Art gallery in KC preserving culture, shaping young artists

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sala de Arte means art gallery in English, the latest one to open in Kansas City, Missouri, is aimed to connect artists and their work to those who live in the Historic Northeast and surrounding communities.

There’s a mural of folk dancers that’s pays homage to Mexican culture off Independence Avenue and Van Brunt Boulevard painted by Kansas City native Phyllis Hernandez.

“I remember being about 12 years old, and my parents bought me my first canvas and an oil paint set,” Hernandez said. “And I just fell in love with creating art.”

Growing up Hernandez says there weren’t a lot of places to showcase art on Kansas City’s West Side. But painting the mural last summer reinvigorated her to search for a space in the Historic Northeast.

“I think there’s that negative pre assumption that you have to move out of this neighborhood to create something positive,” Hernandez said.

A cozy storefront at 4828 E 9th Street is shaping the future of young artists like Luis Alfredo Gonzalez.

“It’s super humbling because other galleries have that kind of you know, it feels like a little bit of a competition,” Gonzalez said.

He learned about Sala de Arte through word of mouth.

“I never thought my stuff would sell,” Gonzalez said. “I never thought I would see other people’s art and I would compare myself and here there’s no comparison here. It’s just there.”

Hernandez doesn’t charge any of the artist commission.

“She feels this and she loves this and you can definitely feel it when you talk to her,” Gonzalez said.

Hernandez said she’s trying to keep the culture in the community.

“I try to encourage the youth in, in our community to sit to remember and to recognize how important our culture is to them,” she said.

Sala de Arte is open Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. and they do host an open house once a month.

Angelia S. Rico

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