Graffiti Art in Kansas City
Located in the heart of the Crossroads, this mural is the perfect spot for an Insta-worthy photo. While you’re there, check out Messenger Coffee for a java fix and Tom’s Town Distillery for some local brews.
Graffiti art is found in nooks and crannies throughout the city, stirring your thoughts and creativity with its painted images. Some of these pieces have deeper meanings, while others showcase characters or popular figures.
A stroll or a streetcar ride around downtown Kansas City will reveal plenty of graffiti art. Some have deeper meanings with nods to Kansas City’s rich history, and others just brighten up the block. Behind each piece of art is a creative mind with a story to tell.
Graffiti has a bad reputation rooted in crime and rebellion, but it’s not without its good intentions. Graffiti artists have long used their work to highlight social and political issues. Whether a message is intended to be funny or serious, graffiti can be an effective form of social activism.
While many people use the term graffiti to describe markings, photos, and words spray-painted or sketched on buildings and sidewalks, it’s important to differentiate between graffiti and street art. Street art tends to be image-based, whereas graffiti is more often word-based, such as the tagging of names. The more intricate images and messages of street art can also make it harder to mistake for vandalism.
One of the best things about a stroll or streetcar ride through Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District is the chance to admire some stunning murals and graffiti. Some pieces have deeper meanings and nods to the city’s rich history while others simply brighten up a block. But behind every piece is a creative mind with a story to tell. One such artist is Brew Lamb, who paints under the moniker Spaceship Zulu.
Known for his comic book-inspired pop art, Spaceship Zulu has become one of the city’s most prominent up and coming artists. In addition to his murals, he has an extensive portfolio of smaller paintings. The muralist uses stencils to create his pieces, which are typically created in a studio while he listens to reggae music.
Graffiti is an art style that has gained prominence in recent years. This form of art is often used to create murals and liven up urban areas. While graffiti may have a negative reputation, it can also be viewed as an expression of creativity. This is especially true in cities like Kansas City, where street art is often seen throughout the city.
Donald “Scribe” Ross and his wife Alisa are known locally and internationally for their colorful murals. Scribe uses recurring characters in his work, including Rhumpus the Rhino and Sumego, a beaver, that make each mural seem like a different scene from a comic book.
In his work at Children’s Mercy, Scribe strives to create a whimsical world for patients to escape to. He’s even overhauled their Critical Care Transport helicopter and ambulances with playful cartoons. His hospital gig was originally a maintenance job, but the facility recently decided to change his title to Art Director.
In the world of graffiti art, each piece is unique. Some are purely aesthetic, while others carry messages about specific social issues that the artist wants to raise awareness of. Whether or not these messages are intended to be positive, they can have a significant impact on society. Despite the negative connotations of the word “graffiti,” many people believe that street art is an important form of public expression.
One such example is a mural that commemorates the Brown vs Board decision. Located across the street from the historic site in Topeka, this dynamic artwork is an effective way to remember the legacy of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that ended school segregation in the United States.
The mural was a collaboration between local artists and the Living Dream youth program. The project was spearheaded by Michael Toombs, an artist who founded Storytellers Inc, a non-profit visual and performing arts organization. In addition to the Civil Rights theme, Toombs also brought attention to the historical racial segregation along Troost Ave by incorporating a red line into the mural.