Archive for Wednesday, March 6, 2002

Sketches of accused pharmacist gain local artist national exposure

March 6, 2002

A situation that began as an opportunity turned into national exposure for artist Kendra Barron, a Basehor resident and Kansas City Kansas Community College student.

Barron was in the courtroom sketching accused Kansas City pharmacist Robert Courtney during his recent plea agreement hearing.

The case against Courtney has been in the media spotlight in the past several months. The pharmacist was accused of diluting cancer treatment drugs to make more profit.

Barron was involved with the Courtney case for one day but that day proved to be a highly successful one.

Barron's two courtroom sketches of Courtney show the pharmacist standing alone in an orange jumpsuit and the other of Courtney standing with his attorney in front of the judge.

The sketches were sold and used on a national television newscast and were also seen on two local newscasts.

And hence the starving artist tag was lifted from the student artist.

"Anyone who said art doesn't pay off, I got a smirk for them," Barron said.

"I think if you work hard, you don't have to be a starving artist. It's kind of a silly notion," she added.

Barron was offered the courtroom job through her teacher at KCKCC, Norma Cowdrick, who Barron describes as an inspiration.

"A lot of credit has to go to her," Barron said. "She just saw potential in me."

Barron, a 2000 graduate of Basehor-Linwood High School, said she has been an art lover since she was young.

"When I'm drawing I can't think about anything else," she said. "It's like anyone's passion.

"You get to show other people how you see the world."

Barron will graduate from KCKCC this spring with a degree in fine arts. She said she could stay to study under Cowdrick for another semester.

She said she would love to do more courtroom artwork in the future.

"That would be quite a treat if the opportunity ever came up again," Barron said.

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