Joplin’s Mural Walk showcases community artwork

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Joplin’s Mural Walk has been evolving since its launch several years ago. The artwork is created by artists living in the Joplin community. 

Jessica Allen

When taking a stroll through the town of Joplin, you may find yourself stopping to admire all of the murals the city has to offer. There are 10 murals in Joplin, ranging from historical themes to modern art pieces. Three of the murals downtown are black and white abstract pieces created by TANK: Puhblik Art. TANK is a group of local artists who cooperate with business owners to propose a design, and then create the mural on the building.

It’s all part of the city’s bigger plan. The official Joplin, Mo., webpage states, “Public art is an essential and revealing component of a community’s personality and culture.”  

And it’s a labor of love for the artists.

“Most of the time the artists are not paid; sometimes the materials are covered,” said Josie Mai, executive director of George A. Spiva Center for the Arts. “It depends on the mural; each one has a unique situation.”

Mai was involved in the creation of several of Joplin’s murals, including, most recently, the one at Broadway and Mineral.

One of the best ways to learn about Joplin’s mural projects is to take the free mural tour. It starts at Memorial Hall (212 W. Eighth St.) and makes a big loop through the heart of downtown back to Memorial Hall. This tour includes the 10 murals downtown, all right off of Main Street.

Another option is a do-it-yourself tour following the descriptions on the Joplin, Mo, Life website at www.joplinmolife.com/murals-in-joplin/.