Kwanza Humphrey and Whitney Manney • Virtual Visiting Artists

From the comfort of home—join JCCC faculty moderators Misha Kligman, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, and Audrey Michaelis, Associate Professor of Fashion Merchandising and Design, for an in-depth discussion featuring artists Kwanza Humphrey and Whitney Manney.


Whitney Humprey

Left: Kwanza Humphrey, Family Peregrination, 2020, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36”, Collection Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art; Right: model wearing WHITNEYMANNEY design, photo Courtesy the Artist

Virtual Third Thursday Visiting Artists Presentation

Kwanza Humphrey

Kwanza Humphrey
Kwanza Humphrey

Kwanza Humphrey began drawing at an early age and found that this medium translated naturally into painting.

A native of Kansas City, Humphrey graduated high school from Lincoln Academy, where his teachers encouraged him to pursue art professionally. His first exhibition was at the Albrecht Kemper Museum of Art membership show in 1996, where he won best of show for the painting Blue Funk. Since then, his award-winning work has been continually featured in exhibitions across the Kansas City area and beyond. His painting Family Peregrination (2020), which is part of the Nerman Museum’s permanent collection, will be featured in the museum’s upcoming exhibition.

Regarding his portraits, Humphrey stated, “I don’t always know what I’m looking for when I observe the mannerisms in the subjects I paint, but I spend enough time with my subjects to remove any barriers and get at the truth I always seem to find. That truth is what I want to show the world. We all have our own truths and defer to greater truths but sometimes it takes a little nudge to notice. I want my work to be that nudge.”

Humphrey earned a Bachelor of Science in Commercial Art with an emphasis in painting and illustration in 1998 from Missouri Western State University.

Whitney Manney

Whitney Manney
Whitney Manney

Whitney Manney is a prominent fashion and textile designer in the Kansas City area whose artistic journey began with a common frustration.

“My inspiration to create wearable art and textiles started at the age of 13,” she stated. “Not because I was obsessed with fashion, but because I was tired of growing out of my clothes so quickly. Remixing old clothes into my own creations inspired me to create the WHITNEYMANNEY label.”

Born and raised in Kansas City, Manney founded the independent label WHITNEYMANNEY in 2011. WHITNEYMANNEY products are created by hand and digitally manipulated in her studio with various traditional fiber techniques. According to her website, the focus is on “translating the aesthetics of street art and the effects of cultural movements on the current urban landscape into ready-to-wear wearable art and textile design.”

Creating a narrative between color and pattern is a signature of Manney's work. She said, "My job isn't done until everybody in the world believes fashion is art".

Manney has received numerous grants for her innovative work and she has made an impact in the community through teaching partnerships with the HALO Foundation and various area schools. Manney graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fibers.

Third Thursday programs are supported in part by an Ovation Grant from the ArtsKC Regional Arts Council Fund of the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City.

Registration is free; RSVP to receive the Zoom link.

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