A Gallery Says Goodbye with a Family Show / Hyperallergic

Archie Scott Gobber, “No Closure” (nd) (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic unless otherwise noted)

Archie Scott Gobber, “No Closure” (nd) (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic unless otherwise noted)

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Kaitlin O’Brien is 16, and she’s gonna turn 17 in August. Arguably her biggest accomplishment this year to date was curating Thanks for the Warning (ran through June 22), a 68-person show containing 86 artworks at the Dolphin Gallery, which her father John O’Brien has owned for 24 years. This was the gallery’s final exhibition, a culmination of nearly a quarter century of work. And it was planned, conceived, and executed for reasons not commercial but familial. The exhibition showcased a wide range of artists, including the luminescent paintings of community grandfather Jim Leedy, drawings by signage trickster Archie Scott Gobber, the gushy, sardonic drawings of his daughter Lucy Gobber, budding horn sculptures by artist/musician Mark Southerland, and the mystical architectural geometric drawings of the recently deceased Roger Kraft.

The Dolphin Gallery is older than Kaitlin, and in a sense she’s grown up there among the artists, the business of art, and the local art community. Creative communities challenge the idea of biological family; artists and writers make their own families, and the nuclear one isn’t necessarily a part of that new nucleus. Kaitlin curated the final exhibition of the family she acquired at the Dolphin Gallery.

“People who have shown at the Dolphin and worked at the Dolphin have become my family,” she says. “I’m an only child, so all the artists’ kids became my siblings, in a way.”

Read the full story on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/74870/a-gallery-says-goodbye-with-a-family-show/