Patchwork symbolizes how we can reshape our lives and remain open and adapt to change. The movement and shapes in this piece aim to celebrate the resilient spirit that we share in the Kansas City community. The vibrant color palette suggests a feeling of optimism. The bouncing shapes and the movement of the pattern hold together the shared experience of connection that we have to the Kansas City community.

After a year of bending and flexing to find new systems of working and staying connected with our co-workers and families, we are finding that we are more resilient than we ever imagined. I began this painting in mid-March of 2021, during the time Kansas City was slowly beginning to roll out COVID vaccines and there was a sense of hope and optimism in the air. The circles in the foreground of this artwork represent how we as individuals had to stay isolated tightly while still staying close to other circles of family and friends. For me, all the circles in this piece represent us as individuals and how we had to stay separated as individual persons and yet remain contained individually while staying connected.

Behind the foreground pattern of circles, there is another pattern. This secondary pattern keeps moving concentrically in multiple directions. This pattern symbolizes for me how we discovered new ways of working and evolving during a time of isolation and uncertainty.

Patchwork is my artistic expression of how we as individuals can adapt to change in our lives and move quickly while staying connected and resiliently moving together in the same direction.


KC Streetcar Kauffman Center Stop, Southbound

16th & Main Street


Shelly Pinto is a mixed media artist from Kansas City. She finds the process of layering color, mixing patterns, and cutting shapes reveals an inner calm and a connection to the world. Shelly earned her BFA in painting from the KCAI.

Patterns, colors, and shapes provide links to my history, my environment, and my inner thoughts. I begin my mixed media paintings by mixing colors, cutting shapes, and overlapping patterns. The process of layering and mixing reveals an inner calm and also a connection to the world. I find that patterns and repetition represent a historical structure and insight into life’s interlocking balance. I often see my artwork as a colorful kaleidoscope that I adored as a child.

My childhood memories are full of color and evolving patterns. The fascination with color and the movement of patterns has always been a part of me. I can spend hours getting lost mixing colors and manipulating shapes. I have lovely memories of time spent arranging color palettes, patterns, and shapes for fiber works as a kid, never thinking that would continue to grow in me as an adult.