PG-rated expositional images in these otherwise explicit publications, drawn to their over-the-top ridiculousness, especially when taken out of context. The palpable tension of the gendered power dynamics combined with a tacky low-budget aesthetic results in the irresistibly uncanny feeling that something is just not quite right.
Celina Curry is an artist and educator living in Kansas City, originally from Allentown, PA. In addition to maintaining a studio practice focused on personal work, she creates commissioned portraits and teaches at a local university. Her first solo exhibition, Everything You Need, Nothing You Don’t, will be on display during the month of April 2021 at the Kansas City Artist Coalition.