Sunday, January 2, 2011

What Have I learned in 2010?

I set out with some pretty lofty goals for a multi-media blog about the arts in the KC metro area. I have come down to reality somewhat in 2010.  For one thing, I do more of what interests me, instead of trying to fit this to what pleases others, only to find they are not that interested in the first place.  With Google analytics, I have slowly been figuring out what works and what doesn't.  The daytrips were something that I had been doing since as long as I could drive -- even before -- I used to do it on a bicycle.  I just didn't go as far then.  Visiting all the places within a days drive, then seeing what is unique there, has been a blast.  But, what does that have to do with art?  Well, it seems this art blog has evolved primarily into a local travel blog.  The reason is that I found, and the google analytics would back this up, that I could knock myself out trying to put excellent content about art on this blog, and weeks later I would get maybe 50 hits.  That is extremely disappointing.  However, in one day, after a daytrip, I might get that many hits, and more.  Plus, as time goes on, the daytrips would continue to build hits in the archives.  I'm still interested in art, and will try to find more interesting creative things to incorporate in this blog.

One surprise is the second Friday at the KCK Y.  That has gotten more hits than anything else.  The only thing I could figure is that the KCK community orchestra with all its members shared the link with all their families and friends.  Sometimes it's all about ratings.

There are some ideas I'm still developing.  The world's first talkshow in a car is one of those ideas.  I remember on our first attempt at the show, we got pulled over by Kansas City Missouri's finest...

Also, I remember the one where we almost had a bathroom emergency in the car...

Also, that same night, I seem to remember driving past the Phelps compound blasting "Gay Bar" by the Electric Six on the stereo.

Of course, something that has become a major force for this blog, actually started last year (2009) in December, with the Keyhole Gallery and Jeff Helkenberg and Jessica Logsdon.  At the beginning of the year, the Keyhole and Jeff and Jessica courted controversy which is good, because from controversy comes dialogue, and from dialogue might come change.
F- Art Screen Grab
Keyhole Photos

I looked so forward to mardi gras this year.  Then some douchebags threw a krewe party and in not such a nice way, let me and a lot of my friends know that it is all about a bunch of boorish hipsters pretending they are better than everyone else.  Since a lot of artsy types hang on to these speakeasy balls, I tend to agree with Jeff Helkenbergs assessment, that this kind of thing will always be F-, a big fail in Kansas City or any city.  That is probably the most negative thing I learned in 2010.  I know some of the people who put on the Fat Tuesday celebrations.  They are good and well meaning.  I am told by one of them that my bad experience was just because I ran into the too easy to find lousy people who tend to be attracted to the shallow aesthetic's without diving much deeper.  To them, I have to say go hang out in a "hip" bar in the plah-zuh.  Hopefully in 2011, I can find some of the better creative participants, and I can leave the shadow people in the shallows.

One of my personal biggest failures in 2010, is how I've neglected my friends and supporters at the Fishtank.  I haven't been able to make it there in the 2nd half of 2010.  I hope to do better in 2011.

The best thing I learned in 2010 is that you can be a true outsider, without having to be ignorant, and many people appreciate and even identify with the outsider status.  After I was about to give up on this blog -- I actually did for the month of May, I found that there were plenty of things that were worthy of attention.  I did the stormchasing thing for awhile, then I spun it off into my Foul Weather Friend blog which can be found at   I resumed this blog with new vigor, but this time I concentrated more on exploring what lies outside of the Kansas City crossroads, and more than just art.  I find that the human quest for truth and beauty is a worthy subject, and it exists everywhere, not just in metropolitan areas.

Art is very important to everyone in our daily lives.  Everything we touch has been crafted by an artist in some way.  Throughout history, when civilizations have lost interest in art, the decline of said civilizations was not far off.  There are several earmarks of the health of a society.  First and foremost, is how the said society treats it's very young and very old, and how that society deals with humanitarian issues.  Second is how that society deals with arts and humanities.  Civilizations that cannot fund art, probably cannot fund anything, and are in a failed state.   Can you imagine people who must've lived in the middle ages -- living within the shadows and ruins of a great civilization, what they must've thought. It must've seemed like life was better in the distant past, than in the present, and that there was no future. There are a lot of people who feel that way today.  Their lives can be touched by art in ways that nothing else would or could do.  Therefore, despite the negativity that I've perceived in this art scene, I remain hopeful and I will keep working this blog in that hope.

Watch live video from stevosvoboda on Finally... I have my handy dandy google calender with all the upcoming events in the area and beyond...
June 4, 2009 at 8.06am PDT
If you are interested in expressing your opinion about art, or this blog, or if you have ideas, calender updates or even blog entries, send me a message at TMI, BRD

Blog Archive