By Kelsey Ryan
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Local business Images In Tile and a noted marine-life artist are auctioning off two pieces of art to raise money for the Joplin School District’s art programs.
One piece is a floor mural that Images In Tile replicated from artwork by Robert Wyland, who uses only the name Wyland.
Paul Whitehill, president of the Joplin business, said the floor mural was created for the company’s trade show booth at Long Beach, Calif.
“After it was laid out on the floor of our shop, I got the idea of auctioning it off during the show to raise money for Joplin tornado relief.”
The piece, he said, is a custom tile mural reproduction of Wyland’s art onto commercial glass tiles totaling 70 square feet. The tiles can be installed on a floor or wall, and are valued at between $8,000 and $10,000, according to Whitehill.
The second piece is an ink-jet print on canvas of Wyland’s “Orca Calling.” The canvas is signed and numbered, and Whitehill said it is valued at $5,000.
A online site has been created to allow people to bid on the art or to just make a donation. The site is http://www.32auctions.com/organizations/1906/auctions/2067. The auction started Aug. 2 and will end at midnight on Aug. 17.
Whitehill said the decision to donate to the Joplin district’s art education efforts was made because of Wyland’s involvement in children’s art programs.
About $8,000 was raised for tornado relief last week via a silent auction of photos from the May 22 tornado at the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis.
Jim Forbes, chief photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, organized the event, “Journalists for Joplin.”
The auction included 34 photos from Forbes and other area photographers, with the money raised going to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ Joplin Recovery Fund.
Forbes said that 28 of the 34 photos were auctioned off and that more than 220 people turned out for the event. Many of the photos were then given back so they can go on display at the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau and other locations in St. Louis in an effort to collect more donations.