The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 23, 2013

Our View: Rise of a town

— “Creativity,” “repetition,” “practice,” “connection” and “collaboration.” Those are words often used in the business and education communities.

They also are words being used to frame the outside borders of an incredible new mural that in the coming months will be mounted on the south side of a building in the 1600 block of Joplin’s Main Street.

The mural’s title, “Rise of the Phoenix,” is meant to be a parallel to Joplin’s recovery.

Our thanks to all the individuals who reached into their pockets to pay the costs.

And thanks to area artists and community members who sank their hands deep into the clay for two days to create the 3-D clay tile mural.

In just a little more than a year, Heather Grills and Brent Skinner, operators of Phoenix Fired Art, a community clay studio, have molded the teaching studio and gallery into something that is taking on a life of its own.

Grills told the Globe that art is capable of transforming a community.

We will continue to watch as the artists’ hub on Main Street teems with activity and inspiration. It may be several months until “Rise of the Phoenix” can be mounted on the outside of the building. No need, though, to wait until the final unveiling. Grills and Skinner invite the public inside for a look at artists at work.

It’s all part of the experience of rebuilding a town.

They say art can heal. It certainly has played a role in healing this town.

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