These are a couple renditions of two landmarks on Strawberry Hill in Kansas City, KS. The first is of the neighborhood market that was just about a block and half from my grandparents house on the hill. It was a great adventure to walk there with my grandma. Everyone knew each other, not like at the big box stores today. There was a pride in the store. As the old neighborhood died off the store closed. But, the neighborhood is coming back. Which is awesome, they are also celebrating the ethnic background. Some years back I was working in the neighborhood and had lunch with a client at a little deli. The owner saw my last name on the credit card and said, “With a name like that I must have had ties to the neighborhood.” I smiled with pride and said I did. The last time I was back in the neighborhood several years ago the ol grocery store was coming back as a neighborhood bakery and coffe shop. I hope it is doing well. Rock on Strawberry Hill! Keep those old memories alive and make some awesome ones in the future!
The second is of St. John the Baptist church on Strawberry Hill. It was the center point of the neighborhood. It was a vital part of the community of immigrants. My Grandmother would walk the few blocks to this beautiful church for Mass every day for as long as I could remember. It was a stable rock for the Strawberry Hill community to celebrate weddings, funerals and other life celebrations. I can still hear the accordion polka music. And hear the older ladies whistle in jubilation. And could they whistle! And I can remember the church being all decked out for the Christmas season. It was so beautiful! And as we come into the Christmas season, please be kind to each other!
Today was an exciting day. One that many artist look forward to, submitting an art piece to an art show. Part excitement is from knowing that your work was accepted to be in the show. Part excitement from filling out the paperwork at the sign in station. Part excitement knowing that others will get to see your work in a gallery. In all, no matter how great the excitement, it is no where near the feeling of satisfaction of taking an idea from concept to a completed piece of art. The feeling of how the piece speaks to folks. How they feel when they see the work. All things that I learned and immediately tried to forgot about in my college Art Appreciation class or as we liked to refer to it, “art in the dark”.
This is my latest project. It is the Western Auto sign that graces the Kansas City skyline. For those of you that are familiar or live in Kansas City you will recognize this wonderful iconic piece of the Kansas City skyline. The amazing Western Auto sign. I remember being at my grandparents house and I could see this amazing sign. The individual letters would light up and then the arrow would circle around and then the whole sign would light up the night sky. To me that sign met energy, excitement, life and WOW! Thanks to some incredible people who’s innovation and working together has that awesome sign lighting up that spectacular skyline.
It is hard to believe that I am coming up to one yer with this site. What a ride it has been. Like many, I would say that my crystal ball had a major crack in it. There was a lot that I and many did not foresee, with the main item being COVID 19. I guess we are somewhere at month 4.
It has been very difficult to say the least. To say my creativity has waned would be an understatement. I have used some time to study my craft which is always good. I have used some time to study on line marketing, which is very good. So, I guess you could say that I’m ready to get back on the horse and put pencil to paper and start producing art.
One good thing, is that I have a piece of art work that will be a part of the Wichita Art Museum’s show Foot In The Door show later this year. The show is for professional and amateur artist.
What a time we are living through, can certainly be an understatement. People have talked about trying to skip the rest of 2020. But times like these are what makes change. Artist of various mediums in many cases are at the forefront of the change. Artis such as Benny Andrews, Robert Indiana, Philip Guston, Moneta Sleet Jr., Jack Whitten and even one of my favorite artist of all time Norman Rockwell. They painted and sculpted on the social turmoil that surrounded them. They created visual symbols of resistance, liberation and empowerment. They made us think, examine our inner being. In these dark times, some great art is created.