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Art Walk reminds us that we can walk along Brush Creek for miles

Dozens of artists, including Candace Castle of St. Joseph (foreground) and Louanne Hein of Kansas City (under umbrella), participated Saturday in the Brush Creek Art Walk. The event continues Sunday.
Dozens of artists, including Candace Castle of St. Joseph (foreground) and Louanne Hein of Kansas City (under umbrella), participated Saturday in the Brush Creek Art Walk. The event continues Sunday. Special to the Star

As the sun rose, fog hung over the old stone bridge.

That’s pretty good stuff if you’re an artist and it’s Saturday morning on the weekend of the Brush Creek Art Walk.

The annual event is to remind people that Brush Creek isn’t just a Country Club Plaza attraction. It runs miles to the east — there just isn’t a horse carriage to take you there.

The parklike walking trail includes trees, fountains and sculptures along the winding creek, and that’s where 50 or so en plein air (in open air) artists planted easels early Saturday, spread out over four miles.

It was cold early. But there were clouds, fog, geese and ripples to warm an artist’s heart.

“It’s absolutely stunning,” Daniel Sabruski, who moved to Kansas City from Philadelphia, said as he painted Saturday. “I don’t know why more people don’t come to this part.”

Nearby, Marcia Willman of Kansas City captured in watercolor a view of the creek’s bend, with the old Sebree Bridge over Benton Boulevard in the background. Willman’s image was pretty authentic — except for the missing communication tower past the bridge.

Willman smiled.

“Artists get to make decisions,” she said.

The Art Walk, which concludes with a concert Sunday in Theis Park, is sponsored in part by the Missouri Valley Impressionist Society and the Kansas City Parks & Recreation Department. Officials hope to use the event to encourage those Plaza strollers to remember to venture east.

“Part of the reason we do this is to let people know that Brush Creek doesn’t end at Theis Park,” said Heidi Downer of the parks department.

The Art Walk is a competition. Brush Creek is divided into four zones, offering four opportunities to win cash prizes.

Painters have three days, ending Sunday, to complete paintings on the site along the creek. Artists will enter their finished paintings for a chance to show and compete. Each evening, artists also compete in a quick-paint event in which they have two hours to do a painting.

“These make art a spectator sport,” Downer said.

The public is invited.

Some painters, though, just seemed to enjoy the art.

Louanne Hein of Kansas City got into painting in a big way after teaching high school for nearly 30 years. She often paints in her garage.

She arrived about 7 a.m. Saturday along Brush Creek. She didn’t know immediately what she wanted to paint.

“Then I saw my clouds,” she said.

Sunday’s concert at Theis Park includes performances by reggae ensemble Az One, folk duo Barclay Martin and Rick Willoughby, and the Expassionates, a rock band.

To reach Donald Bradley, call 816-234-4182 or send email to dbradley@kcstar.com.

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