NO. 7 FEMIN • IS – THE WILD WOMEN OF KANSAS CITY

In episode No. 7 of the Femin • Is series, I sat down with three powerhouse jazz vocalists and wild women to talk about jazz, feminism, race and history. This is a rich and meaty slice of pie. 

I couldn’t put it any better, so I’ll let the Wild Women speak for themselves.

The Wild Women of Kansas City, organized in 1999, show the importance of respect for diversity and the need to embrace diversity. Four different women with four different gifts, different styles, one common heritage yet four different cultural experiences become one spirit, one voice, one heart.

Together, the current roster of vocalists, Geneva Price, Millie Edwards Nottingham and Lori Tucker, use their many gifts to share their passion for jazz, but of course, no conversation of the Wild Women is complete without mentioning one of the founding members, Myra Taylor, who passed in 2011. To here more from Myra herself, and more music clips from the Wild Women, here’s a great KCUR interview from 2007.

In this episode, another of the original members, Geneva Price, shared some poetry that stems from the book Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, a key inspiration behind the name of the jazz group. Geneva also mentioned her work with interviewing local musicians for The American Jazz Museum for their archives. While not online, those stories can be accessed as part of their wide-ranging collection.

I would also like to thank KC music guru, Chuck Haddix, for introducing me to the Wild Women. It was a pleasure and honor.

Lastly, here is the portrait of the current Wild Women; a lot of different texts in this one!

Ink on paper │Text: (from left to right)
Millie Edwards Nottingham: “We Shall Overcome”
Geneva Price: “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” – Quote by Maya Angelou
Lori Tucker: “With God, all things are possible.”
Radiating Text: Excerpts from Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
│ 22.75 x 34.75”” │ 2017

 

This episode of KC Art Pie is made possible through an Inspiration Grant from

N0. 2: FEMIN • IS – JANET KUEMMERLEIN

Episode No. 2 of the KC Art Pie podcast features visual artist Janet Kuemmerlein discussing her textile murals, the women of jazz, and how naiveté is not always a bad thing.

For this episode, I sat down with Janet Kuemmerlein in her large home studio to talk about her work and career which has spanned over 50 years. We talked about the bravery or naivete it takes to be an artist and the early days of her career in the 60s. While her textile practice is often a solitary affair, she has also painted portraits of other artists, most significantly a number of Kansas City women jazz vocalists, and she shares her experience of working with and learning from women coming from a different artistic medium.

Kuemmerlein is a pioneer in the contemporary fiber art movement. She was born in Detroit, Michigan. Janet studied painting at the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, and sculpture and metalsmithing at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Her work has been placed in institutions such the Smithsonian Museum of Fine Artm  the Chicago Institute of Art, the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Art and Design,  among many others. Her work has been in exhibited around the word in England, France, Germany and Switzerland.

http://www.janetkuemmerlein.com

Janet Kuemmerlein in her art-filled home and studio
Odyssey, textile installation, 5 x 30′, manila rope, wool, nylon,
silk, cotton, & dacron, 1976, Richmond, CA
Arctic Echoes, textile installation, 50′, Anchorage, AK
The Wild Women of Kansas City, The American Jazz Museum

Portrait of Deborah Brown by Janet Kuemmerlein,
The American Jazz Museum
Calla Lily, 10 x 10″, acrylic on canvas
Tempest by Janet Kuemmerlein, textile vessel
Portrait of a Garden
Janet Kuemmerlein in the yarn room of her home studio

 

Lastly, here is Janet’s portrait!

creative abstract portrait of the artist
Ink on canvas │Text: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
│ 36 x 36″” │ 2017

 

This episode of KC Art Pie is made possible through an Inspiration Grant from