The Stiles Gallery is dedicated to the memory of Art Coordinator Shirley Stiles. For almost ten years Ms. Stiles arranged for a monthly display of works by a different artist to hang in our gallery. Ms. Stiles was an accomplished artist and each Friday would meet at City Hall to paint and share techniques with a circle of fellow artists and friends. The City of Westwood and the arts community lost a remarkable person when Ms. Stiles passed away in 2006 following a brief illness. Her memory lives on in her art, the gallery, and the remembrances of her family, friends and fellow artists.
Kathy Butler, Ms. Stiles’ daughter, continues her mother's work of showcasing local area artists. Thank you Kathy for your dedication to the Gallery and helping make Westwood beautiful!
If you have any questions about these or upcoming artists please contact City Hall abby.schneweis [at] westwoodks.org (by email) or at 913.362.1550.
Patrick Kost - January 2024
Patrick Kost is an artist living in Westwood, Kansas. Working with painting and pastels, the art explores beautifully ordinary places, nature and everyday artifacts. Each painting offers glimpses of real places from Kansas City and surrounding areas. Expressive shapes, rhythm, movement and color bring the subjects to life to tell a unique story. https://www.patkost.com/
Jasmine Rodriguez - February 2024
Jasmine Rodriguez is currently a senior at the Kansas City Art Institute, majoring in Photography and minoring in Entrepreneurial Studies in Art and Design. Jasmine was introduced to analog photography her senior year of high school, and instantly fell in love with the tactile methods that are used in the medium. She thoroughly enjoys the element of slowing down, and taking the time to compose the image, patiently waiting for just the right moment to hit the shutter.
Jasmine’s current studio work is based on the ideas of identity, culture and vulnerability, using a performative element and live flowers to support these ideas. She uses a mix of analog and digital photography, compositing the image within the camera. Jasmine is also working in alternative mediums including cyanotypes and watercolor paniting. She will be graduating in May of 2024 with a BFA.
Eiman Yousif - March 2024
Eiman Yousif is a Sudanese-American artist and educator. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership. Eiman started painting in 2016 at the age of 52 in Dubai. Despite her late and humble beginning, she was able to participate in many exhibitions and was chosen to present her work amongst 100 women artists from around the world in Dubai. She is the recipient of “The Visitors Choice Award” at NOON exhibition –Sharjah Ladies club 2016 UAE for her collection, “Kandaka.”
Eiman was honored to present for three years in the International Women Art Exhibition in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and was featured in the “100 Women Artists around the World” book in 2019 and 2020.
Eiman's work is a mixture of her upbringing in Africa, in the deep-rooted Sudanese culture, as well as her journey in the United States and residence for many years in the UAE. This mixture of cultures and ethnicity influenced her work and produced paintings that tell stories of herself, experiences and many faces of people and cities she came across.
NOON exhibition, Sharjah Ladies Club, 2017; Sharjah Heritage Days, Sharjah, 2017; World Art Dubai, 2018; UAE Flag Colors National Day, QE2 Dubai, 2018; Dubai Ladies Club Bazaar 2018; Colours of Love Exhibition, Dubai 2019; Double Tree Hilton Hotel 2019; Bait AlAhmedia Exhibition 2020; International Women Art Exhibition , 2020; One Thousand and One Nights online Exhibition 2020; Johnson County Libraries, Prairie Village, KS 2022.
Shirley Stiles - April 2024
April is the month you can get to know Shirley Stiles, the local artist and patron of the arts for whom the Shirley Stiles Gallery in Westwood City Hall is named. Shirley was a 55-year resident of Westwood, where she moved with her husband and young family in 1952. After the new Westwood City Hall was built, she was the driving force behind the establishment of a gallery dedicated to showcasing the work of local area artists that formed the basis for the city’s well-deserved reputation as a unique venue for local artists to show without having to pay high commissions charged by commercial galleries. With her work in scheduling artists for monthly shows in Westwood, she became the city’s first Art Coordinator, a volunteer position that she held for a decade before her passing in 2006.
Over the years as an active member of the Kansas City art community, Shirley served on boards and held office in art organizations such as the Kansas City Art Association and the Senior Arts Council. She was instrumental in setting up links between artists and local businesses and community organizations - from banks to medical centers and nursing homes - making art part of the daily life of all who passed through their doors. She was also more often than not the main team member who framed, transported, labeled and hung the work, whatever it took move art out of elite settings and into the mainstream.
Shirley’s creativity and artistic ability blossomed at a very early age when, as a young girl growing up in Depression-era Kansas City, she would use whatever materials were at hand to create pencil drawings of friends, family, and the movie stars of the day. Some of that art is still in existence; the paper is crude, akin to paper bags, but the drawings are beautifully detailed and executed in subtle strokes and modeling. As a child of the Depression, she was self-taught and, in fact, never considered herself a “real” artist!
Raising five children in Westwood, her creativity found other outlets. She sewed with a designer’s eye, making clothing for her four daughters, often adapting patterns and utilizing unique fabric and structural combinations, and was even asked to make church vestments. As a Girl Scout leader, she found ways to bring art into the lives of her charges, developing projects from printmaking to puppetry.
As time passed, her own art matured and she began experimenting with other media: pen and ink, oil pastel, watercolors, acrylics, monotype and block and serigraph printmaking. In later years, she was able to work with other local artists, who were struck by her ability to master and create in diverse media. Her subject matter was also diverse. While she can be described as a regional artist because she recorded the people and places, farmhouses, bridges, roads, rivers and bridges of her beloved Kansas City, and the trains her engineer-husband drove, she also responded deeply to nature in all its forms, so found inspiration in the mountains of Colorado and the Sierra Nevada, the California coast, and in animals who never failed to touch her heart.
The sheer volume and the variety of Shirley’s artwork are all the more remarkable because for the last decade of her life she was nearly blind. She had battled macular degeneration for two decades. This disease, which she shared with artist Georgia O’Keefe, steals central vision, which means that the viewer cannot see what they look at directly. She painted using only her peripheral vision holding the paintings to the side of her head to try to see without really looking directly. It is difficult to believe she worked under such heart wrenching obstacles when one views the beauty and power of some of her last paintings. Shirley continued to draw and paint right up until her passing. She and her fellow artists of the Westwood Friday Painters Group would meet nearly every Friday in the Community Room at Westwood City Hall to paint and critique each other’s work. It was her art and the camaraderie of her fellow artists that kept her spirit alive.
Her daughter Kathy Butler, now of Parkville, MO, is keeping her artistic legacy alive by serving as the current Westwood Art Coordinator. Each April, her daughters share her artwork with the local community. Please stop by and get to know Shirley.
Esther Boyd - May 2024
Arts KC - Holiday Art Fair - December 2015
Featured Artist - Phoenix Gallery The Plaza Kansas City June-September 2016
Solo Art show - Contours Salon - 2016, 2017, 2018
David Jones Gallery featured artist - 2016
National Small Oil Painting Exhibition - Wichita Cultural Center - September 2016
Honorable Mention Award
One More Cup - solo show - September 2016
KCUR - featured artist, October - December 2016
Alla Prima Group Show - Deines Cultural Center, Russell, KS - December 2016
Selected commissions/private collections:
Petrovic Weaver Financial Services
Featured cover artist - Evolving Magazine - August 2016
Marg Higgins - June 2024
Although I knew from an early age that I loved to create I wasn’t sure how to be an artist. Through traveling and classwork in my teens and twenties, I explored jewelry making, pottery, drawing, and quilt making. Even though I studied many forms of art, I considered myself a self-made artist. My first love was fabric. The textures and endless variations of this supple medium was what seduced me! Traditional quilt making classes allowed me to learn the technical and precise process.
After much soul searching, I found my path and passion through exploration of materials, composition, color, shape, and movement. My own style and techniques emerged as I expressed myself. I am pleased to present these results in my mixed media endeavors.
Weavers Guild of Greater Kansas City - August 2024
The Weavers Guild of Greater Kansas City was organized in 1954 to promote hand weaving, spinning and fiber arts. Our mission is to further the art and interest in hand weaving and related fiber arts for members and the public. We do this by conducting regular meetings, demonstrations, and workshops in basic and advanced techniques. We warmly welcome newcomers and all levels of proficiency and areas of interest in the fiber arts.
Karen Rapp - September 2024
My name is Karen Rapp and I am an artist. Drawing is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember, and I miss it if I haven’t done it for a while… maybe it’s because I started drawing when I was very young.
As an artist I have lots of interests: drawing, painting, designing, wire-bending, stained glass, and illustrating. As a 3rd grade kid, I won a second place ribbon for a drawing, and my teacher let me do art, instead of math. I also won a “Best in Show” when I was at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln where I earned a 2-year Associate of Art Degree. I’ve painted murals on buildings, lettered on leather, painted signs on wood, created designs for t-shirts, painted abstract color on rectangles of canvas, made illustrations on paper, and painted banners on vinyl. I love color. I see color and shapes and move them around in my head. My goal is create something pleasing so that others can see the color, the texture, the shape, and see beyond the flat surface.