The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 12, 2013

SEK Art Fest judges pick competitors for public art event

By Andra Bryan Stefanoni

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Artists from Missouri and Kansas learned Tuesday whether they had been selected for the first public art event of its kind in the Four-State Area.

It was a challenge, judges said, to narrow a field of 58 artists to 26.

“There was not one entry that did not have an idea bursting with enthusiasm and commitment to the goal of the project,” said Portico Bowman, an associate professor in the Department of Art at Pittsburg State University and one of three judges. “Everyone could have been selected.”

The exhibit, a public installation of larger-than-life fiberglass coal buckets slated to line Broadway in downtown Pittsburg, will kick off on May 1 and be on display until Sept. 1.

Artists chosen from Pittsburg are Merri Teresa Accad, James Collver, Elizabeth Cosby, Rod Dutton, David Hightower, Josh Johnson, Scott Leeper, Nicole Meyer-Foresman, Rhona Shand, Billy Smith, Jenna Spencer, Lori Stotler, and the duo of Lori Smith and Cyndee Harvey.

Artists chosen from Joplin include Stephanie O’Donnell and Edward Hicks. Artists chosen from elsewhere in the Midwest include Kristina Crawford of Lawrence, a group of artists called Farmer’s Daughter of Hepler, David Cerne of Frontenac, Gary Lofts of Arma, Mendy McCluey of Sarcoxie, the duo of Robert and Lis McCool of Kansas City, Grace Peterson of Lawrence, Sherry Pettey of Carthage, Sue Robinson of Scammon, and a group of artists called The Tank of Joplin.

The theme of the art exhibit is "Mining Memories" to celebrate thecultural heritage of the Southeast Kansas region.