If Jorge Levya’s garden gate is open, the public is welcome to come inside. It’s not any ordinary garden, and it’s not intended to be a secret garden either.
Levya wants you to visit.
The Joplin artist and sculptor has created a sculpture garden that includes five or six works in Levya’s front yard at 1305 E. Vandalia St. in Joplin.
It’s a labor of love by a talent who believes sculpture as art is lacking in the Joplin area. And he’s right. For all the many wonderful art venues and murals Joplin has, sculptures are far and few between, although there are efforts, including a new installation soon to be finished in Mercy Park.
If you have ever walked the outside trail at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas, you soon understand how captivating sculptures can be. Leyva plans to change the front yard view from time to time, cycling through hundreds of pieces to be on display or for sale.
Leyva’s inspiration for the pieces you will see when you visit comes from the rebirth and redevelopment of Joplin.
“We never want to leave something because a disaster happened; we want to rise from those ashes,” he told Globe reporter Emily Younker in a Sept. 27 story.
But Leyva isn’t going to tell you what you should see in those works. Instead he hopes viewers will come away with their own opinions about what they see.
Leyva’s generous spirit will make this a success we see. He says the public is welcome anytime his front gates are open. We would urge you to take advantage of his invitation.