WPPL and WPCA partner for exhibits
The West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA) and West Plains Public Library (WPPL) will partner to bring quarterly art displays to the library. Visitors may view the displays at the library during open hours, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“Tone Poets” Exhibit by Garrett Melby
The West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA) and West Plains Public Library (WPPL) will partner to bring quarterly art displays to the library. Artwork from local artist Garrett Melby will be featured October 2 through the end of December 2023, featuring some pieces from his “Tone Poets” collection. Visitors may view the display at the library during open hours, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
WPCA Coordinator Janey Hale says, “With bold color and strong contrast Garrett creates for the viewer exciting interpretation of his subjects.”
Melby graduated from Willow Springs, Mo in 1998 and had success in school in art related events. His art was displayed in Willow Springs downtown and in the school art show. He graduated from Collins College in Phoenix, AZ with a degree in animation. While in Arizona, his art and animation were displayed in downtown Phoenix art galleries, first Friday’s art walk, as well as in Tempe and Mesa Arizona.
Currently Melby’s artwork is on display at Wages Brewing Company in West Plains, MO and Springfield Brewing Company’s Cellar music venue. Melby paints live with many area and national bands and musicians, including the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, The Steeldrivers, Haha Tonka, the HillBenders and many more. Melby currently is the Coordinator for Honest Imaginations an art-based program for special needs individuals in West Plains, Missouri.
Melby has had art shows and benefit auctions at Wages Brewery West Plains, The Yellow House Community art program West Plains, The Queen city Shout Springfield, Q enoteca wine bar Springfield Mo, OZBI, and Springfield Brewing Company’s Cellar. At these art auctions He has helped raise money for many local charities close to his heart such as ORC\West Plains Regional Animal Shelter, The Bridges Program of West Plains Schools, Rescue and Defend, the West Plains Optimist Club, Queen City Shout Poverty Relief, CASA, Christos House and Play it Forward to name a few.
“My mission statement is simply: You can’t move forward if you don’t give back. I paint live with bands and do a lot of cool things on a canvas, but the real art is finding a way to help someone with your art and that’s what I’m striving to do.”
WPPL Director Greg Carter shares, ‘Here at the library, our vision is that we are a space where all come to learn, create, discover, and connect. There is no better way to accomplish that vision than displaying local pieces of art for the community to peruse and appreciate. We are always proud to partner with the Council on the Arts to bring the beauty of art to our patrons.”
The virtual slide presentation is here.
A Meet-the-Artists event will be held on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 4-5:30 PM, hosted by the library, 750 W. Broadway, in West Plains. The public is invited to attend, meet the artist, view, and discuss the pieces on display. Partial funding for this exhibit is provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
Honest Imaginations Exhibit June 30-Sept. 29, 2023
Participants at Honest Imaginations Day Habilitation will provide pieces to be displayed June 30 through the end of September 2023. Visitors may view the display at the library during open hours, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
WPCA Coordinator Janey Hale says, “Honest Imaginations members bring a freshness and joy to the creation of art! It’s a must-see group of creative works.”
TJ Swift House (TJSH) is a Department of Mental Health contracted provider that supports people with disabilities. TJSH supports people in Individualized Supported Living (ISL) services where a person lives in their home. Support staff assists with daily living skills and being a part of the community. We also support people in Shared Living, where a person with disabilities lives with a family and is integrated into a family unit and community.
Honest Imaginations is a Day Habilitation facility operated by TJ Swift House, focused on helping the people we serve develop and use their artistic gifts and talents.
Honest Imaginations is a thriving gallery in the West Plains community. It serves as a place not only for people with developmental disabilities but also for community members by:
• Acknowledging and developing gifts
• Facilitating community connection through art projects, art shows, teaching classes, being taught, etc.
• Providing self-care through exercise, journaling, and other appropriate forms.
• Giving back through the skills and abilities of our participants in community projects.
The artists at Honest Imaginations range from 18 all the way to 63 years old and know no limits in life and art. Each artist has a style of their own and it shows in the art they create. Honest Imaginations has art on display at the Yellow House Community Arts Center and the Ozarks Welcome Center in West Plains. We also have art on display at the Neighborhood Tribe store in Mt. View Missouri. The sale of art on display creates a boost of confidence and feeling of acceptance in our participants. Honest Imaginations has sessions from 8:30 AM to 3pm Monday through Friday. Our goal is to create art, and to build friendships through that process.
“We create smiles at Honest Imaginations,” says Garrett Melby, the coordinator at the West Plains Location of Honest Imaginations at 23 Court Square. Melby is a local artist who is committed to the community, creating art-based fundraisers. He works with area bands, painting live while the bands play. Melby has worked with bands such as the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Ha-ha Tonka, and the Steel Drivers. With a degree in Art and Animation, Garrett has a passion for giving the artists of Honest Imaginations the opportunity to get exposure for their creations, and to help them grow in our community. Stop in at 23 Court Square and see the artist in action M-F until 3PM.
To find out more about Honest Imaginations Day Habilitation, please contact us. We will be happy to help you out. Contact us by phone at 417-256-1022 or email us at email@example.com
WPPL Director Greg Carter shares, “The West Plains Public Library is always excited to partner with organizations, such as West Plains Council on the Arts, that wish to use art to enrich the lives of the citizens of West Plains and the surrounding area.”
A Meet-the-Artists event will be held on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, 1-3PM, hosted by the library, 750 W. Broadway, in West Plains. The public is invited to attend, meet the artists, view, and discuss the pieces on display. Partial funding for this exhibit is provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
ART TEACHERS’ ARTWORK Mar. 9-End of June 2023
Art teachers from West Plains R-7 schools will be featured March 9 through the end of June 2023. Visitors may view the display at the library during open hours, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
WPCA Coordinator Janey Hale says, “West Plains is fortunate to have art teachers that excel in drawing out their students’ creative abilities. WPCA is excited to showcase the teachers’ artwork. This is an opportunity to view what they do that inspires them to inspire their students.”
WPPL Director Shawnie Kennedy shares, “We are so excited to have the art teachers of our community displaying their work in the library. Not only are they artists, but they use their talent and love for art to inspire our youth. They are true masters!”
About the Artists:
Mary-Louise Grisham Nash
Mary-Louise Grisham Nash – West Plains based artist/art teacher, Mary-Louise Grisham Nash has been passionate about art for the majority of her life. Originally from West Plains, Mary-Louise attended Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, where she received her bachelor’s in design arts, emphasis in photography, with a minor in art history. During her studies, she traveled and studied at the Santa Reparata International School for the Arts in Florence, Italy, where she was influenced and inspired by the art history, architecture, and landscapes of the region. Upon graduation, she went on to receive her Master of Arts of Teaching at Missouri State University. After earning her Masters, she returned to West Plains to start a career in Art Education at West Plains R-7 school district. She is currently in her 11th year as the middle school visual art instructor. She is passionate and inspired by student’s love and drive to learn new creative things, and also by the beautiful colors that she is surrounded by every day right here in the Ozarks.
Kathy Grigsby is a retired West Plains R-7 Art Teacher. While enjoying retirement she also teaches part time at South Fork Elementary. Kathy has painted many murals over the years for businesses and homes. Her most recent being the murals at The Truck Patch she and artist Cindy Temple collaborated with together. She also has donated many paintings including Santa’s as auction items for various fundraisers and events.
In her retirement she has found more time to be in front of her easel with opportunities to take many workshops with Regina Willard exploring painting techniques. As a result, she has carried this over to her teaching which has enlightened her instruction in the process of art. She states that “art is a process of mark making” and enjoys her students art more with that perspective. Kathy is married to Rick Grigsby and they have 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren.
Karen Pitts is currently in her third year of teaching art at West Plains High School and spent thirteen years teaching art at Willow Springs Middle School. She also teaches art at the Harlin Museum in West Plains and is the owner and operator of a painting party business “Treat Your Palette” teaching adult painting. Karen started her lifelong love of the arts at the early age of seven. Her first acrylic paints at the age of nine started her love for painting and have continued that love to today. Her goal after retirement is to continue teaching art, hosting painting parties, and starting an online kid’s art program. Karen has three daughters and seven grandkids and enjoys visiting family and grandkids back home in Oklahoma City.
Audrey Scott is a painter and art educator from West Plains, MO. “I have been painting since I was a child, always entranced by color and the emotional depth it is able to capture and evoke. In high school I developed a keenness for working in a more abstract approach, and that style has continued to evolve over the years. After high school, I obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a Minor in Art History from Missouri State University, and have had the opportunity to exhibit my work in galleries including Cottey College in Nevada, MO and Obelisk Home in Springfield, MO. I currently have the privilege of teaching art at West Plains High School.”
A Meet-the-Artists event will be held on Monday, April 17, 2023, 4-6 p.m. at the library, 750 W. Broadway, in West Plains. The public is invited to attend, meet the artists, view, and discuss the pieces on display. Partial funding for this exhibit is provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
An online slide show of this exhibit is available here.
For more information about the exhibit, contact Shawnie Kennedy Shawnie.Kennedy@westplains.gov
at the library or WPCA Coordinator Janey Hale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Plains R-7 Student Art
Students from West Plains High School and Middle School, along with Southfork students, will contribute to the initial display to be featured January through mid-March 2023. Visitors may view the display at the library during open hours, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
WPCA Coordinator Janey Hale says, “We are fortunate to display the works of local students. The work of young artists in both fresh and exciting. To see their technical ability is amazing, but what is most exciting is their fresh approach to art; unencumbered by what one might consider traditional art.”
WPPL Director Shawnie Kennedy shares, “We are so excited to have this partnership with the Council on the Arts coming to the library! We know there are many young artists out there, and it will be a pleasure to display the talent and creativity of our great city for all the community to see.”
A Meet-the-Artists event will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2023, 12-2 p.m. at the library, 750 West Main St. in West Plains. The public is invited to attend, meet the young artists, view, and discuss the pieces on display.