Window art coming to the Scarritt Neighborhood

scarritt.tif

Scarritt Elementary School art. The window panels will be the canvas used for an upcoming art project by students at the Kansas City Art Institute. Faculty member and Northeast resident Héctor Casanova wants to help create a more visually pleasing environment for the Northeast community by replacing the plain panels with art. Submitted Photo

 

By Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
June 25, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – This fall, students are coming back to Scarritt Elementary School.

No, the former elementary school isn’t reopening. Héctor Casanova, a visiting instructor at the Kansas City Art Institute, is bringing his class to the school’s site to add some art for the neighborhood. And he’s asking for your help with what kind of art the students should create.

Working in conjunction with Kansas City Public Schools and the Kansas City Art Institute, Casanova is following in the footsteps of some of the window dressing projects the Northeast Arts Kansas City completed over the last several years. He and his students will paint the window panels that are currently covering the walls of the closed Scarritt Elementary School, located at 3509 Anderson Ave.

“This will be a large-scale project with the objective of converting the Scarritt Elementary School building back into a visual and artistic landmark for the community,” Casanova said in a flyer to the Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association.

Casanova, an artist living and working in the Historic Northeast, worked with the Northeast Arts KC on the window dressing projects and murals along Independence Avenue. That’s where the idea came from, he said. After becoming a teacher with the Art Institute last year, he said he wanted to impose on the students the important social role of artists. After he came up with the idea, he began working with the KCPS, which also wanted to address the graffiti issue with its vacant schools.

“It’s important to work within a community, to help promote a positive change,” Casanova said, adding a problem in the Northeast is the many vacant buildings. “I realized I had about 30 students at my disposal for civic minded art work.”

Before he and his students start the process of designing the artwork that will go on the wooden panels, he wants the community’s input. Casanova is taking the summer months and has set a deadline of Aug. 18, 2014, for community suggestions. He said he’ll use the remainder of June, July and the beginning of August, to meet as many people in the neighborhood as possible.

“It’s important for this to succeed,” Casanova said. “The residents need to feel like this is their project which is why I want to collect as much information from people as possible.”

Suggestions Casanova is making to people he meets include art that depicts history, heritage and dreams and hopes. Examples can be very specific, historical figures or events, or broad like nightlife and wildlife. He said any suggestion is welcome. When school starts, he’ll discuss with his students different design concepts before determining which are the most feasible.

“There are 179 panels on the school,” Casanova said. “There’s a lot of room for ideas.”

Casanova said because of the number of panels available, this isn’t a project he and his students will complete in one swoop. He’s never taken charge of a project of this size before and isn’t sure what the timeline for completion would be. He imagines the panels will likely be transported from the site to the Art Institute, but hopes there will be times when he and his students can work on site.

“Hopefully, we can work on it [the panels] over a couple years and several semesters,” Casanova said. “It’s a project that will take some time.”

He said he and his students will keep the neighborhood updated through the SRNA as the project progresses. Casanova said he’s also met with representatives from the Mattie Rhodes Center to give a presentation on the project to those who frequently attend the center.

“I’m really looking forward to the ideas we’ll get from the community,” Casanova said.

If you have a suggestion you’d like to submit to Casanova, you can email him at scarritt.elementary.project@gmail.com. Please submit all suggestions by Aug. 18, 2014.

Comments are closed.

  • Frontier STEM High School wows with STEM Expo

    May 13th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News May 13, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Frontier STEM High School (6455 E. Commerce Ave.) invited the public […]


    Merger of KC charters denied by DESE

    April 26th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News April 26, 2016 Scuola Vita Nuova and Crossroads Academy will not be merging after all. […]


    KCPS stresses early education at forum

    April 20th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News April 20, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – There was one overarching message at the Kansas […]


    Gladstone students celebrate area hero

    April 12th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Since 2010, students at Gladstone Elementary are assigned an annual local community leader to study and commemorate through their “Heroes Project.” This year’s selection, Landon H.


    KCU Names Paula Gregory, DO, Dean of Joplin Campus

    April 12th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) has found the dean of its soon-to-open Jopin, Mo., campus.
    In a press release from school officials, KCU


  • [Advertisement.]
  • KCPS summer program ready for launch

    April 12th, 2016
    by

    Kansas City Public Schools engineering students launched rockets outside of Whittier Elementary on Tuesday, April 12, in conjunction with the district’s unveiling of its 2016 Summer Acceleration program.


    Office Tower slated for Indep/Benton

    April 1st, 2016
    by

    Northeast Ruse KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Officials with Cashphlash, an international payday lending agency, has expressed interest in constructing a […]


    Senator visits area high school to hear from students and educators affordable college

    March 29th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — If you want to fix the problems currently plaguing colleges, you go to who they’re affecting the most.


    School board candidates meet with NE residents

    March 29th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — For its most recent meeting, the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association went beyond its boundaries.


    KCPS School Board approves Superintendent contract with Dr. Mark T. Bedell

    March 29th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Public Schools District has agreed to contract terms with its new Superintendent.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Arson suspected in Budd Park shelter fire

    Northeast News May 31, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – If you smelled smoke between 1:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. last […]

    Snyder’s Grand Re-Opening celebration draws big crowd

    Northeast News May 28, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Six and a half months of hard work paid off on […]

    KC Museum hosts KU students for humanities boot camp

    Northeast News May 27, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A group of panelists from the Northeast offered career advice to […]