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Julia Halperin over at Art Info has a great interview with Eric Fischl that overviews the America: Now and Here project from dream to process to future.

A quick excerpt:

When I did the shout-out to these artists, I wasn’t about to tell them what to do, other than in the most general sense of it. I had no idea what I was going to get back. It could have been a highly politicized, polarizing visual diatribe — “America’s Inequities,” or something. It was a crapshoot. I was very surprised by all the work that was suggested. It was kind of self-organizing. It became very clear that there were three broad topics that the work fit under. One was “America as Icon,” one was “America as People,” and one was “America as Place.” “America as People” was about a sense of community, a sense of family and relationships, different interest groups. For “America as Place,” it was connected to the history and tradition of landscape in America, that sense of the vulnerability to what was once considered majestic, powerful, and entitled to us. And “America as Icon” was represented by things like Jasper Johns’s “Flag” — images that recreate a sense of forward-looking America against the backdrop of Depression-era soup kitchens. Some of it was pretty straightforward, but there was also a lot of humor, irony, and cynicism.

Check out the full article.  Very interesting.

America: Now and Here makes its first stop right here in Kansas City May 6th.  Come down to the Leedy-Volkus Gallery in the Crossroads and experience this one of a kind, cross-discipline arts dialogue.  It is a great blend of national and local art and artists.

America: Now and Here will be installed here in Kansas City through May.  The gallery will be open from 11-7, Wed-Sun.  Come join us!

Alice Thorson at the KC Star previews America: Now and Here:

The epicenter of May First Fridays is the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, where the New York-based “America: Now and Here” project will present events that aim to initiate a conversation about America.

It’s a mammoth production, involving local and national artists, poets, actors, filmmakers and musicians. There’s also an emerging artist exhibit at the Cocoon Gallery and a performance by DJ Spooky during Friday’s opening festivities. The Leedy-Voulkos gallery is at 2012 Baltimore Ave. For specifics, go tohttp://kansascity.americanowandhere.org.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/05/04/2847137/first-friday-america-now-and-here.html#ixzz1Lya3wHm2

No one can quite put their finger on what America: Now and Here is, what it will be, or what it might become.  A roving museum packed with visual art, film, poetry, and theatre freshly minted from the best and brightest artists in America aspiring to spark a dialogue with America.  Who are we?  What does America look like post 9-11, post Obama, post Hurricane or Oil Spill or Economic Crisis?  Art, for me, is about uncovering that face, finding that voice, discovering our collective (and by extension, personal) identity.  This new national arts project, America: Now and Here, is looking for that conversation.  It kicks off next week here in Kansas City and I am proud to be a part of it.  Even if I can’t quite get my finger on what it will look like.  I am one of the 10 local actors tasked with bringing to life the works so many local and national playwrights have written in response to Eric Fischl’s call for dialogue.  We will be performing in a museum in The Crossroads, one of the many thriving arts areas of Kansas City.  Site specific, overheard conversation, guerrilla theatre are just a few of the theatre buzz words floating around as people try to describe what it might be like in performance.  But no one really knows.  And that, in the end, is kind of exciting.  I don’t know what America’s identity is in these turbulent times; I don’t know what we may become, or even what we are.  But I look forward to the conversation.  So far the journey has been amazing, confusing, and inspiring.  And I hope you’ll join us.

Check out the fantastic website for more info and perhaps a clearer explanation of what this project is about.

The Museum opens its doors in Kansas City this First Friday (May 6th) at 11am and will be open Wed-Sun through-out May.  Then the museum picks up and moves to a new metro area and starts the process over.  Be ready: here, there, or anywhere.