The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 22, 2013

Sculptors tie mural design to Joplin recovery

JOPLIN, Mo. — Layer by layer the mural builds, like Joplin’s tornado recovery.

While craftsmen raise the city’s houses and businesses in stages with concrete and wood, artists have been at work to inspire the community’s recovery with clay.

“Rise of the Phoenix,” a 3-D wall mural, was being pieced together Friday and Saturday by a collaboration of sculptors and potters, helped by residents who went to view or lend a hand to the project.

Arkansas sculptor Trent Talley designed the three-panel mural as a project for a workshop he was invited to conduct at Phoenix Fired Art, 1603 S. Main St., a teaching studio and fired art gallery.

“We might as well do it big. We’ll make something you can put on the side of your building,” Talley told the operators of the studio, Brent Skinner and Heather Grills, of his idea for a workshop project.

Talley would like to see children and teenagers receive more education in the arts. “I think hopefully this mural will inspire some young people, or people are inspired by what they see” to explore the arts, he said.

Talley’s design depicts the steps that go into making pottery, intermingled with words describing the process as well as words of inspiration. The three-panel artwork starts with a foot pushing a shovel into the ground, signifying the digging of clay that starts the steps that go into the medium. The centerpiece is a kiln opening to show pots that have been fired. The final panel depicts someone eating from a bowl fired in the kiln.

“We actually are putting together a small documentary of the process with time-lapse cameras,” showing the progression of the work every 10 seconds, Grills said.

How much clay went into the project? “Literally a ton,” Grills said.

It was a marathon to the finish. Grills said building of the mural by volunteers who mostly are members of the studio or area artists started on Thursday evening and had to be finished by Saturday night.

It could be two months, though, before the mural is ready to be hung, Skinner said.

It will have to be placed in a storeroom to dry. How long will that take?

“Until it’s dry,” responded Grills, explaining that drying time is hard to predict because it varies according to the size and thickness of the piece, how much water is in the clay, the humidity in the air, and other factors.

Skinner, working on the first panel of the mural, used a piece of lumber to square a line of clay. “That’s the cool thing about clay is it’s forgiving at this stage,” he said. “Then it becomes fragile when it dries until it’s fired.”

Jeff Jones, of Neosho, was one of the volunteer sculptors who worked on the piece Friday afternoon. Though he works alone in his studio now, “I am used to this,” he said. “I love these group pieces. Before, for a number of years, I did exhibition sand sculpture,” working with a team. “So I am used to this. I love this because everybody feeds off each other for inspiration and energy.”

A sign outside the studio invited the public to come in.

“I saw this and I thought it would be fun,” said Vicky Mays, of Carl Junction. She said she’s a musician, not a visual artist, but she was able to make some pots and lettering. “They’ve been very patient with me,” she said.

The cost of the mural project was funded by donations of more than $2,500.

Public art projects

Several murals are being prepared for downtown Joplin.

• Art students at Missouri Southern State University have designed a mural for a billboard at A and Main Streets. It will depict the late George Spiva, the Spiva Center for the Arts and the Union Depot with the message “Welcome to Downtown.”

• Images in tile, owned by Paul Whitehill, is preparing ceramic tiles for a mural depicting Route 66 themes to be installed on the south side of the Pearl Brothers hardware store in the 600 block of Main Street. Route 66 originally went through Joplin on Main Street and Seventh Street.

• The cultural arts committee of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce has commissioned a mural for the south wall of the Corner Greer Architects building in the 700 block of Main Street.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter