The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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February 15, 2013

Local artist wins bow tie design contest; cause to benefit Joplin tornado recovery

Margie Moss thought she would be doing interior work Friday at Spiva Center for the Arts. Instead of measuring for blinds, she was blindsided with an announcement.

Staff members at Spiva used a going-away party for another staff member to surprise Moss with news that she won a bow tie design contest. Her winning design will be made into a new offering from BowTie Cause, a fundraising effort led by former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones.

Moss was visibly moved by the announcement.

“It was like winning a coloring contest as a kid, it was that kind of moment,” Moss said afterward. “It’s an honor, because the competition was very tough.”

Jo Mueller, director of Spiva, said more than 200 people entered 200 designs — some working collaboratively, she said. Three judges picked five finalists and submitted those to BowTie Cause, which picked Moss as the winner.

Her entry features a graphic-design style of art similar to her en plein air paintings, and includes depictions of construction tools, scissors and a red ribbon, buildings, plants, a butterfly, crosses and the words “Love, Joplin and Hope.”

She worked on it during late-evening hours and collaborated with her two grown children, Kate and Cole, on the design.

“Both of them have an artistic side,” Moss said. “I’d work on it late at night and email them designs, then they would email comments back to me.”

Designers with BowTie Cause will make adjustments to Moss’ design, then produce a line of bow ties made of high-quality silk.

Jones formed the fundraising company in 2010 after a friend was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Ties from the company have raised funds for more than 80 organizations around the country, from Ronald McDonald House to the Cincinnati Zoo.

Jones said in January that funds from the winner’s tie would go toward tornado recovery, and that this is the first time the nonprofit has received its design directly from the community.

Mueller said the contest was intended to be a community event, and the response was very satisfying. The most powerful part of the competition was the stories that entrants submitted: People as young as 6 and as old as 77 shared their stories.

“We billed this as a community event, and the response really filled that,” Mueller said. “The thing that touched me the most were those stories. There were things written by 6-year-olds that were just wonderful.”

Tie one on

Jo Mueller, director of Spiva Center for the Arts, said Bowtie Cause founder Dhani Jones will be in Joplin on April 27 for a formal presentation and lessons on how to tie a bow tie.

The bow tie benefiting Joplin tornado recovery will be available for sale at Spiva and at Bowtiecause.com. The anticipated price will be about $60.

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