Artists experiment with tabletop tableaus in Carter Art Center show ‘A Periodic Table’ at MCC-Penn Valley

Examples from some of the tabletop tableaus in “A Periodic Table: Imagined Spaces” at MCC-Penn Valley Carter Art Center

The Carter Art Center at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley is pleased to present “A Periodic Table: Imagined Spaces,” a group exhibition guest-curated by MCC-Penn Valley alumnus Marcus Cain and organized in conjunction with the citywide Open Spaces arts festival Aug. 25-Oct. 28.

“A Periodic Table,” on display Oct. 5-Nov. 29, features new and recent works by Jane Almirall, Shawn Bitters, Jill Downen, Alessandra Dzuba, Kahlil Irving, Jarrett Mellenbruch, S.E. Nash, Anne Austin Pearce and Robert Quackenbush.


  • Friday, Oct. 5, 5-8 p.m., with artist talks 6-7 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 2, 5-8 p.m., with artist talks 6-7 p.m.

Gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-3 p.m. Saturday. Carter Art Center is on the south side of the MCC-Penn Valley campus at 33rd Street and Southwest Trafficway.

In this show the participating artists engage in a process of investigation, research and experimentation in the production and presentation of their work. “A Periodic Table” examines the phenomena of the tabletop tableau in contemporary art as a site for an imaginative projection of spaces that are at once conceptually open and physically contained.

Each artist utilizes a tabletop format to display mixed-media sculptural works that explore themes such as models for invented landscape and cityscape, chemical process, a cabinet of still-life curiosities, artifacts from imagined actions, and manifestations of the artist’s studio table.

Media include cut and stacked felt, fermentation, plants, soil, taxidermy, fossils and artifacts, sculpted and fired clay, blown glass, printed and cut paper, sand, wood, plaster, video projection, found materials, reclaimed studio detritus, and custom and repurposed tables and other furnishings.

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Open Spaces is a citywide, family-friendly arts festival with Kansas City’s iconic Swope Park as its hub. For nine weeks, Aug. 25-Oct. 28, Open Spaces will feature more than 200 artists as Kansas City transforms into a center of artistic expression filled with performances, art installations, food, music and more. For more information, visit