Drawing inspiration from the Lab at Belmar in Lakewood, Colorado and the Waffle Shop in Pittsburgh, Sean Starowitz will create Byproduct: The Laundromat to cultivate a deeper understanding of socially engaged art practice in Kansas City. The program will bring together both local and national practitioners from the field to collaboratively discuss and challenge the notion of art spaces, community programming, and the role of the audience, all while utilizing a laundromat as its main venue.
Through small-scale tutorials and invited conversations, during which program attendees actually do their laundry, Byproduct will connect audiences that are interested in socially engaged practices: art goers, supporters, and the immediate community. The goal is to expose the Kansas City community of inexperienced cultural workers to alternative practitioners in other communities, thereby strengthening and diversifying our own cultural landscape.
As a practitioner, Starowitz is invested in the everyday. He is intrigued that when doing laundry, people focus their attention on magazines, the TV, or a book they brought with them in an effort to make effective use of their time. He says: “I see this as an opportunity for cultural exploration. By designating the main venue as a laundromat – a public, accessible, unintimidating environment (as opposed to an art space) – Byproduct will be able to draw a more diverse crowd of cultural workers. They may not be typical fixtures at art events, but they are still valuable contributors and participants within the community.”
Appealing to a broader art audience, each visiting artist will also give a public lecture at the Spray Booth alternative gallery space, which is located in the back room of Volker Bicycles.
About the artist:
Sean M. Starowitz was born in the valley and raised in the trees of Louisville, Kentucky. His work is executed in a variety of social, political, and community engaged contexts. Gathering inspiration from everyday practices, Starowitz creates opportunities for alternative economies and exchanges, such as Wheels for Meals, BREAD! KC, and The Compost-Post. He also explores curatorial endeavors, such as The Speakeasy, which focus on dialogue-driven art praxis in a socially engaging context.
Starowitz currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri, and is a graduate of the Interdisciplinary Arts program at the Kansas City Art Institute.