Explore Creative Works at the DesignWerx Art Expo and Armour Art Walk

Published by Pete Dulin on

Head to DesignWerk on Saturday, November 9, to peruse and shop for paintings, pottery, photography, and more at the DesignWerx Art Expo and Armour Art Walk (1313 Atlantic, North Kansas City). The event brings together outstanding area artists and includes raffles, a caricature artist, food, drinks, and live music by Linda Morrison and Ric Gordon. Funds from the grand prize raffle will benefit The Rabbit Hole, a children’s literature museum being built in North Kansas City due to open in 2020.

In addition to the marketplace with 14 artists set up in the DesignWerx studios on Atlantic Street,  more artists will show work along Armour Road. Artists will be set up (west-to-east) at OmniLife VR, Mitch e Amaro, Colony KC, Screenland Armour, BG Law Firm, Tyler Kingston Mercantile,  and Expressive Studio. Visitors to the Expo will be given a passport with room for all 20+ artists to sign. The more artists you visit and meet, the more raffle tickets you earn towards donated art at the Expo drawing at 4 pm.

Gloria Heifner is one of many featured artists exhibiting work for sale at the show. She produces abstract acrylic paintings, reserve decoupage on glass, and a series of acrylic paintings that showcase strong women. 

Heifner using a turkey baster to blow air onto
a student’s acrylic pour painting

“My paintings are created using acrylic paints thinned down to a pourable consistency,” Heifner says. “I use a wide variety of techniques to apply the paint, such as pouring, dripping, flinging it onto the canvas and then manipulating it once it is on the canvas. I use tools to spread and blend the paint creating compositions that are dramatically active and colorful.”

Heifner selects images from old books to create a “dynamic composition on clear glass bowls, vases, or platters” for her glass-based reverse decoupage work. She adheres images to the outside of the glass piece and uses fine art paper for a background. Multiple layers of poly-acrylic are applied to the finished piece and retains a glassy [look] inside and out. 

One of Heifner’s Reverse Decoupage Bowls

“My reverse decoupage is a very process-driven,” Heifner says. Old images which are cut apart and recombined to create unique compositions with a wonderful finished surface of glass. “These pieces provide the viewer with a variety of compositions depending on the many possible angles they are from which they are seen.”

Heifner’s “Strong Women” paintings is an ongoing series that honors women in history, “who have stood up and fought for the rights of women in the United States,” she says. “Each painting is an image of one of these amazing women along with a quote attributed to them that displays their strong feelings about women’s rights.” 

From Heifner’s “Strong Women” Series

The series highlights the history of an ongoing fight for women “to have equal opportunities and protection under the law,” Heifner says, “while honoring the women who have put their lives on the line to make this equality a reality for future generations of girls and women.”

Polly Alice McCann, another participating artist at the expo, has an art studio called New Thing Art Studio. She’s also a freelance writer and editor as well as editor of Flying Ketchup Press, where she “curates galleries of talent inside small shareable packages.”

A collection of Poetry and Short Story Anthologies from
McCann’s Flying Ketchup Press

“My favorite thing is to tell stories – other people’s, my own, and maybe yours,” McCann says. McCann won the 2014 Ernest Hartmann Award from the International Association for the Study of Dreams from Berkeley, California, for her research on self-awareness for writers and artists through dreamwork. Her soft sculptural oil painting has been published in U.S. newspapers and magazines and is showing internationally. 

DesignWerx Art Expo and Armour Art Walk is an opportunity to meet the artist and visit her studio at DesignWerx in North Kansas City. Regarding the art expo, McCann shares an encouraging call-to-action: “Shop local. Support local artists, give back to your community, have fun, explore, get creative, and have a little down home fun right next door.”

Heifner adds, “The DesignWerx Art Expo is a wonderful opportunity to introduce people to many artists and makers. These pieces will provide them with the satisfaction of having their own unique piece of art while also supporting and encouraging local arts.”

DesignWerx artist Alexis Webb-Bechtold’s Curiosity Passport Series– mixed media medallions with layers cut from old big box store giftcards into clues about unique landmarks around KC. Participants find hidden letterboxes to collect stamps in this experiential art experience.

Other artists and exhibitors appearing at the expo include Stew Langer with stained glass work, pottery by Dane Wisner, Alexis Webb Bechtold’s eco-art of X37Adventures & Curiosity Passport, mixed media art by Michele Allred, photography by Bob Trupp, paintings by Kat Ramsey, Judy Crissy, Jane Borcherding, and much more. Artists along Armour Road include Allyson Lassiter, Socorro Reyes, Robert Hoops, Nathaniel Wendt, Aaron Scarbrough, Ken and McKenzie Stanley from Driftwood Ceramics, Kim Rausch and Ri Svetlana, and Heather Van Wyk of Bespoken Tees!

Pete Dulin

Pete Dulin is a Kansas City-based writer who covers food, craft beer, wine, and business. His work has appeared in Zócalo Public Square, NPR, Feast, The Kansas City Star, River Front Times, Visit KC, Flatland, The Boston Globe, Thinking Bigger, and many other publications. He is the author of Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries Across the Heart of Kansas and Missouri, Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland, and KC Ale Trail.