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Hiker found dead in Utah was respected Kansas City artist

First Published      Last Updated Jul 26 2014 01:08 pm

The man who died Tuesday while hiking in a remote section of Canyonlands National Park was a respected painter in Kansas City, Mo.

David Goodrich, 52, was a "stalwart of the alternative art scene," said David Ford, a Kansas City artist who met Goodrich 30 years ago when the two were active in the city's punk rock scene.

A collaborator with writer and artist William S. Burroughs, Goodrich displayed his paintings at galleries in Kansas City, Chicago and elsewhere around the country. Goodrich was known for his depictions of mythic scenes and fanciful beasts rendered in thick, churning strokes.

"David Goodrich was a beloved artist in Kansas City, and thousands of people have been affected by his loss," Deborah Dickson, an adjunct professor of art history professor at Rockhurst University, told The Tribune in an email.

Goodrich's talents had gone largely underappreciated by the city's mainstream, academic artists, Ford said, but he suspected the painter would garner greater admiration and respect now that he is dead.

"He had very few filters. He said what was on his mind. Very acerbic and very, very smart," Ford said. "That's not popular in the art world, but it made him who he is, and it's why he will be mourned."

Goodrich was close friends with Kansas City filmmaker Patrick Sumner. The two met in the mid-2000s and together helped found the city's East Crossroads art scene. Sumner described Goodrich as an "iconoclast" and echoed Ford's prediction that his art will come to be posthumously appreciated.

"It's sad, isn't it, that an artist has to die before he's appreciated," Sumner said. "All the art critics are probably going to kiss his butt now that he's dead, because he can't talk back. He did not mince words. He didn't mind creating an enemy along the way, but, you know what, people loved him."

A memorial show will be held for Goodrich at Kansas City's Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, which hosted his last show in 2011.

A U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger found Goodrich's body about 2:20 a.m. in secluded Horseshoe Canyon, about a mile from the trailhead.


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