By Joe Hadsall
Discover Downtown Joplin Third Thursday, the monthly evening expo of downtown Joplin businesses, artists and others, returns for its third year with a schedule that features a call for those born to perform.
Linda Teeter, art walk coordinator for the Discover Downtown Alliance, said several new features will be part of this year’s events. The biggest, however, will be a season-long push for performing artists.
“We’re inviting the community to let us know about people they feel have talent,” Teeter said. “We would like to have comedy routines, one-act plays, people standing on streets and corners doing something entertaining.”
From belly dancers to jugglers, from acoustic guitarists in jeans to flautists in medieval garb, Teeter would like to see it all, she said. Next week’s event features some of those performing artists:
• Joplin Area Catholic Schools and TouchPoint Autism Services will present a one-act teaser of an upcoming production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at Central Christian Center. The play is produced by TouchPoint Autism Services and Joplin Area Catholic Schools.
• Fire spinners will bring the heat
• Live musicians will perform at almost every stop on the art walk.
More live performances will be featured in later months, Teeter said. March’s art walk features mostly indoor-based events and activities, just in case the weather decides to walk all over the region. Next week’s event has two main highlights, Teeter said.
One of the highlights, Teeter said, is the “Faces of Haiti” fundraising exhibit for Joplin Helps Haiti.
The exhibit is a photo essay by Globe reporter Wally Kennedy, who visited the earthquake-ravaged country in February. Teeter said the exhibit tells a powerful story through an artful presentation of photography and video.
“It demonstrates the generosity of our area’s people,” Teeter said. “They said they had to do something. They couldn’t just sit here.”
Kennedy said the exhibit allows observers to experience the joys and frustrations of manning a relief mission to the country.
“I can’t tell you the number of times people have asked me what the trip was like,” Kennedy said. “My goal is to give the public a sense of that experience in words and pictures.”
A poster has been produced in connection with the exhibit, which will also feature local art by Cindy Head, a video by Steven Head, native art from Haiti and music provided by the local marimba band Kufara.
Money raised at the stop on the art walk will benefit Joplin Helps Haiti, a local group that formed after the Jan. 12 quake. The group has sent medical supplies, tents, money for food and medical teams to the country.
“We’re hoping for small donations,” Kennedy said. “A $10 donation will buy a 12-pound bag of rice in Haiti. We also want people to understand what has happened there and why the relief effort by Joplin Helps Haiti means so much to the people there.”
The exhibit will open at 6 p.m. at 613 S. Main St.
MSSU Focal Point
The other highlight is the entrance of Lions — the work of Missouri Southern State University art students will be featured in a juried art exhibit. Students will submit their art, and instructors will determine which ones get featured in the Focal Point exhibit, which will be shown at 509 S. Main. Future months will feature senior exhibits.
As the year progresses, Third Thursday will feature even more, Teeter said. Ideas under discussion include child care, sand volleyball, sidewalk chalk artists and more.
“We really want this to be for the Joplin area,” Teeter said. “We have a vision and desire for this to be surprising and fun for the community.”
On the walk
• Open Studio, 112 S. Main (upstairs): Josie Mai.
• Sunshine Lamp Gallery, 112 S. Main: Juried art show.
• Post Memorial Art Reference Library, Third and Main: Paintings by Amber Minert and Dianne Cantrell, carnival mirrors and children's pianos by Jackie Durbin.
• Gallery@506, 506 S. Main: Paintings by Jerry (Bongo) Long, photography by Bill Van Volkinburg, jewelry by Annabelle Fuhr and pottery by Sue Colgin.
• Mystery Gallery, 514 S. Main: Photography by Linda Teeter, Doug DeVoe and MaryAnn Soerries, jewelry by Marta Churchwell and Brenda Hayes, acrylics and pen and ink by Sherry Pettey, pottery by Daria Claiborne and music by Patti Nicoletti Johnson.
• HeART Gallery, 516 S. Main: Charcoal by Gary Royse and pen and ink by Clayton Woolery.
• Spiva Center For the Arts, Third and Wall: PhotoSpiva 2010, PhotoSpiva Kids and Nick Kyle exhibits.
• Gallery, 611 S. Main: Paintings by Jesse McCormick and Cheryl Church, photography by Koral Martin, jewelry by Joanna Turnbull and pottery by Angel Brame.
• Momentum 8 Studio, 809 S. Main: Photography and animated films by Peter Rhea.
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