Friday, April 24, 2009

Art Springs in Gladstone - Show Kicks Off Tonight

by Diane Thompson, art by Ryan Kruse

2nd Annual Art Springs Gladstone Fine Arts Show and Sale
Friday, April 24, 6:30 PM–9 PM - cash bar and musical entertainmentSaturday,
April 25, 10 AM-8 PM
Gladstone Community Center
7010 N. Holmes, Gladstone, MO

Free admission. Open to the public.

The Ryan Kruse Foundation for the Arts Featured at Art Show.

On Friday, April 24th and Saturday, April 25th, 2009, the Northland will host its 2nd Annual Art Springs in Gladstone fine arts show and sale at the new Gladstone Community Center. This FREE event is sponsored by the City of Gladstone, The Gladstone Arts Commission, and the Northland Art League. The event will showcase more than 60 artists, displaying works for sale inside and outside of the Center.

Among those setting up space will be The Ryan Kruse Foundation for the Arts, Art Springs sponsor and a Kansas City area non-profit organization for artists. The Foundation was created by Gregg & Diane Kruse of Gladstone, MO as a memorial to their 18 year old son, Ryan, who died in a skateboarding accident in 2005. Ryan Kruse pieces will be on display at the event.

Ryan’s art ranged from sketches on notebook paper to cartoons to canvas painting. He was a free-spirited artist with a comedic flair who let his thoughts and feelings flow in his art. Ryan’s self-portrait, “The Skater”, is part of the Foundation logo. Though a talented artist, Ryan encountered little encouragement to explore where his art could take him and found even greater limits on the venues available for displaying his work. The Foundation’s goal is to open doors for youth artists like Ryan.

“The Ryan Kruse Foundation for the Arts carries on Ryan’s spirit of going for it, encourages youth artists, and shows there is value and a place in our Community for creative, artistic expression,” say the Kruses.

The purpose of the Foundation’s sponsorship at the event is not to sell art; rather, its goal is to raise awareness about the Foundation whose mission is to provide artists a place for artistic expression and recognition for their talent at little or no cost. Though any age and any skill level are welcome to participate in the Art Springs show, the Foundation has a special focus in supporting youth artists who are just beginning to explore their talent. To assist artists participating in the event, the Foundation and the Kruses’ graphic business, FASTSIGNS, will fund a portion of the expense for large format reproductions for their exhibits. The Foundation will also present the Ryan Kruse Memorial Awards on Friday at 6:30 p.m. to three artists as selected by a panel from the Northland Art League.

In only its second year, the Foundation has plans to organize an exhibit of works from students in the North Kansas City and surrounding school districts with assistance from Gladstone Arts Commission and the Northland Art League. The Kruses are delighted the Foundation provides an outlet to area artists in the name of their son, and they look forward to continuing to grow the Foundation.

Artists may also upload their art to the Foundation’s free online gallery at: The gallery includes media in the areas of paintings, photography, charcoals, abstracts, and more. Any form of artistic expression is accepted. Cartoons, tattoo art, metal art, sculptures, simple sketches, caricatures – all have a place next to the more traditional forms of fine art. Free assistance is available to those who do not know how to or do not have the equipment to scan and set up files for uploading to the gallery.

The Ryan Kruse Foundation is seeking assistance in spreading the word to artists and other creative individuals looking for the opportunity to express themselves. To date, the Foundation has operated solely on memorial funds given by family and friends at the time of Ryan’s death. To continue their mission, the Kruses’ non-profit organization must rely on donations and volunteers. Information to donate or volunteer is on the website or you may email to

Information on the art show can be found at


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