POP! is an integrative and culturally-inclusive series of events intended to engage local practitioners within the broader arts, education, and health communities of Kansas City. Collaborative team Maria Calderon and Lacey Wozny will create temporary, event-based installations that celebrate locality and health. POP! provides opportunities for meeting and collaborating, bringing positive attention to under-used public spaces and energetically revitalizing the connection between artists and communities. It will also engage a large number of Kansas City artists, performers, cultural movers & shakers, chefs and activists throughout the course of its unfolding

POP! launches in mid-June with POP! Community Picnic! in a KC public park, with the intention of building a large-scale patchwork blanket installation through contributions from the public. The artists will welcome pop-up stands, information and demonstration booths, workshops, and resource and skill sharing opportunities, and will target audiences from the urban farming, hip-hop and activist communities.

Trading Post at Mildred’s Lane – a model for this project

POP! Trading Post! will be a 24-hour general store with an outdoor location, for barter and trade only, that the artists will build in Fall 2012, and POP! Yoga! will be an installation created to facilitate site-sensitive sensory awareness through movement.

Private events entailing more intimate exchanges and collaborations will also form a part of the POP! line-up, potentially raising funds and awareness for the public POP! events. POP! PULP DINNER! will be an artful dinner experience casting a dining room as a stage, and chefs, servers and selected guests as performers. PULP! will feature live music and dance that highlights hyper-sensory tasting sequences, with videos and sound bytes inspired by each palette sensation.

The artists will also create a series of POP! documentary videos to stimulate a simultaneous community dialogue via the web.

The artists contend: “The overall concept of POP! happenings is to find a common meeting ground with various cultural groups in the community. POP! demonstrates “life-as-work-as-art” on a day-to-day level. Art need not be separate from the ways we seek fun, entertainment, spirituality, socialization and communal relationships.”

About the artists:

Maria Calderon was born in Shawnee, Kansas, and was raised in a Latin folk-musicians’ network within the Kansas City metro. As the Hispanic population of the 1980’s banded together to unite and reinforce their culture, Calderon’s youth was filled with celebrations and music, especially South American folklore and culture from her Peruvian father, an Andean folk musician. She studied Painting and Art History in Cortona, Italy in 2004 and in 2006 she graduated from North Park University with a BFA, with a concentration in Painting. In 2007 she was awarded a studio residency through The Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City. Calderon currently teaches Drawing at The University of Missouri Kansas City and participated in the 2012 session of Artist INC. through the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City in association with Creative Capital. In Fall of 2011 she hosted a lecture and workshop at Harold Washington College in Chicago.

Since 2008 Calderon has been hosting Yoga In The Park at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, which meets weekly in the sculpture park there. She also creates time-based narratives, both 2-dimensional and performance-based, which address the past, present, and the temporal through various mediums. Through installation and communal gatherings, she seeks to engage the senses and promote energetic social exchanges between the viewer and the artist. Calderon’s intention is to promote personal reflection on life and the human soul, through intentional art practices and gatherings.

For more information, see the artist’s website.

Lacey R. Wozny was born and raised in Columbus, Nebraska. Wozny has called Kansas City home since transferring from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design to finish her BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute. As a student, Wozny held internships at The Saint Ann Center for Intergenerational Care in Milwaukee, WI, The Kansas City Star and the Kansas City Artist’s Coalition. She graduated in 2004 with a degree in Illustration Design and Art History. Then began a decade-long relationship with the Kansas City food and hospitality industries. In work and life, Wozny’s obsessive love for sharing and cooking food, and engaging in service and hospitality, has been a constant theme.

In 2006 Wozny and her partner Neal Wilson created the moniker Hmh Services – an acronym for “His Mine Hers + Hers Mine His” at the same time – to author their collaborative projects. Hmh Services intentionally blurs the lines between life and art, public and private, traditional studio practice and domestic experiments. Also beginning in 2006, Wozny began her career at Grand Arts, serving as assistant director until 2011. In 2009, she completed a fellowship at Mildred’s Lane Historical Society and Museum. Hmh presented as visiting artists there in 2010 and for most of 2011, Wozny was the artist-in-residence at Mildred’s Lane. Hmh Services has shown at the H&R Block Artspace, the Paragraph Gallery and the Telephonebooth Gallery in Kansas City, MO and at MVSEVM 1626 in Chicago, IL.

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