The City of Westwood, Kansas 

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The Stiles Gallery at City Hall

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 by email or at 913.362.1550.

 

 

  Rhoda Powers - January 2018

Rhoda Powers is a proud Kansas native and a proud mother of three young men. The fork in the road cme with the realization that her life long desire to create art would not be quieted by distraction. The drum beat of her artist's heart became louder and louder until she was compelled to act, adopting the philosophy that failure to try would be her only failure. She's never looked back. Rhoda is a full time glass and mixed media artist and entrepreneur living and creating in Parkville, Missouri. She finds ways to be innovative in style and process all the while being true ot herself and her art. She sets herself apart by sequencing multiple mediums. Rhoda is also a musician and founding member of the PArkville Symphonic Band and a civic volunteer. Rhoda has been and art collector for 29 years. Art and music are her passions.

Rhoda strives to communicate with the world through the universal languages of art and music, experienced and interpreted through multiple senses.

 The Quilter’s Guild (Studio Art Quilt Associates) - February 2018

Cosmic Wonders – Carmen Rinehart

When gazing up to heaven on a starry night, one is star struck by the immensity of it all.  As scientific exploration of the cosmos reveals new frontiers, we find cosmic possibilities beyond our wildest imagination. 

In an attempt to capture this excitement and wonder, my art attempts to ask the question, “What is out there?  Is there life similar to our earth?”

 Annehart2@comcast.net

 

Water, Land & Sky – Strata Series II – Andrea Luliak

Having spent much of my life living near the ocean, I have become intimate with the vast personalities of the water in relation to the land and the sky.  There can be calm serenity one moment and turbulent chaos the next.  I find the changes, whatever they are, to be exciting and inspiring.

 andygal.iak@gmail.com

 

Down on the Farm – Andrea Luliak

Having moved recently to “The Heartland of America”, I have become fascinated with barns and farms.  Utilitarian, mundane, and yet so very interesting.  I have tried to capture some of the wonderful scenery around my area.  Barns in particular are so varied that I find inspiration in all their forms, new and run-down, or totally abandoned; they provide constant study

andygal.iak@gmail.com

 

Let the Cards Fall Where They May - Marge Banks

My art quilts incorporate Seminole Patchwork patterns in non-traditional ways.  Using the strip technique, I created some red and white blocks for a guild anniversary quilt.  With the leftover blocks, I experimented with layouts for this 12”x12” piece.   Discarding many symmetrical arrangements, I placed the blocks randomly and found this arrangement pleasingly balanced.  To me, the bubble free-motion quilting implies these blocks have landed on something soft.

 margebanksmeb@yahoo.com

 

City Lightning – Cindy  Brendzel

This piece was inspired by a photograph of the Columbus, Ohio skyline during an afternoon thunderstorm.  I always create a piece by trying to reduce the image to its most dramatic elements.  Commercial cotton fabric and machine stitching were used on this quilt.

 Cbren588@gmail.com

 

Let’s Play – Jackie Stoaks

I love music and admire anyone who can play an instrument.  I find it fascinating that musicians use music to set a mood, tell a story or just spread joy.

 Let’s Play is my attempt to express the joy and exuberance that I experience when I listen to music.

 Jstoaks77j@yahoo.com

 

Resume – Jane Bromberg

Making this small quilt marks a new beginning for me.  After being out of commission for almost a year due to shoulder surgery, it felt great to be back in my studio.  This small project was just the right size for an initial project for 2018.

 I used one of the vintage blocks from my collection as the background.  The surface technique is fused applique.  I quilted it on my longarm machine.  I love that I was able to give new life to old textiles.

“Resume” is the perfect title for this piece since it allowed me to resume my career.

 janebromberg@customquiltingkc.com

 

Celebration – Karen Hansen

Karen Hansen’s quilts are inspired by nature…sometimes realistic, sometimes abstract or modern.  She works primarily with commercial cottons and silks, using a variety fo techniques, both piecing and raw-edge fusing.  Many of her pieces have been featured in books and magazines, and have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

 “Celebration” features the circle, the common symbol for the universe, unleashing its energy into the cosmos.

hansenkm@kc.rr.com

 

Rainbow – Denise Paglio

For this piece I wanted to make the statement that we are all the same no matter what color or shape we are.  No one is perfect and I feel that this piece reflects that.  Not every lien is perfect nor did I want it to be.  Perfection I feel, is boring.

 I am just starting on my artistic journey and am realizing that if I don’t stop comparing myself to others I will never thrive or grow as an artist.  I’m enjoying playing with olors, shapes, images and simply having fun.  Realiing that not every piece I create will win a blue ribbon nr do I want it to. 

dmplaw@yahoo.com

 

Yellow-Eyed Warblers – Linda Frost

My work has covered virtually the entire spectrum of quilting from reproducing antique quilts using reproduction fabrics and traditional patterns, to creating abstract pieces while exploring with contemporary quilt artists.  These explorations have provided a means for me to take ethereal thought and emotion and put them into a physical form.

 This quilt was inspired by a photo of a hand holding a small yellow bird.  To hold a small bird is to experience an almost weightless ball of energy, life and intelligence.  To me, it is magical.

 LLFrost@sunflower.com

 

A is for Art... – Shannon Conley

This piece is part of a series inspired by medieval manuscripts.  My recent work has involved a lot of openwork as I think about how much I can “take away” and still have a quilt.  It’s an especially fun challenge when working on something as typically busy and maximalist as illumination.  As I work on these initials, I think on all the great words that go with the letter:   art, adventure, aspiration, ambition.   Feel free to add your own!

 La.emperatriz@gmail.com

 

Don’t Fence Me in (mini) – Cynthia Parry

My style of art quilt typically reflects compositionally stylized Asian themes, an aesthetic that is a direct result of being born in Japan of an American father and a Japanese mother as well as my frequent trips to Japan.  I strive to connect with the viewer on an emotional level, to provoke thought and further conversation, and to create interest in and knowledge of Japan by utilizing the texture and color afforded by fiber. 

 This piece is a derivative of a larger piece I made for my new series on the Japanese internment of WWII.

 idyllways@aol.com

 

"Kansas Roadcut" - Susan Stevenson

This piece was inspired by a trek along Interstate 70 through the Flint Hills of Kansas. Taking pictures of the road cuts with my cell phone created an interesting series of images that, when viewed in preview mode, appeared as a fractured winter landscape.

 sstevenson@ucmo.edu

 Senior Arts Council - March 2018

The Senior Arts Council of Kansas City was founded in 1977 is an organization of Artist over 50 years of age. There are some 60 members. The group holds meeting the last Monday of each month at the Roeland Park community Center. Election of officers is done annually. The artist in the group include oil, acrylic and watercolor artist, along with photographers and various other art mediums. The  group puts on a  number of exhibits each year and have had exhibits at the Tim Murphy Art Gallery at the Merriam Community Center, The Endres Art Gallery in Prairie Village, The Johnson County Libraries, Wyandotte County Libraries, Unity Spot Light Gallery, and many other locations in the Kansas City area. For those wanting further information on joining the group they can contact Bryce Moore at 913- 642-1447. 

 Shirley Stiles Memorial Show in April 2018

This watercolor of the Grand Tetons was done while Shirley was losing her sight due to macular degeneration.
This watercolor of the Grand Tetons was done while Shirley was losing her sight due to macular degeneration.

 

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

Shirley, shown here with just some of her artwork
Shirley, shown here with just some of her artwork
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. 

4700 Rainbow Boulevard Westwood, Kansas 66205 (913) 362-1550