Mike Sinclair, Colonnade, The Paseo & Mary Lou Williams Drive, Chromogenic print, 20 X 24".

Documenting City Parks and how They Humanize Urban Existence

Mike Sinclair, Shelter House, Blue Valley Park, 2009, Archival pigmented print, 48 X 57.5".

Mike Sinclair, Rose Garden after Ice Storm, Loose Park , Chromogenic print, 20 X 24".

Mike Sinclair, Cliff Drive, Limestone Outcrop, 2008, Chromogenic print, 20 X 24".


Dolphin Gallery
1600 Liberty
Kansas City
816 842-4415
Kansas City
Mike Sinclair
City Beautiful

March 27-May 16, 2009

Sinclair has spent many years exploring middle-class America at play and leisure. In this series City Beautiful Sinclair pays tribute to city parks as they define the personality of a region, reacquainting us with what sometimes feels to be abandoned or forsaken places of solace.

Curator Hesse McGraw writes, “Kansas City’s parks fill a huge gap between accident and intention — forming the city’s center, void, mysterious plateau and its new normal. These parks wear the pain and joy of the city, its confusion and distress. They come together as much as fall apart, in both senses present. Interlocking questions swirl about these places — of maintenance, function, community, beauty, income and race. But more pointedly, what is the role of the park in the life of the city? These ponderous, softened places that conceal death and celebrate life are forgotten only to be verdantly reborn, remembered and loved for their tiniest details or landmark trees, They are in the game and out of the way, there if we need them and never mind if we don’t, it will all grow back next year anyway.”

Sinclair’s work is included in collections such as Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Nerman Museum of Art, Fine Arts Museum, Houston, and Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago.

Mike Sinclair is an architectural and fine art photographer. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, he works for local and national clients. His photographs of architecture are frequently published in the architectural press, including Metropolis, Architectural Record, The New York Times, and Interior Design.

Artist's Statement
I remember going to parks since I was a young boy. They helped me learn the opposite notions of change and constancy and the slow way that time plays a role in the way things look.  Parks  change less than the rest of the city. In one park there are trees that I remember seeing as a boy and concrete outlines of what was 50 years ago a wading pool full of children with their mothers watching from the sides.

During my childhood people used to gather bottles of spring water at the spring on Cliff Drive. When I took the picture of the spring it was a Sunday morning and as soon as I got out of my car I heard a voice from a speaker mounted high on a tree next to the spring, “Your picture has been uploaded. Get back in your car.” The message repeated over and over while I took the picture.

— Mike Sinclair


Mike Sinclair, Evergreen Trees, Swope Park, 2008, Archival pigmented print, 48 X 57.5."