Kansas City Creative Services
The Office of Culture and Creative Services (OCCS) was established in 2015 to lead cultural development efforts for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. The mission of the Office is to serve Kansas City residents by bolstering and catalyzing arts, culture and creativity and by leveraging the arts as a strategy for economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and cultural vitality for its citizens.
Kansas City Design Center
Located in downtown Kansas City, the Kansas City Design Center (KCDC) is a nationally-recognized, nonprofit, partnership among local civic leaders, professional designers, and the architecture and planning programs at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas. The KCDC supports educational initiatives that help build public awareness of the factors that influence the character of the public realm. The KCDC also works to strengthen the educational experience of future design practitioners by engaging university faculty and students with real-world issues facing Kansas City’s built environment.
Design Team Artist
"My deep interest in how architecture forms the foundation of memory guides me to recreate spaces I once inhabited through sculpture, drawing, and CNC produced images. My sculptures outline blueprints of homes, cities, and places in my memory. The final visual looks as segmented and self-contained as a schematic. Negative spaces represent rooms, doorways, and gaps in memory, while the solid lines capture areas of travel, such as hallways and roads. I use shape and color to investigate the last memories of my childhood home in New Orleans: my mother’s custom cobalt blue kitchen lit by an old lantern when we lost electricity; the way the driveway curved when we left to evacuate for Hurricane Katrina. Over the course of the city’s history, New Orleans has developed a strong symbiotic relationship between landscape and architecture. This relationship appears in my work as a connection between personal history and a changing environment. Everyday for four years, I crossed the twenty-four mile Causeway Bridge to my high school in the city. The structure, the repetitive commute, and the domination of man over nature is central to my philosophy: forgetfulness can be overcome by building structures to guard memory against deterioration."
Miranda Clark is a sculptor currently residing in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her B.F.A from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2014 and went on to complete a two-year residency with the Charlotte Street Foundation Studio Program. Miranda's work explores the physicality of personal memories through sculpture, drawing, and photography.
Carmen Christina Moreno
Design Team Artist
"As a team member of the West Bottoms Reborn Project my role is to act as a design consultant in the realm of architecture via arts, culture, and technology. As a part of my work I will be hosting a series of activities, featuring but not excluded to, walking tours, lectures, cultural investigations, workshops, social platforms, and map making exercises. These activities will work to reveal the interconnectivity of narrative structure, worldview, and identity present in the West Bottoms. The collaborative cross disciplinary research will challenge the conceptual framework of “urban fabric “ and will work to explore and analyze spatial organization as a stage to human activity."
Carmen Moreno received her BFA in 2010 from the Kansas City Art Institute in Interdisciplinary Art and Creative Writing with a Certification in Community Arts and Service Learning. She currently works as an independent artist in Kansas City and has exhibited works and ideas in numerous places all over the world. Carmen's pieces are mainly generated by her interest in science, art, philosophy, color theory,...basically everything. She maintains a studio practice of experimentation and open-mindedness. In applying the sensibilities of science to art, Carmen attempts to create a visual language that transforms her emotional-intuitive experiences into innovative installations and performances.
Lead Design Team Artist
"Union Office, the studio of James Woodfill, acts as a collaborative platform, bringing together project specific skill sets in a variety of configurations. Throughout the West Bottoms Reborn project this platform has served in a variety of capacities within and adjacent to the work of Kansas City Design Center and Kansas City’s Office of Culture and Creative Services.
West Bottoms Reborn has been a complex undertaking. Within the project I have worked in an advisory and critical role, and Union Office has provided ongoing research and project development and management. We have engaged artists to join us in looking at the area through a poetic lens. Throughout, we have worked to define the emergent value system stemming from the observations of the entire team, and we have worked to pin down a series of lenses through which we can assess the interactions with Public Space in the West Bottoms.
My work as an artist over the last 35 or so years in Kansas City has included a slowly developing understanding of the “physical” Kansas City, especially it’s infrastructural ethos. I have witnessed, over this period of time, enormous changes in the urban core. Through both this historical lens and my current situation - for the last few years the West Bottoms has been home to my studio practice - I can see a relationship between our cultural ambitions and what is cared for or abandoned in the physical space we inhabit.
This focus on physical conditions will necessarily reflect the vast array of other perspectives that the broader WBR as team is collating. My hope is that the creative work that I and Union Office add will be one aspect of many that coalesce to compose an honest and constructive response to the West Bottoms."
James Woodfill is a 1980 graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and has lived and worked in Kansas City since. As an interdisciplinary artist, his work is focused on direct experience through the composition of objects, occurrences and site. His artworks regularly blur boundaries in their execution, often merging with functional design. His installations bridge the fields of sculpture, painting and public art, and his work in the public realm has extended into education and curatorial projects, writings and numerous urban planning projects and studies.