Amy Kligman received her BFA from Ringling School of Art and Design (2001), and maintains studio practice in painting, mixed media, and curatorial work. I first met Amy when she was curating PAGES: book as medium, catalyst, venue, at the Charlotte St. Foundation’s Paragraph Gallery in November of 2010. Since then Amy, Cory Imig, Nicole Mauser, Misha Kligman and Caleb Taylor have opened a collaborative exhibition and studio space called PLUG PROJECTS. With help from the Rocket Grants, Kickstarter and community support PLUG has been a great addition to the Kansas City’s cultural landscape of 2011. PLUG offers a Public Critique Night, new and diverse Exhibitions, and an interesting model for an artist-run space. Amy also received a BREAD! Grant in August of 2011.
1. What is the greatest thing you have learned from opening, operating, and facilitating PLUG?
One thing we learned right away was that Kansas City is a great community to actually “do something” in. When we started Plug, we put one foot in front of the other and just kept moving till it all came together…but we had a lot of help, and people have by and large been hugely supportive of us. I’m glad to know that we’re living in that kind of community.
I’ve also found it really enriching to be around so many other artists, all the time, and to be constantly in conversation about art. Whether we’re discussing theory or installation or how something should be packed for shipping, every day at Plug reveals some little kernel of experience that proves itself helpful in my own life and practice. Its the open firehose of learning opportunities, really.
2. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Marshall Mcluhan’s “Understanding Media”. and “Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain.
3. Being one of the early spaces in a newly named neighborhood how do you feel about the Stockyards District and its future? (intentionally not being in the established crossroads)
I love being in the Stockyards. Our space is affordable, we have great landlords, great neighbors, and we catch exactly the right traffic – people who want to see and talk about art. I have of course heard of other people moving into the Stockyards and doing other likeminded arty things in the near future, and I would be happy to see more action crop up around us. But if it doesn’t happen, I’m pretty happy with things as they are, too.
4. How do you balance PLUG/work and your personal studio?
One great thing about Plug is that it also houses our studios, so I don’t have to decide between one or the other, they are the same thing. When we designed the Plug space, we were very cognizant about keeping our studios connected to the gallery, and that was a lot about keeping our studio front of mind and our practice active. To me, it doesn’t really feel like Plug and my studio practice compete, but that they compliment each other.
5. What is your favorite place to eat on your way into to PLUG?
Port Fonda, when its around. We also frequent YJs, Genessee Royale, (and of course Grandma’s – but that’s mostly for post-meeting beer drinking).