Kansas City Black Artists Directory

Representation Matters.

It has often been said that the most segregated time in America is Sunday morning.

The vast majority of Black churchgoers make their way to Black places of worship, and the vast majority of white Americans make their way to white places of worship.

The same can be said for our Hispanic, Asian-American and Middle Eastern American brothers and sisters.

The second most segregated time in America is First Fridays.

I’ve been to First Fridays in the Crossroads area, and the lack of work by Black artists is striking and obvious.

Meanwhile, at 18th and Vine, Black artists have makeshift exhibitions on the streets and sidewalks. Many of these artists have graduate degrees. Their art is professional, vibrant and meaningful.

From artists showing their work in exquisite galleries to other artists leaning their art against storefronts and praying for good weather, the hideous effects of slavery and racism continue to reverberate and show its face every First Friday.

As with every other industry in America, you don’t have to scratch the surface very much of our art industry to see racism rear its ugly head.

While cultural identity is important and the whole “I don’t see color” feelgood statement is actually counterproductive to a more equitable art scene in Kansas City, the hope of this directory is that it will expose galleries, institutions and patrons to Black artists they would otherwise not see.

You can now view the full directory at kcstudio.org/black-artists-in-kansas-city. KC Studio is continuing to accept artist submissions at kcstudio.org/submit-to-black-artists-directory.

Harold Smith

Harold Smith is an educator and multimedia artist who lives and works in the Kansas City area. Most of his work is focused on his experience within the American black experience.

  1. Dana says:

    Can you please check and fix the links to all of these talented people? And direct us to a website that is best for their business, whether it’s facebook or their actual website? Thank you!

    1. Hi Dana! There should be a link to each artist underneath their photo. Some of these go to their Facebook profile or other social media platform. If any of the links are not working, could you please let us know so that we can reach out to the artist and make sure they’re corrected? You can contact us via this form: http://kcstudio.org/contact-us/

      Or let us know if you’re not seeing the links at all. There might be issues with the plugin we’re using on some devices/browsers. If so, you can provide a screenshot and we’ll try to fix the issue. Thanks!

  2. Abbey Ludlow says:

    I am unable to go past the first page of this directory. Every time I click on page 2 (or 3) or the arrow, it just refreshes the first page.

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