Hot Hands 'Pulls Back The Curtain' On The Artistic Process For Annual Fundraiser

Jan 23, 2017

Art is a process that often takes place in quiet spaces, away from large crowds. But on Saturday night, Madeline Gallucci and Kendell Harbin say they plan to pull back the curtain on the creative impulse.

Co-directors of the Crossroads gallery Front/Space, Gallucci and Harbin invited 28 artists to draw, paint, print and collage original works for the four-hour live drawing fundraiser. As each work is completed, it goes on the gallery wall for immediate sale at $30.
 

Organizers estimate 900 people attended the Hot Hands fundraising event over the course of the evening last year.
Credit Tim Amundson / Courtesy Front/Space

At the event, Harbin says, “artists get to be rock stars. Hot Hands is a way for people to feel the magic of making art.”

The second annual fundraiser for Front/Space, Hot Hands will be held at The Drugstore, a studio space in Kansas City's historic Katz Drugstore at Westport Road and Main Street. Gallucci says they want people to be able to take home not just a work of art, but an experience.
 

The moment an artist finishes a work it goes up on the wall for immediate sale.
Credit Tim Amundson / Courtesy Front/Space

“The size and the price were all very deliberate in making the work accessible,” says Gallucci. “Some people might not be able to afford a piece through (an artist's) gallery, but (having a piece) made on the spot and having that magic made there, it’s almost personal to own that process and know that you got to see that from start to finish.”

Gallucci describes the diminutive Front/Space as a volunteer-run, nonprofit arts space, where Hot Hands helps support visiting artists with alternative projects. One of those was Dallas-based Kristen Cochran, who explored the idea of endings by hosting an evening-long retirement party in the gallery last December.
 

Event attendees hold up their purchases.
Credit Meanz Chan / Courtesy Front/Space

In selecting the artists for Hot Hands, Gallucci says she and Harbin looked for artists of different ages and at different stages in their careers who worked quickly and methodically.

“I think a lot of the artists last year didn’t know how they would respond to the pressure or having a lot of people around," she says. "Some who were really shy and scared of it thrived on the energy and actually produced more than they thought they were going to.”

Danni Parelman says she was initially a little nervous when she was approached to participate last year. She says her process can be slow: Often, a work can take weeks to complete in her studio at 31st and Cherry Streets.
 

Parelman says last year's event took her out of her comfort zone.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

“I remember just halfway through just looking up and thinking, ‘Oh God, there are so many people here,’” Parelman says of last year's event. “I did not expect there to be that massive of a turnout. People would be standing there watching you. That was kind of a trip.”

Andy Ozier says he is comfortable working in front of people.

“It comes naturally, just calming in a way,” says Ozier. “I’m able to block out everything else out around me and focus in on one person.”
 

Andy Ozier looks through a stack of small works in his Troostwood neighborhood art studio.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

To prepare for the event last year, Ozier set up a chair and drew anyone willing to sit for him.

“I set a timer for approximately ten minutes and just quickly produced a little portrait of their likeness,” he says. “It’s not, you know, an exact likeness. It’s very loose and kind of scratchy.”
 

Ozier (at right) sketches a ten-minute portrait last year.
Credit Meanz Chan / Courtesy Front/Space

Parelman says she's looking forward to participating again this year.

“The whole experience kind of lingered with me for awhile after having done it, because I’d never done anything like that before,” Parelman says. “It challenges you as an artist to think about the way you make work.”

Front/Space presents Hot Hands 2017, Saturday, January 28, 6-10 p.m. at The Drugstore 3948 Main St, Kansas City, Missouri, 64111.

Julie Denesha is a freelance photographer and reporter for KCUR. Follow her @juliedenesha.