Halcombe Miller

November 04, 2013, 8:36pm

Giving Thanks: David Ford’s I Love Indians

I struggle with patriotism. Growing up, Independence Day was a conflicting sea of perceived warmongering and Bruce Springsteen. Then came 9/11 and the outpouring of patriotic merchandise that compounded my mixed feelings, and that day closed just in time for Thanksgiving and the melancholy surrounding a day dedicated to our pilgrim ancestors who, despite their mostly unfortunate relationship with America’s indigenous peoples, made our existence possible. It’s not easy to fess up to an inherent discomfort with the culture you were born and raised in. In fact, if “these colors don’t run” then my assertion is akin to at least mild treason. The truth is I’ve always wanted to be a patriot, but it has seemed impossible to accomplish this sentiment without acknowledging Honey Baked Ham and denying words like nuclear family. Consequently, I forgot about tall-grass prairies, sod houses and head cheese. I neglected the patchwork quilts, the dandelion greens and the buffalo. I forgot about ol’America. Artist David Ford (NAP #71, #89, #107) refreshed my memory. Earlier this summer, still buzzing on hot dogs and pie from the Fourth, I met Ford in his studio, perched above his snack shop in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City. That’s right, in addition to establishing himself as a successful, self-taught artist, Ford has crafted one of the most noteworthy creative hubs in KC with YJs, his eclectic snackerie slinging coffee, American fare, and art conversation on the daily. Indeed, with an intense studio practice, a successful small business, and a well-travelled spirit, Ford may be the epitome of the American dream. – Halcombe Miller, Kansas City Contributor

David Ford | I Love Indians, 2011, Acrylic on Canvas, 36” x 48”

Listed under: Review

December 20, 2012, 8:25am

Spotlight: This Is Your Brain on Grant Miller

Technology creeps me out. And I realize this is a first world problem, but I find myself avoiding gadgets and the internet whenever possible. I don’t tweet, I don’t chat on Facebook, my iPod was born in 2007 and I’m audacious enough (apparently) to forego the tablet for real books. I just recently took the smart phone plunge and this was only because it became abundantly clear that, by today’s social standards, it is considered rude to let even a few minutes pass by before responding to an email. Whilst drafting the pros and cons list that eventually led me to acquiring my fancy phone I found myself wondering if I’m the only one who feels the need to heavily evaluate technology before welcoming it into my life.

Listed under: Spotlight

May 07, 2012, 8:30am

Modern and Natural Worlds: The Evolution of Davin Watne

It looks quite strange when the modern and natural worlds collide. Like an alligator gut full of aluminum cans or a birds’ nest made of soda straws and bits of dental floss – we think we know what natural looks like. Artist Davin Watne began an exploration of the collision of these two worlds early in his career, but his latest work poses his gaze on a more basic aspect of this dichotomy. Using glamorously cycloptic eyes and a slew of richly hued sculptural pieces, Watne has taken his focus from the literal collision of the modern and natural worlds, slowly seeped out the physical drama, and cast his eyes upon our biology. - Halcombe Miller, Kansas City Contributor

Listed under: Spotlight

December 19, 2011, 8:15am

Ruminating on the Self: Anne Austin Pearce’s Passport

While pondering on, and salivating before, Anne Austin Pearce’s  (NAP #84) most recent collection Passport I came to a striking conclusion: I’ve fallen prey to the reality television trap. As soon as television producers brainstormed the concept of reality TV I’ve been right behind them with a mental pad and pen ready to dissect the private lives of newly appointed public figures. But now I’m tired...Read more by Kansas City contributor, Halcombe Miller, after the jump!

Listed under: Kansas City, Review

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