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Surviving the Pandemic through the Eyes of Artists

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

Brian Ousley, Owner of MOD Gallery & Space in Kansas City, Missouri, explains how the Pandemic almost took what he loves most, the MOD. MOD has been Ousley’s baby since he first saw the empty building when looking at real estate. The old Buick Dealership building was love at first sight. Ousley saw so much potential in what he could do with this old building. He envisioned an excellent gallery for like-minded people to come and appreciate art from Kansas City local artists.

A photo of MOD in black and white to give the feel of what the building might have looked like when Ousley first saw it and below the front of the building in color with Graffiti Art by Jon Munden on the front as the MOD now looks. (Photo by Kat Day)

MOD Gallery & Space at 1809 McGee in Kansas City, Missouri. MOD is known for their featuring of local Kansas City artists. (photo by Kat Day) The MOD Gallery has been Ousley’s dream. He has poured his heart and soul into the building with all the renovations, painting, and work he has done on MOD. When the Coronavirus broke out, he had to shut his doors after his March First Friday event in 2020. Surviving for the next year and a half has not been an easy task.

“I had no idea it was going to be almost a year and a half before we could open our doors again,” MOD Gallery owner Brain Ousley stated. “I didn’t qualify to get any help so, and I had to get a non-forgivable loan just to weather through the storm. I will have to pay it back, but it is the price you must pay to survive through something like this. It would have killed me if I had to close the doors to MOD. I don’t know what I would have done.”

May was MOD’s soft opening, and even though everyone had to wear their masks, they were out and enjoying art, and conversation with like-minded people. Noah Davis & Heavy Electric and DJ Nizza Martinez with the crew from Heavy Emotions supplied the entertainment for the evening with their great music,

“We survived through the Pandemic very carefully. We lost one member who was a keyboard player, he kind of went off on some people online because he was against all of the mask mandates.” Noah Davis of Noah Davis & Heavy Electric stated. “We tried to play social distancing shows like at Lemonade Park where they set all of the tables six feet apart. We also played some online Facebook streaming in my barn and jammed out and sang and talked to our audience and tried to spread hope.”

Noah played MOD’s soft opening and stayed in touch with Brian Ousley of MOD Gallery & Space through out the pandemic waiting for MOD to open its doors and play a show to show support for Brian Ousley and MOD Gallery & Space. Noah Davis stays very positive and spreads hope with his music.

Live music from Noah Davis & Heavy Electric at MOD Gallery & Space's soft opening. MOD was getting ready for its first event since the Pandemic broke on May 7, 2021. MOD wanted to ensure the safety of their patrons and had signs printed and supplied hand sanitizer at both the front entrance and back entrance.

The front of MOD Gallery with Mask required sign for all patron's to see and respect the safety of all who tour the gallery. (photo by Kat Day)

Mask required signs were posted in front and in back with hand sanitizer. It was a great night and all patrons respected the measures to taken to stay safe. (photo by Kat Day)

The featured artists were Brandi Johnson also known as Flybysuze which you can see her art in the background behind the mannequins from interviewing Ousley. Jim Ramirez also had his Abstract Cardboard Art for its first appearance. Both artists had their art on the wall for May and June’s First Friday event. The mannequins were the feature in the Mannequin Memoir III show for June’s First Friday and new photography by Brian Ousley of Boom Photography and owner of MOD Gallery & Space.

Photography by Brian Ousley of Boom Photography and Owner of MOD Gallery & Space.

The Mannequin Memoirs III event was made possible by all of the artists that contributed the artistic skills in creating each mannequin which are for sale at MOD Gallery & Space! Many thanks to Phil Dunn, Richard Day, Luis Garcia, Danna York, Jim Ramirez, Megan Lee Scott, and Kyle Moody. Bake Medlock is still working on his mannequin so it has not made its appearance at MOD as of yet. Stay on the look out! Flybysuze abstract paintings are on the wall behind mannequins. (Photos by Kat Day)

With Hope we can accomplish the impossible and get through the hard times caused from a pandemic. The key is positivity and perseverance.

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