Inside the sleek limestone-clad exterior of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art is an internationally acclaimed collection of emerging and established artists. Stroll through the museum’s two levels and you’ll visit 11 galleries that house temporary exhibits and the museum’s permanent collection, which includes clay, new media, photography and sculpture, among other mediums. Fuel up for more art appreciation at the museum’s Café Tempo, which serves breakfast and lunch. And if you love live theater, check the Johnson County Community College Performing Arts Series schedule and make a day of it on the beautiful campus.
The Monet Garden at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a breathtaking retreat designed to replicate Monet’s idyllic space in Giverny, France. You can even marvel at a bridge that arches gently over the garden’s pond and fauna, painted in Monet’s signature green. Bring a sketchbook and see what sort of masterpiece you’re inspired to create. The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens also houses a permanent sculpture collection, with pieces located throughout the grounds.
Public art installations are located throughout Overland Park, so make an expedition of it and explore pieces like Blackbird by Larry Young, located at Overland Park City Hall; Soaring, created by Dennis Smith and located at Roe Park; Laurence Field’s Hybrid Circle at City Place; Remembering by Charles Goslin at the Korean War Veterans Memorial; and the 9/11 Memorial, among others.
In addition to public art, Overland Park also offers a number of galleries in downtown Overland Park and elsewhere. One must-see stop is The Epsten Gallery, located in the Village Shalom continuum care facility. The gallery showcases exhibits that celebrate humanity through art, as well as outreach programs to build awareness of art therapy-based activities.
Art-themed points of interest in nearby Kansas City include the renowned Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the American Jazz Museum, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Kansas City Museum and the Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center. For the best time to see downtown Kansas City’s numerous art galleries, plan your visit to coincide with First Fridays, a gallery crawl through downtown’s Crossroads Arts District that’s held year-round on the first Friday of the month.