Rarely seen art on display at Spiva Art Gallery


Levi Andrew | The Chart

Spiva Secrets – Hidden Treasures

An exhibition showcasing rarely seen art pieces is underway on campus. This exhibit is a joint effort between Missouri Southern’s Spiva Art Gallery and the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts in downtown Joplin.

The new display, titled “Spiva Secrets—Hidden Treasures,” is open through Oct. 14. The gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

“Spiva Secrets—Hidden Treasures” was curated and designed by Christine Bentley, director of the Spiva Art Gallery at Southern, and Shaun Conroy, gallery coordinator at George A. Spiva Center for the Arts. Items from the southern African art collection are also on display.

“There was an opening in the gallery schedule and Christine approached Spiva Center for the Arts about doing an exhibit together,” said Conroy. “We had met each other earlier in the spring of 2015 to discuss their recent archiving of MSSU’s African collection.”

The permanent collection at Spiva Center for the Arts has been accumulating for over 40 years. The works come through donations of patrons and artists and the families of artists.

Although a joint effort, the items displayed from each gallery contrast.

“While MSSU is exhibiting pieces from their immense African collection, the work from us is more eclectic,” Conroy said.

Highlights from the Spiva Center for the Arts collection include two pieces painted by Nathaniel Cole. Cole taught in the Southern art department for approximately 15 years. Also displayed is a piece from Don Smith, who was Spiva Center for the Arts first full-time director, hired in 1960.

An opening reception was held on Sept. 21 at the Spiva Art Gallery.

“I think people like the exhibit,” said Conroy. “There is a lot of great work.”

Conroy said he hopes the students keep Spiva Center for the Arts on their radar. There are a lot of opportunities for students to learn and exhibit at Spiva.

“I would like to see more students take advantage of what we offer,” Conroy added.