It’s time for another Buttonwood Art Space First Friday bash. This month it’s a luau-style beach party.
Jon McGraw, president of Buttonwood Financial Group, will put a 200-pound roasted hog on his conference table Friday. He says it’ll feed about 300 people, and he’s fairly confident not much will be left.
Every other month, Buttonwood hosts a themed party. September’s show is “Tides and Trade Winds: An Art Show About Life on, Around or Near the Water.”
A giant jellyfish crafted by Kathy Drungilas will swim near the ceiling fan. Local band Calypso Bluz will fill the 7,500-square-foot office space with the sounds of steel drum, Latin percussion and smooth vocals.
Shows are booked a year in advance, but artists can apply to participate in exhibitions through Buttonwood’s website. Artists may also use the website to sell their work.
McGraw calls it “friendly art.”
“Our goal is to include, not exclude,” McGraw says. The gallery’s mailing list of artists includes nearly 900 names.
McGraw moved Buttonwood in 2005 into the space formerly occupied by Union Hill Arts gallery. He liked the idea of continuing the relationship with the arts community and began showings.
“Everybody should be giving back to the world,” he says. “If everyone did that the world would be a better place.”
This month’s exhibition will benefit the Mid America Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Sixty percent of sales go to the artists and 40 percent to the nonprofit. Past recipients include Penn Valley Park Conservancy, Friends of Konza Prairie and the City of Fountains Foundation.
“I have a brother with MS and a sister-in-law who passed away from it. I appreciate everyone’s willingness to contribute to that,” says participating photographer Carrie Dvorak.
Dvorak now lives in De Soto in Johnson County, but she has spent the last three years in the Bahamas because her husband manages construction projects there.
As one of Buttonwood’s regular artists, she served as liaison for the five featured artists flying from the Bahamas to Kansas City for Friday’s show.
About 50 pieces in the show are by Bahamian artists, and the other 70 pieces are by 25 local artists.
The Plaza’s Tommy Bahama has donated items for an auction, and 100 percent of the profits will go to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Dvorak said she is excited about a collection of Peter Bradley’s silver jewelry in the show.
“He literally takes what he finds on the beach and creates a wax mold for the jewelry,” Dvorak says. “The backside of the pendant is really (an impression of) the backside of the sand dollar.”
It’s art purely imitating life.
Contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Tides & Trade Winds”
Buttonwood Art Space, 3013 Main
First Friday opening reception, 5-9 p.m.; show runs through Sept. 25.
Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.