River Quay and Artists

November 10, 2013

I put a lot of gangster information in Gangland Wire and not as much information abut the art colony started in the River Quay. In my film, I do interview two famous Kansas City artists. Philomene Bennett has work in the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art as well as the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph and the Daum Museum in Sedalia. Bennett co-founded and served as president of the Kansas City Art Coalition. She credits much of her success to what she calls “belligerent conviction.”
Lou Marak is married to Ms. Bennett. I interviewed them in their south Kansas city home which looked like an art gallery. Marak has taught at the Kansas City Art institute, worked for Hallmark hand has pieces in many galleries and important private collections.

They rented a large gallery and living space above Poor Freddies for about $75.00 a month from Marion Trozzolo. The River Quay art colony was a thriving creative addition to Kansas City.

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6 comments on “River Quay and Artists

  1. Tom Kramer Oct 14, 2014

    An artist worth mentioning: Larry Mansker owned a building at 507 Walnut and had a studio on the top floor. He painted the painting that hung behind the stage at Madame Lovejoy’s on the first floor that depicted Rose Lovejoy and her girls on the stairs leading to the balking. Larry also painted a Harry Truman portrait that was unveiled at the Whitehouse and is now on display at the Truman Library. He has since established himself as a well known artist in Eureka Springs, Ark.

    • Dan Doty Feb 10, 2017

      Tom, where did you find the first name of Madame Lovejoy?

  2. C. Schmeltz Jan 18, 2015

    I was one of “the girls” at the time and sat /modeled for the painting. I was sixteen. I have the original pictures that the painting was done from and i know all about the painting, who did what, etc. I often wonder what happened to the painting after it was stolen!

  3. I was one of the first musicians playing in the Quay. Yesterday’s Girl was my main source of income whenever I wasn’t on the road! I did lunches at the Old Brewery (until it was burned down, heh). It was such an amazing project at the time! I also remember when the “association” collected the utilities for the merchants until the water company shut down all the water to those merchants (because the utilities were never paid, and the “associates” of the “association” disappeared).

  4. C cornejo Feb 8, 2015

    Freddie bonadona was my godfather. And as a child I remember go I g to poorfreddies with my dad whom was very good friends with bonadona.I recall the t,shirts red with two over easy eggs was the print.

    • jenkslaw Feb 8, 2015

      Interesting, thanks for participating in my blog. Your personal history makes this much more interestng. Fred Bonadonna was a good guy who got caught up in events out of his control.