January: Kansas City

Kansas City seems to like my photographs! I’m in at least one exhibit in Kansas City most of the time. Right now, I have pieces in two galleries, the Jones Gallery in the heart of the KC cultural district, and the Kansas City Stockyards Gallery in the Livestock Exchange Building that brings together a mix of business and art.

After being invited into the Jones Gallery several times in 2019, I decided to attend their monthly “First Fridays” opening reception for the January Group Show. My piece in that show was “Take Flight,” which has been featured here more than once. It is one of my construction site works, and I was delighted to observe and then join a couple intently engaging with the photo. Turns out he was in the construction business and was using my image too explain to his companion how multi-story, curtain wall buildings are reinforced as they go up. Fascinating! And gratifying.

But the image I’m sharing for January is one of about 150 frames I shot of a most amazing structure that shares my name: the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.* I had hoped to attend a performance (perhaps opera!) while in KC, but nothing was scheduled.

Untitled (Kauffman Center)

I did spend about 2 hours walking around the building, doing my best to see and somehow capture or at bare minimum say something photographically interesting about this extraordinary structure. And I mostly failed. One after another, as I click through the images or stare at thumbnails, I am disappointed. I have rarely spent that much time with a subject and come away so empty-handed.

This one…, well, I like the color, especially the ombre effect on the glass facade. And maybe it is a telling detail, a glimpse of the grand vision of Israeli architect Moshe Safdie. Maybe. In any case, I think it’s the best I’ve got! And as my choice to stand for January 2020, it’s a reminder that I must go back and try again.

*The building is named after KC philanthropist Muriel McBrien Kauffman. Her husband was Ewing Kauffman, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Major League Baseball owner, according to Wikipedia. So far as I know, I am not related to him.

#YearInReview #BestOf2020


  1. Excellent and congrats! May have to schedule a trip to KC!


  2. Lauri, you would appreciate the challenge of photographing the Kauffman Center!


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