The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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June 29, 2012

Mural project at Cunningham pool house seeks public participation

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin residents have through July 31 to choose which of three designs they prefer for a tile mural that will be created for the east outside wall of the pool house in Cunningham Park.

The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Cultural Affairs Committee is heading up the mural project as part of the initiative to put art in more public places. Committee co-chairs Becky Brill and Cameo Gerdes on Friday announced details of the project at the pool house and unveiled the three finalists.

The committee chose three designs from among 11 submitted by graphic arts students at Missouri Southern State University.

Devon Estes, MSSU assistant professor of art, said she jumped at the chance to get her students involved.

“It’s a really great opportunity for students to see their designs come to fruition, and also benefiting the community at the same time,” Estes said.

Paul Whitehill, owner of Images in Tile, said the mural will be about 7 feet high and 100 feet long, although the final size could vary. His company specializes in transferring artwork or other images to tile.

Residents may cast a vote for their favorite on the chamber’s website at There also is a link on the chamber’s Facebook page.

For donations of $20 or more, residents also may submit their own photo to be used as a tile in the finished collage mural. That also may be done through the chamber website.

Proceeds will support the next art in public places project, according to chamber officials.

Images in Tile will develop the final mural design after the winner submission is chosen. Whitehill said that will probably take a couple of months, with installation by next spring, before the pool opens.

Brill said she also wants to involve Estes’ students in developing the mural. She said the mural is another aspect of using art to help the community recover from the May 22, 2011, tornado.

“As we grow and as we rebuild, there’s a greater recognition of the role that art plays in our community,” Brill said.

MSSU students

The three design finalists were created by Missouri Southern State University students Sarah Hall, Debbie Schmidt and Emma Gustavsson.


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