Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Richard and Michele Fritz have spent the last year and a half traveling the United States in their Recreational Vehicle. “We have had to redefine what we do to make the Art Experience happen,” Michele Fritz of Art Experience states. “We have had to look at new avenues since the pandemic has hit the whole United States,” Richard Fritz of Art Experience states, “and we discovered that there is a need for online instruction, so we had to take inventory and change gears.”
Richard Fritz of Art Experience teaching an online painting class. (Photo courtesy of Richard Fritz, 2021) Art Experience had already been selling paint kits online, and when the COVID19 pandemic swept the country, virtual classes made a lot of sense. The Fritz’s redirected their art instruction and have made it work. Michele Fritz states that she loves what they are doing now! They have had to adapt and expand their skill set to fit there on the Road classes, The Fritz’s have had to learn through trial and error how to make online learning work. They have purchased new equipment so that the viewer can clearly see Richard’s instruction of brush strokes. By the time the class is over, the attendees are happy with a completed painting,
Art Experience was established in 2013 by Richard & Michele Fritz. Art is an experience. This married team teaches people the necessary skill set they need through self-confidence building and instruction to create a finished painting while having fun and meeting new people in a BYOB, laid-back atmosphere. The painting classes began down at the MOD Gallery & Space at 1809 McGee in Kansas City, MO., in the evenings. The tables and chairs are set up on the weeknights, setting each place with easels, paintbrushes, canvas, and paint. Every class is a unique experience with a new paint project. The courses are filled with various individuals and groups calling or emailing to schedule an evening to learn to paint and enjoy a great evening. Their painting lessons have become quite popular in the Kansas City community. Art Experience started expanding its radius. After being seen on KCTV5, the Fritz’s started getting referrals to do courses at Arrowhead Stadium, Rivermarket, and even Martin City Brewing Co.
Both Richard and Michele Fritz are professionally trained artists and graduates from the Kansas City Art Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Art Degrees. Michele has a major in painting and a minor in printmaking and Graphic Communication. Michele and Richard also attended Memphis College of Art and St. Louis Community College. After finishing college, Richard and Michele Fritz started doing non-profit work. They were administrators for a grassroots non-profit that offered art classes and life-building skills to mostly inner-city kids, kids at risk, and the Juvenile Justice. Michele claims that she did that for about 14 years, and Richard put almost 14 years in the non-profit work. In 2007-2009, the smaller non-profits ran out of funding due to the housing market crash, and money started going to the more prominent organizations. It was time for a change, and Michele began working doing graphic design while Richard continued with a more prominent non-profit organization, teaching art classes and doing freelance work. “A lot of being an artist is “scraping,” in other words using all of your different talents to survive.” Michele Fritz of Art Experience states. They started as trained painters and had to shift to utilizing their other graphic design talents, marketing, illustrating books, audio, video, theater work, and freelancing to pay the bills from 2009 till 2013. The Fritz’s are recipients of the ArtsKC Fund Inspiration Grant Award and a Rocket Grant project awarded by Charlotte Street Foundation and the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art with funding through Andy Warhol Foundation Visual Arts. Richard was the lead artist on the Kansas City International Airport One Percent for Art mural project. The Fritz’s have also done community projects for the Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Education, created murals for Kansas City’s Bartle Hall Convention Center and several public schools in the Greater Kansas City Metro area. This dynamic couple has achieved so much through all their many accomplishments, and their art speaks for itself!