Westport has an extensive variety of graffiti, focused on Broadway, extending from Westport Road North. Our next destination is 39th and Central. Here, for the first time, I discovered a building where two walls are currently being painted with colorful murals. Hopefully, you will immediately recognize our friend, Scribe. Each painter has a unique style. Many can be found in Westport, along Broadway, Oak, and even in the West Bottoms.
As I have driven throughout the city, I have become acquainted with many of the artists. Many identify themselves with names like “Scribe”, “Saron”, “Storm”, “Frost” and “feminine”. Some artists use initials “SKY ZNK” and “TCTW”. Their styles are also becoming familiar.
Cartoon characters, dogs, cats, dragons and birds and even insects, are common themes.
This great bull dog is identified as the work of “GEAR”.
For those not yet weary of graffiti, still to be explored is art from outside the Mid-town corridors.
Westport represents a distinctive subculture within the Kansas City community. It is hip. It is alternative.
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.
AKKA Karate deserves its own post. Located at 40th Terrace, just North of Westport Road, AKKA is rich with graffiti.
Colorful images fill the East and North sides of the building. They delight us with their creative energy.
Tigers, fish with fangs, honey bees and other strange critters, known and unknowable, confront us from the walls.
If you look closely, and compare the images on these walls, you will start to see similarities to other paintings on walls throughout town.
Scribe, whoever you are, congratulations on some great work.
Next, we will cross Broadway where more graffiti awaits us.
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.
I suggest you get your walking shoes as you explore the neighborhood. Some walls are in your face.
But there is graffiti everywhere. It is in alleys, behind fences and almost completely hidden by automobiles and dumpsters.
Every time I explore the area I find new treasurers I have missed in prior visits.
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. We 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Next stop is just a few blocks East of Broadway. See you soon.
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.
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!
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.
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.
In my lay opinion, these are talented artists. My hat is off to all of them.
Have a great week. There is more to come.
I love graffiti. But nature has her own art. It’s superior to anything that human beings can create. Well, at least for now. This clematis covered most of the stone wall behind it.