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Kevin Kresse

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  • How Kevin won the right to sculpt Johnny Cash for display in Washington D.C.
  • The process of bronzing a sculptor.
  • His idea for a statue garden featuring all the musical performers from Arkansas.
  • Will he teach sculpting at the new art center.

Scroll down for a transcript of the show

Up In Your Business is a Radio Show by FlagandBanner.com

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Hilary Downey and Bridget Shinn

 Arkansas native, painter and sculptor Kevin Kresse, has exhibited his work around Arkansas, in New York, Washington DC, Memphis and Atlanta.

His work has been featured in articles in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Arkansas Times, the North Little Rock Times, the Little Rock Free Press, Active Years magazine and Soiree magazine. He has also been featured in pieces produced by the local affiliates of ABC, CBS and PBS television, as well as a short film by Garret Lakin.

"I've always loved the faces and the human figure," Kresse said. "I started drawing them as a youngster and the painting and sculpting just followed as a natural extension of the drawing for me. Also, my art heroes were figurative painters and sculptors."


 Podcast Links


Transcript Begins:

EPISODE 222

INTRODUCTION]

00:00:09] GM: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Through storytelling and conversational interviews, this weekly radio show and podcast offers listeners an insider’s view into commonalities of successful people and the ups and downs of risk taking. Connect with Kerry through her candid, funny, informative and always encouraging weekly blog.

Now, it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.

INTERVIEW]

00:00:33] KM: This is the second time I've had the pleasure of interviewing my guest today, the multi-talented visual artist Mr. Kevin Kresse. It seems like every time I pick up the paper, or turn on the TV, there's a new story about my friend Kevin, and one of his many art projects. Kevin's work has been featured in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the Arkansas Times and every other print, or magazine you can think of in the state.

In video, he is continually being interviewed by affiliates of ABC, CBS, PBS television, as well as a short film by his friend Garrett Larkin. Just this past year, his talent was nationally recognized. Kevin's seven-foot-tall statue of Johnny Cash, with his guitar slung over his back, was selected to represent Arkansas and forever stand in Washington DC at the United States Capitol. Kevin Kresse, known for his new drawings, oil paintings – Are the oil or acrylic?

00:01:36] KK: Oil.

00:01:38] KM: Oil paintings. That's why you're crazy. You know that stuff makes you crazy?

00:01:42] KK: Seems right.

00:01:44] KM: Yeah. Oil paintings. Haunting blue eyes and premature white hair, is now known for his sculptures and his large murals. You will recognize some, if not all of his current

work, which are a commission bust of Arkansas drummer and singer Levon Helm of the band, a seven-foot tall, 1,300-pound bronze statue of the famed ranger and war hero, General William Darby from Fort Smith, Arkansas. A large outdoor mural in Northern Rock called, love this, Dog Town Proud. I am two more large outdoor works on the Little Rock Seventh Street mural project. Sculptures at Mount St. Mary's and at St. Joseph Center of Arkansas. As I said, more recently commissioned by the Senate to represent Arkansas in the nation's capital with a statue of his Johnny Cash. It is my pleasure to welcome to the table, my friend, the talented and successful artist extraordinaire, Mr. Kevin Kresse.

00:02:43] KK: Wow. I think we covered everything. I'm leaving.

00:02:48] KM: I've interviewed you before. What do you think about my new digs?

00:02:51] KK: Yeah, very nice.

00:02:53] GM: There's air-conditioning here.

00:02:54] KK: That's what was throwing me. I knew there was something I couldn't put my finger on.

00:02:59] KM: It was 2017 the last time that I interviewed you. Yeah, there was no air-conditioning.

00:03:05] KK: Well, and I was also laughing, because last time you interviewed me, you started asking about well, how many did you sell your first show? I was like, “None.” How about the second show? “None.” How many on your third? “None.” I'm sure you're thinking, this is a show about successful entrepreneurs. We might need to rethink asking you here.

00:03:26] KM: I was going to ask you, you remember that, because I went back and listened to that show. We got so tickled that we had to go to break.

00:03:33] KK: I know, because later I was thinking, there should have been an intervention.

00:03:38] KM: I was like, “Oh, yeah. When did you start?” He tells me. Then, oh, what did you sell? “Nothing.” What

inaudible 00:03:43]? Nothing. I was like, “Oh, God. This is the worst air we ever did.” We're not going to revisit that whole show. I do want to tell our listeners, if they want to go back and hear the 2017 show, it talks about college and a career in art, and how there's really not a college degree that says, “Go out and be an artist.” They all say, go out and be an architect, or a designer, or ad agency. You did that.

We talked about you and Bridget quit your jobs and going to Italy. We talked about your family support in the last interview. We talked about how long it took you to get started, which I believe you said was nine years before it could support you. Nine or 10, something like that. The twins were born when you started making money.

00:04:33] KK: Yeah. I was sputtering along doing okay before that, but of course, I wasn't responsible for all the sudden, twins. Bridget wasn't working.

00:04:45] KM: You were responsible for twins.

00:04:47] KK: No. I mean, right before they were born.

00:04:49] KM: No, you are really responsible for twins. You were there. That is why you have twins. You have no one? Any regrets about –

00:04:58] KK: Well, we haven't done the DNA testing.

00:05:02] KM: Well, they look too much like you.

00:05:03] KK: Yes, they do.

00:05:04] KM: They've got your artist sensibility, don't they?

00:05:05] KK: Yes, they do. All three do.

00:05:09] KM: I was going to say, is your daughter still –

00:05:11] KK: She had her first show last month and just killed it.

00:05:13] KM: Really? Where’s she living?

00:05:14] KK: She broke my record. That's for sure.

00:05:16] KM: Yeah. Because she had her first show and sold something.

00:05:18] KK: Yeah. Like 80% of her show.

00:05:20] KM: Really? Where was it?

00:05:22] KK: It was at the New Deal Studio, down 20th in Louisiana.

00:05:26] KM: In Little Rock, Arkansas?

00:05:26] KK: In Little Rock, Arkansas.

00:05:27] KM: I thought she was living in New York.

00:05:29] KK: She was. She was doing some work up there, going back and forth. But no, she's living here.

00:05:35] KM: What is your advice to your daughter?

00:05:39] KK: My advice to my daughter.

00:05:40] KM: About art.

00:05:43] KK: Well, for instance, the New Deal Studio, Lee and John were really – I've been there before. It's all set up. She had so much work. To have a gallery show, this was great, because she had tons of drawings. It was almost more like an art garage sale. I said, well, I wouldn't worry about doing a gallery show per se. Let's see if we can rent a space. Use whatever recognition that the Kresse name has with me and then my sister Cynthia's work.

Social media changes everything. You don't have to go run around putting up flyers on flagpoles like I did.

00:06:25] KM: I bought your early work, thankfully, back when it was affordable.

00:06:30] KK: Oh, just like Tesla stock.

00:06:33] KM: Just like Tesla.

00:06:34] KK: Exactly. I used the comparison for a year.

00:06:38] KM: Anything you would have done differently today, when you think back of those times when you first started out?

00:06:46] KK: Sure. Everything. I don't know. I mean, I think having the job, 8 to 5 job was good. Because when things would get dark, as far as the studio not selling or anything, I would go, well, it's better than 8 to 5 job. It's good to have those experiences to compare and contrast. Because otherwise, I think an 8 to 5 when things were slow, might have looked like a bright, shiny thing that I would want to do –

00:07:13] KM: But you didn't have an 8 to 5 job.

00:07:15] KK: At a college. I did.

00:07:18] KM: Oh, you were a teacher.

00:07:18] KK: No, I did advertising.

00:07:21] KM: For a college?

00:07:22] KK: No. Out right out of college.

00:07:23] KM: Oh. Yes. Right after college. You only did it for a couple of years. Then you quit and went straight into –

00:07:28] KK: Yes, yes, yes. I'm just saying, when I was in the studio, when I was working on my own and things would look bleak, you're by yourself all day, so you can get in your head way too easily and start swirling around the toilet. During those times, I'm saying an 8 to 5 job, if I had not had that experience that could look like too much of a bright and shiny thing.

00:07:48] KM: Oh, so you might have quit and gone back.

00:07:50] KK: Yeah, and gone back into –

00:07:51] KM: But you’d already done it.

00:07:52] KK: I'd already done it. I know what I was about. I can share those experiences with my daughter. She's doing a little bit of that.

00:08:00] KM: Today I want to talk, you married the perfect woman, because Bridget's been very supportive.

00:08:04] KK: Oh, totally. Yeah. When the twins were coming, I was like, I need to be responsible. I mean, digging behind the car seat for Taco Bell change, it's fine for me, but not so cool as a dad. Yeah, Bridget was the one who said, “That's not who you are. That's not who we are. We'll make this work.”

00:08:25] KM: God, I love her. Today, I want to talk about what's happened since our last interview.

00:08:29] KK: All righty.

00:08:30] KM: The last time we spoke, you had a GoFund account, trying to raise money to have Levon Helm’s bust bronzed.

00:08:36] KK: Oh, right.

00:08:38] KM: You need you needed 25,000. The GoFundMe was at 11,000. What's the status of that?

00:08:44] KK: It is in his home.

00:08:46] KM: Bbronzed?

00:08:47] KK: Bronze. Yes.

00:08:49] KM: You raised the money.

00:08:49] KK: Yes.

00:08:50] KM: You got it bronzed. Then there was another piece of Levon Helm’s memorial, or memorabilla. I don't know. Museum, I guess maybe it was. Was in Woodstock. There was a farm there also.

00:09:03] KK: Yes. I'm still hoping that that'll work out to get a casting to go to Woodstock.

00:09:08] KM: They’re still struggling to get his farm up there working.

00:09:12] KK: Yeah. I think they're still –

00:09:13] KM: That's his daughter. The one at your bust is in what city?

00:09:17] KK: That's in Marville, because he was from the suburb of Marville. Turkey Scratch.

00:09:23] GM: So great.

00:09:26] KK: You can't make those things up.

00:09:27] KM: Turkey Scratch.

00:09:28] KK: Turkey Scratch. I love it so much.

00:09:29] KM: Turkey Scratch, Arkansas.

00:09:31] KK: The bust is in his home, which has been refurbished.

00:09:34] KM: And open to the public?

00:09:34] KK: And it's open to the public.

00:09:36] KM: Nice. Where is Turkey Scratch close to?

00:09:38] KK: Over by Helena.

00:09:39] KM: Oh, okay. Sure. Where all the music comes out of.

00:09:41] KK: You bet.

00:09:42] KM: I think, the most interesting thing about the Levon Helm story from our last time we interviewed was how many times you watched the Last Waltz, to get an idea and to get to know the character. Then, how you finally decided on the bust pose. Tell our listeners what it is. Because when you see it, you know it.

00:10:01] KK: Yeah. Well, it's him singing. He would put so much of himself when he was singing. I mean, he just amazes me that the physicality of his drumming, and then to be able to force all that volume of air out to be singing and then to be hearing, especially in Last Waltz, he had horns binding. I mean, it's pretty phenomenal. Anyway, I had, I think, originally, maybe a vowel sound of O, or something when he was singing.

00:10:27] KM: No, it was the end.

00:10:28] KK: Was it? Well, I know. Then I said, this isn't working. I started reworking it, until I could find one that I thought fit. Then I went, “Ah, there it is.” Actually, it's right in between the N and the I.

00:10:42] KM: On night.

00:10:42] KK: The night. Yeah.

00:10:44] KM: What's the tune?

00:10:46] KK: It's the night they drove old Dixie down.

00:10:48] KM: The night they drove old Dixie down. You know that song?

00:10:51] GM: Yeah. I couldn't sing it to you.

00:10:52] KM: The night. There it is. They drove old Dixie down. All the bells were ringing in the night.

00:11:01] GM: This is the second show we've recorded that mom has decided to sing.

00:11:04] KM: And I can't sing.

00:11:06] KK: She breaks into the same song every time.

00:11:08] GM: No, it’s not always –

00:11:11] KM: I always talk about how I can't sing, and my son who's a freaking opera singer over there won’t help me.

00:11:16] KK: No. See, I was going to jump in, just because that's us. But then I thought, but Bridget has a great ear. See, and I trigger migraines in her when I sing. I've learned to stop myself.

00:11:26] KM: See, what Gray does. He's like, “Mom, please no.” All right, you had also just finished installing the William Darby statue in Fort Smith. There was a 90-year-old ranger there who was part of the Darby pier. Do you know if he's still alive?

00:11:41] KK: He died a few months after that. I think, he might have been 95. Anyway, he was old. Yes. William punch gallop.

00:11:48] KM: Oh, you remember his name.

00:11:49] KK: Yeah. His nickname was Punch, because he was the 1940s Golden Glove champ.

00:11:53] KM: Was he the only guy that came for the installation of that statue?

00:11:56] KK: Oh, no. There were tons of rangers there.

00:11:58] KM: Oh, they were.

00:12:00] KK: But he was the only one from Darby’s original 500 men.

00:12:04] KM: We've talked about two bronzes you’ve done. One down by Helena and Levon Helm’s house. Then one in Fort Smith is big, seven-foot, 1,300 pound statute. I didn't realize that that ranger from Fort Smith started the rangers.

00:12:24] KK: Yeah. In fact, they were called Darby’s Rangers.

00:12:27] KM: All right, this is a great place to take a break. When we come back, we'll continue our conversation with Kevin Kresse, the artists chosen and approved by the Senate to sculpt a bronze statue of Arkansas’ favorite son, Johnny Cash. His statue along with another artist statue of Daisy Bates will stand in our nation's state capitol. They are Arkansas’ forever representation in Washington DC. Still to come, how this opportunity came about and where he is in the process. And about his other current works, murals on the Little Rock’s Seventh Street project and my fave, Dogtown Proud at North Little Rock, Arkansas. We'll be right back.

BREAK]

00:13:05] GM: You're listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Over 40 years ago with only $400, Kerry founded Arkansas Flag and Banner. During the last four decades, the business has grown and changed along with Kerry's experience and leadership knowledge. In 1995, she embraced the Internet and rebranded her company as simply, flagandbanner.com. In 2004, she became an early blogger. Since then, she has founded the non-profit Friends of Dreamland Ballroom; began publishing her magazine, Brave. In 2016, branched out into this very radio show, YouTube channel and podcast.

In 2020, Kerry McCoy enterprises acquired ourcornermarket.com, an online company specializing in American made plaques, signage and memorials for over 20 years. More recently, opened a satellite office in Miami, Florida. Telling American made stories, selling American made flags, the flagandbanner.com. Back to you, Kerry.

EPISODE CONTINUED]

00:14:06] KM: You're listening to Up in Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. I'm speaking today with renowned Little Rock artist, muralist and sculptor, Kevin Kresse. Tell us, when you heard you'd been awarded the commission to represent Arkansas and sculpt the seven-foot-tall Johnny Cash and what you did.

00:14:22] KK: Okay. It's actually going to be eight feet. Yeah, even better.

00:14:27] KM: Even better.

00:14:27] KK: Then on a three-foot pedestal. It can't exceed 11 feet are the rules up there. He'll be 11 feet altogether.

00:14:34] KM: He's got the guitar on the back.

00:14:36] KK: He’s got the guitar on the back. His left hand is over on his chest where the strap, the guitar strap goes through. Then in his right hand, tucked back is the Bible. He was actually an ordained minister.

00:14:50] KM: Always, or just in his late –

00:14:52] KK: I think his later part. His cousin told me that.

00:14:54] KM: Oh. He get that online?

00:14:58] KK: I have zero idea about that one.

00:15:01] KM: That’s what I thought –

00:15:02] KK: My husband is ordained, technically.

00:15:04] KM: Your husband?

00:15:05] KK: Who is my husband. Yes.

00:15:07] KM: Well, anybody can get one.

00:15:08] KK: That's exactly right.

00:15:12] KM: Sorry, Drew. Go ahead.

00:15:14] KK: Anyway, so how did this come about? Okay, this is interesting. When I did the bust of Levon, I was talking to the people in Marville. The house was not open at this point. It's just one of those little shotgun houses with a little porch that runs the length of the house. They said, they would find people from all over on his porch. That'd be from Japan, New Zealand, all over Europe. They were just coming to see where Levon grew up. I thought, this is amazing, because a lot of people don't know who Levon Helm is. I just started thinking back then, of all the amazing influential musical artists that come, especially from the Arkansas Delta side. I started going, you see, we have Johnny Cash. There's Al Green.

00:16:03] KM: Rosetta Tharpe.

00:16:04] KK: Sister Rosetta Tharpe. 10 miles down the road is Louis Jordan. Those two are probably the two people most responsible for rock and roll music. Big Bill Broonzy. There’s Silverfox, Charlie Rich.

00:16:20] KM: Charlie Rich is from Arkansas?

00:16:21] KK: Colt. Colt, Arkansas. There's Conway Twitty.

00:16:25] KM: Conway Twitty. Yeah.

00:16:28] KK: Of course, then move over there. Playing Campbell is over from the light and everything. Anyway, I just started cataloging all these people.

00:16:34] KM: Louis Jordan.

00:16:36] KK: He's from Brinkley. Right. I mean, I can keep going. I mean, William Grant Still from Little Rock, his first African-American to have a major orchestra performance, same as a female is Florence Price.

00:16:49] KM: Yeah, Florence Price.

00:16:50] KK: Pharaoh Sanders from North Little Rock.

00:16:53] KM: Oh, my gosh. It does just go on and on.

00:16:56] KK: It's incredible. I was like, why are we not promoting these people? At that point, I just started a little build that nail. Hopefully, they'll come project on my own. I started sculpting bust. I did Johnny Cash 1960s version.

00:17:12] KM: What's that? What would that look like?

00:17:14] KK: Oh, just short hair, the pompadour. I did Al Green. I did Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Started on Louis Jordan. I did Glen Campbell. All these are all my own. They're not cast yet or anything.

00:17:29] KM: They're all sitting around in your –

00:17:31] KK: Yeah. I have my little Madame Tussaud's thing in my house for a while now. They’re over in the –

00:17:38] GM: Please tell me they’re not made of wax.

00:17:42] KM: Are you going to sell them?

00:17:44] KK: Well, the idea that I have is I want to find the funding, maybe foundation does grant funded. I'd like to cast two. I'd like to find a central location. Especially maybe downtown, where the tourists are coming through. Then, well actually, for Arkansas, yours as well. So many people don't know that these people are from here. Have them grouped. Then the other casting go to the hometowns of all these people.

00:18:12] KM: What do you mean, two casting? You mean –

00:18:14] KK: Cast the sculpture twice. I have one casting here for the group. Then other one in the hometowns.

00:18:21] GM: You're thinking a sculpture garden downtown, or something like that?

00:18:24] KK: Something where they're together, until you get the power of walking around and people going, “Oh, I didn't know Al Green was from Arkansas.” We were just talking, “Oh, I didn't know he was from Arkansas.”

00:18:35] GM: Sounds so cool.

00:18:37] KM: I’m so in love with that idea.

00:18:39] KK: I know. Me too. Yeah, I think it would be incredible.

00:18:42] KM: Let’s see. How many of those played in Dreamland? Louis Jordan.

00:18:46] GM: Al Green did, didn't he?

00:18:48] KM: I don't know if Al Green did, but I know Rosetta Tharpe did.

00:18:52] GM: That’s the idea.

00:18:53] KK: I started that on my own. Here's the other weird thing. When we were living in Italy for a year in 2010 to 2011, we met a couple from Portland, Oregon. Nick, and I just hit it. He reminded me of my two best friends. I could blend. We just started messing with each other. They had two daughters, and they were wanting to do a year in Italy. They ended up picking our brains a lot about how we pulled it off. They ended up doing a year in Genoa. Probably around that same time we did the interview, Jacqueline, the wife, she wrote a book on how to do a year abroad. She emailed me and said, “I've got a bunch of fact-checking questions, because you and Bridget are in the book.”

Anyway, I answered those. She goes, “What are you working on?” I said, “Well, right now, I'm doing a bust of Johnny Cash for this project that I've got going on my own.” She goes, “Oh, I'm friends with his youngest daughter, Tara. She lives here in Portland, and we're in a writers group together. Do you want me to connect you two?” This is too great. Anyway, we were born two days apart. Tara and I were born two days apart. We became pen pals. I would send her pictures. I still haven't met her in person.

00:20:09] KM: Still?

00:20:09] KK: No. During all this process, then I started hearing the talk about the possible DC project. Now Daisy Bates was chosen first and she was in. Then there was a lot of discussion about who the other person was going to be. I think towards the end, it was coming down between Johnny and Sam Walton.

00:20:31] KM: Oh, interesting.

00:20:33] KK: Yeah. Anyway, obviously, we know how that turned out.

00:20:38] KM: They picked Johnny Cash before they saw your sculpture, or did they –

00:20:44] KK: No, that had nothing to do –

00:20:46] KM: Nothing to do with it.

00:20:46] KK: Nothing to do with it.

00:20:48] KM: You heard that was going to be Johnny Cash, so you saw –

00:20:51] KK: Oh, I had my pom poms out going hard.

00:20:54] KM: Go Johnny.

00:20:54] KK: Go Johnny.

00:20:55] KM: Go Johnny go. I'm going to say again. No. How did you apply?

00:21:02] KK: Man, it was like writing your thesis paper and doing your taxes, 10 years of tax. It was a long application.

00:21:13] KM: How long did it take you?

00:21:15] KK: It took a long time. I think my packet was almost 48 pages long, something. With photos and all accounts.

00:21:22] KM: So you FedEx it up there, I guess.

00:21:24] KK: Well, I was able to bring mine in and drop it off hand. Drop it off at the Capitol, since I was about two minutes before the deadline. So typical with me.

00:21:31] KM: Such an artist. That's good. They got to see you.

00:21:37] KK: Yeah, for whatever that was worth. Handed that off. Then yeah, then I was told I was in the top three. Then we were given, I'm trying to think now, maybe a few months to come up with the models to present to the committees.

00:21:54] KM: The three of you have to come up with models.

00:21:55] KK: Yes.

00:21:59] KM: Okay. You contacted your senator by now? Are you thinking, I need some help on the inside?

00:22:05] KK: That was crossing my mind, but I didn't want to have that. I wanted to win on my own bonafides.

00:22:13] KM: Don't be so naive. Call in everybody.

00:22:16] GM: Artist integrity mother. Artist integrity.

00:22:20] KK: Well, and not only that. I ended up cutting off conversation with Tara and everybody, because I didn't want any –

00:22:27] KM: Influence.

00:22:28] KK: Yeah. Well, I didn't want anybody coming back. Oh, that wasn't fair. He's friends with Johnny's daughter, or anything like that.

00:22:34] KM: Oh, I got you. Okay, so now you're down. You got to put three together and you're thinking, I've got three months. What am I going to sculpt? Did you already know what you want to sculpt? I mean, you've done one of him in the 1960s. You're thinking, am I going to do the slick pompadour?

00:22:47] KK: Right. I ended up thinking, probably early 1970s, when he had the TV show was probably his most recognizable timeframe. I had already zeroed in on thinking I needed to do that time. He was healthy. It's a good stretch there.

00:23:04] KM: Is that what you did, the 70s? Is that statue of the 70s? He had long hair.

00:23:10] KK: Yeah. He was probably around 40 at that time.

00:23:12] KM: He had long hair on the statue.

00:23:15] KK: Yeah. It's in between when the pompadour is growing out, and then the hair is getting longer on the back. Yeah, that type of thing.

00:23:22] KM: What's Johnny Cash thinking?

00:23:24] KK: For me, it's an emotional goal that I'm after. I created a story in my head about what's going on. The dream sequence that I had going was, Johnny comes back, he's going to play at the festival, his own festival. He hasn't seen the house refurbished yet. He's gone through the house for the first time. He's reliving all these memories. He comes out on the porch and he's getting ready to go play. That's why he has this guitar and everything. He's looking down. He's looked out at the fields. He’s thinking about his brother that died and everything. Then he's looking down reflecting on his life before he gets ready to walk over to the stage. It's this very introspective time. Johnny has an extremely difficult face.

00:24:09] KM: He does. Why?

00:24:10] KK: Because you're taught, mouth, nose, eyes, parallel, center line, all of his is slightly off. Yes, nose kicks off a little bit this way. The eyes and the mouth are moving at a different angle towards one another. If you do what you're supposedly supposed to do as an artist, it's just not going to look like.

00:24:33] KM: He's not very attractive. Let's just be honest.

00:24:35] KK: Oh, I think he's amazing.

00:24:38] KM: It's weird how some people think he's attractive.

00:24:41] GM: He's fascinating looking. He's always got that cocked eyebrow. That solid cowboy thing.

00:24:49] KK: Those dark eyes are intense.

00:24:50] KM: I just think he has a presence, but I don't think he's somebody you'd see on a poster and go, “That's a good-looking guy.” It's about his presence, I think, more than anything.

00:25:00] KK: I’ll give you that.

00:25:03] KM: Okay. Thank you. You take it up there. Then how long do you have to wait?

00:25:08] KK: It seemed like forever. Because I was just dying. I felt good about it. I mean, after the presentations.

00:25:15] KM: Did you have to do an oral presentation with it?

00:25:17] KK: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

00:25:19] KM: Well, who could not like you anyway? That seals the deal right there. You're a good artist in the way that you can also articulate and sell yourself. Not all artists can do that. Some artists are so in their head all the time that it's hard for them to get the words out. You have a good gift of gab, too.

00:25:39] KK: Made words put together make sentence. Many make paragraph. Yes.

00:25:44] KM: Exactly. How long do you have to wait? A couple of weeks, months?

00:25:47] KK: No. It was maybe a week or so.

00:25:49] KM: Okay. That's not very long. You get the phone call. Is that how you got it?

00:25:53] KK: Yeah. Actually, I was down Boulevard, down on Main Street. The guy at the Secretary of State's Office.

00:25:58] KM: Arkansas?

00:25:59] KK: Yeah, here. Was calling. In fact, when I left after the presentations, I told him, I said, “Listen, if I don't win, text me. I promise, I will call you back. I will be too heartbroken to hear the news verbally. Just text me.” I'm at the Boulevard down on Main Street. Actually, I'm with my friend. I happened to run, Robert Best.

00:26:21] KM: Oh, yeah. Another sculptor.

00:26:23] KK: Robert’s, yeah, down there. I'm talking. I'm going, “Yeah, I'm waiting. Da, da, da, da.” Then I look down and I see that the – it’s actually the State's office is calling.

00:26:31] KM: You’re like, “I told him to only call if I won.”

00:26:34] GM: Or did. Did you just lose it right there in the middle of the restaurant?

00:26:36] KK: Oh, I got teary-eyed. Yeah. I mean, yeah.

00:26:38] KM: I’m about to get teary-eyed just thinking about it. I’ve got goosebumps on my leg. You’re going to cry again right now.

00:26:43] KK: I am going to cry again.

00:26:45] KM: Always cries on the show. How long is it going to be before you get it done?

00:26:52] KK: Right now, the three foot – I just got approval just a few weeks ago.

00:26:58] KM: The final approved.

00:26:58] KK: The final approval. They’re worried about the guitar. Daisy got approved early on. Benjamin’s already probably close to finish with his clay.

00:27:06] KM: Are you and Benjamin friends?

00:27:09] KK: Yeah, we are now. Bridget and I invited all the artists over to our house for dinner after the presentations, because we didn't –

00:27:15] KM: In Washington?

00:27:15] KK: No, here. The day that we all made our presentations. Because we didn't know who obviously who had won at that point.

00:27:22] KM: But they don't live here.

00:27:24] KK: That's why everybody came in town to do the presentations.

00:27:28] KM: In Washington, DC.

00:27:29] KK: No. Here in Little Rock. For the Arkansas sculpture, they came to Arkansas.

00:27:34] KM: Oh. You made your presentation in Arkansas?

00:27:35] KK: Yeah. At the Capitol here.

00:27:36] KM: Oh, I was thinking you did it at the capitol in Washington, DC.

00:27:40] KK: No, we were here in Little Rock.

00:27:41] KM: Oh, I get you.

00:27:42] KK: Yeah. Benjamin have come in from Idaho. A friend, Brett, came down from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Yeah.

00:27:50] KM: Now, y'all are all friends.

00:27:52] KK: Yeah. We invited everybody over for dinner. He came, his wife was pregnant. Then Brett came. The other woman had to catch a flight, so she couldn't.

00:28:03] KM: Were there very many female sculptors?

00:28:05] KK: Just one. That was in the final.

00:28:08] KM: Are there very many in the whole industry of sculpting, are the very many female sculptors?

00:28:12] KK: Not a lot.

00:28:14] KM: I would think not.

00:28:14] KK: Not a lot.

00:28:15] KM: Let's talk about the process. You might get into – I heard this. I watched your French Hill interview that you did, I think a week or so ago. I remember you telling him that you made it three-feet tall. Then you took photographs of it all the way around and send it off to somebody who then makes a Styrofoam replication.

00:28:39] KK: Oh, whoa, whoa.

00:28:40] KM: Because I'm like, how do you get from three feet to that?

00:28:41] KK: To eight feet. Well, you either do it – you either just do your own armature out of metal, steel, rebar and build it up yourself. Or what I'm doing right now, it's the three-foot version is I take it, they scan it vertically, and then move the whole piece one degree, scan, until they go 360 times around, make a 3d model. Yeah. They have large blocks of foam and it's a wooden lathe. I say, I wanted eight feet. Computer says that and it goes – starts carving it all the way down vertically and the whole block of foam turns one degree and it does it again and cuts it out. The final piece, it's not like –

00:29:23] KM: It is 3D modeling.

00:29:25] GM: Yeah. I was going to say it's 3D printing.

00:29:27] KK: But it’s foam. Because if I'm off a little bit, then I'm off more on the big one. I can use a knife and I can cut to see if I need to shave off, or I just build the clay up. It makes a lightweight armature. It's not done. It look like my model. Almost a light coat of snow on it. That's about the detail I get. I'm articulating, re-sculpting everything with the clay on top of that. It gives me a lot of flexibility. I can cut the head off, look at it from all angles. Put it back on. Cut the handoff, work it, put it back on. It's great for that.

00:30:03] KM: Wow. I love this whole idea.

00:30:05] GM: Yeah, that's cool. I had no idea.

00:30:07] KK: Yeah. It’s great.

00:30:09] KM: All right. This is a great place to take a break. When we come back, we'll continue our conversation with artist, sculptor, teacher and Arkansas treasure. How's it feel to be called a treasure?

00:30:17] KK: Treasure. It makes me feel happy. Especially when they say, living treasure.

00:30:22] KM: Oh, a living Arkansas.

00:30:22] KK: Like, he still has a heartbeat.

00:30:24] KM: Living treasure, Kevin Kresse. Still to come. We'll have Kevin list his outdoor works and their locations, so you can go and view it. He's got a couple of murals. We'll be right back.

BREAK]

00:30:35] ANNOUNCER: At flagandbanner.com, we share your anguish at the sites from Ukraine every night. Mothers and children in strollers fleeing their homeland and their brothers,

husbands and sons fighting to defend their unjustly attacked country. Displaying the Ukraine flag that lets the world know your heart is with the Ukrainian people. Flagandbanner.com has lots of ways for you to display your allegiance to freedom, celebrate your patriotism, and show your colors. Log on and look through our website, flagandbanner.com. Arkansas flagandbanner.com is more than just a flag store. Open six days a week.

EPISODE CONTINUED]

00:31:10] KM: You're listening to Up in Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. I'm speaking today with renowned Little Rock artist and sculptor, Kevin Kresse. Now, we're going to talk about where to find all of your outdoor – I think, you're really into outdoor. This is just me thinking it, but you used to be into drawing nudes, which I actually have a couple of. What did your wife think about you always drawing naked women? I've never asked you that. I’ve often wondered. I meant to ask Bridget actually that. What do you think about your husband going to work with naked women every day?

00:31:44] KK: Well, it wasn't every day. They weren't all nudes. There are also planning nude males.

00:31:51] KM: I have a male. I have a nude –

00:31:51] KK: Okay. Well, see. There you go.

00:31:52] KM: There you go.

00:31:56] KK: She never thought twice about it. I mean, I've been doing it since college. She just always said, because she had friends go and ask her that. Well, he's by himself in a studio with some female, whose doesn't have any clothes on.

00:32:10] KM: That's not free to call this movie, with Diego.

00:32:12] GM: Oh, Lord.

00:32:15] KK: Yeah, Diego and I are just –

00:32:18] KM: You’re Diego. You have too much Catholic guilt to do anything.

00:32:21] KK: Exactly. No, she just said, “Well, that's his job. That's what he does.”

00:32:28] KM: Was it an incident that happened that took you from drawing and painting? Or was it just this organic change?

00:32:34] KK: It was an organic change. When I started teaching it down in the museum school yard center, that was probably right when I got married, ’92. Then I started jumping into sculpture classes. Those water-based ones you fire like pottery or something. Appendages, fingers and male appendages might be getting broken off when you're moving the sculptures around. I went out to UA Little Rock and learned how to cast bronze. I started doing that. Then Bridget's old friend, her dad had one of these starter castles overlooking the river. I had a spot for a sculpture in front of them. His house.

00:33:18] GM: Starter castle?

00:33:20] KK: Yeah. It’s just one of those nude –

00:33:20] KM: A starter castle.

00:33:22] KK: Those big houses. Anyway.

00:33:24] GM: Yeah. Anyway, go ahead.

00:33:25] KK: Anyway, his wife was the decorator, but she had passed away. Anyway, I was talking with him. Anyway, ended up doing my first bronze.

00:33:31] KM: Is that the one you did in the back of my house?

00:33:33] KK: No.

00:33:34] KM: Remember the big huge picture you did of a working man in the back of Flag and Banner. We would all go –

00:33:40] KK: Oh. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. It’s like a John Henry on steroids. Yes. That’s right.

00:33:47] KM: I don't know if son Gray knows this, but the back where the warehouse is where our flags are now just been an empty warehouse. All these artists used to get to use it for free, because

inaudible 00:33:55].

00:33:55] KK: Oh, it was. It’s a great space.

00:33:56] KM: Is that the sculptor you're talking about?

00:33:57] KK: Yes. That’s exactly the sculpture I'm talking about.

00:34:00] KM: That was the beginning –

00:34:00] KK: That was my very first large sculpture.

00:34:02] KM: It was huge.

00:34:04] KK: Yeah. It was life size, a little bit over life size. Did that. That was my first bronze. Then Giana Smith saw that and he brought me on to do Baptist Hospital, which was a totally different thing. Anyway.

00:34:19] KM: What did you do for Baptist?

00:34:21] KK: Good Samaritan scene. It's in the garden in Little Rock Baptist Hospital.

00:34:26] KM: In the garden out front?

00:34:28] KK: Yeah.

00:34:28] KM: Out front.

00:34:29] KK: Right. It’s very loose.

00:34:31] KM: There's one you can go see.

00:34:32] KK: Yeah, very loose. Anyway, and then that when I was working on almost finishing that up, then the library had a call for entries for a bus to the writer D. Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, for the D. Brown library. I ended up winning that and that was my first –

00:34:50] KM: Where's that library?

00:34:50] KK: It's in southwest city on baseline. Anyway, just like I said, I like Tarzan. I've got a vine I'm swinging for. I'm looking for the next one. It's been like that for 27 years.

00:35:02] KM: It just keeps evolving.

00:35:03] KK: It does.

00:35:05] KM: That is, I think, something about all entrepreneurs and artists and actors to me are the ultimate entrepreneurs, because they never know where their next dime is coming from.

00:35:16] KK: You don’t.

00:35:16] KM: I had Joy Lauren Adams on here one time and I said, you're the ultimate entrepreneur, because you're always working on the next project. She said, “I never think of myself as an entrepreneur.” I said, oh, my gosh, you an artist, you freelance people are the ultimate.

00:35:29] KK: Right. Yeah, you got to wear a lot of hats. Sure.

00:35:33] KM: Then after that one, you did – We've told our listeners, we're telling them there's the Baptist Hospital.

00:35:40] KK: Oh, in town. Okay. Yeah.

00:35:41] KM: The Baptist Hospital, the one at the library.

00:35:43] KK: Well, I'm trying to think around town. I mean, these are out of order. I mean –

00:35:47] KM: How about Mother Earth in North Little Rock?

00:35:49] KK: That's still one of my favorites.

00:35:51] KM: Is that what it's called? Mother Earth?

00:35:52] KK: Yes.

00:35:53] KM: Where is it?

00:35:55] KK: It is on 5th Street, in between Maine and Maple, behind Capaio’s Restaurant.

00:36:00] KM: That's a nice one. You play on that, when kids can come all over.

00:36:04] GM: Oh, that one. I love that one. I didn’t know you did that one.

00:36:06] KK: Thanks. Yeah.

00:36:07] KM: Then St. Joseph for Arkansas.

00:36:10] KK: St. Joseph. Yeah, I did a donation. I did that.

00:36:13] KM: That is at the Old St. Joseph orphanage. Can people see that one?

00:36:18] KK: Yeah. It's over and by the garden area. It's over life size cement.

00:36:24] KM: What is it?

00:36:26] KK: It's the patron saint of gardening, St. Fiacre. He's holding up –

00:36:30] KM: It’s about St. Francis?

00:36:32] GM: That’s animals.

00:36:34] KM: Saint what?

00:36:36] KK: It’s Fiacre.

00:36:40] GM: I can’t Google it.

00:36:42] KK: He also is the patron saint, I'm not joking, of Parisian taxicab drivers. He's busy. He's a busy dune.

00:36:51] KM: Do you have to be Parisian?

00:36:53] KK: Evidently. I don't know. Yeah.

00:36:53] GM: Specifically Parisian taxi drivers.

00:36:55] KM: Well, they probably need some.

00:36:56] KK: They do. I did that, because my parents actually met at St. Joseph’s. They would have carnivals there every year for the parochial schools.

00:37:06] KM: At the orphanage?

00:37:07] KK: Yeah, they'd have these carnivals. Dad was at little St. Mary's. My mom was at St. Edward's, and they met there. It’s probably 1930s.

00:37:15] KM: You mean, as they were little bitty students, they met and would go to carnivals there.

00:37:20] KK: Yeah, all the parochial school students once a year, they would have a carnival there.

00:37:23] GM: So cute.

00:37:26] KK: They were in high school. They were teenagers.

00:37:27] KM: Tell our listeners how many brothers and sisters you have.

00:37:31] KK: Last count. I had 10. 10 brothers and sisters.

00:37:34] KM: You said you had.

00:37:36] KK: Actually, I have lost a couple of sisters.

00:37:39] KM: Are they older than you, I guess.

00:37:41] KK: Yes. The oldest, Karen. That's actually who I dedicated the mother a fountain to. Then just not quite two years ago, Kathy, the second oldest. But yeah, I grew up with six older sisters. That's why I always said, I had seven mothers. That's what I’m always telling Bridget. You are so lucky. You got me housebroken. You don’t’ even realize.

00:38:02] KM: That's true.

00:38:02] KK: It was true. Very true.

00:38:05] KM: Or they spoiled you rotten.

00:38:06] KK: No. No.

00:38:06] KM: That could have happened.

00:38:07] KK: No. None of that was going on.

00:38:08] KM: Let's see. Then you did the Darby. William Darby Ranger in Fort Smith. You did Levon Helms. I heard this one, you did a dog for a veterinarian clinic.

00:38:24] KK: Oh. I forgot.

00:38:25] KM: That's not around here though.

00:38:26] KK: No. That was actually the rangers again. After I did General Darby, then a veterinarian in the Rangers contacted me. I did a Belgian Malinois dog, where they wear the $20,000 vest. He sent me one and then he said, “Oh, it's $20,000” Int he meanwhile, Roman is trying to put it on our dog. I'm like, “Oh. Don’t get that away from –”

00:38:49] KM: Why is the vest so expensive?

00:38:52] GM: It's a rescue dog thing, right?

00:38:54] KK: It has a video. They communicate with it. Anyway. They'll blow a hole in the side of the building. These dogs go in and they're – You look them up on YouTube. It's amazing.

00:39:05] KM: What are they called?

00:39:07] KK: Belgian Malinois dogs. Military canines.

00:39:13] KM: He had one specific one he wanted you, or just a group of them?

00:39:16] KK: No, he just wanted one to honor all the dogs that have been lost. Right. That went to Fort Benning, Georgia.

00:39:25] KM: Wow. That's cool. You had one in the river market? Yeah, and there's all the sculpture gardens.

00:39:30] KK: Yeah, the river market. Yeah, I have one in the river market.

00:39:33] KM: Which one?

00:39:34] KK: It’s the one of the guy in a suit in a wheelbarrow with a kid that has been pushing and it stopped pushing him. Just leaning up against him.

00:39:42] KM: Do you know that one?

00:39:43] GM: I've seen that one. Is it one of the ones by the –

00:39:46] KK: It's close to that little gazebo near the main street.

00:39:51] KM: Do you have a favorite?

00:39:52] KK: I think Mother Earth is one of my favorite big public ones. Just because it's so is different. I saw it in my head and I'd never done a cement sculpture like that. I'd never done mosaics before.

00:40:09] KM: Yeah. We didn't need to tell people that Mother Earth is a cement sculpture. All these other ones we've talked about are bronze.

00:40:15] KK: Yeah, bronze. Right. Right. Anyway, that was a journey to get that one.

00:40:21] KM: You like doing musicians, obviously. We talked about that already. It sounds like you like doing religion. You did a big –

00:40:29] KK: I did a big relief for St. Michael's Hospital in Texarkana. I did another outdoor big relief for St. Michael's south of that. They called me and they said, “We took over a hospital in Atlanta, and we're wondering if you –” I was like, “Yeah, my best friend’s in Atlanta. I'd love to Atlanta, Texas.” Anyway, I did –

00:40:51] KM: You did one at Mount St. Mary's, too, didn’t you?

00:40:53] KK: That’s right. Yes. I did a resurrection crucifix for the chapel. I like doing hospitals.

00:41:05] KM: I heard you say, everybody sees something different.

00:41:09] KK: They always do. I think, what I like about the setting of a hospital is that typically, all the people that are there, that's where they need art the most. I think, that's where it can really serve its best purpose, as opposed to just being outside somewhere. That's great, too. They're emotionally at a point where art can really do its best work.

00:41:37] KM: Yeah, when you're suffering.

00:41:39] KK: Yeah. Or full of anxiety, because you don't know how things are going to be going and all those mix of emotions.

00:41:45] KM: Do you think art is cathartic for you?

00:41:48] KK: Totally. Totally.

00:41:49] KM: Could you not not do it?

00:41:50] KK: No.

00:41:51] KM: You have to do it.

00:41:52] KK: You could not.

00:41:54] KM: Did I say that right?

00:41:55] KK: I heard you. I heard you.

00:42:00] KM: He speaks Kerry. Thank you. All right, this is our last break. When we come back, we'll continue our conversation with Arkansas artist, Kevin Kresse, who is currently sculpting the seven-foot-tall sculpture of Arkansas’ favorite son, Johnny Cash, to be displayed

alongside Daisy Bates in our nation state capitol. Still to come, why art matters to communities and tips for budding artist, entrepreneurs.

BREAK]

00:42:21] GM: All UIYB past and present interviews are available at Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy's YouTube channel, Facebook page, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s digital version, flagandbanner.com’s website, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Just ask your smart speaker to play Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. By subscribing to our YouTube channel, or flagandbanner.com’s email list, you will receive prior notification of that day's guest.

EPISODE CONTINUED]

00:42:47] KM: You're listening to Up in Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. I'm speaking today with my longtime friend, artist extraordinaire, Mr. Kevin Kresse. We called him a treasure at the last break, but we're not going to say that again, because we don't want his head to get too big. Talk about why art matters to a community. You said something, when you were interviewing with French Hill that struck me so, because I'm a businesswoman. For every dollar spent art, how much comes back to the community?

00:43:22] KK: This was something I had heard somewhere. I can't remember where I heard it. This was several years back when Pulaski Tech does this business of art deal. Jim Carville, they pick one artist, one business person. Jim Carville, Arvest Bank was the business guy. Then obviously, I was their guy that was honored that year. We had lunch the week before to get to know one another. I told him, I said, I heard that for every dollar community invest in the arts, there's an $11 return. Then I went later that night, well, I need to add stuff up, because we all have these BS detectors in our pockets now. You can't get away. It's not as much as phone as it used to be to have a conversation.

00:44:02] GM: Oh, God.

00:44:04] KK: I looked it up and do terrible research in Michigan. In Michigan, they found an over $50 return for every dollar invested.

00:44:11] KM: I was shocked at that.

00:44:14] KK: The average that I was finding was in the 30s.

00:44:18] KM: For every dollar invested in your community, you get a $30 return.

00:44:22] KK: In yards. You started thinking about musical events, or theater and all these types of things.

00:44:31] KM: Yeah, restaurants.

00:44:33] KK: Sure. That people come in down for all these –

00:44:34] KM: Restaurants, hotels, taxi cab, Uber, airplanes, all this stuff to come see the art.

00:44:43] KK: Right. That's why I'm so behind everything that John Gaudin has been doing in Argenta, because he's really been leading with art. For instance, the Mother Earth. I mean, he trusts the artists so much. I mean, he just came to me, he said, can you do something peaceful for this place? Also, that pocket park could have easily had another townhome built on it. They didn't have to reserve it for

inaudible 00:45:08].

00:45:10] KM: Yes. Have tax coming in for it.

00:45:11] KK: Right. It's that thinking.

00:45:13] KM: You've done two murals. One of your murals you did was in for him.

00:45:17] KK: Yes, two. I did two for him.

00:45:18] KM: Oh, you did the one, the Dogtown. Wonderful.

00:45:24] KK: Thanks. The first one I did was the bicycling mural at 7th and Main. This people coming off the big dam bridge, riding the bicycles. Actually, I put Bridget walking our dog,

Daisy. She's on the left side. Then my old neighbor from Italy. I painted him in that one as well, because he's a big bicyclist.

00:45:44] KM: Bicycler.

00:45:45] KK: Bicycler. Bicycler. See, I'm breaking into song.

00:45:49] GM: I love this. Keep going, everyone.

00:45:53] KK: Yeah, so just that one. We were just pitching out all the different artists pitch ideas. For years, I've been saying, claim Dogtown.

00:46:01] KM: Me too. I'm with you on that. I think it's adorable.

00:46:05] KK: Yeah. I've always said, it's not dead rotting, stinking possum down. Dogtown has swagger. Claim it and own it. I brought the idea. He loved it. I think, the mayor was a little dubious about it. I think, the committee people all said, no, we need to do this. The thing I love about working on a mural, because when you put a piece of sculpture out, you're there for the installation, you're there for a bit. During the life of a mural, you're there, obviously everyday painting it. You're interacting with the people more than you would be normally. It was so great, because they're just honking, “We love it. I need a t-shirt. I need a sweatshirt.”

00:46:44] KM: You make t-shirts?

00:46:46] KK: I haven’t. I think, they –

00:46:47] KM: They need to make a t-shirt like that.

00:46:49] KK: Right. Anyway, so that was a lot of fun to see that reaction. The first one I did was right before that was the Seventh Street underpass in Little Rock.

00:47:02] KM: Yes.

00:47:02] KK: That was my first time to do a mural.

00:47:05] KM: That was your first mural?

00:47:06] KK: Yeah. Was that two years ago? Anyway.

00:47:09] KM: Yeah. You just did another one recently. The Seventh Street project in North Little Rock is under the train – I mean, in Little Rock is under the train bridge. How did that even come about?

00:47:21] KK: Probably 10 years ago or so, the Arkansas peace coalition, or coalition for peace, they were doing some murals down there. There was a lot of confusion about who owns the walls. Does the city own the wall? Does the railroad own the walls? Blah, blah, blah. Then they would get there a mural painted over.

00:47:39] KM: By who?

00:47:42] KK: Good question. I think, it was the Department of Transportation, I think. Is that type of thing where it was a little unclear about all of this stuff. After the George Floyd murder, then Jose Hernandez went down. Then Jermaine Gibson and did all the names. Jose painted the portrait of George Floyd. Then afterwards, it was just this influx of art. Is a very organic, just –

00:48:08] KM: It was totally organic.

00:48:09] KK: Very grassroots. Yeah, no committee could have come up with that.

00:48:11] KM: No one stopped you.

00:48:14] KK: The very first day I was there, some police came and asked about who gave us permission. After that, one of the guys from the department of transportation came down, I was talking to him, and he said, “Oh, we've been given word. Don't touch it.”

00:48:33] KM: Who does own it? Did you ever figure who owned the wall? The railroad, or –

00:48:35] KK: I think it's something funny, like right underneath the bridge. I mean, under the railroad tracks, that section, that middle section, I think the railroad owns that. I think the city owns the outer parts.

00:48:46] KM: Yeah, that is odd. I went down there and looked at your latest drawing, or mural, I mean. It's of my friend, John Kane, where we last did –

00:48:59] GM: So good.

00:49:00] KM: So good. For our listeners, John Kane has been in this city forever.

00:49:06] KK: Talk about a treasure. Now he's a treasure.

00:49:08] KM: He is an absolute treasure.

00:49:10] GM: Go back and listen to his interview.

00:49:13] KM: We interviewed him. Every time you listen to it, you just love it. He's got to be 90-years-old. He's never owned a car. He walks everywhere and rides the bus. You stop him and you say, “Hey, John. You want a ride?” Nope. I’ll make a big freezing call.

00:49:23] KK: Yes. I have done that several times. I have to get up so crazy early for some crazy reason. He's there, he is walking down. I’m like, “John, let me.” “Oh, I’m good, good.”

00:49:34] KM: No. I think this is really interesting about him. He never writes down a phone number. Did you know that?

00:49:40] KK: No.

00:49:40] KM: He remembers everybody's phone number. I said, “John, here call me back.” He said, “Which phone number?” Well, write it down. “I’m not going to write it down.” I said, “Well, what was it?” He reads it back to me. I go, “How can you remember it?” He goes, “I can

just remember everybody’s phone number.” He can remember any phone number. Ain’t that weird?

00:49:56] GM: That’s some dark magic there. I don't want that. I don't want that in my head.

00:50:04] KM: Then I went and looked at the other mural you did down there of a bunch of guys. Who are those guys?

00:50:11] KK: Oh, I did just five people taking a knee, locking arms. It's just that idea of unity. There's a couple white people, Hispanic person, a person, Asian person.

00:50:23] KM: Just people.

00:50:24] KK: I did take the face, the central base for my friend Ebony Levins, who’s a photographer and she took this portrait of someone during one of the protests that was just haunting me. I asked her permission to use that for the center.

00:50:38] KM: What do you want next? I mean, golly, you're just cooking with gas right now. What do you want next?

00:50:43] KK: I would love the idea of these Arkansas musicians to find some traction and get the funding and make that happen.

00:50:50] KM: Be displayed together. All right. I can't give you the present I give to everybody, because you've already gotten a desk set from me, with a US flag and Arkansas flag and an Italy flag at the time that you were there. I had to think of something else. It looks like, my people in the showroom gave you an Arkansas hat.

00:51:08] KK: Thank you. Does that go extra-large, because I have a big, old melon head.

00:51:12] KM: That's why you're so handsome. Have you ever noticed all handsome men have big heads? You two guys are handsome.

00:51:18] GM: Thanks, mom.

00:51:20] KM: Look, you got a guitar pin to go with Johnny Cash.

00:51:22] KK: Oh, I love that. Thank you.

00:51:23] KM: That’s a guitar pin. Look, she gave you a bunch of stuff. Oh, look, a refrigerator magnet that says ‘Arkansas’, because you love Arkansas. What is this? Oh, I didn't even know we had this. This goes on your car.

00:51:34] GM: It’s mine. Don't try to claim it.

00:51:37] KM: It's a oval reflective decal. You know how this, to put Italy on cars in the back of their car? I didn't know you had that. That’s cute.

00:51:45] KK: Well, I'm all

inaudible 00:51:46].

00:51:45] GM: Arkansas paraphernalia.

00:51:47] KM: Boy, that is good. You got lot of stuff.

00:51:50] KK: Back there.

00:51:51] KM: Thank you. All right, we're going to end the show. Thank you for everything. In closing to our listeners, thank you for spending time with us. We hope you've heard, or learned something that's been inspiring, or enlightening, and that it whatever it is, will help you up your business, your independent, or your life. I'm Kerry McCoy, and I'll see you next time on Up in Your Business. Until then, be brave and keep it up.

END OF INTERVIEW]

00:52:14] GM: You've been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. For links to resources you heard discussed on today's show, go to flagandbanner.com, select radio show and choose today's guest. If you'd like to sponsor this show, or any show, contact me, Gray at gray@flagandbanner.com. All interviews are recorded and posted the following week. Stay

informed of exciting upcoming guests by subscribing to our YouTube channel, or podcast wherever you'd like to listen. Kerry's goal is simple, to help you live the American dream.

END]

 

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