Coming to KC

The Great Sculpture Debate Settled

A Johnson County grand jury dismissed the idea that a controversial, partially-nude Overland Park Arboretum “sexting” sculpture of a woman taking her own photo was obscene.

Jurors were instructed to make a determination regarding probable cause to believe a crime had been committed. After one day of deliberation, the 15-person jury stated they found no crime had been committed and released this statement: “We sat for one day and viewed the photographs of the statue. We reviewed the Kansas law and found that the sculpture in question did not meet the legal definition of obscenity.”


Zaarly Launches Kansas City Site

“Kansas City, meet Kansas City” is the wording of the introductory e-mail from The virtual storefront website for local merchants seeking new business opportunities is the brainchild of Kansas City resident Bo Fishback, chief executive officer of Zaarly.

A meeting place for buyers and sellers of local products and services, Zaarly has gone viral in communities such as San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. Last month, Fishback made his creation available to Kansas City area residents, too.

Visit to set up your profile and you may soon be connecting with someone who can organize your closet, change the oil in your car (in your own driveway!) or decorate your home for the holidays.

Zaarly promises to introduce you to builders, craftsmen and artisans to make your life better.


IKEA Plans Merriam Location

IKEA, one of the world’s largest home furnishings retailers, announced plans for a new store in Merriam, Kan. The popular Swedish firm expects to open in fall 2014. The Merriam store would be the first IKEA in Kansas or Missouri, and would increase the retailer’s presence in the Midwestern United States.

The 349,000-square-foot store will be built on the southeast corner of  I-35 and Johnson Drive, on land where a vacant shopping center sits. The shopping center was built in 2008, but due to the recession, was unable to secure viable tenants. IKEA plans to demolish the center to build its new store.


One Nineteen Becomes Town Center Crossing

To further join Town Center Plaza and One Nineteen, Glimcher Realty has changed the name of One Nineteen to Town Center Crossing. Glimcher, one of the largest retail Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) and the owner of One Nineteen and Town Center Plaza, has rebranded both centers with new logos, signage and a shared property directory.

“Our hope by rebranding the properties is to create the Town Center district, marking one of the best retail areas outside of Kansas City,” says Marshall Loeb, president and chief operating officer of Glimcher Realty Trust. “We love the Leawood community and believe the combined shopping district will further entice first-to-market upscale retailers, which have been synonymous with both centers.”

Retailers are already taking notice. Brooks Brothers recently opened a 7,000-square-foot men’s, women’s and children’s flagship store last week at Town Center Plaza. At Town Center Crossing, Orvis, a 5,000-square-foot outdoor and sporting goods store, recently opened, and the 4,000-square-foot women’s boutique Feng opened late last month.


Landscape paintings are exhibition highlight

The most treasured Chinese landscape paintings from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art collection are part of a special 60th anniversary exhibition at the Shanghai Museum that opened last month to enormous crowds and much praise. The special exhibition, “Masterpieces of Early Chinese Painting and Calligraphy in American Collections,” is an assemblage of masterpieces showcasing the best Chinese paintings and calligraphies from the 10th to 14th centuries. More than 8,000 visitors are attending each day.

The Nelson-Atkins is among the rare museums that can tell the story of Chinese painting during the Song Dynasty, considered one of the world’s greatest artistic eras.

Sarah Rowland, chair of the Nelson-Atkins Board of Trustees, attended the opening of the exhibition with Colin Mackenzie, the museum’s senior curator of Chinese art.
“I was deeply honored to represent the Nelson-Atkins at the opening in Shanghai,” says Rowland. “The exquisite masterpieces that traveled there from Kansas City are iconic, world-renowned treasures. They are among the most beautiful and admired works in the Nelson-Atkins collection.”

The paintings have been brought together in Shanghai to provide Chinese visitors, scholars and enthusiasts a rare opportunity for further appreciation and research.
“The importance of this exhibition is unprecedented,” says Mackenzie. “Never before has such a comprehensive exhibition of early Chinese painting masterworks from American museums been exhibited together, and never again is it likely to happen. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the greatest masterworks of world art.”

Organized by the Shanghai Museum, the exhibition is a collaboration of the Nelson-Atkins; New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and The Cleveland Museum of Art.

The paintings’ return to Kansas City will be celebrated with an opening February 8, shown in the museum’s Kirkwood Hall, and Chinese galleries “in dialogue” with contemporary works by celebrated Chinese artist Xu Longsen, creating a dramatic experience for visitors.


Calaway To Bid JCCC Farewell

Terry Calaway, president of Johnson County Community College (JCCC), has announced his retirement. He plans to spend more time with his family and is slated to leave the college Aug. 1, 2013.

“When I joined JCCC, I was charged with refocusing the college around students and their success,” Calaway says. “We have been able to do that as well as improve retention, reduce unnecessary overhead and grow our foundation endowment and scholarship funds. Recently our bond rating was reaffirmed at the highest level possible, and we have maintained or reduced our mill levy each year that I have served. It is now time, though, for the college to prepare for the next generation of leadership. I leave the college with much admiration for our team and board. I am indebted to everyone in our community for their kindness and support.”

Calaway became the fourth president of JCCC in June 2007. Over the years, he has led the college to an 8 percent increase in enrollment and developed articulation agreements with the state’s four-year schools, among other accomplishments.

“JCCC has the best faculty and staff of any college in the nation,” Calaway says. “I deeply believe they are ready to be even better. I look forward to watching this happen as a member of the community and will be their loudest cheerleader.”