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Jack Rees Lecture and Book Signing: “Inspiring the Surface: The Bloch and its Architectural Futures”

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Jack Rees is editor of "The Sixth Surface: Steven Holl Lights the Nelson-Atkins Museum," a book about the Nelson-Atkins' new Bloch addition that pulls together creative contributions of work by 33 Kansas City artists and writers.In The Sixth Surface essayists, poets, and artists with ties to the Kansas City community offer their interpretive responses to the structure with the aim of creating local dialogue on architecture at the juncture of art and building.The Bloch addition spills onto the east lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in a series of what architect Steven Holl calls "lenses." The addition melts into its natural surroundings while preserving the original Nelson-Atkins building. The book strives to place this modern architectural wonder in context for those who walk its spaces and reflect on its exterior.The Sixth Surface is named for the innermost face of the innermost pane of glass that comprises the wall assembly for the Bloch addition (the sixth glass surface counting from the outside in). Rees says the overarching goal of the book, beyond supporting the risk taken in erecting such a contemporary and unfamiliar structure, is to encourage and ultimately affect greater understanding of the built environment."Since architecture depends on many modes of apprehension for its appreciation, I decided to make a book that would present a variety of paths to an appreciation of the new building," Rees says. "I know from years of experience as a residential architect that few people have the ability to appreciate the qualities of a building using only the building as a guide. Therefore; the idea that other artistic expressions might help contextualize the architectural experience, grabbed a hold of me and would not let go. "To that end The Sixth Surface is a collection of essays, poetry and visual art; all about the museum and its new addition. Presenting multiple interpretations of the Bloch is an act intended to transform the building so that audiences might discover something previously unappreciated in parallel artistic and poetic visions."3:30 PM Lecture / 4:30 PM Booksigning

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