The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 9, 2013

Coal buckets arrive in Pittsburg; artists ready

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Children might not wants lumps of coal in their Christmas stockings, but artists were lining up to get them by the bucketful on Thursday.

The lumps were made of fiberglass, as were the buckets they fill. At 65 pounds, 3 feet high and about as wide, the statues took a little muscle to maneuver into pickup trucks that then hauled them from the Parks & Recreation Building to studios, garages and art classrooms.

“I am super excited to begin,” said Kelsci Cooper, a sign artist for CDL Electric.

For the next four weeks, Cooper and 25 other artists selected for the project will transform the white surface of the buckets into works of art to be displayed in the first public event of its kind in Southeast Kansas.

“I remember seeing the Cow Parade in Kansas City when I was a kid,” Cooper said. “This is what we need here — getting the arts more prominent. We have all the tools and people to make it happen. I just can’t wait to get started.”

Organizers couldn’t either. They were expecting the buckets to be delivered by Feb. 28 and to have them on display in downtown Pittsburg by May 1. But the first manufacturing company with which the SEK Art Fest contracted did not fulfill the order as promised.

“We had to fire him and reorder,” said Vonnie Corsini, a steering committee member who was on hand for the delivery Thursday afternoon.

The second manufacturer, based on the East Coast, fulfilled the order in the 35 days promised.

“They look fabulous,” said organizer Steve Robb, who conceived the idea to mimic the Cow Parade and similar large-scale public art installations in metropolitan areas.

After artists complete their buckets, they will be delivered to Vietti Auto Body Shop, where a clear coat will be applied to protect the paint.

When the buckets are dry, the artists and underwriters who provided funding for the project will unveil the designs at a private reception, followed by a public unveiling the next day downtown. Robb expects that to happen about the second week of June.

Twenty-four of the buckets will be installed on bases along a six-block span of Broadway. One will be installed at the Miners Hall Museum in Franklin with signs directing visitors who go there to see the Smithsonian exhibit to also make a stop in downtown Pittsburg. Another will be a traveling bucket that circulates between Spiva Center for the Arts and Northpark Mall in Joplin, Mo., as well as other highly visible locations.

“Our goal is to get the word out to the public in as many ways as possible,” Robb said.

Until then, the designs are secret. But a few artists who showed up to pick up their buckets agreed to share the inspiration behind their planned designs. They are as diverse as the artists themselves.

Gary Lofts, an art teacher at Northeast High School in Arma and a muralist who has left his mark on numerous businesses, restaurants, a hospital and a museum in the region, said he is using research for previous murals for his bucket.

David Hightower, a longtime noted panel artist whose claim to fame is pinstriping hot rods, counts in his three-dimensional repertoire painting a wooden pig statue for a tattoo parlor. But he didn’t paint it like a pig.

“I painted it like a sprint car,” he said. “So of course with this, I’m going to draw from my car background.”

Lori Stottler, a frequent performer and set artist for theater groups in Joplin, Independence and Pittsburg, said she will celebrate the arts in her design.

Rod Dutton, a longtime Southeast Kansas artist, said he won’t stray too far from his portfolio.

“I’m known for my landscapes, which are interpretive and impressionistic and abstract at times,” he said. “I never try to be like a photograph with my work, and neither will I be with my bucket.”

Lori Smith and Cyndee Harvey, both employed by Mpix at Miller’s Professional Imaging in Pittsburg, are combining creative talents for their bucket and plan to get started Saturday in Smith’s mother’s garage. It will be the first time they have worked on something three-dimensional.

“We’ve drawn out plans as much as we can,” Smith said, “and then we’re just going to wing it.”

She said they are drawing on historical references for inspiration, and then “we’ll bling it up a little.”

Display, auction

THE COAL BUCKETS, along with 31 smaller buckets created by students in Joplin, Carl Junction, Girard and Pittsburg, will be on display through Labor Day. They then will be auctioned as part of the annual heritage festival known as Little Balkans Days, named after the area in Europe from which many immigrants came. After settling in this area, many became coal miners or worked in industries that supported coal mining.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Nevada City Attorney chosen to advise Neosho Ethics Board

    The Neosho City Council on Monday appointed Bill McCaffree, Nevada city attorney, as special counsel to the Neosho Ethics Board. McCaffree will provide the ethics board with legal advice as it investigates an ethics complaint against council members Steve Hart and David Ruth. The vote to hire McCaffree was 3-2, with Hart and Ruth voting against the motion.

    April 22, 2014

  • Jasper County Commission approves contract for storage building expansion

    The Jasper County Commission on Tuesday approved a contract to expand an equipment storage building at the county’s Highway Department Complex on North River Street. The commissioners accepted a bid from Matt Denney Construction Co., Carthage, to build the 3,000-square-foot addition at a cost of $62,375.

    April 22, 2014

  • Carthage School Board advances funding for building projects

    Financing for a series of building projects planned in the Carthage School District was advanced Monday by members of the Carthage School Board. The board approved a resolution authorizing the sale of $18 million in bonds to finance a series of building improvements and approved lease-purchase financing for the early childhood center currently under construction.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Golf tournament supports SIDS research, awareness

    There are probably a lot of reasons the Marshall Dean Keller Memorial Golf Tournament continues to grow year after year, but one of the biggest just might be the cause it supports.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nixon: Tax-cut bill holds fatal flaw; area lawmakers say stance totally false

    Another year has brought yet another tax-cut fight between Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly, and on Tuesday, Nixon announced that he had found what he sees as a fatal flaw.

    April 22, 2014

  • NEO_Big_Event - Bright.jpg NEO students step up for Big Event

    Leann Hartman has a 30-foot ditch filled with leaves that she has to clean out every spring. For the retired schoolteacher, this usually means paying a company to clean it for her, only to have to do it again the following year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • r042214earthday.jpg Local group launches clean air plan on Earth Day

    It was an Earth Day first for Stephany Aquinaga, a pre-med student and member of the biology club at Missouri Southern State University. “This is the first time I have ever planted a tree,” she said.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho teachers express support for Common Core State Standards

    Neosho teachers on Monday voiced their full support for Common Core State Standards. They made their statements to board members during the Neosho Board of Education meeting as an agenda item.

    April 22, 2014

  • Gov. Nixon raises new concern about income tax cut

    Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon raised new concerns Tuesday that a tax cut the Legislature approved could have “cataclysmic” consequences for state revenues — an assertion a Republican legislative leader dismissed as “absurd.”

    April 22, 2014

  • Earth Day features celebrations

    It's Earth Day, and students and others throughout the Four States are celebrating.

     

    April 22, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday that a tax cut approved by the Legislature could have a “cataclysmic” effect on state revenues to the tune of $4.8 billion. House Majority Leader John Diehl calls that “absurd.” Who do you believe?

A. Nixon
B. Diehl
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter