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Up To Date

Kansas City's Pioneering Female Painter, And Daughter Uncovers Mother's Racial Passing

Courtesy of Jane Pronko
'West Bottoms 2014' examplifies the skill with which Jane Pronko treats local landscapes.

Jane Pronko has for years captured the spirit and flavor of Kansas City with her paintings, which have in turn captured the fancy of collectors around the world. Today, meet one of the metro's pioneering female artists.

Then, hear the true story of a mixed-race woman from the Jim Crow south, who gave up life as a black woman in Louisiana for one as a white woman in Ohio. That decision underpinned the rest of her life and, after her death, reverberates through the life of her daughter, author Gail Lukasik.

A collection of Jane Pronko's work is on view at Leopold Gallery at 324 W. 63th St. in Kansas City, Missouri. Go to LeopoldGallery.com for more information.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
The Kansas City region has long been a place where different ways of life collide. I tell the stories of people living and working where race, culture and ethnicity intersect. I examine racial equity and disparity, highlight the area's ethnic groups and communities of color, and invite all of Kansas City to explore meaningful ways to bond with and embrace cultures different from their own. Email me at luke@kcur.org.