A big week is coming up for the Joplin Arts Community! First, the Missouri Arts Council (MAC) will visit for Next50: Arts Envisioning in Missouri & Joplin on Tuesday. This listening tour collects information from key cities throughout Missouri so that MAC can help ensure the arts thrive in Missouri for the next five decades. Arts professionals, public office-holders, artists, and citizens interested in the development of arts locally and statewide are invited to attend. On Thursday the arts community as a whole will celebrate the beginning of National Arts & Humanities Month (every October) with a proclamation ceremony with the Mayor of Joplin as well as representatives of Joplin arts organizations and businesses.

Tue, Sept. 30 | 5:30–7pm at Spiva Center for the Arts

Help ensure the arts thrive in Missouri for the next five decades! Questions to consider will include: What would help the arts thrive in our community? What would help people participate in the arts? What would an ideal state or local arts agency offer? Questions will address both state and local needs. This conversation will provide key feedback to grow and strengthen local as well as statewide arts. For more info click here. To register, click hereAn optional tour of Spiva’s current Main Gallery exhibit will be held from 5–5:30pm. [spacer height=”0px”]

Thu, Oct. 2 | 2pm on Main Floor of Joplin City Hall

Come celebrate National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM) with representatives of arts organizations and businesses as well as supporters of the arts in Joplin! In accordance with NAHM, Mayor of Joplin, Mike Seibert, will officially proclaim the month of October as National Arts and Humanities Month in Joplin. NAHM is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. It is designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts. [spacer height=”0px”]


Explore and Play Day at JPLThe Joplin Public Library offers educational programming on a regular basis. Their programs are free and open to the public. Jeana Gockley, Children’s Librarian, reported that the Library’s first “Explore & Play!” program kicked off in January 2014.  Since then, the program, which caters to families with children in the one to five age range, has exploded. The program was created with several goals in mind, but the main objective was to offer a hands-on program where parents/caregivers had the opportunity to interact, explore, and play with their children. Play is one of five early literacy skills considered by library staff in training parents/caregivers so it was a natural focus for the program which also includes the other four skills – reading, writing, singing and talking.

With the Joplin Public Library joining over 250 other libraries as part of the Family Place Library network it is working to increase the role of the library as a community hub for healthy child and family development, parent and community involvement, and lifelong learning beginning at birth. Components of “Explore & Play!” are helping to make all three of those roles a reality. The stations the Library staff created for the families to explore at September’s pirate-themed event included opportunities for dramatic play, sensory exploration, arts and crafts, and problem solving. 85 parents/caregivers and children participated; making it the largest Saturday event in the program’s short history. Next month’s “Explore and Play!” will focus on Monsters and will take place on Saturday, October 18 at 10:30am.


All photos courtesy Jeana Gockley, Children’s Librarian at the Joplin Public Library

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Regarded as America’s best-known contemporary illustrator, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was considered a keen observer of human nature and a gifted storyteller. His Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations were wholesome depictions of everyday scenarios in American culture, covering more than four decades. Do you know how he created these cover illustrations? Rockwell meticulously directed photo shoots with help from friendly neighbors and photographers. Once captured, he would then create the covers we all know and love.

Rockwell Alike

Spiva Center for the Arts and 9Art Photography are teaming up to recreate this process…the photo shoot part at least! The special experience is called Team Photo Shoot: Living Pictures of Norman Rockwell covers. The fee to enter is $25 and the deadline to register your team is Tuesday, October 14. Teams are to select a Rockwell illustration to interpret, provide their own costumes and props and pose for a photo on October 21. Mark Neuenschwander, 9art Photography, will photograph the reenactments and display them in Spiva’s 3rd Street window gallery. The winning image will be selected by popular vote and will receive a Norman Rockwell prize package. All teams will receive one complimentary copy of their photograph. To read more on this special project, click here to visit 9Art’s blog entry.

Well! What are you waiting for? Visit Spiva Center for the Arts to view all 323 Saturday Evening Post covers and get inspired![spacer height=”0px”]


Southern Theatre is soon to present The Trojan Women by Euripides. The play featuring an all-women cast will run Tuesday, October 7 – Saturday, October 11 at 7:30pm in the Bud Walton Theatre on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. The play is directed by Jim Lile.

Ten years of war have ended. Troy has fallen. The mothers, wives, and daughters of the slain wait to be doled out as spoils of war to the victorious Greeks. Euripides’ mighty play about the horrors and costs of war continues to shout its message to us across the centuries.

the Trojan Women

The Trojan Women cast includes: Mollie Sanders as Hecuba, Valerie Stockton as Cassandra, Erica Zeyn as Andromache, Sean Botts as Talthybius, Kendrick Carlock as Menelaus, and Anthony Eden and Cameron Lopez as Soldiers. The Trojan Women chorus includes: Samantha Green, Kelsey Hale, Christy Hernandez, Inge Logtenberg, Miranda Nealy, Tonya Richardson, Tinsley Rutledge, and Jamie Strong.

MSSU Students and MSSU Faculty and Staff: Free
Adults: $3
Senior Citizens & Non-MSSU Students: $1

The box office will be open Monday, September 29 – Friday, October 10 from 9am–3pm. For reservations, call (417) 625-3190. To purchase tickets online, click here. [spacer height=”0px”]



Accomplished painters from across the region will participate in an invitational exhibition, lectures, and panel discussions on the Missouri Southern State University campus. The exhibit showcasing the selected painters work will be on display from October 15 – November 21 in the MSSU Spiva Art Gallery. In addition, every Friday from October 24 – November 21, the Art Department will host a lunch reception at noon in the MSSU Spiva Art Gallery, followed by lectures with some of the exhibiting artists. All lectures will be held in Room 305 of the Art Department (upstairs in the painting studio). All 9 artists will participate in panel discussions on November 21. These lectures are free and open to the public.

Fun Fact: Of the artists included, four are no strangers to the Joplin area. Dave Loewenstein, Amber Hanson, Nicholas Ward, and Ashley Laird were all involved in the creation of the 2011 Joplin Community Mural Project that produced The Butterfly Effect: Dreams Take Flight Mural at 15th & Main in Joplin, MO.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR MSSU PAINTING SYMPOSIUM (also available at www.paintingsymposium.com): 

Wednesday, Oct. 15 – Exhibit opens to the public in MSSU Spiva Art Gallery

Thursday, Oct. 16 from 5:30–8:30pm – Joplin 3rd Thursday Symposium “Pop-up” Exhibition: Exhibition of work by some of the exhibiting artists set up in Downtown Joplin during the Third Thursday Artwalk. This event will be an opportunity to bring our exhibition mission into a public space and to invite the art-viewing public to attend other symposium events.

Friday, Oct. 24 – Noon–5pm
12:00 – 2:00: Lectures/Lunch Reception with artists: Joey Borovicka – “Space is essential to my creativity. Walls keep the outside world at bay, physically and psychologically. The studio is a solitary space where I can dwell in my thoughts. In it, I construct images of other solitary spaces. My studio is a room that leads to other rooms.” Sam King – “I mean for many of these paintings to be narrative—not in the conventional, illustrative sense, but in the sense that they can be irksome, funny, strange, awkward, and evoke other perceptual experiences, as opposed to being strictly formal.”
2:30 – 5:00: Individual critiques*

Friday, Oct. 31 – Noon–5pm
12:00 – 2:00: Lectures/Lunch Reception with artists: Kristin Musgnug – explores the domesticated American landscape in paintings that re-examine the Romantic tradition of landscape painting. James Oliver – “In organizing these most recent paintings, I combine aspects from multiple sources- drawings from observation, parts of reference photographs, and personal memories, in order to communicate plausible spaces and interactions between elements within the space.” Stephanie Pierce – “My painting seeks an intersection between perception and abstraction using the phenomenon of light, space, and form as personal metaphor.”
2:30 – 5:00: Individual critiques*

Friday, Nov. 7 – Noon–5pm
12:00 – 2:00: Lectures/Lunch Reception with artists: Ashley Laird – Ashley is a muralist and studio artist based in Lawrence, Kansas. She is one of the founders of Chords and Oil art collective in Topeka, KS, a springboard organization for many unique projects from 2009-2010 including a major installation at the city’s public transit hub. Dave Loewenstein – muralist, writer, and printmaker based in Lawrence, Kansas. Examples of his dynamic and richly colored community-based murals can be found across the United States and in Northern Ireland and South Korea.
2:30 – 5:00: Individual critiques*

Friday, Nov. 14 – Noon–5pm
12:00 – 2:00: Lectures/Lunch Reception with artists: Amber Hansen – Creating a dialogue between her formal education and the ethics of her rural upbringing, Hansen creates socially engaged work that publicly raises questions about the ethics of animal welfare and food. Nicholas Ward – has experience with almost any artistic medium: filmmaking, photography, painting, drawing, storytelling, and even creative writing.
2:30 – 5:00: Individual critiques

Friday, Nov. 21 from 12:00 – 2:00 – Panel discussions and closing reception with all artists.

* = Visiting artists will give one-on-one critiques to individual students about their work. Critiques will be for MSSU students who sign up in advance, and ​will take place in the art department. Students interested in signing up should contact Kyle McKenzie (mckenzie-k@mssu.edu). [spacer height=”0px”]