TKAAM CURATOR PARIS CUNNINGHAM SELECTED AS ONE OF EIGHT ARTISTS FEATURED IN ONLINE ART EXHIBITION

Commerce Bank launches it's first-ever online exhibition entitled ‘What Matters Most.’


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 7, 2021

Wichita, KS - May 7, 2021Commerce Bank has launched What Matters Most, a community-based, commissioned art project and online exhibition, one year following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of the Covid-19 global pandemic. In its inaugural year, What Matters Most sought to inspire joy and creativity following a year marked with extraordinary changes, challenges, and uncertainties for many. Commerce worked with The Kansas African American Museum and seven other organizations to commission illustrators to promote new and uplifting artwork.

Paris Cunningham, a resident of Wichita, found the program’s focus on “what matters most” to be intriguing. “I enjoyed the challenge of it,” she says. “I liked taking our collective experience with COVID and turning it into something simpler. I wanted to make something as simple and relatable as possible so that when people see it, they can apply it to their own experiences.”


Cunningham’s piece features an image of her bumping elbows with her mother. “I recreated a moment we shared while hunting for toilet paper at a local grocery store,” she says. It’s a moment of levity, but also a reminder of the impact of the pandemic. “Before COVID, we took for granted how important physical touch is. That interaction is so meaningful, and it’s really influencing my thinking these days.”

Paris joined The Kansas African American Museum in 2019 and has helped tell compelling stories about the African American experience, some including her original artwork. TKAAM proudly congratulates her on this opportunity to use her art to uplift the community.

Click here to view the online exhibit.

Press Contact:

TKAAM Communications Team

tkaam@tkaamuseum.org

About The Kansas African American Museum:

Since its opening in 1998, The Kansas African American Museum has endeavored to make the African American experience resonate with every Kansan. TKAAM celebrates the richness of the African American experience and its indelible influence on American culture, tradition, and language that continue to define our country today. Much more than the housing of collections, TKAAM provides a space to explore, reflect and remind us all of our interconnectedness. The museum is open Tuesday- Friday from 10 am-5 pm and Saturday from 12 pm-4 pm. To learn more, visit tkaamuseum.org or follow our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube channel. In addition, you can reach the museum by phone at 316-262-7651.

About artist Paris Cunningham

Paris is a visual artist and musician from Wichita, Ks and is the Curator of Collections at The Kansas African American Museum. Paris began to develop her artistic style while attending Wichita East High School in the IB program. She enjoys using mixed media, graphite sketches, and digital drawings to give life to her ideas.

Inspiration for many of Paris' pieces come from her personal identity development as a young black woman and reflection on her own lived experiences and culture.

About Commerce Bank

With $33.3 billion in assets, Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) is a registered bank holding company offering a full line of banking services, including payment solutions, investment management and securities brokerage. Commerce Bank, a subsidiary of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., leverages more than 150 years of proven strength and experience to help individuals and businesses solve financial challenges. In addition to offering payment solutions across the U.S., Commerce Bank currently operates full-service banking facilities across the Midwest including the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas, Springfield, Central Missouri, Central Illinois, Wichita, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Denver. It also maintains commercial offices in Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati, Nashville, Des Moines, Indianapolis, and Grand Rapids. Commerce delivers high-touch service and sophisticated financial solutions at regional branches, commercial offices, ATMs, online, mobile and through a 24/7 customer service line. Learn more at www.commercebank.com.

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