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The "Making of MOD" Gallery & Space Celebrating 12 Years in the Crossroads Arts District

Like others before him, Brian Ousley began with a vision, the start of MOD Gallery & Space. The Gallery is in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Missouri. When Ousley first began with MOD, he was operating with raw space. Ousley’s first show was on October 2, 2009. MOD is the result of a dream and vision!

“Open as soon as you can; don’t wait till it is perfect. That was the best advice I ever got,” Stated Ousley, owner of MOD Gallery & Space. The Gallery only had the main wall to do a show in the beginning. There was only one bathroom in the employee lounge at the time, and the space was primitive. Through hard work and perseverance, MOD aspired.

The traffic, in the beginning, was maybe 150 people, and that was a great night. The MOD has grown so much to where the first hour is 150 people. The MOD has changed and grown so much.

MOD Gallery & Space in October 2009. (Photo Courtesy of Brian Ousley)

The MOD’s eclectic, bold, and free-in-style vibe keeps people coming back for more. The Gallery is a place for people to buy and look at art, drink, listen to music, and converse with like-minded people.

Ousley has worked hard to achieve his visions, and there is still more to come. For a man who has created MOD through hard work, perseverance, and without financial backing, his vision for MOD has become a reality.

Earlier looks of MOD's Backdoor Studio before it became the Backdoor Gallery! (Photo by Kat Day)

“There was a time when developers could have swallowed up MOD, and MOD Gallery would not be here now,” Brian Ousley, Owner of MOD, stated. “And uncertain times during Covid. I feared we weren’t going to make it, but this year has turned out to be the best year we have ever had.” Ousley can remember when there used to be two buildings where the back parking lot is facing Oak Street behind MOD. The buildings were dilapidated. When they tore the buildings down, it increased the exposure of MOD. Artist Richard Day had his studio in the back gallery of MOD, got with Ousley, and they discussed how the traffic was gaining since the buildings were taken down and made into a parking lot. The Gallery now has bands play on their back patio, and DJs play music into the evening, keeping the crowd dancing. The music echoes through the streets, bringing the crowd to MOD Gallery & Space.

Richard Day's studio in the Backdoor MOD Studio in 2013.. (Photo by Kat Day)

Ousley began with a handful of artists represented through Boom Art that put artists in high-traffic commercial locations to get exposure and sell their art. Brian now has featured artists every month. One artist’s amount of art for the show determines one or two featured artists a month. Richard Day is an established self-taught artist that has been in two different spots before being a part of MOD Gallery & Space. Day turns 78 years old on September 27, 2021. Richard Day had a front-row seat to watching the Crossroads grow and claim its rightful name. He has contributed his talents to MOD Gallery & Space since 2010.

Richard Day finished with his Mural for MOD November 2013, (Photo by Kat Day)

Since Richard Day walked into the MOD, Ousley and Day became fast friends. Day’s passion and love of art have been a big emphasis on MOD Gallery. Day has helped Ousley at MOD, spending late nights painting ceilings and walls and assisting Ousley with their planning projects for Gallery development. It has been a Labor of Love at MOD.

Working late at MOD in 2013. (Photo by Kat Day)

When asked what the Crossroads was like before it became the Crossroads, Richard Day, a local Kansas City Artist, stated, “there was only a handful of people back then. Now, there are galleries and new businesses everywhere.”


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