Joplin Blasters become newest customer in long line of possibilities


Focal Point, an art organization comprised of Missouri Southern students, finalized a new mural that is now on display at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin. The mural was unveiled before the Joplin Blasters’ final home game of the season Aug. 30. The 8-by-16-foot piece was inspired by previous work done by Focal Point, as well as the history of Joplin.

Ian Taylor, Editor-in-Chief

Focal Point, an art organization comprised of Missouri Southern students, has completed their newest piece. Like the first, this mural will be displayed beyond the campus confines, adorning the former Lion baseball home and newly renovated Joe Becker Stadium.

“The Beck” has been a sanctuary for baseball in Joplin. Housing countless competitions over the years, even team U.S.A, and with the stadium’s step into the future, the facility was missing only a symbol of the past. In stepped Focal Point.

“Leadership Joplin had seen the work we had done at the Gateway mural last year, downtown,” said Burt Bucher, associate professor of art. “Because of that they knew our work, and the quality of work, and approached me.”

Much like the Gateway mural located at B and Main Street, Focal Point took this opportunity to show off, connecting the stadium’s history with the history of Joplin.

“We kind of wanted to keep that theme going,” said senior Jenny Journeycake, studio art major, “Just to share the history of the city.”

The 8-by-16-foot canvas presented a challenge for the students, with a number of designs falling by the wayside before the painting process began.

“There was certain criteria we had to fill,” said Journeycake. “But we were kind of free to make our own design, and then we just took our designs to them and they chose which one they liked the best.”

For the future, Focal Point has big plans, using revenue from the project to help fund an upcoming trip to Ital, and waiting in the wings for the next opportunity.

“There are things in the works, but probably nothing we can really announce yet,” said Bucher. “Kind of in the early stages.”

Focal Point continues to build a reputation with their work, another piece of Missouri Southern extending further into the surrounding community, but the organization is always open for expansion.

“This is all run through Focal Point, the art club, which is not just restricted to art majors,” said Bucher. “If people want to get involved they can join the club … we have a presence on Facebook … at First Thursday and Third Thursday we have a gallery downtown where we screen-print posters … we kind of hang out and make art with the public.”