Genography - CODAworx


Submitted by HAVA Studios | White Art Studio

Client: Arts KC Regional Arts Council

Location: Kansas City, MO, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $25,000

Project Team


Shannon White

White Art Studio


Darin White

White Art Studio


Permanent public art commission for Arts KC, “Move to the Crossroads” campaign. White Art Studio reimagined the donor names as art. The work approached from the front is abstract with strata of color. When the viewer becomes more intimate the names are read from the side. We see blocks/lines/textures creating a whole as a metaphor for the creative communities of KC, past and present. Histories and supports are often hidden or lost, however, Genography incorporates the names of the advocates, prominently, as contours and form on the new wall because of the creative strength of their combined support.


Arts KC Regional Arts Council is the largest arts organization in KC, and wanted to be relocated to the Crossroads Arts District near the downtown area. Their "Move to the Crossroads Campaign" raised funds to allow them to move to this area and renovate the older building into a gallery and office space. Arts KC contacted a handful of artists to request submissions for a commission. They requested the commission be one large, signature work which serves the function of donor, sponsor and funder recognition. They request groupings of names that will have different treatments to recognize donors at different levels and that it would be expandable. We had conversations about the history of the space being incorporated in the design, specifically the old brick wall that would be covered by plaster for the buildout. Our design bears the initial idea of the wall & builds on the growth & vibrant possibilities of the future of the arts in KC. The topography of the text references the arts community as it will continue to take shape because of the stewards of arts who help form it. There are gaps to be filled in the design, as it continues to develop.


A project of this size and incorporating so many donors takes much collaboration. We are grateful to the Arts KC expert advisory team of Sherry Leedy, Eric Negrete and Sean Kelley for recommending that White Art Studio provide a concept for the commission, and also the entire expanded team for unanimously choosing our work. Once we had be selected for the commission, Arts KC provided the donor names for us to program for the CNC routing machine to cut out the names. Designer Eric Negrete provided information through Arts KC as they answered logistics questions for us for the sculpture design process. White Art Studio provided the sculpture design, 3-D rendering model, donor name design and programming, sourcing the CNC equipment and logistics for production, structure and frame building, painting, assembly and delivery. Arts Advocate Jeff Owens and his team helped us with the installation. Arts KC helped by having the vinyl cut for our designed Legend Plaque. The Arts KC team put together a fabulous "Move to the Crossroads" donor recognition reception and sculpture reveal. Rivas Media Photography was hired to photograph the event.

Additional Information

White Art Studio was pleased to be able to conceive and produce Genography for Arts KC Regional Council and to be able to honor the fabulous group of patrons, arts advocates and donors including many businesses and individuals. We are grateful for the continued support we have received from Arts KC and for the recognition and appreciation from the Kansas City community.