Post Art Library

Repetition: Mixed Media Paintings by Amber Mintert

Repetition, an exhibit consisting of mixed media paintings by local artist Amber Mintert, is currently on display in The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery inside Joplin Public Library.

Amber is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Missouri Southern State University, but her life in the world of art started well before now. She grew up primarily in Bentonville, Arkansas and Ozark, Missouri in a creative home. She and her sister were always encouraged to sing, dance, draw, and explore their world. Amber’s sister was the performer, and she was the artist. Amber started watercolor lessons at the age of five, and never looked back.

Since that time, she has spent time drawing and painting, but also enjoys textiles and sewing. Most of her work is influenced by textile design, stitching, and fabric. She creates patterns and images that incorporate these elements, including actual stitching, on some of her work.

As time has passed, the events of her life have influenced her work with symbols representing people and places that have become a part of her own tapestry. Even when those symbols are only recognizable by her, they are placed in compositions filled with the patterns of fabrics and textiles she creates. Some of her work is also made up of observations and objects she finds amusing and calming in compositions that provide whimsy or contemplation.

Her personal life includes her art-teacher husband Fred, her three children, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. Her family is close, and this is her primary focus in life. She and her family live on a small farm raising goats and chickens, and they love to travel both stateside and internationally. She is also very involved in her church life and works with children and missions.

Repetition is on display through December 31, 2023. For more information, contact the Post Art Library at 417-623-7953 x1041.

 

Call for Entry!

Call for entry! We’re excited to partner with Joplin Public Library for their premier community read program, Joplin Reads Together, by co-hosting a call for entry for Lost & Found: Remarkably Bright Objects, a community-based art exhibition consisting of art created with found objects.

Guidelines/Eligibility: This call for entry is open to anyone ages 18+. Artwork must be original works of art that incorporate found objects. Open to all forms and mediums. 2D artwork may not exceed 16×20 inches and must be wired for hanging. If you’re interested in submitting a 3D piece, then contact Post Art Library director Jill Halbach prior to getting started. This is a familyfriendly show; no works of an explicit nature, please. Also, we will not accept copy works, such as those depicting licensed characters, photographs of public art, etc. This is a non-juried, community-based project.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD CALL FOR ENTRY FORM

This exhibition coincides with Joplin Public Library’s premier community read program, Joplin Reads Together. The title they selected is Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby van Pelt. “Lost and found” is among the book’s themes and motifs. Although participation in the Joplin Reads Together program is encouraged, it’s not necessary for submitting an artwork to this call for entry.
This call for entry is open from March 1-31, 2023. Completed artworks may be dropped off in the library’s Makerspace during the Makerspace’s regular hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 11am-8pm (staff break from 3-4pm) or Wednesdays & Fridays from 9am-5pm (staff break from 1-2pm). Other drop off times may be made by appointment only. Artwork will not be accepted without a completed and signed entry form. Artwork will not be accepted any later than March 31st–no exceptions!

Questions about the call for entry/exhibit may be directed to Post Art Library Director Jill Halbach at jill@postartlibrary.org or 417.623.7953 x1041. For more information about how to participate in Joplin Public Library’s Joplin Reads Together program, contact their Adult Programming Coordinator Sarah Turner-Hill at 417.623.7953 x1030 or visit Joplin Reads Together online.

Emancipation Days Celebration is Joplin’s Longest-Running Community Event

Every community has its long-standing events and Joplin is no different. This month, I’d like to tell you about Joplin’s longest-running community event: the Emancipation Day Celebration. Organized annually by our local Black community since the 1800s, this multifaceted event continues to celebrate the end of slavery. Typically, August 4th is set aside for Emancipation Day festivities in Joplin, but these celebrations haven’t always been held only in August.

An early account in the library’s local history files of an Emancipation Day celebration is in the September 21, 1877 edition of the Joplin News Herald newspaper. It states: “The [Black] people of Joplin and vicinity will have a big time here next Wednesday, it being their Independence Day. Extensive preparations are being made for that event, and every [Black] man and woman are doing all in their power to make it a grand success. That they will succeed there can be no doubt whatever. A number of prominent speakers, both white and [Black], will be present.”

Similar articles about Emancipation Day celebrations being held in Joplin in September appeared in local newspapers in 1877, 1891, 1892, 1893, and other years. September Emancipation Day celebrations commemorate the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation issued by president Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862. In it, he “threatened to free all the enslaved people in the states in rebellion if those states did not return to the Union by January 1, 1863.”

At the same time, we have accounts of Emancipation Day celebrations in August, on or around August 4th, as documented in an August 5, 1877 Joplin Daily Herald article. Interestingly, a correction was printed that same year that “The announcement that all the [Black] people of Joplin will celebrate on the fourth of August is untrue. There are some of us who believe that we should celebrate the emancipation of the slaves in our own land, and let those of other nations do the same. The 23rd day of September is a good enough day for us,” signed, P.G. Yeager.

In 1912, Joplin hosted both August and September Emancipation Day celebrations. On August 6th of that year, the Joplin Morning Tribune printed an article describing events at Lakeside Park as “a grand success,” with at least 3,000 attendees. Just a handful of weeks later, on September 19th, the Joplin News Herald tells of a “Big Event” for Emancipation Day being observed at Electric Park, featuring Charles Henry Phillips, a Black orator from St. Louis who was known as “one of the finest speakers in the Middle West.”

A Missouri Historical Review article claims that, since 1920, Black people in Missouri have celebrated on August 4th, though why, exactly, is not known. But, they suggest, “There is a possibility that the date celebrated in Missouri has some reference to the abolition of slavery in the West Indies […] although the connection, if any, has not been established.” If the August 5, 1877 Joplin Daily Herald article is any indication, then the August 4th celebrations are most likely held to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the West Indies, as described: “The celebration by the [Black] people of the emancipation of the slaves in the West Indies in the year A.D. 1834 by the British parliament at the instance of and by the eloquent pleading of Hugh [?] Wilberforce, who for years stood alone in the advocacy of the claims of humanity upon the civilized world, took place at Castle Rock park upon the banks of Turkey Creek, near this city [Joplin] yesterday.” This is to say that a West Indies Emancipation Day Celebration took place near Joplin at Castle Rock park on August 4, 1877.

A July 11, 1924 Joplin Globe article advertises that the 1924 Emancipation Day celebration was to be held at Ewert Park. Given that the park was deeded to the city in February of that same year, this is the first time Emancipation Day was held at Ewert Park (where it is now celebrated in August as Park Days).

In an August 4, 1984 Joplin Globe article, another reason for the August 4th celebration surfaces: “Area [Black people] celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s Sept. 22, 1862, signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on Aug. 4 because it was on that date in 1863 that the news of slaves being freed reached this area, says Thelma Meeks, a retired schoolteacher.” After all, news traveled slowly in the 1860s!

Regardless of whether it was celebrated in August or September, and whether the reasoning behind choosing when was tied to Lincoln’s proclamation, the abolition of slavery in the West Indies, or because of how slowly news traveled, we know, for certain, that Joplin’s local Black community has held Emancipation Day celebrations for 146+ years with community events featuring music, dance, parades, orators, picnics and barbeques, games, exhibits, markets, and more, making it Joplin’s longest-running community event.

Depicted below is a photograph from Joplin’s 1952 Emancipation Day Celebration at Ewert Park. For more information about Joplin’s Park Days, visit Joplin Emancipation’s website at www.joplinemancipation.com.

 

 

Written By Post Art Library Director Jill Halbach with research assistance by Joplin Public Library Reference Assistant Richard Porter

2022 Post Art Library Holiday Tea

‘Tis the season for our annual holiday tea! We invite you to join us in the Community Room inside Joplin Public Library on Sunday, December 11th from 2-3pm for an informal tea and treats, including a performance by Joplin’s own Midwest Regional Ballet. This is a free, public program. Registration/library card not necessary.

Since 2016, we’ve hosted an annual Holiday Tea inside the library. Held each December, this event typically features a live musical or other performance: local Harpist Amanda Kimble, Father Christmas, and the Ellis Sisters with Historic Murphysburg, Inc. (2016); Still Waters String Ensemble (2017); a Heartland Opera Theatre collaboration (2018); the Thomas Jefferson Cavalier Chorus and Thomas Jefferson String Ensemble (2019); and The Opus 76 Quartet with Pro Musica (2021).

We are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts-related organization located inside Joplin Public Library. For more information, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit PostArtLibrary.org or contact our Executive Director, Jill Halbach, at 417.623.7953 x1041 or jill@postartlibrary.org.

 

JRAC Exhibit: The Eyes Have It

The artists of Joplin Regional Artists Coalition (JRAC) were asked to consider creating an original work of art concerned with and focused on the eye. For time eternal, artists have explored this theme–as symbol, allegory, and as thoughtful contemplation regarding the world around us. Encompassing a variety of mediums, JRAC’s talented members have once again shown us the vast array of viewpoints that art allows.

The Eyes Have It will be exhibited in The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery inside Joplin Public Library November 1, 2022 – January 2, 2023.

 

     

1st Place, Midori No Honō by Emily Rose; 2nd Place, Seymour by Ginger Copeland

 

 

3rd Place, The King In All His Glory by Curt Penland

 

   

The Eyes Have It exhibit in The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery inside Joplin Public Library.

Book Review: A Culinary History of Missouri by Suzanne Corbett and Deborah Reinhardt

One of my favorite things about traveling is experiencing the unique food and drink of the places I visit. To be honest, I like that as much, in some cases more, than site-seeing. In Missouri, you don’t have to go far before coming across breweries, distilleries, Kansas City barbeque, St. Louis Italian, Sedalia’s State Fair food, wineries, and much, much more. Although it’s less of a “where to eat travelogue” and more of a history proper, authors Suzanne Corbett and Deborah Reinhardt take us on quite the journey in A Culinary History of Missouri: Foodways & Iconic Dishes of the Show-Me-State.

We begin in colonial Missouri with our first European settlers—the French. According to the authors, “Unlike other American Colonial groups, Missouri’s French defined themselves through their food ways.” They made mud ovens in which to bake bread from wheat they grew and milled. The enslaved Africans who arrived with them introduced okra and gumbos into their food culture.

Food itself aside, it was important to Missouri’s French colonists to maintain their food customs, including table settings and cookware. The table was always set! And cookware was largely the same in poor and wealthy households, featuring kettles, pots (iron, tin, copper, wood), baking pans, pudding molds, pepper mills, utensils, etc.

To grow food, they created common fields, which were not unlike today’s community gardens, though a bit more involved. In these fields, people cultivated a variety of row crops. Some of the fields, such as the one in Ste. Genevieve, are still visible today.

Food was very much tied to holidays and tradition. For example, the King’s Cake, “a fanciful cake enriched with butter, incorporating aromatic spices, ground nuts, and fruit glaze” was baked to celebrate Twelfth Night. As it goes, a bean was placed in the batter before the cake was baked. During the Twelfth Night Ball, the King’s Cake was served to all the gentlemen and whoever found the bean in their cake was proclaimed king and got to choose a queen. This celebration is carried on today at the Gateway Arch Museum in St. Louis. Each year, they welcome the public to their annual Twelfth Night Ball.

Another food-related holiday event takes place annually in Ste. Genevieve. La Guignolee, “Missouri’s original New Year’s Eve,” is a celebration in the streets, taverns, and cafes of the Historic District that features dancing, singing, food, and drink. Like the Twelfth Night Ball in St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve’s La Guignolee is open to the public—ring in the New Year like it’s 1769!

The authors take us linear from the 1700s into 1800s Missouri, when the English and Scotch-Irish, and their enslaved African Americans, “arrived from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and Illinois.” Their specialty? Curing and smoking hams. In fact, they were so good at curing and smoking hams that “Missouri became and remains one of the few states included in the American Ham Belt.” Yes, that’s a thing—the American Ham Belt. Portable soup, a sort of predecessor to bouillon, is also of this era. It was a bone broth boiled down to a gelatinous paste then dried and cut and could be reconstituted with water.

We visit Arrow Rock Tavern, which was established in 1834 and is the oldest continually operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River. Soups and stews were its most common fare, with occasional special dishes, such as fried chicken. Fantastically, Arrow Rock Tavern still serves fried chicken daily.

The authors bring to light how food and the introduction of new food to an area can change, or re-establish, food production. For example, when Turkey Red wheat was introduced to Missouri by Russian immigrants in the 1870s, it “revitalized milling operations” when two men bought the old community mill, rebuilt it, and produced “Queen of the Pantry Flour,” which became very popular. It’s interesting to think that if Turkey Red wheat hadn’t been introduced to that area, the mill would have, like so many others, fallen into disrepair and likely eventually been torn down.

I didn’t realize Missouri is home to big-name food brands, such as Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix (which began as Pearl Milling Company Pancake Mix, the namesake which it returned to in 2021 “in an effort to make positive progress for racial equality”) and Saltines. Also, the Golden Delicious apple was discovered and developed in Louisiana, Missouri. Other food discoveries originated in Missouri, too, such as burnt ends in Kansas City, and the first bread slicing machine in St. Joseph.

The railroad had a tremendous impact on food, helping to overcome “regional limitations” by significantly reducing the time it takes to move food, thereby “making more food accessible and affordable.” Moreover, as passenger service increased, so did the demand to dine while in transit. Hence, the dining car (which was preceded by buffet/refreshments cars, not unlike those used by airlines today, though they failed to appease travelers’ appetites).

The Rockcliffe and Garth Woodside mansions, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places in Hannibal, Missouri, offer a sort of breakfast reenactment in honor of Mark Twain: “Elegant breakfast served in a style that Twain would have approved.” Visitors may also dine at the Mark Twain Dinette, a circa 1940s diner near his boyhood home.

Interestingly, we learn about much more than the history of food in Missouri. We learn, too, about the history of our culture and our people. Take, for example, Crown Candy in north St. Louis. Opened in 1913 by best friends who emigrated from Greece, Crown Candy Kitchen is the city’s oldest operating soda fountain. (And, though it’s not mentioned in the book, I hear they have good BLTs!) Jazz, politics, and sports are among the cultural aspects discussed by the authors.

A culinary history of Missouri would not be complete without touching on Missouri’s breweries and wineries, of which Missouri has (and has had) plenty. The authors discuss German settlement of central Missouri and the “grape lots” that came to be in that area, which lead to the establishment of Missouri wineries. Breweries in St. Louis, as well as other areas, are highlighted, as well as the impact of prohibition on alcohol-related establishments throughout the state.

Not only does this book serve as a culinary history of Missouri, but a cookbook, too. At the end of each chapter, you’ll find the recipes referenced. Here are some that caught my eye: 1830 Chicken Pie, Cowboy Beef and Beans, Saltine Cracker Pie, Fred Harvey Railroad Cole Slaw, and Pioneer Chili.

As always, happy reading and, in this case, happy eating.

Book review by Jill Halbach Sullivan, Post Art Library Director.

Abstract Paintings by Lori Marble

Favorite Children’s Books Reimagined: What Do You See?, an exhibit featuring abstract paintings by Lori Marble, will soon be at the Library!

Remember your favorite books from childhood? Perhaps you even have one or two on your bookshelf today? Now, picture them reimagined as abstract paintings. Artist Lori Marble, the now adult child of a librarian, lovingly remembers the books that shaped her childhood.

She asked the librarians at Joplin Public and Post Art Libraries about their favorite children’s books, read them, and painted them in an abstract, mixed-media style. She paints in an ambidextrous fashion, laying down large swatches of bold color using a palette knife in her left hand, while incorporating bold brush strokes and subtle details with her right. Her love of symbolism and pattern is evident in each work on paper.

The display is purposely hung at a child’s eye-view and will prompt each viewer to ask “What do you see?” This exhibit is presented by the Post Art Library in The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery inside Joplin Public Library. Free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Post Art Library Director Jill Sullivan at (417) 623-7953 x1041.

 

EXHIBIT INFO:

June 9 – August 31, 2022 | Opening reception: June 9, 2022, 6:30-7:30pm

 

Sculptures by Zach VanBecelaere

We’re glad to present Sculptures by Zach VanBecelaere in the Post Reading Room inside Joplin Public Library from Sunday, May 1st – Thursday, June 30th.

Working primarily with steel and stainless steel, Zach VanBecelaere uses a variety of metalworking techniques to manipulate materials into new forms. He incorporates welding used for harsh texture, high mirror polished finishes, and patinated rusted finishes to create contrast and duality in his work. His work stems from a fascination with the natural processes of growth and decay while exploring the relationship between the two.

For more information, contact Post Art Library Director Jill Sullivan at 417-623-7953 x1041.

EXHIBIT INFO

Sunday, May 1st – Thursday, June 30th

 

The Thought Knot by Zach VanBecelaere (with PAL Director Jill Sullivan for scale).

Photography by Mitsu Harter

We invite you to visit our Local History gallery to take in the photography of Mitsu Harter. For many years she expressed her artistic vision with paint, on canvas, and even on walls and ceilings within her home. After an accident that required the rebuilding of her hand, she searched for a way to continue to share her dreams of light, color, nature’s brilliant beauty, and exquisite timeless history. She eventually picked up a camera and now uses her artist’s eye to pinpoint the miraculous dwelling among the mundane, to expose the color residing in the shadows. Harter’s photographs feature historic sites and structures.

For more information, contact Jill Sullivan at 417-623-7953 x1041.

EXHIBIT INFO

Sunday, May 1st – Tuesday, May 31st | Reception: Sunday, May 15th, 2-3pm

 

Church – Picher, Oklahoma by Mitsu Harter

COMBINE: Spring

COMBINE is a collaborative and interdisciplinary group of MSSU Art & Design students. This, their inaugural group exhibition, explores various creative responses to the concept of “spring.” COMBINE: Spring is on exhibit in the Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery inside Joplin Public Library until Sunday, May 29, 2022. Visit the library during the opening reception on Thursday, April 28 between 6:30-7:30pm for an opportunity to meet the artists.

For more information, contact Jill Sullivan at 417-623-7953 x1041.

EXHIBIT INFO

Thursday, April 28th – Sunday, May 29th | Reception: Thursday, April 28, 6:30-7:30pm