February Featured Artist: John Raux

World Traveler with Local Roots

John Raux was born in Dakar, Senegal but has primarily lived in Kansas City. He studied illustration in Los Angeles at ArtCenter. After college he created a participatory gallery on 18th St. in Kansas City and screamed in the metal band James Dean Trio while working in the construction industry. A chance encounter, and his love of new experiences, led him to hike across America on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2007. Upon returning to civilization, John started making paintings in response to travel experiences and cultural exchanges.

Experience Inspired Art

In 2010 he crossed Nepal and much of India on a mountain bike. He did the same across Europe in 2012. Each new journey was cultivated into a series of paintings with titles that often grew into poems or stories and were accompanied by his photography. In 2013 he visited the rift valley in Kenya as a creative ambassador to the Pokot people. 2018 brought him to live and work in Guatemala, and in 2019 he created work in Ireland. He has been a resident artist at Takt in Berlin, Jaaga in Bangalore, Refuge in Antigua, BNIM, the Drugstore, and currently at Rockcottage Glassworks here in Kansas City.

In Kansas City

While John has traveled extensively, he has made his mark in Kansas City as well, starting the Forum (Middle of the Map Festival). He received the ArtsKC inspiration award in 2014. In 2015 and 16 he ran his second gallery, the Colaboratory. John continues to make fine art, write poetry and collaborate on public murals with SIKE Style while seeking new cultural exchanges and creative collaborations in the US and abroad.

John’s work will be on display and available for purchase at Rochester’s Crossroads location through the end of February. You can learn more on his website and Patreon page. You can also find out about future exhibits and projects by following John’s Instagram account.

In John’s Own Words

In 2018, when I moved to work at my
friend’s coffeeshop in Antigua, Guatemala,
language and culture were the hurdles and
contemplative sparks that began
this series of paintings.

A few years later, finishing the poems in
America felt like falling into a well of the
twilight zone. Religion, politics, protests,
personal loss, a pandemic, named and
unnamed wars all weathered in isolation
through technology and my work erupted
in ways that feels appropriate now
to be shared in the lingering cold
as we cultivate desire for
the coming spring.

~ John Raux


Rochester Brewing and Roasting is Kansas City’s first craft beer and coffee roastery under one roof. We’ve created welcoming spaces to gather for the best of both worlds – a Kansas City craft brewery and Kansas City coffee shop – all in one place. Stop by our spacious Crossroads location or check out our charming Parkville shop, located inside two vintage train cars. We’re open day and night, so come early for the coffee, stay late for the beer!

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