Have I told you how much I love our neighborhood?
Our neighborhood of Columbus Park is a 1/2 square mile right in the center of the city with a storied past. One of the oldest neighborhoods in Kansas City, it has a long history of housing immigrants, and by 1920 there were 10,000 newly arrived Italians living in the neighborhood. That eventually changed in the 1970’s as organized crime riddled the neighborhood with violence, leading to an exodus of many Italian residents. Columbus Park, the neighborhood cathedral, and a local non-profit once again opened their arms to new immigrants, and a displaced Vietnamese population was welcomed to begin their pursuit of the American dream. Most recently the neighborhood has become a destination of a new sort of immigrant. Drawn by the amazing history, the diverse community, and the old architectural bones, the creative class has now taken hold in the neighborhood. From my studio door I can see an Italian restaurant that has been in one family since the 1920’s, one of the city’s new collective studios, KC Textile Studio, and a warehouse filled to the ceiling with huge bags of rice to supply the local Asian markets. And if I were to have X-ray vision to see through the trees (and perhaps the new glasses that I have yet to pick out), I could also see the Missouri River and a very, very busy train track.
It is in that spirit of inclusion, diversity, and neighborhood pride, that the Trap Gallery, the nexus of the Columbus Park art community (and our next door neighbor), will host the third annual Proximity show. I am pleased to share the gallery with 11 other artists from the neighborhood as it showcases our talented residents, and share with you two new pieces from my nascent Reliquaries series.
May 16, 2014
If you are in KC, please come down and visit our fabulous neighborhood and enjoy the talent that abounds!