Chris Horvat

A Slice of History

When Anton Horvat came from Kunic, Croatia, to Kansas City, Kan., in 1908, he spent his days in a slaughterhouse, cutting meat for his newly adopted home. 

Once off work he continued wielding a knife, but this time pursuing his hobby – whittling. 

He became so good at it that he could whittle entire nativity scenes and even altars for his friends and family. 

Today, the family has a fifth generation of artists, including JCCC’s own Chris Horvat, senior videographer and editor, video production. His hobbies include digital photography, portraiture and freelance illustration. 

“My family has an exhibit now at the Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center in Kansas City, Kan., featuring a century of artwork by our family,” Horvat said. “The exhibit includes the carved altars, nativity scenes, drawings, paintings, scale models, digital design work, and digital photos created by myself and other members of the family, spanning five generations.” 

“My father, Joe Horvat, studied art in college. The exhibit also features some of his paintings,” he said. “And my uncle Jim, my dad's brother, also has great skill in modeling, painting and restoring sculptures and figures, which he does for area churches and private collectors of mostly religious statues and artwork.” 

And the artistic talent is continuing with the next generation of Horvats. 

“Grace, my niece, will be a freshman in high school this fall, and her hobby is taking digital photographs and artistically altering them on computer,” Horvat said. “Her older sister Taylor, a senior this fall, also does the same, and has done many pieces of design work as well. She was the one who really started the artistic streak in the kids in their family.  Their younger sister Isabella is in grade school and has started designing and drawing very creatively as well.” 

You can see the Horvat Family Exhibit at the Strawberry Hill Museum in KCK through the end of September.