Artist paints the town red with flowers, pairs with poet to combat Kansas City violence

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An artist and poet are teaming up to help fight violence on Kansas City Streets.

Ada Koch paints red poppies for the World War I Museum, and she was recently selected to decorate a Kansas City Streetcar with her poppies as part of the Art in the Loop program. At the same time, she is displaying her poppy artwork and other paintings this month at the Bunker Center for the Arts at 1014 East 19th Street, Kansas City, Mo.

The poppies symbolize life and regrowth from death and destruction. The symbolism comes from Flanders Field, when the flowers grew in place of where dead WWI soldiers were buried.

Koch also teamed with Kansas City poet Glenn North to bring awareness to the violence on Kansas City streets. North’s poem can be found on the streetcar.

Koch calls her work in the gallery “disruptive art”, with babies in bloody crosshairs and mothers hugging baby ghosts. At the same time, North’s poems send a powerful message on the consequences of violence. 

They are partnering with Kansas City Mothers in Charge, founded by Rosilyn Temple who lost her son to gun violence several years ago. She brings comfort and support to other mothers who’ve lost their children to violence. 

Fifty percent of all of Koch’s art sales during the month of July will go to Mothers in Charge. You can go to the Bunker Center for the Arts website to learn more or arrange to see the exhibit in person.  

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