Women's History Month Showings
Updated: Mar 5, 2019
Kansas City artist emerges in debut show this March at the Kansas City Artists Coalition’s (KCAC) underground gallery. Polly Alice combines oil painting and soft sculpture with imperfect stitching to demonstrate the beautiful and improvisational nature of human relationships.
Opening March 1, 2019 for Women's History Month, her work will be featured at five shows. Kicking off with "#HoldFast" at the KCAC underground gallery, "Solar Girl Premier Art & Design Show" at The Drugstore, Jan Jensen Artists at the Grand Reopening of Oak Street Mansion, “Women in the Arts” at Paper Birch Landing Gallery, and last but not least "Who Does She Think She Is?" at InterUrban ArtHouse. Viewers will find Alice’s collection of pieces are part of a larger commentary on the progression and interconnected nature of women’s rights.
Through her work, Alice creates something she calls The Twelve Freedoms for Women. Of the twelve freedoms, this month's shows feature "Freedom to Think,” “Freedom to Create", “Freedom to Believe” and “Freedom to Leave.” Alice is a symbolist, and in her Freedoms pieces in particular she creates personalized, healing archetypes. Her series of paintings of women, clothing, and soft sculptural symbols incorporates the numbers 1 through 12 like the hours on a clock. Alice says, "this work is a culmination of personal symbols I’ve developed to explore the nature and experience of the feminine." Her favorite quote by author, Linda Kohanov sums it up. Feminine values are "...intuition over logic, relationship over dominance, collaboration over force, process over goals and emotion over thought."
Polly Alice comes from a long line of strong midwestern women. Her great grandparents were Bentons, shirttail cousins of Thomas Hart Benton. "When I saw his retrospective in the 1980's, I decided I was going to be an artist just like him. It's hard sometimes being in a family with women who have so much education and do so many things, teachers, social workers, engineers. My grandmothers volunteered and were amazingly active in their communities. It's a lot to live up to," Alice says. She hopes that her symbols of flags, dresses, lips, buttons, stars and stripes echo the images she believes demonstrate those strong women who persevered and their stories. "I have to remember that art is important too. It feeds our soul, gives us insight, energy and direction. So I keep making art and I want my art to heal and commemorate the journey of American Women for equality in the world of fine art as well."
Alice grew up in Kansas City studying at the Nelson Atkins education program from children from ages 2 to 13. In 1990 she moved to the Washington D.C. area with her family where she spent countless hours exploring the National Art Gallery. From 1996 to 2000, she studied art at Messiah University near Harrisburg, PA.
After receiving her MFA in 2011 in Writing from Hamline University in St. Paul, she noticed the revitalization of art in KC and the call to action for artists from Mayor Sly James Cultural council in 2011. This led Alice to open the New Thing Art Studio in Kansas City in 2015 and to be a co-founder of the Paper Birch Landing Art Gallery. Her work has been shown across the U.S. from West Coast to East Coast. When she's not painting Polly Alice is also an a
djunct English professor, speaker, poet, and editor of Flying Ketchup Press. You can find her studio at DesignWerx in North Kansas City.