Stewart the Public Artist

One of the most important and fun events of my summer was my son, Stewart Losee, coming to town and installing his new art piece, as part of a public art grant that he and a few others won.

KC Star Interview

Stewart with the KC Star reporter getting a sidewalk interview.

I was his assistant installing for 12 hours one day and another 8 hours a few days later. It was both exhausting, especially in these 100° days, and rewarding to help my son complete a major showing in his career.

KC is a big art town with one of the country’s better art schools, Stewart’s alma mater The Kansas City Art Institute, so these public art works get in the news. He was interviewed by the reporter on the sidewalk (see the Kansas City Star article) as he was scoping out the scene.

As part of his grant, and because of his own interest, Stewart built his own computer controlled router from the frame. He fabricated the pieces in New York and brought them out to KC. In the mean time a printer in KC printed his triangular plastic images and cut them out on a $2 million machine which was really a complicated X-Acto blade.

Assembling on Back Fence

Stewart assembling on the back fence.

Since his design could be configured in many ways, he started putting it together after seeing the conference center. Assembly was in the late cool(er) evenings. My back fence became an alien art show with neighbors pointing out the strange design to their young children. Unfortunately the images were just a tiny-weenie bit too big. Hours of trimming ensued.

The big twelve-hour day saw three of us (a shout out to Tim for helping) moving the assembly back to the site, more trimming, and the biggest challenge of all: lifting this now heavy beast up onto the wall of the downtown conference center. Three of us barely got the job done.

Stewart With his Former Faculty Adviser

Stewart with his former faculty adviser.

Shortly afterwards there was the party and presentation of grant winners up the block at the Folly Theater. It was a great dad moment to see my son as the youngest grant winner, him showing his former art faculty adviser his latest work, and overhearing her say she could see how he was continuing directions he’d started back in the art school. Maybe all that tuition was worth it!

He’s at stewartlosee.com.

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