joplinarts

GRIND by Brett Dorrance

Brett Dorrance’s GRIND is comprised of a typographic sculpture and posters. Dorrance’s background knowledge of graphic design and 3D design is displayed in a pragmatic, modern, and uplifting way. He has a large interest in motivational messages and helping others from the bottom to the top. His desire is for the viewer to walk away with a sense of encouragement.

“We all go through a daily GRIND no matter what the circumstances are. I want that daily GRIND to be applied in a way that brings success and hope, not destruction or failure,” said Dorrance.

GRIND is on exhibit in The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery inside Joplin Public Library, 1901 East 20th Street, Joplin, MO now through January 5, 2019. An artist’s reception will be held in the gallery on Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 6-7:30pm. 

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

Photography by Maxwell Heckman

Maxwell Heckman’s photography show juxtaposes two of his series: M.A.D: Mutually Assured Destruction, a black and white series which opposes nuclear war and weapons, and Morning in Joplin, a color landscape series.

In his application to show artwork in the library, Maxwell Heckman described himself as “a young, somewhat inexperienced photographer.” He went on to say his philosophy is artists must enjoy their work, be proud of their failures, and, above all, keep going.

In his practice, he wakes at 5am and walks about with his camera, taking photos, whether it’s 5 degrees or 106, rain or shine, good or poor lighting, etc. He keeps going, shooting as many frames as he can, enjoying the process.

Rather than viewing his artwork as good or bad – “peeks or valleys” – he sees it as a vehicle for improvement, as “always having the opportunity to get better.” That, he says, is why he’s an artist.

When working with Maxwell to determine which of his work to show in the library, I became intrigued with juxtaposing his gas mask series and landscapes. The stark contrast between the black and white gas mask photographs and the saturated color landscapes demonstrates Maxwell’s aptitude for exploring his medium while eliciting an indescribable connection between the two series.

Indeed, he might be young and somewhat inexperienced, but his work is experimental and promising.

Heckman’s photography is on display in the Genealogy, Local History, and Post Reading Room wing inside Joplin Public Library now through November 30th.

Calling all Writers: 2019 Joplin Writers’ Faire Registration

Registration is now open for the 2019 Joplin Writers’ Faire, an annual collaborative event that connects all sorts of writers to their existing and potentially new audiences while encouraging community support of local and regional writers.

Last year, over 25 authors participated in and over 300 people attended this annual event! Registration is FREE and open to all writers, writers’ groups, and writing-related organizations.

DETAILS:

  • The 3rd Annual Joplin Writers’ Faire is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 10am-2pm at Joplin Public Library.
  • Registrationis FREE and opens at 9am on Thursday, August 1, 2019 and closes at 6pm on Friday, August 30, 2019. Neither early nor late registrations will be accepted. Tables will be provided for the first 25 registrants.  
  • For an opportunity to participate in the public reading portion of this event, we request that you donate an item (e.g. one of your books, associated merchandise, a journal, pen set, etc.) to be given away as a door prize. If you’re agreeable to the donation and would like to claim one of the sixteen public-reading slots, then please state as such at the time of your registration. Note that participation in the public-reading portion of this event is optional and that slots will be given on a first come, first serve basis. 
  • Contact either Jill Sullivan (jhsullivan@postartlibrary.org; 417-623-7953 x1041) or Evan Martin (emartin@joplinpubliclibrary.org; 417-623-7953 x1018) to register.

The Joplin Writers’ Faire is a collaboration between Post Art Library (PAL) and Joplin Public Library (JPL).

Sculpture Works in Wood

“Sculpture Works in Wood,” a solo exhibition by local artist M. Justin Hale, is on display in our Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery, our display cases, and in the Post Reading Room inside Joplin Public Library now through September 30, 2019.

Hale sees anatomical references whenever he carves. Most of his professional life has been spent working in prosthetics. Leaving the prosthetics field in 1999, he now devotes his life to his artwork.

His work is inspired by the bent and twisting forms found in remnants of trees from a long and well lived life. Finding and releasing the stored energy of the wood into a new life as sculpture is a great experience.

For more information, contact Jill Sullivan at 417-623-7953 x1041 or jhsullivan@postartlibrary.org.

Library exhibitions and displays are curated by Post Art Library. Their mission is to enrich the community of Joplin by perpetuating Dr. Winfred L. and Elizabeth C. Post’s love of art, architecture, history, and history preservation through public access to arts-related library resources and services, educational programming, events, and exhibits. Visit www.postartlibrary.org for more information.

MSSU Senior Sneak Peek

MSSU Senior Sneak Peek, an art show comprised of artworks by recent or soon-to-be recent graduates of Missouri Southern State University’s Art Department, is on display in our Local History, Genealogy, and Post Reading Room gallery. A preview of the artists’ senior shows, Sneak Peek features art by Jocelyn Lechuga, Lydia Humphreys, McKenzie Wesley, Sydney Buffington, and Jacklyn Kidd.

Welcome to the Game: Human Trafficking in America

“Welcome to the Game: Human Trafficking in America” by Neosho artist Sarah Serio is on display now through March 2019 in our Bramlage and Wilcoxon Foundation Gallery.

Serio is a printmaker creating in traditional methods of hand-carved, hand-inked, and hand-pulled works. Her work focuses on and raises awareness about the millions of people world-wide who are victims of human trafficking.

“Welcome to the Game: Human Trafficking in America” is comprised of 12 reduction block prints, each layered with ink that builds a foundation upon which a narrative of those suffering from this violent and demeaning trade is told.

“I find that often the visual imagery used to bring awareness to the sex-slave industry is sanitized, such as showing a girl with a barcode and ropes around her wrist. My work strives to bring the harsh reality of this world to light,” said Serio.

Serio is a nationally exhibiting printmaker who received degrees in Fine Art and Graphic Communication from Missouri Southern State University. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and in Southwest Missouri.

A brief artist’s talk and reception will be held in the gallery on Thursday, February 21st, from 6:00pm-7:30pm.

 

Lydia Humphreys’ New Portrait Series

A few weeks ago, local artist Lydia Humphreys popped into PAL and asked if she could take a photo of me to paint my portrait for a series that she’s currently working on. Between blushing and laughing as she snapped the photo, I managed to ask her a couple of questions about the series, which she’s been releasing via social media. Perhaps what intrigues me most is that she paints each portrait in the color that she sees the person. Not their auras, necessarily, but the colors that she associates with that person. Last week, I had the fortune of meeting with Lydia to further discuss her art and this portrait series in particular.

Jill: Could you tell me a little about your background? Are you from Joplin? How long have you been involved in Joplin Arts?
Lydia: I’m from Joplin, but I’ve been involved in Joplin Arts for about two years, since I started college at MSSU. Although I’ve always drawn, painted, and taken lots of art classes, I didn’t want to do art. I wanted to become a physical therapist and work with kids with disabilities.

What changed that?
I did an internship in St. Louis and art was all around. Living in a bigger city you catch on to trends more, see the arts more, and art is everywhere. Being there helped me realize that art was a possibility, that I could do it my own way, that it was something that was attainable. I started making art in St. Louis.

Why do you do what you do? Why art?
My brain works better with art. It’s easier for me to communicate through art. I can express things that I don’t know how to verbalize.

What if what you’re trying to communicate is viewed differently by the viewer?
If the person doesn’t see what I’m going for, then I’m either not communicating it right or they aren’t the right person for it.

How do you work? Meaning do you have rituals or routine?
I always have headphones on to tune everything else out because I work mostly at school. I work alone, mostly, but sometimes with one friend.

What are some of your favorite mediums?
Mixed media, installations, everything. I’m intrigued by big installations. I did one and it was exhaustingly fun.

In addition to making art, you’ve curated exhibits. What appeals to you about curating the art of others?
I like making a space pristine with art. Something about walking into an area to see the art and not being there for anything else.

What generally inspires your work?
Right now, it’s varied. …I’m upset with issues that are interpreted wrong, like the emotions and actions of others. So I want to destigmatize. For example, I did a series about depression and anxiety.

I’d like to talk about this portrait series that you’re working on. Why depictions of people?
People make up the community. It all feels like family and I love community. It’s another way to support the community. And the act of making the art breaks the ice, helps me to get to know the individual better. I’m inspired by spending so much time with the faces, getting to know a certain type of beauty that’s often initially dismissed.

You’re painting these faces in the color that you see the person. You said not their auras, but the color that you associate with them. Could you discuss this a little more?
I assign certain colors and patterns to things so that I remember them. It’s the same for people. I’ll remember a face and a color that I’ve assigned to that face better than a name. But none of the colors have particular meanings to me. I don’t know why certain colors, it’s just what happens. It’s not always personality based. Sometimes I see the same color for someone who I like and for someone who I dislike.

Does the color come to you more easily for some people than others?
Yes. Sometimes I start one color and change to another color. I might assume a certain color, but when I go to mix it I realize it’s a different shade, hue, or value. Or more than one color. Sometimes the background is another color I associate with that person.

How have those depicted reacted to the paintings? Has anyone been surprised or disappointed about their color?
Generally, people are excited to be painted. One person did think the color I chose was weird, but others agree.

Do you know how many portraits you will paint for this series?
I don’t have a certain number in mind. The project needs to evolve somehow. I like the idea of a large amount of portraits. I want to do a lot.

I have one more question. Do you have a certain color that you associate with yourself?
Pink. Vibrant pink.

At the time of this interview (2/2/2017), there were 14 portraits in Lydia’s series, four of which are shown here. You can follow Lydia and her artwork on Facebook (Lydia Humphreys) or Instagram (lydia_humphreys).

The Scoop: Coloring Book Club

In October 2015, Connect2Culture, Post Art Library, and Spiva Center for the Arts launched Coloring Book Club (CBC), with plans to meet every other month, alternating between the library and Spiva, for one year. Our goal was to offer adults a well-deserved “brain break” without expectations while promoting mindfulness and self-expression, reducing anxiety, and strengthening community. Now that we’ve met that goal, we’ve considered feedback from CBC-goers and reassessed to determine the best way to move forward.

Although Connect2Culture and Post Art Library had a wonderful time helping to launch this fantastic club, Spiva is taking the lead. Starting in January 2017, ALL Coloring Book Club meets will be held monthly at Spiva Center for the Arts on the second Saturday of each month, 10:30am-noon. We believe that participants will have a better experience with monthly meetings at a consistent location. Plus, this location eliminates the need to register for meets–simply show up and color!

If you have any questions about Coloring Book Club, then please contact Spiva Center for the Arts at 417-623-0183 or visit their website at www.SpivaArts.org.

Thanks for the great year and color on!

coloring-book-club-2

Words with Hiram Mesa

Throughout November, the Post Art Library is showing Hiram Mesa’s The Magic Mirror, which is comprised of mixed-media artworks, screen prints, jewelry, and wonderfully cut cabochons. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to ask Hiram some questions about his art.

Jill’s questions/comments are in bold,
whereas Hiram’s are not.

You’re making a name for yourself cutting stones. Could you tell me about what drew you to pursue lapidary work?
I was traveling with some friends through Colorado and New Mexico and we stopped at a rock shop. I noticed a nice piece of turquoise jewelry on display and I thought maybe I could do something like that. So I bought a rough, unfinished stone and I started buying Rock & Gem magazine and set about teaching myself lapidary work. Eventually I joined a gem and mineral club in Joplin and started borrowing some of their equipment and cutting stones. That was about 12 years ago.

Although you do buy some stones, you prefer digging for them. Where have you dug for stones?
Colorado, mostly. I’ve been to Canada, some places in Arkansas, and New Mexico.

What’s it like to dig for stones?
It’s the most amazing thing EVER!!! When you pull something out of the ground and it’s been there forever and no one has ever seen it and the light is shining on it—it’s very, very cool… I’d rather be digging for stones than doing just about anything else.

But tell me about the process. What types of tools do you use?
It’s actually a lot of work. It’s funny, I work harder on my vacations than when I’m working. I use shovels, pry bars, picks, chisels, brushes, things like that.

How do you know where to go?
This is a tricky question. I’ve read a lot of books and field guides so I have a pretty good understanding of how to read the geology. You have to know how to read the rock itself, the geology. There’s a host rock that most of the stones form in, so you have to know how to read the host rock and it will tell you where you need to be digging. But a lot of it is intuition and luck.

Some of your mixed-media art incorporates specular hematite. Could you tell me about specular hematite and why you like to use it?
Specular hematite forms in large masses. I take two of the stones and rub them together over a piece of paper and collect the flakes to use in my art. I love stones, so I feel the need to apply stones to my art. I like specular hematite because I like the way it feels.

You’ve mentioned that you’d rather be digging for stones than anything else. So how do you turn your attention away from that to your other art forms, such as metal work, jewelry fabrication, and mixed media?
The abstract images that I envision are more easily conveyed through paper and paint. Besides, I really enjoy painting.

What are some of your favorite mediums to use in your mixed-media pieces?
Markers, watercolors, fingernail polish, and acrylics.

Aside from the art that you make, what are some of your favorite forms of art and who are some of your favorite artists?
I like photography, poetry, music, watercolor, ceramics, and most all forms of art. In regards to my favorite artists, that’s tough. I like so many art forms and artists that if I answer this question I’ll just be thinking of the most famous and that’s not fair.

Thanks, Hiram, for answering questions about your art. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Thanks, Jill.

Left: “Seascape” by Hiram Mesa
Right: “Waterfalls from the Heavens” by Hiram Mesa