46.) will you gay marry me_ - Ryan Wilks - Book - March 2021-0040-Edit.jpg



Ryan Wilks

September 11 - November 6, 2021


Closing: Saturday, November 6, 2021 | 11 am - 5 pm


[Kansas City, Missouri]— The latest project experience from artist Ryan Wilks opens with two events. September 11 begins WITH HOLD ME at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in the basement level Dungeon Gallery. 7-10pm, Performance at 8pm.


Wilks’ newest work consists of paintings from WITH HOLD ME - his book of poetry about love, loss, and a deep dive into highly sexualized content. 


WITH HOLD ME is a one-of-a-kind, hand-printed book from Wilks and Claire Monroe, aka Clorg. Original copies will be available that evening.


On October 9, impresario Tim J Harte of Mother Russia Industries presents the second part to Wilks’ project with  MANIFISTO, an audiobook on finding sexual liberation during COVID, with readings by Wilks.  


Flutist Lena Danoff provides musical accompaniment to the reading.


This work is not family-friendly. They are truthful accounts by an artist who explores his sexual prowess while making himself vulnerable around lovers and other strangers. 


Sexually mature adults, lovers, partners, and pickups are encouraged to attend, but leave the children at home. 


The second part will also take place inside the Dungeon Gallery at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center.




[Ryan Wilks is a self-taught artist based in Kansas City, Missouri. Their work explores the various realities of queer existence. Primarily creating with oils, watercolors, sculptural assemblage, and ritual, their work sheds light on queer expression of spirituality and sexuality. Their bodies of work address and confront religion used as weapon and explores new modes of prayer through visual and participatory exhibitions. While religious and archetypal iconography such as the Devil and Lilith are seen within their figures in their paintings and used to express gender and queer ideologies, the work itself does not adopt the feeling of weighted religious rites. Instead, the work invites the viewer to participate in a modernized expression of spirit.]


Ryan Wilks