Some substance at the Plaza Art Fair?

Could it be that the folks who select who will receive a coveted, and very expensive booth, at the Country Club Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City, Missouri have discovered that some of us like a little ‘meat’ on our art bones? Or was it just plain dumb luck or the colorfield appeal of the work of several artists that brought them to the land along Brush Creek?

Yes, folks, there was a welcome smattering of more than just home decor art here and there at the Art Fair. Moi gives thanks for the unexpected discovery of the art of Nicario Jimenez, Athlone Clarke, Ronnie Phillips, and Suzy Scarborough. Depending on what you desire from the art in your life, well, you might also appreciate work that goes beyond color coordination with the couch and rug set.

Nicario Jimenez cites himself as “Artist of the Andes” and according to his website he is indeed from a village in Peru. Though he now resides in Naples, Florida.  But–what matters is his art–and it’s something to spend some time visually digging into. Jimenez creates “retablos” –self contained portable boxes of art. They’re like galleries you can carry hither and yon.  And Nicario’s galleries are stuffed full of political, social, and cultural commentary via all the people and words that fill each box. He has a sweet online gallery at: .

A real surprise was the work of Jamaican born Athlone Clarke  whose 2 D mixed creations seek and find for display every sore racial-cultural-political nerve that persists in the past and present–from swimming pools to slavery, he’s in touch with the raw nerves and does not hesitate to put them on display.  You can check him out at: .

Ronnie Phillips was a return artist to the Plaza. How ever did he slip in with those babies in the laundry washing machines?  Oh yeah. While his work is more subtle than the two artists cited, it has its edge regarding African American history and issues. I relish his rich use of color and what he can convey with facial expressions.

My lone woman find was an eye intriguing delight even from a distance: Suzy Scarborough, whose large landscape was luminous from afar and not hurt one bit by sunlight.  Scarborough was at the Plaza for the first time and me so does hope she returns just so I can enjoy so much of her work all in one place and at one time in person.  Of her acrylic paintings on wood formats–figurative, abstract and landscape–my favorites are her collage landscapes which incorporate ‘found’ self educating book textual material into the backgrounds with overlaying colors and shapes.  Decide for yourself which of her formats trips your fancy at .

I also enjoyed the photography of Rick Preston ( Miramonte, CA) who still uses the same 4×5 film camera he’s employed for the last thirty years.  Apparenly Preston enjoys hiking–and photographing–at night. And the results can be intriguing when he plays with his coleman lantern.

Greg Davis’ photography also got me into his booth for a longer look at people and places of lands distant from midland Missouri. Visit and you can travel too. His mantra is:  “There is no reason to look back. You’re not headed that way.”

Oh and at the UN-Plaza Art Fair on the grounds of the All Souls Universalist Church on Warwick there was the stone craft of Marty Bolyard–Netsuke Carver, Stone Sculptor –Wood, Tagua and Stone Turner. Bolyard’s exquistely detailed small creations are marvels of intricate craftsmanship.  If you desire something truly unique  in stone or wood, Marty is the Man for making it.  Inquiries can be made via

Exploring we shall go….


  1. March 18, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Thanks for the post. I hope to see you again this year if invited back. Greg

    • March 19, 2010 at 10:21 pm

      Greg of the “blue handed woman photography”—I certainly hope you put in another appearance at the Plaza Art Fair. Your work is wonderfully distinct in how it provides views of the rest of the world–the world far beyond the Plaza. All the best with your surgery and recovery. I hope folks surf in to see your art.

  2. poeticgrin said,

    September 29, 2009 at 1:16 am

    Yes! I echo the above comment! These are some great finds. I’m a big believer in art supporting art. I get a lot of my inspiration from paintings and photographs and always enjoy discovering artists local to or loved by various bloggers. Not to be completely repetitive, but Suzy Scarborough – very, very cool!

    • September 29, 2009 at 6:37 pm

      Hey Grinning Poet. Oh nothing repetitive about your comment–just shows that YES Scarborough’s art ‘works’ on the level of engagement.
      I agree that visual art can be very inspiring and stimulating. It’s all the creative energy connecting like mad.

  3. lesliepaints said,

    September 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    What a find! Thank-you for introducing me to Suzy Scarborough art. Good post.

    • September 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm

      Greetings Leslie. Glad you found something new and appealing in Suzy Scarborough’s art. grins.

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