It’s a dream of mine to one day show my art at the Kansas City Plaza Art Fair. I would be honored to be selected and have my work showcased at this venue. I think it is the BEST art fair in the nation. But, perhaps even more impressively, it continues to be a weekend of people simply celebrating art, music, food, and each other, as well as Kansas City’s unofficial welcome to the fall season. But my reason for loving this event is deeper than my love of art.

I love it because of my Mom. ❤️

My Mom looked forward to many things in September … the beginning of football season, the cooler Kansas City temperatures and making a big batch of her famous Italian spaghetti sauce, celebrating her birthday, but most of all, she looked forward to going to the Plaza Art Fair. 

When I was younger, I didn’t appreciate the art fair for several reasons. First, it always seemed like a long drive from Overland Park into the city and it was hard to find parking unless we went really early in the morning. It was also very crowded, sometimes hot, and my Mom always had to stop at every artist booth and talk to each of the artists. She would not only ask them about their art but the conversations often evolved into personal discussions and she usually left with a new friend and a piece of art. She collected beautiful paintings, jewelry, and bronzes. On her teacher’s salary, she knew she should have been either saving that money or using it for the nagging household repairs, but she felt like art was an important part of life and worth appreciating and spending money on.

As I matured, I looked forward to the late September tradition with my Mom and the Plaza Art Fair. It was even more crowded and still hot, but it was fun to spend the day immersed in art and to see which artists returned and who the new kid on the block was and what interesting or strange creations they had for sale. The artists seemed happy, light-hearted, and passionate about their art. They had a sort of magical quality about them.

Life happily went on and I married and moved away from Kansas City but joined my Mom when I could and visited the Art Show if I was in town. Unfortunately, my Mom got cancer in 2006 and died in 2007. Anyone who has lost a parent knows how devastating and sad the world feels after such a loss. I found comfort in my 3 siblings as we traversed the path of grief together. And out of this grief, a new tradition was born – Sibling Weekend at the Plaza Art Fair.

My siblings and I have gathered in September at the Plaza Art Fair for over 10 years and always enjoy a weekend filled with art, food and drink, music, people-watching, laughter, reliving old memories and making new ones together. But this year will be different, because of the pandemic. We won’t be traveling to Kansas City, but will instead have another zoom to be together and look forward to a visit together in the near future. But all these memories and thoughts of the Plaza Art Fair made me miss it more. My sister shared some of her favorite photos from our years spent at the fair and suddenly an idea was formed.

Why not create some CoffeeART paintings from our photos and have a virtual One-Woman Art Show? ❤️ 

Details for the Virtual Art CoffeeART Show

Throughout the weekend of September 25th – 27th, I will be showcasing my new series of KC Plaza themed CoffeeART paintings. All originals will be available for sale, and I will also have limited edition prints, note cards, and stickers. I may even try to have a live coffee painting session and a few giveaways. So keep an eye out on social media platforms and let me know if you see a piece of art you love. Back to the Studio, Amy



A Little History of the Plaza Art Fair

During the Depression when many other companies failed, the Plaza looked for new ways to attract customers. The Plaza Art Fair was started in 1932 as a promotion to draw shoppers to the area and to lift their spirits. Held on an empty lot on the southwest corner of Nichols Road and Central, where Tiffany & Co. is now (see the photo above), 90 artists displayed their paintings by leaning them against trees and benches. Paintings were priced from $1-$10 dollars.

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