Artspeak Radio with Anthony “AO” Oropeza, Davin Watne, and Isaiah Lee

Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, March 22, 2023, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes artists Anthony (AO) Oropeza, Davin Watne, and Isiah Lee.

ANTHONY “AO” OROPEZA- My name is Anthony “AO” Oropeza, and I am a sports painter, designer, and comic book writer and creator, and the Chief Creative Artist/Designer and Owner of my studio – AOART5 llc here in Kansas City. I also work 9-5 in the marketing department as a graphic designer / communication specialist for a local park and recreation organization in the Kansas City metro area.
I been extremely fortunate with the small amount of success my commission work has brought me, but I have been very fortunate to have been interviewed by multiple local TV stations, podcasts, on-line magazines and newspapers. I have also been extremely fortunate that my fundraising live-paintings appearances have sold pieces up to $5,000. It is always an honor knowing that my art work has had some part in raising large amounts of money to help others in the KC area these past few years.
It is always an honor to create a piece for anyone who believes in the work and appreciates the time and effort we artist put into the design and painting of each project. And who knows, maybe when this is all said and done, and I am long gone, my paintings will be worth millions for those who believed in this poor kid from a blue collar KCK neighborhood who almost didn’t take the brushes and paints back up and paint a few things to make a few bucks for his kids education.

DAVIN WATNE is an artist based in Kansas City, born in West Virginia. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art. He has been awarded the Charlotte Street Foundation Award, ArtsKC Inspiration Grant, Avenue of Arts Municipal Arts Grant, Art in the Loop Public Arts Grant and is a former resident of the Studios Inc. Residency Program. Davin is an Assistant Teaching Professor at University of Missouri Kansas City, where he teaches Foundations and is the head curator and director of the
UMKC Gallery of Art.
Hello Darkness My Old Friend: Davin Watne
March 24 – May 3, 2023, Opening reception: Friday, March 24
Artist talk: Saturday, April 8, 2-3pm
In his new exhibition, Hello Darkness My Old Friend, Davin Watne presents two bodies of work that explore the concept of darkness – both the physical absence of natural light and the feeling of deep foreboding. Darkness is explored as an emotional state, a physical space, and a cultural signifier. “There seems to be a nervous uncertainty about the future during this time of recovery. Our collective defenses are down as we have come to terms with our incredible nakedness toward the forces of circumstance. We commune once again with the wisdom that darkness holds. We try our best to decrypt its messages. Only when our eyes adjust and our pupils widen do we see what we need to move forward.” – Davin Watne
The first series located in the northeast gallery examines contemporary news media. Through many painted layers, Watne recreates fractured news studio interiors and depicts cable news personalities engaging in salacious behaviors. His paintings revel in the fabricated reality that the news space engenders. These narratives take the “news” to its logical end point of violent implosion. This experience is explored by employing the slow medium of painting. His labor-intensive process negotiates time by re-presenting the continually pregnant moment of the
news feed.
1600 Liberty St., Kansas City, MO 64102 / 816.842.5877 /

ISAIAH LEE is a contemporary expressionist painter from Kansas City, Missouri. He primarily works in acrylic paint but will add various media intuitively, those media being primarily oil pastel and acrylic paint markers. To illustrate his ideas of the world, he often uses bold colors coupled with fantastical stories of exploration and romance, as well as apocalyptic battles between light and dark
saiahleeart on Instagram

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