Tony: A Hater’s Guide to September Art Fairs

It’s not necessarily a bad thing that art in Kansas City is nothing more than an excuse to schmooze. In fact, the only thing worse than people blithely ignoring local art are the folks really focused on the often mediocre creations put on display in this Cowtown.

Still, Kansas City’s two biggest art fairs are coming up this month and I’ve got a few helpful hints to make them bearable for the kind of people who want to suffer through the artsy extravaganzas.

Let’s take a look.

First up, this weekend’s Westport Art Fair is great introduction to this kind of event that’s really about putting people on display. And that’s the trick. Local art exhibits are really about the people front and center. Westport art gawking is great because the booze is so close and plentiful. In fact, a smart guy could get away with turning an art outing into a drunken excursion . Just be careful not to knock over anything too expensive.

Best chances for artsy success at local art fairs:

1. Pretend to know the artist. Arsty folks are ditzy anyway and they’ll go along with your act.

2. Pretend that you’re going to buy something. If you put on a good act, your date might actually think you’re important.

3. NEVER BUY ANYTHING!!! Seriously, you’re not going to discover the next Picasso at these places. Most of it is really awful and the bright spots always make me sad because I know the art parade circuit never leads anywhere. There is little chance to find a hidden treasure here and anything more expensive than the lukewarm fare offered by restaurants is probably a mistake.

Still, Westport is just the warm-up for the Plaza Art Fair finale!!

This last art fair of the season is exceptionally fun because it features drunken MILFs in public, some really great artists that are dealing with stagnant careers and probably the best people watching in town.

Look for dogs sniffing into strollers, the best causal outfits in town from unhappily married 30 something couples, hotties who lament that passing of summer and probably just a bit under-dressed.

And especially around night time, the place becomes a hangout for local hipsters and poseurs who didn’t have the cash or the talent to purchase a booth.

It’s all quite fun and a nice way to finish out the Summer. Lamenting the lack of talent in others is sure to boost self-confidence during the changing seasons.

Tony Botello
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6 Responses to Tony: A Hater’s Guide to September Art Fairs

  1. Anonymous says:

    Finally, a good post. The only reason to go is not the art.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tracy Thomas
    tony, you are so low class. stay home, please. stop bothering the artists, you cultural gnat and social wannabe, take your date bowling. maybe you’ll get luckier.

    as the founding president of the kansas city artist coalition, which started in thr river quay and grew to 1000 members, i am embarrassed for you, tony. we should post your photo in each booth. like the post office, only as top 10 LEAST wanted schmuck pretenders to kick out of your booth.

    there are fabulous values and great pieces of original art to be had at these two art fairs–but one should expect to spend $200 to $500.

    skip the chatschkes.

    and the last good art fair of the year is actually shadow glen, in olathe, first weekend in october.

    tony, i can only guess at the artwork in your home. beer signs, free movie posters? your art is probably as unoriginal as your animal party review.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As graduates of one of the top art schools in the country, we wholeheartedly agree with Tony’s review. It’s alarming that for so many people in KC the Plaza Art Fair represents their idea of “art.” Middle-brow craftsy crap, plain and simple.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love the art fair. I find it nostalgic and comforting that it happens every year in the fall. I enjoy getting a few drinks and people watching. I look at the art as well but the people are the best to watch!

  5. Anonymous says:

    craig glazer
    I like the art fair if Mermaid does.

  6. Anonymous says:

    LOL oh man. Tony your turning into the Hunter S. Thompson of Kansas City. You need to whip out a novel or two.

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