By Michael Bushnell
December 7, 2016
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Northeast News caught up with Kansas City Art Institute Artist Hector Cinderhouse at Scarritt Elementary School on Dec. 1, at what was supposed to be an installation of the final mural panels designed by his KCAI students for this semester’s community project. Crossed wires at the school district postponed that install until Friday morning, but despite the snafu, Cinderhouse was still very excited about the new art that will grace the school’s windows.
The Scarritt Mural project is a collaboration of the Art Institute, Kansas City Public Schools and the Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood.
“Throughout this project we wanted to pay tribute to the ongoing history of the community around this school,” said Cinderhouse from the south playground of Scarritt Elementary. “These will be the final panels that will replace the white boards that, as you can see, have new tags on them.”
Asked if there’s ever been a problem with taggers defacing the student art, Cinderhouse replied that there’s only been one individual who’s caused a problem.
“Screw decided his art was more important than ours to the community, but I came out and repainted over his tags,” Cinderhouse indicated, pointing to the previously defaced panel. “He hasn’t been back and hopefully he’s found a better creative outlet for his energies.”
Each semester sees a new group of students who undertake the mural project, usually 15 in each half of a semester, which doesn’t leave much time for foot dragging.
“The students learn a lot about the whole public art process from inception, design approval by the school district, then putting brush to canvas, as it were, to create the final project,” Cinderhouse said, noting that the actual painting part of the process takes place in as little as three weeks.
Friday’s installation at the school will be followed by a reception at the Kansas City Museum on Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 3:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., which will include a Q&A session hosted by Cinderhouse, KCPS officials and the student artists themselves.