Graffiti Marathon: 40th Street and Broadway

On the East side of Broadway, at 40th Street, there is a significant stretch of wonderful graffiti.  Begin at the Open Fire Wood Burning Pizza shop.  The front and South sides of the building have a wonderful mural identified as “GATS Coast to Coast 2013”.  The reference to GATS sent me to the internet.  GATS (Graffiti Against the System) identifies a California street artist whose paintings are found throughout the country as well as European countries including Portugal, Germany, Italy and England.  While s/he claims to paint illegally, I cannot imagine many of these murals would be in existence without the approval of the property owners.

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Follow the mural into the adjacent parking lot behind the Highway 420 Smoke Shop.  There you will discover another series of panels created by  different artists.

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Much to my surprise, graffiti continues beyond the South edge of the parking lot through a stretch of alley that extends East to Central.

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More to come:  Graffiti under construction on 39th East of Broadway.

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Graffiti Marathon: Westport and Broadway

Westport represents a distinctive subculture within the Kansas City community.  It is hip.  It is alternative.

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It is the place young people go on Friday night, Saturday night and St. Patrick’s Day.  It is also a mecca for graffiti artists.

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AKKA Karate deserves its own post.  Located at 40th Terrace, just North of Westport Road, AKKA is rich with graffiti.

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Colorful images fill the East and North sides of the building.  They delight us with their creative energy.

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Tigers, fish with fangs, honey bees and other strange critters, known and unknowable, confront us from the walls.

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If you look closely, and compare the images on these walls, you will start to see similarities to other paintings on walls throughout town.

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Scribe, whoever you are, congratulations on some great work.

Next, we will cross Broadway where more graffiti awaits us.

Graffiti Marathon: The Mother Load

There is probably no area in Kansas City with a more varied mix of graffiti than the blocks extending from Oak to Cherry and from 19th Street to 16th.  IMG_3662

I suggest you get your walking shoes as you explore the neighborhood.  Some walls are in your face.

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Every time I explore the area I find new treasurers I have missed in prior visits.

Graffiti Marathon: Lost To Construction

Graffiti is most often painted on deteriorated buildings, alleys and parking lots.  As a result it is highly vulnerable to destruction.  Last Sunday, Terry and I explored the River Market area in search of graffiti Terry and I remembered as a wonderful site of some noteworthy graffiti.  Terry remembered it was in the River Market area.  IMG_3660We found it, sort of!  In an alley just East of the Broadway Bridge, we found remnants of the art, most of it behind a high fence that obstructed my view almost completely.IMG_3659 (1)

Located between 2nd and 3rd streets, it is worth a visit, if only to record that which will soon be lost to us.  I do not begrudge Kansas City development activities, but will still miss this wonderful wall.

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As with much of Kansas City’s graffiti, these paintings in the River Market, exist on the fringes of our community.  They are, very much a part of our culture, proof that wonderful art is available to all of us.  Happy hunting!

Graffiti Marathon: Kansas City Style Part II

Kansas City’s most exciting graffiti is found in the nooks and crannies of our town.  Many businesses either pay for their art, or at least willingly provide a canvas for their work.  What a wonderful gift for Kansas City to offer the art to others.

Foxx Equipment is located just North of the Broadway Bridge, where West Pennway and Washington intersect with Southwest Blvd.  You can find the building by driving straight West from Broadway.vYou will know you have found this pot of graffiti gold when you see the wall with the words “Desert Feud”.  I am, admittedly, somewhat confused as to the nature of the feud unless it is a battle between the demonized letters and the evil alien cartoon.  At least that is my interpretation.  But whatever you see in the image, it is great fun.

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Foxx has two parking lots, one facing the public street, the other set on the East and South of the building.  Both lots are filled with colorful paintings that are great fun to behold.

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Whether you prefer the explorers, the ballerina in the cowboy hat or the prison escapee (in the black and white stripes), it is hard not to be grateful to the artists.IMG_3646

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Next stop is just a few blocks East of Broadway.  See you soon.

Graffiti Marathon, Kansas City Style

A Wright read my post on Kansas City Graffiti from 2012 and requested more information. Despite having accumulated a significant library of photographs of graffiti and wall art, I have failed to document where the graffiti is located.  Just for fun, Terry, Casey and I spent time this weekend driving through Kansas City neighborhoods with a cause — help A Wright identify where to look for Kansas City wall treasures.  As a result, I will over the next few days, help locate some fine Kansas City graffiti.  Today, graffiti in an alley.

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Graffiti extends the length of an easily missed alley East of 18th Street between Baltimore and Wyandotte Streets.  It is walking distance of Webster House and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.   It is a wonderful treasure for those who enjoy urban art.  And, seriously, it appears to me that the alley went a transformation over the course of a few days.  There is paint all over the street itself, and my bet is that no one cares.  It must have been a heck of a weekend!

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Looking closely you will see the initials of various artists and their distinctive styles.  I can’t identify them by name, but I recognize many of the artists from other locations across town.

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If you want to add an interesting dining experience you can enjoy upscale dining at Webster House or eat very casually at YJ’s Snack Bar at 128 W. 18th Street.  However different the environments, you won’t regret either experience.

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In my lay opinion, these are talented artists.  My hat is off to all of them.

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Have a great week.  There is more to come.

Welcome, 2014!

Jake, Meg, Katy and Scott at Alamere Falls

I started my morning similar to many others….I went for a run as the sun came up, gearing myself up for the day. Of course, it’s the start of a new year, so I spent most of my run reflecting on the many happenings of 2013, and looking forward to all that 2014 has to offer.

Granddad Mesle and Mum

It’s definitely been a busy year. I turned 30 (shh!), met Joe Boden, started doing my own consulting; Mum retired from the bench and  is now busy with her many boards; we went to Europe for Thanksgiving with Mum and Terry, where I FINALLY visited my sister’s new apartment in Amsterdam; my Granddad Mesle turned a whopping 99 years young; Aunt Sherry won a seat on the Lamoni City Council; Jane visited Petaluma; Derek and Travis visited for a week over the summer …. the list goes on.

Meg, Travis, Derek & Jake near Jenner, CA

There is much to be thankful for, and much to be proud of. Our family is healthy (puppies included), work is great, we have wonderful friends, and life is generally…well…amazing! Funny how living in California makes you feel about the world, especially when you have a beautiful place like Kansas City to go back to over the holidays.

Meg, Jane and Auntie

I hope you had a wonderful 2013, and that 2014 is merry and bright for you and yours.