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Can't get enough of Silver Screen Salon? Follow our blog to stay current on all the happenings at Silver Screen Salon. Read about salon events, featured local artists showing in our salon for First Fridays, glitz and glamour tips, and much, much more!

Maggie May, not just a Rod Stewart Song

May is upon us, and you know what that means? Another local artist showcased in Silver Screen Salon for First Friday! Maggie Stubbs is a kindergarten teacher by day, and a fabulously talented contemporary artist by night…or at least on this night at her First Friday showing.

Stubbs’ art work in a word is COLORFUL! Each piece is alive with color and has a very whimsical, happy feel to them.

No stranger to the art world, Stubbs has previously shown work at Final Fridays in Lawrence and at the Fringe Festival last year. This July, she will once again be showing for Fringe Festival at Union Station. However, you still have time to come out to Silver Screen Salon to see her work throughout the month of May.

After the show, I had a chance to catch up with Maggie for a little Q and A session:

What is your artistic background and how long have you been painting?
“I have been encouraged to create art my entire life by both of my artistic parents. In high school, I was part of an art program that allowed me to take more art classes than usually allowed. We also had a teacher with a doctorate in art, and I took art for 5 hours a day my senior year. I usually would stay after school for several hours and I would do one or two paintings every day. The school bought all of the supplies, so I could create as much as I wanted. I went to art school at the University of Kansas for one year, but found that it did not live up to my high school experience. I decided to pursue art separately and earn a teaching degree because I also love teaching children.”

Where do you draw your artistic inspiration?
“I find inspiration from traveling when I am able to. Seeing art in person is great inspiration. Art, even art that we have seen a million times referenced in pop culture, looks different in person. It looks more fabulous in person. Viewing art is a great inspiration.
My art is happy and I find daily inspiration from my kindergarten class. The classroom atmosphere and craziness shows through in my paintings.
I also gain inspiration from Ted talks. I enjoy listening to ted talks while I paint. I love documentaries too. I constantly crave learning new things. That shot of awe you get when something really inspires you can drive me to paint new imaginative things for days. I think its the challenge of adapting when something is not as it seemed that causes brain neurons to connect and fire the most. Even little things, like learning why ketchup is both a liquid and a solid, or what beer is made out of, keep my brain working and ready to paint.”

What made you start painting or first piqued your interest?
“My art teacher in high school required me to try painting and demanded that I would adapt to the brush vs. the pencil. My dad agreed and encouraged this.”

Who or what has influenced your work/who do you admire?
“I love Wayne Thiebaud's art. He is the master of color! I love color. I also love how crazy and colorful Lisa Frank's art is. I learned to draw by attempting to replicate Degas' sketches of ballerinas. I also learned to draw by drawing photos of people. If you want to be good at any kind of art, you need to practice. It will take thousands of hours before you are really good at it. The thing is, you aren't born with the ability to do anything. I am terrible at basketball, but when I practice I do get better. If I devoted thousands of hours to it, I would be awesome at it. I might never be able to dunk though. You can learn anything if you work really hard.”

What are your long term goals for your art career?
“My goal is to be able to create more art. If painting could be my day job, it would be wonderful. I think it needs to happen in order for me to be able to create what I want to. I love teaching too, and luckily I have the summer off. I am traveling to an art festival in Dallas this summer, and my work will be in the fringe festival at Union Station as well as displayed in the Johnson County Libraries. I would like to paint on a much larger scale. I would love to have a studio.”

How did you think your event at Silver Screen Salon went and did you sell any of your work?
“I think it went great! I didn't hear anyone say they hated my work! I had a lot of great comments and tons of my friends showed up. I sold one very small painting. I think it is hard to sell art! Some of my stuff wasn't for sale, and it may have been my better stuff. I need to paint more large paintings.”

Check back for more on June's First Friday featured artist!!






Synthetic Ties Exhibition: It’s Un-BeWeaveable!!!

Spring is here, and nothing screams spring in the Crossroads more than First Fridays! To kick off this First Friday season, Silver Screen Salon showcased Shenequa Brooks' Synthetic Ties exhibition.

Brooks is a senior studying Fiber Arts at the Kansas City Art Institute, and this show served as her senior project. The exhibition included synthetic hair woven into beautiful works of art, head pieces, and even included live models, who each had synthetic hair woven into their hair to create elaborate styles.

Fiber Arts, as explained by Brooks, is the study of fiber in a material or fabric. You learn how to dye, create, weave and/or construct your own material. Brooks first became interested in fiber arts through visiting the Kansas City Art Institute. The openness and experimentation of what the department offers through fiber is what attracted her.

Brooks draws inspiration from various contemporary artists such as Joanne Petit-Frere hair-dresses and Chakaia Booker fabric/tires headdresses. She also looks to various African-American hairstyles/braids, as well as textiles made in Ghana, Africa.

The beautifully detailed pieces that Brooks creates are very time consuming, and each piece takes about a week to complete in its entirety.

When asked about incorporating the live models into the exhibition, Brooks explained, "My inspiration behind the live models is to activate and enhance the space. It added to the process and the way in which African-American women interact when getting their hair done. It was about sisterhood, bonding, time, care, etc...that contributes to the act of when I weave my hair weavings on the loom."

What's next for Ms. Shenequa Brooks after graduation? Brooks plans on staying in Kansas City for a year to figure out her place in the art community, a community that she feels is very strong for emerging artists. However, traveling and applying to residencies around the world is also in this young artist's future.

As far as future exhibits, there are none planned as of right now, but Brooks is sure there will be more shows to follow in awesome and non-traditional gallery spaces that will add to the body of work at that given time.

When asked about her experience after the Silver Screen Salon exhibit, Brooks replied, "My First Friday showing went AMAZING and better than I could ever imagine. I had a great turn out and everyone had positive things to say throughout the night. I did sell two pieces and that is awesome."

Be sure to come out to Silver Screen Salon on First Fridays to check out a new local artist each month!