Power in a Paintbrush: A profile on Hector Casanova

 

Reese Bentzinger
Editorial Assistant
Northeast News

For many, the word “power” brings to mind a political office or being at the top of the office food chain.

For muralist Hector Casanova, whose works will be displayed at the Historic Northeast Mural tour this Wednesday, power comes in the form of a paintbrush.

“I’m really a big believer in the power of art to transform,” stated Casanova.

Hector worked for many years creating illustrations for the Kansas City Star, but now he teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute. He believes that drawing gives him the opportunity to create thought provoking pieces that will get viewers to consider other perspectives on difficult issues.

When away from the classroom, one might find Casanova working on a mural around Kansas City. This includes a mural at the Northeast Barry Road Qdoba location, as well as one on the side of the old Rubin’s Music store, near Independence Blvd and Chestnut Tfwy, which he describes as “a work of love.”

Casanova passes his love of art to his students at the Kansas City Art Institute, who work with him on some of his murals.

For the past 10 years, Casanova has lived in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast. While many shy away from this part of town, he sees it as a haven for artists. He notes that artists have a “greater sense of engagement” in the community itself.

“I love this community,” he said, “I love being a part of it.”

On Wednesday, October 10, the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District is offering tours of the numerous murals throughout the Northeast neighborhoods, including many painted by Casanova and his KCAI students. If you can’t attend the mural tour, check out pages 8-9 in this week’s issue of Kansas City’s Northeast News for a map of the tour route, or print out the image below!

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