Connecting Kansas City through art 6

Artist Vanessa Lacy finds peace painting landmarks

Artist Vanessa Lacy has two things that bring her the most joy: running outside and painting. This is reflected in some of the artwork she produces: her grandparents’ lake at sunset, a campfire at night, fountains at Loose Park, or the Crossroads district of Kansas City.

“Running outside and painting bring me the closest to my Creator. They bring me bliss and allow me to reflect and connect with spirituality. I see painting as an outlet. I grew up in a small rural town, and spent lots of time outside. I was always playing in the forest, around the pond, fishing. This is how I started landscape painting,” Lacy says.

From this small town beginning, Lacy attended Missouri State University, where she got her first art job at Bass Pro Shops, painting fish on outdoor domes and other projects. From there, she was an art teacher in the Belton school district for nine years, resigning in May to concentrate on art full time.

“I never thought I’d miss having a boss. Now, I’m the decision maker, the worker, the marketer, the one in charge of branding. It forces me to be disciplined. Time management and staying balanced can be a challenge.  But now I can concentrate on my art full-time, with art lessons, art fairs, and commissions. I’m always working to be a better artist, how to improve my skills and how to connect with more people,” Lacy says.

Lacy does oil paintings on a wood panel and likes the sturdiness of the wood. It’s easy to transport, doesn’t get damaged easily, and is easy to keep in storage. Lacy paints either on site or in her studio in the West Bottoms and has her work shown in galleries. One of the places Lacy shows her work is the Art and Frame Warehouse, in the Shops at Boardwalk at 8648 N. Boardwalk Avenue.

“Sean found me at an art fair a couple years ago, when he was scouting for local artists. I’ve learned a lot there, and it’s been a great opportunity. My art might look cool, but when they put it in the frame, it really looks great. They have a great eye for color and what frame will be best, “ Lacy says.

Lacy loves to paint landmarks of Kansas City and create something meaningful for the buyer.

“People emotionally connect with landmarks, so hopefully they also make an emotional connection with my art. I’ve also started doing maps of cities. They have so much meaning, so personalized. Where someone got engaged, or an aerial satellite of a farm,  it’s a way to give something super meaningful. I can do a commission of any landmark or place to give as great gift,” Lacy says.

While Lacy loves connecting with her city, July found her in Colorado, as a way to relax and create some art with a different landscape than Kansas City.

“I hope to make people connect to their natural landmarks. I will be at art fairs in Vail and Lake Dillon, and hope to paint national parks and outdoor scenes while camping, like campfires. I love painting with color, so I’m looking forward to seeing the sunsets, sunrises over the mountain ranges,” Lacy says.

Connecting with people is important to Lacy, and social media is a way she hopes to do that. She is on Instagram at Vanessa_Lacy_, and her Facebook page is Art by Vanessa Jade Lacy. Email her at and ask to be added to her mailing list to be informed of upcoming shows.