Shelly Cascio opened brandonjacobs gallery in the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Missouri in February 2016. Here at Whispering Prairie Press, Cascio is our go-to advisor for recent art trends in Kansas City and has become our educator in the art collection process. Cascio and her team provide a platform that connects artists and collectors nationwide. We were fortunate enough to discuss with her some local art trends and find out what collectors are looking for.
The brandonjoacobs gallery participates in First Friday’s in the Crossroads. Stop by to show your support (2015 Grand Blvd Kansas City, Missouri).
Interview with art gallery owner, Shelly Cascio, by Hannah Chow.
Chow: What are some emerging trends you think have woken up the Kansas City art scene?
Cascio: I think patrons are starting to understand the art collection process. They are not acquiring art to primarily decorate but to start or add to a collection. The Kansas City Art scene has created an environment, which welcomes novice collectors as well as the experienced collector. The artists that we have here in Kansas City have created an atmosphere of community that welcomes all to participate whether it is a first Friday event in the Crossroads Art District or an exhibition of an artist’s individual work in the gallery. The building of this culture has created support for the artist community as well as support for our great city. It is our hidden oasis that is starting to become nationally recognized.
Chow: What recent innovations have had the most significant impact on how collectors think about art in Kansas City?
Cascio: One important factor is that there is an emerging art scene that is slowly becoming apparent to others that live outside of Kansas City. It is not necessary to go to New York or other large cities to start or add to your existing collections. Kansas City has a group of national and International artists that live right here in the Midwest. Some of the contributing influences consist of The Kansas City Art Institute, The Nelson-Atkins Museum, the Kemper Museum and the Nerman. In addition to these institutions the community of Art Galleries in the Crossroads Art District such as the brandonjacobs gallery are contributing factors. We all support the artist, the collector, and our great city. The brandonjacobs gallery is dedicated to connecting the patrons with the artists, supporting the community and to create an environment that supports one another’s innovation and creative freedom.
Chow: In regards to social media, two of the most popular hash tags for art today is #artwatchers and #askacurator. So we are asking a curator (you), what art mediums do you like to watch and follow?
Cascio: #artcollector… Speaking as a curator I watch all art mediums. I find that artists need the freedom to create what they are feeling in their work. This includes the type of medium, the technique and the color palette. As an alumni of the Kansas City Art Institute and an artist myself I understand these thought processes. My job is to connect the artist and the patron. I know what the collectors are interested in, which work they are attracted to, and also the technique that interests them. I advise collectors not to primarily acquire a work that simply fits their décor but to collect work that speaks to their emotions. After all art is emotional for both the artist and the collector.
Chow: What advice would you give a young person considering a career in art today?
Cascio: My academic education in the art world has given me the ability to have a much more formal and in depth knowledge of the art process. This experience has given me the insight to encourage future students to be organized with their work and to start getting a portfolio together. Even though you think a private art school is unattainable; this is simply not the case. I encourage them to apply for scholarships that are readily available for young an aspiring artist’s. There are many private scholarships available as well. Apply to more than one school you might not get into all of them but keep trying, there is one that is just right for you. After all Kansas City has one of the best art schools in the nation, the Kansas City Art Institute.