CARTHAGE, Mo. —
There's something about Carthage that keeps artists coming back, said Sandy Higgins. But there's also something stronger.
"I think it's the friendships developed when this started 36 years ago," Higgins said. "It's that and the commitment to the Carthage area. They love doing it here, and they always usually stay here in the city, or with friends. It's like family when they all come."
This year's Midwest Gathering of the Artists features a few new faces in addition to some regulars, said Higgins, director of the event. Thirty-two artists from across the country, covering a variety of artistic media, will be featured at this year's show, held this weekend at Memorial Hall.
New artists include David Libby, of Higginsville, Mo., and Robin Cook, of Joplin, who both work with pens and pencils, and Kim Graham, of Higginsville, who paints oil landscapes.
Returning artists include Andy Thomas, Andrew Knez, April Davis, Bob Graham, Bill Snow, Bob Tommey, Bobby Hunt, Dan McWilliams, Doug Prine, Doug Hall, Jeff Legg, Garnet Buster, Gail McArgel, Jason Inman, Jason Sacran, Jack Sours, John Lasiter, Larry Case, Lowell Davis, Martha Spurlock, Martiena Richter, Raymond Popp, Richard Thompson, Robin Putnam, Roy Lee Ward, Robyn Cook, Steve White, Theresa Rankin, Tricia Courtney and Todd Williams.
The event begins today with an awards presentation and live auction. Emceed by Steve Tommey, the event features wine and hors d'oeuvres and includes a welcome by Mayor Mike Harris. Tickets for the event are $20. Saturday and Sunday features an art show and sale, where people can see the art and speak with the artists.
The event started as a backyard show at the home of Lowell Davis, as artist Bob Tommey was traveling from Chicago to Dallas. Tommey was able to sell all the leftovers that he had.
One unique feature of the show is that it doesn't charge an entry fee -- artists instead donate a work to the auction. Those donations are considered for numerous awards, including the coveted artists' choice award.
Want to go?
The Midwest Gathering of the Artists will feature 32 artists in a variety of media over a three-day period. The event includes a reception, auction and awards presentation today and a show and sale Saturday and Sunday. All events will be held at Memorial Hall, located at 407 S. Garrison St. Today's auction begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $20. The show and sale will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Details: 417-358-7163.