I’m a fan of reusing existing structures for new businesses, especially when a former service station and Metro Speedometer & Electric is converted into an art-selling business.

Independence resident Todd Odom opened The Art Station on July 11 at 225 S. Main St. on the Independence Square. In the early 1990s, Odom took art classes at Lake Tahoe Community College in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., focusing mainly on printmaking, silk screening and color separation.

In early 2009, Odom, along with a friend who is an auctioneer, visited galleries and purchased prints that were auctioned at below-wholesale prices.

The Art Station features signed and numbered prints with certificates of authenticity, as well as artistic works from local artists such as Ted Stillwell, John S. Perkinson and Earl Fountane. The business also offers custom framing and art on consignment. Prices range from $10 to $1,200, and the featured works weren’t mass produced, Odom said.  

Starting in September, Odom will feature a variety of artwork media produced by local artists under an outside tent every Saturday. To send samples of artwork, e-mail Odom at theartstation@att.net. 

“I like this area, and I’d really love to see the Square come alive,” Odom said.

He used to think that people had to have an internal gift to be an artist, but after taking art classes, Odom realized that everyone had an artist inside of them. Odom took classes until 1993 and then his love for collecting grew. 

Art investments, he said, differ from other investments like stocks and bonds because investors receive the gratification immediately while it continues increasing in value.

“When an artist dies, most of time, their prints almost double in value,” Odom said. “That’s kind of a morbid thing, but it’s just that that artist isn’t going to be making any more pieces so that’s why it goes up in value.” 

The Art Station is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 816-252-3500.

Staybridge Suites open soon
Staybridge Suites Kansas City – Independence is scheduled to open Aug. 17 at 19400 E. 39th Place S. near Sonic. With all suites, the hotel aims to attract group travel and extended-stay guests. According to the hotel’s Web site, staybridge.com/kcindependence, the Independence location is now accepting reservations for arrivals after Sept. 17.

Lindsay Chapman was recently named as general manager, and Carolyn Wheeler was named as director of sales. With more than 10 years in the hospitality industry, Chapman most recently served as the assistant general manager of the Marriott Courtyard on the Country Club Plaza. Wheeler also has extensive lodging experience, including service as corporate director of sales for Noble Hospitality.