Kansas City, a flourishing island of artistic creativity in the middle of America.

What makes KC a world-class art center -- and why should you come here to view its visual offerings? Because Kansas City is a beautiful, culturally sophicticated metropolitan area where artistic expression thrives. People here appreciate the arts and go out of their way to support them. The community has a rich heritage of creating art and putting it on display for all to enjoy. In fact, Kansas City was recently ranked the 4th most cultural city in the United States by Travel and Leisure magazine.

Here are a few reasons our city exudes artistic excellence.

  • The urban region is littered with beautiful sculptures and fountains, particularly the famous Country Club Plaza. It's hard to turn a corner and not run across an example of artistic inspration.

  • Kansas City has a number of exceptional art museums. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has been around since 1933 and it's new Bloch wing was ranked by Time magazine in 2007 as the number one new and upcoming architectural marvel.

  • The economy has some noted publishers. Hallmark Cards has had a tremendous influence on Kansas City's art reputation. It has brought many of the world's finest commercial artists to the area to work and live, and has been incredibly generous in its contributions to the community's image.

  • Kansas City is home to several internationally-respected art festivals. The annual Plaza Art Fair, in existence now for over 80 years, boasts over 250,000 attendees for its 3-day event.

  • Local art schools, such as the Kansas City Art Institute, train talented students, who go on to have remarkable creative careers.

  • Over the years, KC has been home to a number of award-winning advertising agencies and design studios. There are plenty of these marketing powerhouses around, cranking out appealing visuals that consumers respond to.

  • Within the art world, Kansas City is known for its collection nationally-recognized fine artists, illustrators, photographers and freelance designers. The city is thick with talented people who want to fulfill their individual visions.

  • With so many artists around, Kansas City has developed a substantial network of galleries to display and sell works by talented individuals from across the globe. Art-loving citizens come out in large numbers to take in gallery openings. Collecting art is a serious activity for many residents

  • Kansas City is so supportive of the visual arts, that is has formed a number of local art associations to promote art and help artists advance their careers. There are also plenty of workshops and classes people can sign up for to develop their artistic abilities.

  • On creating a directory of Kansas City's artistic venues.

    Like so many things, the KC Gallery Map was born out of need. It is one man's attempt to satisfy his desire to experience art. I am a long-time, on-again, off-again Kansas City resident and have grown up taking in the wonders of the Nelson-Atkins Museum and the annual Plaza Art Fair. I received a design degree from the University of Kansas and have worked my whole adult life as an artistic individual, primarily in advertising. I have been surrounded by artists and have visited numerous art galleries, museums and festivals across the country with much glee, and contemplation. I have assisted painters and photographers at a number of national art events and was even a guard at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LaJolla, CA.

    On my latest return to Kansas City in late 2014, I started to re-attend the monthly First Friday gatherings, with much anticipation. I was hoping to find a comprehensive gallery list that would help me make sense of this chaotic event, and keep me from missing any of KC's local artistic treasures. But alas, there was none. Here and there I could find partial lists, but many of them were incomplete and inaccurate. It occurred to me that I might not be the only person who was in this predicament, so I set out on a quest to make things right. As an artist, art-lover, web designer, information junkie and tourism fanatic, I decided to construct the Kansas City Gallery Map using my rudimentary knowledge of Google Maps and basic web design skills. My mission was to systematically visit every gallery and art space in the greater Kansas City region, compile them over time into a user-friendly web page, and see where this journey might lead me. On May 06, 2015, I began my work.

    So far, it has been a pleasure visiting local galleries and talking with the owners and staff members about what they have to offer. I would like to extend an open invitation to all interested parties to help contribute to this project. If you can inform me about any entries that ought to be included, or provide suggestions that would make this website more useful, your information would be of great value to the people making use of this community resource. In the weeks and months ahead, it is my intention to gradually enhance the website and expand its range of attributes, as relates to the needs of art patrons, gallery owners, artistic individuals, and the city itself.

    Until then, enjoy the gallery map, make use of it, tell your friends, and watch it grow. If you want to keep up on it's progress, please visit the companion Facebook page, which features lots of photos of local galleries and events I have attended.

    Sincerely, Tom Palmer

    (visit my LinkedIn profile)

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