Arts News (Oct. 6–12)


This Friday, October 10th at 7pm, Joplin is really in for a treat. Spiva Center for the Arts will present “Idealizing America: Norman Rockwell and Irving Berlin” in the Main Gallery surrounded by their current exhibit – “Norman Rockwell: 323 Saturday Evening Post Covers.”

The Ensors at Spiva 2014

The event combines a lecture and live musical performances to explore how the art of Rockwell and the music of Berlin related to American issues. Berlin’s music will be performed by local voice and piano duo Rebecca Luebber Ensor and Robert Ensor with commentary by Michael Lasser, a New York author and broadcaster.

As an author, Lasser specializes in the relationship between music and American society. He has written two books about America’s songs and is working on a third that explores relationships between lyrics and composition. He was a major contributor to the standard reference work, “American Song Lyricists, 1920-1960.” Lasser will sign copies of his books after the performance. Since 1980, he has hosted the syndicated NPR show, “Fascinatin’ Rhythm,” which explores the history and themes of American popular music. Lasser is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds a master’s from Brooklyn College. He has taught in colleges and universities – including Rutgers and Fairleigh Dickinson universities in New Jersey – and in 2010 was named a Thomas P. Johnson Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Rollins College, Winter Park, Fla.

Rebecca and Robert Ensor have been combining their musical talents for a decade, performing in musical theatre, as well as opera and jazz settings that include both big band and small combo. Rebecca is well known for her many portrayals of leading ladies on stage at Joplin Little Theatre, most recently in its 75th anniversary production. Robert has taught music at Crowder College for 10 years and is a co-founder of the Crowder Jazz Orchestra.

Admission is $10 for the general public and $7 for Spiva members. Seating is limited, so advance tickets are recommended. They are available at Spiva or by phoning the center at 623-0183. 



HHM-S14-210The Hip Handmade Market (HHM), Southwest Missouri’s first modern indie craft show, is set to take place Saturday, November 8 at The Roxy; located at 102 S. Joplin Avenue in Downtown Joplin.

This event is just the start of our region’s involvement in the nation’s ever-expanding craft movement. SW Missouri and its surrounding regions house a thriving craft and independent artist community. The organizers expect this to be a hub for these local makers to come together and showcase their finest products for the public, year after year. HHM is not just another traditional country craft show. They have found artists that use their talents to create a modern take on classic arts and crafts. In a word, it’s going to be hip.

HHM-S14-262As at the first HHM this past March, they are partnering with Art Feeds Joplin – who will host a not-so-ordinary free photo booth (pictured left) at the event. Art Feeds exists to feed creative development in children. The $2 adult admission will partially benefit Art Feeds.

HHM’s selection committee, made up of local artists and business owners, has hand selected the most creative and original vendors from our region. With vendors coming from Joplin, Carthage, Webb City, Springfield, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas…patrons can expect a wide variety of handmade and original goods to get their holiday shopping off to a great start! 32 vendors will showcase an array of mediums that include printmaking, jewelry, vintage finds, accessories, woodworking, felting, fabric, children’s items, and more. Organizers are expecting over 1,000 shoppers to come through during the event. At HHM you’ll find innovative handmade décor, giveaways every hour, an Art Feeds photo booth, all of your favorite locals, and an all around good time! For more information, visit or contact Emma Ball at 417-793-3230.



Ben Lord At Wildcat Glades

Nature-inspired artwork by Ben Lord

The Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center always offers something to delight all ages! They recently installed a new exhibit of nature-inspired artwork featuring Ben Lord’s oil paintings and Tom Wheeler’s watercolor paintings and pastels. Two art-centric classes are coming up for both aspiring nature photographers as well as kids crazy about owls (honestly…who isn’t?)! Take a look below for details on these upcoming classes. Make sure to call (417) 782-6287 and enroll early to reserve your spot and give teachers time to prepare supplies, etc.

Advanced Nature Photography
Sat, Oct. 18 | 10am–Noon
If you enjoy the nature photos on our web site and Facebook page, you won’t want to miss this opportunity! Published nature photographer Becky Wylie will discuss how to take better nature photos. Class includes a hike in the park to practice the techniques. This is a good opportunity to get some shots to submit in the nature photography contest next March in ShowMe the Ozarks Magazine, an annual fundraiser for the Audubon Center. Every photographer will get at least one of their pictures printed in the magazine! Event Cost: $6 per person members; $12 per person nonmembers.

All About Owls (Ages 7-12)
Sat, Oct. 18 | 10am–1pm
Anne-Marie Gailey, Certified Art Teacher, will help your children discover the amazing world of owls! Explore unique owl stories and artworks! Create “owl art” through drawing, collage-painting & sculpture. A surprise owl present is provided for all participants! All materials and a snack are provided. Wear appropriate clothing and bring a sack lunch. Parents are not required to stay for the program. Event Cost: $35 per child; payable by check or cash to instructor.



Empty Bowls 2014Do you enjoy local artwork, tasty soups, and helping to alleviate hunger in your community? Then this event at Phoenix Fired Art is for you! For a minimum donation of $15, select your favorite handmade ceramic bowl, and fill it with your choice of delicious soup from one of our area’s many local restaurants! Did we mention you get to keep the bowl as a reminder of your generous donation to help people in need? All proceeds will be split between a number of organizations working to alleviate hunger in our area.

This year, Empty Bowls is set for Thursday, November 20 with lunch at 11am–2pm & dinner from 5–8pm at Phoenix Fired Art.

In 2013, the fundraiser raised $19,480 and they ran out of bowls! All proceeds were shared with Watered Gardens, The Salvation Army, and Crosslines. This year they are aiming to make at least 1,100 bowls so they will not run out. 

Geoffrey Kunkler, Studio Manager at Phoenix Fired Art, shows off Empty Bowls in production

Geoffrey Kunkler, Studio Manager at Phoenix Fired Art, shows off Empty Bowls in production



For details on the Joplin, MO proclamation ceremony by Mayor Mike Seibert, as well as a full listing of arts events in October, click here.

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