Block & Company teams up with Mayor Lucas and SprayKC to paint murals over the vandalized Plaza Medical Building
November 17, 2020
The George Floyd protests that led to tense times in late May of 2020 resulted in significant damage and vandalism to the Plaza Medical Building located across the street from Mill Creek Park at 4620 Mill Creek Parkway in Kansas City, Missouri. The building was heavily tagged with graffiti and a number of windows were shattered throughout that period of unrest.
Following the events, the building started receiving multiple complaints from both area residents and neighboring businesses. Block & Company, Inc., Realtors leases, manages, and represents the ownership group involved with the Plaza Medical Building and immediate action was taken to address the building violations that resulted in several tickets from the City of Kansas City, Missouri.
David M. Block, President of Block & Company, Inc., Realtors, contacted the mayor's office to discuss a resolution for the property. Block proposed the idea of multiple murals with imagery that would represent family and cultural unity.
Mayor Quinton Lucas approved the proposal and connected David Block with Vince Sanders, Founder of CBD American Shaman and SprayKC. Aside from his success in the CBD industry, Sanders is well-known for his philanthropic work in the arts community with a particular interest in public art and murals.
"I've enjoyed watching the Plaza Medical Building's recent transformation into a work of art. I appreciate David Block and Block & Company, Inc., Realtors for crafting a creative and uplifting resolution for the vandalized building, which uses art as a vessel to promote unity in our community," said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
"We have been working with Mayor Quinton Lucas and Aly Hernandez from the mayor's office since May to come up with an artistic resolution for the Plaza Medical Building to address the present state of affairs in our city," said David M. Block, President of Block & Company, Inc., Realtors.
David and Vince began discussing the vision of cultural unity and expression for the mural and from there, Vince involved his non-profit art venture, SprayKC. SprayKC is a Kansas City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit that organizes, creates, and showcases public art throughout the metropolitan area.
Chris Haghirian, Project Manager at SprayKC, began the process of selecting the artists and coordinating the project alongside Vince. After months of planning, the project officially initiated on October 13th.
Information about the muralists:
Anna Charney - Denver, Colorado Charney's optical paintings and murals are characterized by their expansive compositions, graphic dot patterning and dense detail. Through illusionistic deception, dynamic arrangements of detail and corresponding visual rhythms, Charney creates a sensational and immersive experience for the viewers of her paintings and installations. Her practice includes works on canvas, installation pieces, and indoor/outdoor murals on any scale (both in the private and public sector). Charney has exhibited in galleries and painted murals in Colorado, California, Illinois, Florida, Alaska, Utah, Nebraska and Costa Rica.
Octavio Logo - Mexico City, Mexico After majoring in Classical Studies and working as a bookbinder and restorer of antique books in Mexico City, Logo turned completely to the visual arts about 6 years ago, interested particularly in muralism and public art. Logo's artwork explores diverse techniques and topics including graphic novels and printmaking, sculpture and installation. His latest mural project "Athena" is the first anamorphic 3D mural in NWA and his biggest in the USA. Octavio currently resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Tiger Sasha - Novorossiysk, Russia Russian-born American artist from Novorossiysk, and currently resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he's been active in the arts community as a muralist since 2013. His work often reflects my Russian background and the country's culture.
Donald Ross "Scribe" - Kansas City, MO Ross "Scribe" has been painting murals in Kansas City and throughout the country for the last 28 years. He was also the resident artist for the Children's Mercy Hospital network for 18 years creating environments tailored for stress reduction and wellness. He has two published children's books and also designs toys for various companies. He is currently a lead fabricator/sculptor for the Rabbit Hole, an upcoming children's book museum in Kansas City and working on new books.
JT Daniels - Kansas City, MO JT Daniels started pursuing art as a teenager, becoming the designated artist for school projects, painting custom skateboards and selling illustrations to friends and mentors. Currently, he uses his art to support and uplift the community. His murals can be seen all over Kansas City, adorning the walls of small businesses, street car stops, galleries and local neighborhoods.
Watch a progress video of the project shortly before it was completed:
In the Spring of 2021, phase 2 of the mural project will begin with a new group of artists, who are currently in the process of being selected. The second phase will cover the remaining open space along the southside wall of the building and follow the theme of family and unity per David M. Block's request.
"Imagery for the next phase of the mural will display the importance and necessity of family and togetherness in the community and we hope that future generations will be inspired by it," David M. Block stated.
Block & Company, CBD American Shaman, and SprayKC have plans to host an unveiling party in the Spring.