City Lifestyle

Curiosity Passport

Explore the Art in Your City!


Article by Rachel C. Murphy

Photography by Ashley Elwell

Originally published in Northland Lifestyle

Alexis Webb Bechtold has the sort of ebullient personality that invites someone to talk to her. It's fitting then that her art installation at the Paper Birch Landing Gallery is essentially a visual guidebook to 24 public art pieces around the Kansas City metro area.

The project, called the Curiosity Passport has two parts--the static installation at the gallery, and letterboxes planted at each work of art around the city. Participants can look at the clues in each letterbox at the gallery, as well as the website,, to find their way to the art installation. Once there, they can stamp their handmade Curiosity Passport with the stamp inside and record their names in the logbook.

Webb Bechtold created the 24 hint boxes using found materials such as old cigar boxes, often sourced from the nonprofit Scraps KC. The vignettes are created out of used plastic gift cards as well as found objects and photographs, to create a truly mixed media representation of the art. 

"I am naturally more inclined to get out and explore than sit around and become bored.  Sometimes we need a little motivation or a checklist to help us get out of the day-to-day rut. On the personal side, the Curiosity Passport challenged me to combine my seemingly random skills - photographer, tour guide, videographer, adventurer, letterboxer, stamp carver, etc. It has been exciting to bring it to life and see people exploring our wonderful Metro!" says Webb Bechtold. 

To get started, visit the Paper Birch Landing Gallery at 3740 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Kansas City, MO 64114. Pick up a Curiosity Passport book and support the project if you choose. Once you've been inspired by Webb Bechtold's handiwork, visit, or follow her on or Instagram @CuriosityPassport for hints. Then, enjoy the city! 

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