Home / News / A Layered Presence

A Layered Presence


Local Artists with Latin American Ties featured in Nelson-Atkins Exhibition A Layered Presence / Una presencia estratificada Addresses Wide Range of Issues


Kansas City, MO. Oct. 2, 2023– An intergenerational group of 22 artists with ties to Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay will be featured in an upcoming exhibition as part of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s “KC Art Now” initiative. A Layered Presence / Una presencia estratificada addresses personal and national identities, socio-political issues, healing, place, and much more. The exhibition, which is free to the public, opens Oct. 14 and runs through Sept. 8, 2024.

Image of the north side of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art“I am delighted with the strong, positive public reaction to our KC Art Now initiative, which puts a spotlight on established and emerging local artists,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Director & CEO of the Nelson-Atkins. “A Layered Presence is particularly exciting for me as this group of artists has ties to Latin America, as do I. Their work speaks to so many issues that will resonate with our visitors.”

Working in a variety of media and styles that range from representational to abstract, these Kansas City-based artists use their practices to reckon with immigration and LGBTQIA+ issues, address family dynamics and ancestral relationships, and conjure memories. A Layered Presence / Una presencia estratificada was curated by Stephanie Fox Knappe, Sanders Sosland Senior Curator, Global Modern and Contemporary Art and Head, American Art.

“Each artist in this exhibition is a nuanced individual,” said Fox Knappe. “Many layers inform their identities and the stories they choose to tell through their art which itself is layered in terms of subject matter, materials, and meaning. I am honored to be working with these local artists who have been so generous in sharing, on their own terms, their personal experiences, passions, and cultural ties to their homelands or those of their ancestors.”

The power to authentically tell one’s own story is significant. For this exhibition, the artists wrote their own labels to accompany their art, and those labels as well as the introductory text are in English and Spanish. The artists also recorded audio interviews. Visitors can use the Smartify app to scan a work of art and hear more from each artist in their own voice, making the viewing a more intimate experience and adding another layer of understanding, appreciation, and empathy.

A Layered Presence / Una presencia estratificada features the following artists:

  • Emily Alvarez
  • Rodrigo “Rico” Alvarez
  • Maria Vasquez Boyd
  • Ruben Bryan Castillo
  • José Faus
  • Israel Alejandro García García
  • Cesar Lopez
  • Jessica Manco
  • Rodolfo Marrón III
  • Adolfo Gustavo Martinez
  • Jenny Mendez
  • Sue Moreno
  • Juan G. Moya
  • Carlos Ortiz-Gallo
  • Eulalia C. Pulido
  • Socorro Rico
  • Miguel Rivera
  • Chico Salvador Sierra
  • Kiki Serna
  • Vania Soto
  • Isaac Tapia
  • Hugo Ximello-Salido

Programming for this exhibition includes:

We Are Latinos: Discovering the Latino Community of Kansas City Film Screening & Discussion
Sunday December 10, 2023, 2–3:15 p.m.
$13 Public / $10 Members

Latino trailblazers have long molded Kansas City into the bustling metro it is today. We Are Latinos captures that powerful legacy through the stories, hopes, achievements, and contributions of the vibrant–and underappreciated–Kansas City Latino community. Immediately following, artist and host of KKFI’s Artspeak Radio Maria Vasquez Boyd moderates a discussion with the filmmaker, Victor Antillanca and two artists featured in the film and the museum’s exhibition, A Layered Presence, Una presencia estratificada, Jenny Mendez and Kiki Serna. Victor Antillanca, in partnership with Kansas City PBS, produced the We Are Latinos film series.

Muxe: The Language of Art & Culture Screening and Meet the Director
Friday, June 28, 2024, 7–8:45 p.m.
$13 public / $10 members

Join us for the screening of the new documentary with an introduction and Q & A with the producer and director, Hugo Ximello Salido. Muxe: The Language of Art & Culture documents his efforts to learn about Muxe culture, appreciate its singular history and contemporary expression, and to help share its beauty with the world. The film illustrates Ximello-Salido’s artistic journey through the perception of gender fluidity in the state of Oaxaca, directly connecting with his artistic approach through 2D & 3D artwork. Presented in commemoration of Ximello-Salido’s Muxe sculptural work on display in the featured exhibition, A Layered Presence, Una presencia estratificada featuring 22 local artists at the Nelson-Atkins and Pride Month.

Image credit: Beth Byers

Organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Generous support has been provided by Paul DeBruce and Linda Woodsmall-DeBruce and Bill and Sara Morgan.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. The museum opens its doors free of charge to people of all backgrounds.

The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access to its renowned collection of more than 42,000 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and Native American and Egyptian galleries. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the Museum is a key educational resource for the region. In 2017, the Nelson-Atkins celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Bloch Building, a critically acclaimed addition to the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building.

The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday through Monday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursday; closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission to the museum is free to everyone. For museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit nelson-atkins.org.

For media interested in receiving further information, please contact:

Kathleen Leighton, Manager, Media Relations and Video Production
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art