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The Late Show Gallery

Unlike some of the big-name galleries in town that show costly works by New York and California artists, Tom Deatherage has staked his career -- and his gallery, The Late Show -- on the fervent championing of Kansas City artists. "He not only shows great work by artists who live here," one local collector says, "but he's affordable. You can actually start building a collection with Tom's help. He's a maverick and adventurous." Deatherage has dealt in art for nearly two decades and has built a stable of young and dynamic conceptual and representational artists. Because he wants his artists to sell their artwork, Deatherage isn't afraid to use marketing concepts from the retail trade. In September, at painter Greg Eltringham's Sexy show, Deatherage offered a "cash and carry" sale for patrons who purchased one of a series of small Eltringham paintings of a purse. Deatherage's deal was almost too good to pass up: a 50 percent discount to anyone who bought one of the works that night. It provoked more than a few people to open up their purses in order to purchase a purse painting. It's a brazen idea that it's not enough just to show art. You have to get people to buy it, too.

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