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Community and Creativity Combine at Crossroads Branch

Friday May 30, 2014

For mobank customers, a visit to the Crossroads branch may mean becoming a part of a creative process or walking out the proud owner of a new, original work of art. With the addition of the Artist in Residence program, people have the opportunity to interact with local artists as they create their unique pieces of work.

Located in an area of Kansas City known nationwide for being a “community of makers” and home to the city’s monthly “First Fridays,” artists work from improvised studios in the lobby of the Crossroads branch. They bring their typically private creative processes to an often surprised and always curious audience.

“We’re all used to seeing finished art – on our walls, and in galleries and stores. It’s exciting and fascinating to see these pieces of art come to life. And it’s an honor to be invited to share the creative process,” said Julie Nelson Meers, senior vice president, who offices from the Crossroads branch. “Some people will watch from afar but many, myself included, just can’t help but get a little closer, ask questions and interact. The process of creating is often as interesting as the end product.”

Earlier this year, a turntable-inspired stenograph greeted patrons as they entered the branch. Local artist Bobby Howsare, a staple in the Kansas City arts scene, crafted the idea. Pens were fastened to the turntable’s arm and as it rotated, intricate line drawings were created.

Bobby HowsareBobby Howsare

Artist Amy Fredman brought her unique form of painting to mobank’s Crossroads branch in April. Using a simple, noncomputerized home sewing machine, Amy uses individual stitches to create depth, texture and the appearance of color mixing for portraits and portrayals.

Amy Fredman

In February and again this May, the branch featured Charlie Mylie. Known affectionately as “Pop-Up Charlie” for his spontaneous art appearances, Charlie created custom cards and postcards inspired by an image, thought or idea suggested by his visitor. Each person left with original art inspired by his or her own ideas.

Popup Charlie

“While we consider ourselves fortunate to have many artists as customers, it’s not about featuring only our customers’ work,” said Nelson Meers. “The Artist in Residence program is about our neighborhood and the community that makes it so interesting. People who call the Crossroads home pursue the idea that ‘work’ is so much more than a means to an end, or a paycheck. They work with a grand purpose and that’s so admirable. We really enjoy their company.”

mobank plans to continue celebrating the Crossroads’ inventive environment by bringing artists and customers together every few months at the branch on 125 SW Boulevard. The branch also offers its interior walls and exterior billboard/ artboards to artists to display work throughout the year.

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