Benjamin Parks, a Kansas City-based artist, has paintings displayed at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art through April 16, 2022.

The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art is pleased to announce an exhibition to ring in the new year. Returning/Belonging features artwork by Kansas City-based artists Benjamin Parks and Kathy Liao. Returning/Belonging is an exhibition featuring monumental, large-scale artworks and will be on view at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art through Saturday, April 16, 2022.

Benjamin Parks was born in Fairfax, Missouri, but grew up in Savannah, Missouri, and creates music, performances, illustrations, interactive installations, print-making and sculpture. His primary focus is painting large-scale portraits and figurative work and most recently has shown his work in galleries and art spaces throughout the country, including the Leedy Voulkous Art Center, the Foundry Arts Centre, the Lawrence Arts Center, and the Cee Flat Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.

Ben’s start is a funny one. He was born at Community Hospital in Fairfax and the doctor who delivered him had just gotten back from Hawaii and was still wearing his button up Hawaiian shirt. Tornadoes were touching down in the area so the power was out and the generator was going.

Continuing in that tradition, Ben has worked up a whirlwind of amazing creations. However, unlike a tornado, his ability has built masterpieces and hasn’t faded away. He said, “I have always drawn and created art since as early as I can remember. I took painting more seriously in my 20’s and started to develop my own style. I studied different portrait/painting  techniques from classes here and there … and painting books from the 1960s-70s and 80s. I had a moment where I was working on a painting of my son … and it all came together and I had created the style of work that is displaying at the Albrecht-Kemper. I use a graph in most of my large scale painting to keep the composition correct. For this series, I utilized the grid as part of the piece. Each square has a letter in it… the letters comprise a message to each family member. I started this series as a therapeutic measure. I was letting out anger and sadness through the painting process, and writing the messages in the paintings. So it’s deeply personal for me. Through the last five years of working on this series, it has transformed into a healing and meditative process.”

Ben is also involved in music – writing, singing, and playing. “Music has always been an emotional release and a soothing mechanism for me. It’s something that inspires my art work and vise versa. I don’t really work on any style of music… I just write what comes out naturally. And I feel compelled to keep writing.”

If you are able, stop by Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art to view Ben’s exquisite work. The museum is located at 2818 Frederick Ave., St. Joseph, Missouri. For more information about these exhibitions, call 816-233-7003. To view more of his work, visit