Inheritance gallery : narrative : process

This body of work was created for a new community center built on the edge of Swope Park in Kansas City.

The park is an extensive parcel of land that was donated in 1896 by Col. Thomas Swope to the people of Kansas City, “for their perpetual enjoyment”. The overall body of work is called Inheritance, partly in reference to this legacy. The title also suggests the way in which even urban neighborhoods inherit a cultural history that is intertwined with a local physical environment and its ecological community.

The word “community” is a lovely, dynamic term that embraces both a sense of place and a way of relating in that space. The overarching theme of our project became the description of that community - drawing parallels between ideas of interdependence and interconnection found in both ecological and cultural systems.

Inheritance consists of a series of art works that connect thematically throughout the space, in a flexible set of relationships. We installed a total of five artworks in the building, including a 150-foot long responsive, kinetic sculpture, a touchable polished wood topography and three translucent maps. The remaining two works are interactive surfaces that allow for community input, though they also exist in an alternative state as complete artworks.

This work was made possible through a Kansas City municipal 1% for Art commission. It also received support for the programming components from an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant and a Kansas City Art Institute Outstanding Special Project Award.