mobank News

New Crossroads Artboards Debut in March

Thursday March 6, 2014

Since mobank's Crossroads branch opened more than four years ago, the double-sided billboards above the bank have featured work from nearly 40 talented Kansas City-area artists. The “Artboards” are an ongoing project through Art through Architecture (AtA), a collaborative program of the Charlotte Street Foundation and the American Institute of Architects-Kansas City.

The latest installation of these public canvases will feature artists Rie Egawa and Caleb Taylor. The boards will be on display through the end of May 2014.

Egawa's boards are verbatim translations of the project. Titled This Is Art, the west-facing boards are vivid patterns and colorful designs overlaid with Japanese characters that literally mean, “this is art.”

Egawa said, “Billboards are an 'in-your-face' communication method, often for propaganda or advertisement, targeting pedestrians or drivers. I couldn’t help but add a simple statement, but with an unexpected twist.” For speakers of Japanese, the boards will be “surprisingly amusing” but the artist also hopes that those who cannot decipher the characters will be driven to do so. Egawa added, “Or it may look like Egyptian hieroglyphics or just an abstract picture. That is okay too, because it is just an art.”

Egawa is a Kansas City-based artist and co-owner of the Crossroads-based art and design studio egawa + zbryk with her partner, Burgess Zbryk.

Caleb Taylor’s work titled Absence I and II features “an intricate photographic layering technique,” nodding to the surrounding area’s “urban grid layouts.” Taylor’s east-facing board’s final images are the result of “cutting into and layering passages from multiple photographs.” The artist’s intention is “windows of fractured geometry emerge that alter our spatial awareness and establish a presence in the void.”

Taylor works out of Kansas City, Mo. and is represented by Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art in Kansas City and dm contemporary in New York City.

Read about the boards and March First Friday in the Kansas City Star

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