Michael Bushnell

When Kansas City based artist Iryna Stroganova saw the call for mural artists at the infamous Independence Avenue truck-eating bridge, she immediately thought  something monstrous with teeth and tentacles  devouring big trucks was a winning ticket. However, this was not the case. Instead, she shared her concepts on social media to rave reviews and here we are.

Stroganova emigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine permanently in 2007, settling in Kansas City and making a fresh start after earning her a MA in Graphic Design and Advertising and an Associates in Theatre from Ukraine’s University of Dnipro.

“I’m not completely mainstream,” Stroganova said in an interview. “I love doing pieces for comic book and horror movie conventions, so I go to a lot of the Comic-Cons and horror conventions.”  

When not creating art, the long-time, midtown resident can be found working at the Minsky’s Restaurant at 51st and Main, where she’s served for the last 17 years. “I love them and they love me,” she said. “This allows me the flexibility to do my art.”

Minsky’s is more than a job, however, because she’s created custom art pieces for a number of their restaurants, including River Market, Liberty and Independence.

“The Liberty and Independence restaurants are mostly sports pieces,” Stroganova said. “The River Market piece was interesting because it’s done to disguise an outside cooler door.”

You may have also seen her work along Southwest Boulevard, where she custom painted two fire hydrants — one to resemble a minion from the movie Despicable Me and another that resembles a pig — in front of the old Tenderloin Grill location.

For more of Stroganova’s art, visit the SuperNova Art Studio Facebook page.