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Norman Rockwell 323 Saturday Evening Post Covers

Main Gallery

Sep 20 2014 - Nov 8 2014

Artist's Website »

About the artist:

About this exhibit: George A. Spiva Center for the Arts is offering a rare opportunity to see the work of a world renowned artist in Joplin.Norman Rockwell: 323 Saturday Evening Post Covers is on display in the center's Main Gallery through November 8.

The 323 original magazine covers that made Rockwell a household name are part of a national traveling exhibit that included a stop at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.,last year.

This is also one of the rare occasions when Spiva charges an exhibit admission, although a series of Free Fridays is scheduled. Admission is $5 for the general public, and $3 for members,seniors, and students with IDs. Children under 12 will be admitted for free.Free Fridays, when the gallery will be open from noon to 7 p.m., are Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, 17 and 24.
Two related events, a lecture with musical performance and recreations of Rockwell magazine covers, are scheduled during the exhibit.

"Idealizing America: Norman Rockwell and Irving Berlin," will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in the Main Gallery. The event combines a lecture and live musical performances to explore how the art of Rockwell and the music of Berlin related to American issues. Berlin’s music will be performed by local voice and piano duo Rebecca Luebber Ensor and Robert Ensor with commentary by Michael Lasser, a New York author and broadcaster. Tickets for the event are $7 for members and $10 general admission. Advance ticket purchases are recommended.

The public will have the opportunity to create living pictures of Rockwell's magazine covers during photo shoots at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the Main Gallery. Participants will pose for Mark Neuenschwander of 9art Photography and may select any exhibit piece to recreate, interpreting the illustration through any context desired, as long as the essential action and poses are the same. Props and costumes must be provided by the participants. All entries will be printed and professionally displayed at Spiva and patrons will vote for their favorite. The winner will receive a Norman Rockwell merchandise package. The cost to participate is $25 per team.

Regarded as America’s best-known contemporary illustrator, Rockwell (1894-1978) was considered a keen observer of human nature and a gifted storyteller. His Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations were wholesome depictions of everyday scenarios in American culture, covering more than four decades. 

Rockwell, who became art director for Boy's Life when he was 17, began his tenure with the Post in 1916. He later illustrated covers for other magazines, including Look and Life. He also illustrated more than 40 books, including Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. During the course of his career, he was commissioned to paint portraits of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, as well as those of foreign leaders.

During World War II, Rockwell painted the Four Freedoms series, based on what President Roosevelt had declared to be universal rights: Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, and Freedom from Fear. The Saturday Evening Post published the paintings in 1943. He also illustrated World War II war bonds for the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Rockwell’s works became so valuable that the record price for one, Saying Grace, reached $46 million in 2013. His major works include No Swimming, Santa with Elves, Doctor and Doll, Rosie the Riveter, Young Lady with the Shiner, and The Problem We All Live With. Some of these illustrations are included in the Spiva exhibit.

Norman Rockwell: 323 Saturday Evening Post Covers is sponsored by Sharon & Lance Beshore and Family with additional financial support from the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau and Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. The exhibition was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Mass.

2014 Small Works

Regional Gallery

Sep 5 2014 - Sep 24 2014

Artist's Website »

About the artist: In its 17th year, the Small Works auction remains the most important art-driven event of the year, resulting in big support for Spiva and great exposure for the member artists involved.
Each year participating artists create an original work of art and donate it to the auction. The work may be in any medium and artists suggest the opening bid, with “Rainmakers” — those whose work achieved a high bid of $300 or more in a previous auction — beginning at $300.
Spiva artists contribute 6” x 6”, 6” x 9”, and 12” x 12” original works for this exciting annual auction. All proceeds benefit Spiva Center for the Arts!

Sponsored by Cynthia H. Schwab and the Curchin/Secker Family

About this exhibit: “Demand for Spiva services continues to expand,” said Jo Mueller, director. “We find ourselves responding to increasing numbers of requests for outreach to other organizations, and the need for children’s scholarships is still high. It’s an absolute given that the Small Works auction makes big things happen in terms of Spiva’s ability to serve the community.”
Bidding is open to the public and began with a sneak preview September 5th. Bid numbers are issued to prospective buyers to keep bidding anonymous. During the auction high bid information is posted on Spiva’s website,

Spiva's 2014 Small Works awards were announced Friday at the opening reception.
Congratulations to all!

Honorable Mention
Mixed Media

Charity Hohimer

Honorable Mention

Steve Doerr

Best Landscape or Plein Air
Karolee Blanchard

Best Conceptual Work
Rebecca Perry

Best Still Life or Floral

Carol Adamec

Best Photography
Emily Frankoski

Best Mixed Media
Michele DeSutter

Best 3D
Jacque Moody McDonald

Juror's Choice
Frank Young

Remember to vote for your favorite for the People's Choice award!
It will be announced at the closing party at Spiva, 5:30 p.m., Friday, October 24!