ArtWalk 2016 kicks off

Southern student Elyse Quattlebaum visits with a couple of visitors during First Thursday ArtWalk. ArtWalk happens each month from March to October.

As spring approaches, most cities make plans to launch yearly festivities. And Joplin is doing just that.

First Thursday ArtWalk kicked off the 2016 season on March 3. 

ArtWalk happens the First Thursday of each month, March through October.

The 11 full-time venues include Spiva Center for the Arts, Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, Post Art, M and M Bistro Gallery, Ron Erwin Photography, RSVPaint, Carmen Apples & More, Urban Art Gallery, MSSU Focal Art Gallery, Club 609 and Blacklist Ink.

Other venues will be added as needed. 

In preparation for each month, much work is done to spread the word.

“Work is widespread,” said Linda Teeter, coordinator of First Thursday. “Information on the calendars of Show Me Magazine, The Joplin Globe, fourstateshomepage.com, ENJOY…”

Teeter said the main way to keep up with First Thursday is to follow the Facebook page, FirstThursdayArtWalkJoplin. 

On the page, you can view a map of activities, venues, artists and musicians the week before ArtWalk. 

“The greatest help is the [public service announcement] commercials that were made by the MSSU TV Station KGCS-TV that air on their station, and KODE, KOAM, KSN and CableOne stations,” said Teeter.

Calendar information is also available in Vivid: The Fine Arts Magazine.

First Thursday includes art from all media. 

“Fine art to art works that’s the finest,” said Teeter. 

Works include photography, painting, ceramics, jewelry, glass art, fiber art, woodworking, airbrushing, drawing, papier-mâché and more. 

ArtWalk also tries to add new artists each month.

Many cities across the nation use a night of the week each month to bring the community together. 

Teeter says this is what they are doing with First Thursday each month.

“We have brought the qualities of First Fridays of major cities to downtown Joplin, with emerging to professional artists [who] are part of the ArtWalk,” said Teeter. 

“Local acoustic musicians play for free as they support the event,” Teeter added.

Teeter adds that special shows highlight children. 

She also points out that all of the planning and performances mean nothing without attendance.

The next First Thursday ArtWalk takes place on April 7.

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