New Community Room Gallery in Pendleton Arts Block

Nikki Lansford
Editorial Assistant

With prime real estate on Independence Avenue, residents of Pendleton Arts Block are taking advantage of the heavy foot traffic in front of their building with a new art gallery. Located in the building’s community room, the gallery faces out onto Independence Avenue with large windows for patrons to peer in and peruse the gallery as they walk by.

“Hopefully as things open back up, and First Fridays starts again, you get the people coming in from Independence Ave who will come right past this,” said Aaron Smith, board member of the Arts Asylum and curator for the gallery.

The Arts Asylum is a nonprofit that provides space and assistance to artists around the Kansas City area, including the Arts Block. Through the nonprofit, Smith was tasked with organizing the gallery in a little over two months.

Smith said the plan is to fit two to three artists’ work into the gallery at one time, which will be cycled out on a quarterly basis for four different shows throughout the year. Although, due to difficulties in finding enough work that was showcase ready, only one artist is currently being displayed for the inaugural exhibition.

“The problem was there just wasn’t enough work that was ready to hang,” Smith said. “We’ve got a system here where all these pieces are hung with a rod… so if you’ve got a beautiful drawing on a piece of paper that’s great, but you can’t put that on this hanging system really well.”

For this first exhibition, five of modern artist Jack Campbell’s biggest and brightest paintings are presently hung in the gallery for all to see. Campbell’s work, Smith said, is to inspire not only thoughts but discussion that center around the idea of healing.

“He considers the brush an extension of his own brain,” Smith said. “He paints his daily thoughts and experiences, but he does so in these really vivid and bright colors.”

The artwork displayed in the gallery is not limited to residents of the Arts Block either, Campbell himself is an artist from Lawrence, Kan., and a nonresident of the building. Smith said while tenants in the building will get first priority to the space, as long as none of them are showing, he would like to see artists from all over the community in the gallery.

As the curator, he is not looking for any particular type of art to show in the space, just as long as it speaks to the community and has a common thread to the theme of the show it is in. For the next showcase, Smith said, the hope is to have a Juneteenth showing after Campbell’s work is taken down in May.

While the gallery is currently filled with paintings, which is often expected in an art gallery, Smith said the plan in the future is to incorporate more three dimensional, sculpture and performance arts into the gallery.

“Supposedly we’re going to get a television down here,” Smith said. “That’s going to help us so that if we have poets or dancers or musicians or any of the performing artists, we can film them, make a video and then play the video on the television.”

Smith said performances are planned to be looped on the television, along with the artists’ information, for the performance artists to be represented in the gallery as well.

Since the gallery doubles as a communal space for the residents of the Arts Block, outsiders are not permitted to physically step into the gallery, but can still see it clearly from the street.

It is a place where Smith imagines group activities for the residents, such as art critiques, can take place. Although it is currently closed due to COVID-19, he said there is hope that it will open up soon for its tenants to use.

As an artist himself, Smith said a gallery like this is such a good opportunity and something he wishes he would have had access to earlier in his career.
“Most people don’t have a gallery that faces a busy street that they do hang their work in, and really represent themselves to a big, broader public,” Smith said.

Those interested in having their art displayed in the Pendleton Arts Block Community Room Gallery can email a proposal to Smith at It is an open call to artists, and the gallery will be accepting proposals all year round.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • KCMO Parks Board approves renaming several connected thoroughfares in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    24 hours ago

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Kansas City, Mo., Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners unanimously approved renaming several connected thoroughfares […]

    Neighborhood markers targets for errant motorists

    24 hours ago

    Michael Bushnell Publisher The Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood certainly has had their share of bad luck when it comes to the […]

    Sustainable house one step closer to completion

    24 hours ago

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Mattie Rhodes Center’s Northeast Alliance Together (NEAT) is anticipating the completion of its first net zero […]

    Mayor Lucas announces birth of son

    April 20th, 2021

    Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced Monday via Twitter that he and his longtime partner, Katherine Carttar, have welcomed a […]

    Pedestrian in critical condition, hit by car on Independence Ave

    April 18th, 2021

    A pedestrian is left with critical injuries after being hit by a car on Independence Avenue at Lawndale Avenue today. […]

    Audit: KCPD not adequately staffing parking control downtown

    April 16th, 2021

    City Auditor’s Office makes recommendation to align on-street parking enforcement with City goals. The Kansas City, Mo., City Auditor’s Office […]

    Strawberry Swing gathers metro makers in PH

    April 14th, 2021

    Abby HooverManaging Editor On Sunday, April 11, makers, artists and small business owners assembled on Brooklyn Avenue between Lexington and […]

    Northeast’s Spring Cleanup a success despite the rain

    April 14th, 2021

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant Rain did little to deter Northeast’s Neighborhood Spring Cleanup, which occurred on the dreary morning of […]

  • Standing for Law and Order

    April 14th, 2021

    Once again The Kansas City Star, the Urban League, and the Kansas City Homeless Union – whatever that is – […]

    Aldi reopens after modern makeover

    April 14th, 2021

    Nikki LansfordNortheast News After being closed for over a month for renovations, one Aldi grocery store located in Northeast has […]

    KCFD Community Paramedic Program

    April 14th, 2021

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Kansas City, Mo. Fire Department (KCFD) is working to improve quality of life for residents […]

    Public Works presents recommendations for traffic calming on St. John

    April 14th, 2021

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Indian Mound residents, business owners and stakeholders had the opportunity to give input on anticipated traffic […]

    WGU offers grants to innovative Missouri teachers

    April 12th, 2021

    Western Governors University (WGU) Missouri has issued a call for teachers from kindergarten to grade 12 to submit their innovative […]

    Volunteers make repairs following Indian Mound house fire

    April 10th, 2021

    Following an early morning fire on April 5, Northeast neighbors are stepping up to help one of their own repair […]

    Artists bring awareness to vascular disease through new Northeast mural

    April 7th, 2021

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Medical researchers and artists are sharing an important message about vascular health with Northeast Kansas City […]

    Liberty Tax helps Northeast navigate changes to tax preparation

    April 7th, 2021

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Liberty Tax at 3414 Independence Avenue has been meeting the Northeast community’s tax needs, for nearly […]

  • Northeast Newscast

  • Faces Of Northeast

  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.