Recently, I invited art historian and art history professor Deborah Dickson to my home. Deborah specializes in African art and teaches at several colleges and universities in Kansas City including the Kansas City Art Institute and Rockhurst University. She looked at my pieces and we talked about travel, the local art scene, textiles as an art form, especially Kuba cloth, and just a bit about how I grew up. Below are her thoughts about my collection. Enjoy the tour!
Walking up to Roni’s Westside Kansas City second floor condo is like the appetizer before dinner, where you are introduced to an array of colorful textiles and sculptures from around the world. Her contemporary living space, with a stunning view of the downtown skyline, serves as a backdrop for her international collection of arts and crafts.
As Roni introduces her private collection, it is clear she has a passion for the quality and beauty of the objects she gleans on her trips to Morocco, Thailand, India, Turkey, and other countries. Though the majority of her finds make their way onto the Loaded Trunk eye candy menu, she finds many pieces that she wants to live with.
Though the majority of her collection is related to the traditional ritual arts of Asia and Africa, these are interspersed with contemporary art. A favorite local artist, Mark Westervelt, is represented by several large paintings and small works that complement Roni’s diverse taste in their varied subjects and styles.
Other contemporary works are made by international artists, such as the expressive portraits by Hanoi artist La Ba Quan. Though many designers try to match art to the furniture, Roni prefers to let the art take the spotlight, and let her modern, stylish furnishings function as pedestals, or places to sit and contemplate, the gorgeous art (which, admittedly, distracts the visitor from the great view out the large windows).
All my art has a story and a memory attached, much like all of your art and collectibles. Thank you Deborah for the walk down memory lane! And thank you for joining us.