At Ease: Veteran Contemporary
August 18 – October 6, 2018
Spiva Center for the Arts, Main Gallery (222 W 3rd St)

Approximately 60 pieces of work from artists involved in the current veteran art movement. Art will be obtained from the National Veterans Art Museum, ART-ifact, and Kansas City-based veteran artists. The objective is to showcase works made by veteran artists, present the arts as a viable career path for veterans, and to highlight the arts as a therapeutic and alternative treatment option for mental health challenges. The purpose of the contemporary veteran art exhibition is to establish a conversation in the community, highlighting issues of concern to veterans and their families. Issues common among veterans include the transition from military to civilian life, education, employment, poor healthcare, and the effects of combat and military service injuries such as PTSD, TBI, Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and homelessness. Nationally, there are 500,000 veterans living with TBI or PTSD. There are 20 suicides per day. According to the Missouri Veterans Commission, in 2016 there were 9,685 veterans in Jasper County in 2016 and 5,090 veterans in Newton County in 2016. 

Angel Brame: One Per Day, A Year of Small Decisions
August 18 – October 13, 2018
Spiva Center for the Arts, Regional Gallery (222 W 3rd St)

In an effort to assign herself a task that would push her creativity and encourage growth, local artist Angel Brame chose to make one small pottery piece per day for an entire year with a few stipulations: each piece must be a pouring vessel and must be small. Join in as Angel shows a year’s worth of extraordinary work.

Look to Norway
August 13 – August 31, 2018
MSSU Spiva Art Gallery (3590 Newman Rd)

A group exhibition featuring artwork created by MSSU art and design students enrolled in the Spring 2018 International Art Seminar. This course culminated in a trip over spring break to study the art, culture, and landscape of Norway. The students traveled to Oslo, Flam, and Bergen, visiting art and cultural museums, national treasures, and historic sites. Students also participated in numerous cultural dinners and both coastal and inland fjord tours. The works of art created for this show were inspired by each student’s experiences throughout the trip. The students aim to express the history, landscape, and aesthetic of Norway within their art. They want the show to represent the beauty and culture of Norway in every aspect of their pieces. The exhibition includes works of art by MSSU art and design majors Brett Dorrance, Jenson Maydew, Hunter Mills, Amber Wagner, Cicily Atkinson, and Susan Griffith. The trip was led by Dr. Christine Bentley, associate professor of art and design.

Brad Brackin
August 2018
Joplin Avenue Coffee Company (506 S Joplin Ave)

Brad Brackin is a painter born in California, raised in Yorktown, Virginia and later retired from active duty military after twenty two years of service. Education has always been a forefront and a difficult path until recently due to the learning disabilities that have plagued him throughout his life. As a child he drew pictures from photographs, relatives, and friends. But it was his mother who took him to a local art museum that really inspired him to want to become an artist.  Today Brad resides in Joplin Missouri and continues to paint the human figure in all aspects of daily life. 

Summer Reading Art Challenge Exhibition
August 2 – September 28, 2018
Joplin Public Library (1901 E 20th St)

Entries from all three categories—adults, teens, and kids—of Post Art Library’s Summer Reading Art Challenge will be on display in the Local History, Genealogy, and Post Reading Room wing inside Joplin Public Library. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, August 2 from 6:00–7:30pm to honor all participants. The purpose of the Summer Reading Art Challenge is to encourage exploration of the visual arts through creating an artwork based on Missouri’s state-wide theme for Summer Reading. Artworks in this year’s exhibit are inspired by music, the Summer Reading theme for 2018. For more information, including how you can participate, contact Post Art Library Director, Jill Sullivan, at 417-623-7953 x1041. 

Nature’s Wild Thing: I Think I Love You by David Parks
August 1 – 31, 2018
Spiva Center for the Arts, Upstairs Gallery (222 W 3rd St)

Self-taught local photographer David Parks will exhibit his collection of work from over 40 years of picture taking. 

Paintings from Inspiring Places by J. Todd Williams
August 1 – 31, 2018
Urban Art Gallery (511 S Main St)

Williams’ show will consist of oil paintings and mixed media pieces detailing places he’s traveled that have caught his eye along the way. J. Todd Williams was born and raised in Carthage, Missouri – a small community filled with history and fine artists. His artistic talent became evident at an early age when he was in elementary school, a watercolor he created of the Missouri State Capitol was chosen to be shown on a national television show called, Stand Up and Cheer. Encouraged throughout his school years by instructors, family and friends to continue exploring and developing his natural abilities, Williams earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Art from Missouri Southern State University. Upon graduation, he began a career in the field of graphic art. He has worked as an art director, graphic designer and photographer for several large product manufacturing companies. Though spending many years building his career in graphics, he has never lost sight of his true passion – creating fine art. He always finds time to paint, sketch, or photograph the world around him. Williams enjoys creating art in the mediums of oil, pastel, acrylic and watercolor. He uses rich, vibrant color to bring life and inspiration to his art and design pieces. “If I can capture through my artwork a mood, a feeling that compels the viewer to reminisce about a place they’ve been, or just reaches out to them, to me, that’s a success. That’s what I want to achieve.” In 2006, Todd began licensing his artwork on gift and home décor products. In 2008, he signed on with a publisher to reproduce his pieces as wall art. His work quickly caught on in the art world and is currently being produced on many products in the home décor industry. These products include: specialty wall pieces, tabletop items, floor coverings, textiles, puzzles, party ware, garden flags, greeting cards, journals, fashion items and other gift and home décor. Todd currently resides in Neosho, Missouri with his wife, Tamie; son, Alex and daughter, Kaitlyn. 

Woodturners of Southwest Missouri
July 10 – September 30, 2018
Joplin Public Library (1901 E 20th St)

The Woodturners of Southwest Missouri, a not-for-profit 501c3, are a group of individuals that make up a local chapter of the American Association of Woodturners. The Purpose of the Club is “To publicly promote woodturning, to strengthen the woodturning community, and to assist and encourage individuals to a higher standard of excellence in woodturning.” Seventy-five pieces created by members of the group are on display inside Joplin Public Library from Tuesday, July 10, 2018 through Sunday, September 30, 2018. Individuals interested in learning more about the Woodturners of Southwest Missouri may visit For more information about the display, contact Post Art Library Director, Jill Sullivan, at 417-623-7953 x1041. 

Exploration by Jodie Sutton
July 10 – September 30, 2018
Joplin Public Library (1901 E 20th St)

Exploration is comprised of pieces that reflect the various stages of Jodie Sutton’s fouryear journey in encaustic painting. After a long break from the fine arts, she found herself with a desire to disconnect from the daily barrage of technology and taught herself the basics of encaustics. She soon transitioned from experimenting in photo encaustics to creating abstract landscapes and nonrepresentational pieces. Sutton enjoys exploring the texture, translucent quality, and fluidity that can be achieved through the medium. Encaustic is a wax-based paint made of beeswax, resin, and pigment. The mixture is heated to about 170 degrees Fahrenheit and kept at a molten state for painting. The encaustic paint is applied to a rigid surface. After each layer is applied, the piece is fused by blowtorch or heat gun. This technique creates a unique texture and vibrancy that’s difficult to reproduce in other mediums. Exploration is on exhibit in The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery inside Joplin Public Library from Tuesday, July 10, 2018 through Sunday, September 30, 2018. For more information, contact Post Art Library Director, Jill Sullivan, at 417-623-79853 x1041.