Best Art Exhibit

James Woodfill

If we consider the entire town of Kansas City an art venue, then the best exhibit on display in that maze of winding roads and blocks of buildings is a loosely coordinated art installation by James Woodfill. Downtown last winter, Woodfill installed light displays on two buildings. At 1701 Baltimore, a landlord asked Woodfill to cover up vandalism on the windows of a vacant building, and he responded with strips of vinyl in primary colors applied to the glass in a pattern of right angles; attached to the vinyl are mysterious flashing lights. On the other side of Main Street, three swinging light pendulums hang on the façade of a building at 17th and Walnut. The pendulums aren't synchronized, which makes the lights look as if they're alive. In August, Woodfill installed his piece Sky Line at the Sulgrave, 122 West 49th Street. Composed of blue lights projected onto moving metal sheets that shimmer like bodies of water atop a Seville-inspired cityscape, Sky Line transforms the appearance of our night sky, making us believe, or at least hope, that the venue -- Kansas City -- might be catching up with big-city aesthetics by creating something unique.

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