The Day Love Came to Joplin

Title: The Day Love Came to Joplin (2011)

Artist: Rachel Reed of Joplin, MO

Location: 20th and Main Street

Date Completed: 2011

Description: This “pop-up” mural was created in the aftermath of the 2011 tornado. Public art played an important and powerful part in the rebuilding process. “After the tornado, I knew I wanted to create something that would inspire hope and help people smile in the midst of the struggle. When you looked around…everything was mangled and messy…an ugly reminder of tragedy. I wanted my design to stand in opposition to the unpleasant-ness the tornado left behind. I asked two of my friends (one who’s own house had been demolished by the tornado) to pose, creating a heart with their hands. From this image, I built my graphic. I opted to do a wheat-paste…because I felt like a transient installation was fitting. Sadly, it turned out to be more temporary than I intended. That summer was extremely hot, and because of the heat the paste reacted poorly resulting in the image only lasting a few weeks…but not before some people were able to drive by, see, photograph, and hopefully be encouraged by it.”