Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Joplin - Introducing the Mural Team

As I often say in my presentation, community-based public art projects like this one are similar in many ways to community theater in that it takes many people and many skills to get to opening night, or in our case to the mural unveiling. Among the countless people who are participating and supporting the Joplin project are a group of professional artists instrumental to its success. Here are some brief introductions.

Amber Hansen, Mural Assistant
Amber, originally from Iowa,  has an MFA from the University of Kansas and is currently the Artist-in-Residence for the KU Art Department. Ms. Hansen is also a talented musician currently playing throughout the Midwest with her band "Your Mom's Best Friend".
Amber Hansen (and Nicholas Ward)

Kyle McKenzie, local Mural Apprentice
Kyle, who lives nearby in Webb City, teaches in the art departments at both Pittsburg State University and Missouri Southern State University. Kyle got his MFA from the University of Arkansas and shows his work throughout the region. Check out his website at www.kylejmckenzie.com
Kyle McKenzie

Josie Mai, Education Outreach Coordinator
Josie is an Associate Professor of Art and Art Education at Missouri Southern State University. She has an extensive background working with communities from Kenya to Kansas City. She received her MFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City. Learn more about her work at www.josiemai.com
Josie Mai

Nicholas Ward, Filmmaker
Nicholas is the co-director and principle cinematographer of a documentary in production about a six-state community mural project, which Joplin is a part of, supported by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. He received his MFA from the University of Kansas and recently returned from an artist residency at the Bemis Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
Nicholas Ward

Ashley Laird, 2nd Mural Assistant
Ashley is a muralist based in Topeka, Kansas where she is currently completing a commission for the Great Mural Wall titled "Reanimating the Arts in Topeka" which focuses on the history and vitality of Topeka's arts community. Ashley recently received her BFA from Washburn University in Topeka and will be joining the Joplin project in August.
Ashley Laird

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