Two meetings have been scheduled on June 9, 2011, at the Spiva Center for the Arts, 222 W. 3rd St., Joplin to solicit input for this project. The times are 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5:30-7 p.m.
For the past nine months, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Cultural Affairs Committee has been in the planning process for bringing a second Art in Public Places Project to the community. The first, "Route 66, Joplin, Missouri, a mural created by Anthony Benton Gude, grandson of recognized muralist Thomas Hart Benton, was placed on a wall at the Joplin City Hall lobby in view of his grandfather's work.
From July 8 through the fall 2011, Joplin community members, artists and students with the help of a core group of 10-15 volunteers composing the "design team," are being asked to collaborate the next project under Loewenstein's guidance with the help of his assistant and videographer who are creating a documentary on the subject. A series of community meetings, outreach presentations and hands-on classes for individuals of diverse ages is planned.
"This cross-generational and cross-cultural project will provide an opportunity for participants to learn about community art and the mural making process, offer input and ideas for inclusion in the mural/possibly other projects, and experience the design and execution of a major public artwork in Joplin," said Sharon Beshore, a project coordinator.
Loewenstein, in describing the project "as a part of the recovery in Joplin"...that will be used "to inspire, remember and envision," has suggested a series of moveable pieces strategically placed in neighborhoods around town as an adjunct to the creation of one large mural to be placed downtown. The larger mural, he said, would include a place of beauty and memory where residents young and old could view the mural and also add their personal wishes, thoughts and ideas in the form of drawings, poetry and photos. These collected images and writings would be documented and possibly printed in a book and/or published on a website dedicated to the project. The documentary would be a way for Joplin residents and those from other areas facing tragedy to understand the efforts of local people in coping and rebuilding and how art was integral to the process.