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The Dynamic Duo is Painting up the Town in the Kansas City Crossroads

Local KC Artists Phil Dunn And Justin Canja with their finished live painting done at Society in the KCCrossroads Arts District. Photo by Kat Day

When the artists I love are in the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District doing their thing, I have to get out and show my support. Artist Justin Canja also known as PaperMonkey Movement, and Phil Dunn of PhilDunnArtKC was recently at the art-filled gallery-style nightclub and restaurant known as Society KC.

Phil Dunn will be the featured artist on the June 3rd’ First Friday at MOD Gallery & Space with Justin Canja following Phil Dunn in the next month at July’s First Friday event. The two artists have decided to do another live painting at MOD’s June First Friday event. It should be a great night at MOD with Mensa Deathsquad performing live on the MOD Cantina's Back Patio! The title of this painting is Anxiety! As we all know this is a topic all too familiar to so many people! The everyday stresses of life and creativity!

The first time these two talented artists worked together was at MOD Gallery & Space's March 3, 2022 season opening with the help of a few other local artists Mallory Davilla, EEPHUS, and Heather Inez Benoit even joined in at the end. Check out photos and the story of the first group live painting here.

Now Canja and Dunn, two talented artists have taken it a step further and expanded their exposure, first at Parlor and now at Society KC! Where will this dynamic duo pop up next?

I have been following both artists Canja and Dunn and their unique painting styles and side events, and they are two people you want to follow in their growth in the Kansas City area and beyond. Phil Dunn has done all of the tables, counters, bar tops, and more in the locally known Crossroads Arts District restaurant and bar/nightclub. Dunn has also had his hands full doing unique commission-based artwork for a variety of people. Justin Canja moved to Kansas City about three years ago, and he first was working a 9-5 then came home and buried himself in his artwork. After his first month at MOD Gallery & Space, Canja started wrestling with the idea of going full-time with his art. Since then, I have followed Canja in three different stories, and Canja is now working on a mural in La Cultura Cigar & Social! The next project will hopefully be at Uptown Theater doing another amazing mural! The future is looking bright for these two talented artists. I just happened to be the one to put my hand in the bag and grab the winning raffle ticket and unbelievably picked a ticket with the name Larry on it. Both Justin and Phil looked at each other in shock and were like the universe is doing funny things.

I don't usually write in the first -person, but this article is too unique and too close to my heart to write in the third person. I look forward to watching the future of these two very talented artists. You can see the work of Phil Dunn in a previous article titled Visionaries and Artists Meet at the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District. You can also look back to three different articles on Justin Canja on my website. I will provide the links below. You can see an interview and listen to podcasts with Justin Canja at the links below: Also check out the amazing work that Phil Dunn has done at Society KC at:


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