Southern artist first to display at new gallery


Pond Life by Sandra Conrad

A new art gallery in the Neosho Hale McGinty Business Development Center is displaying Missouri Southern student Sandra Conrad’s artwork for the rest of this month. The new gallery was dedicated by the Neosho Arts Council on Wednesday, Sept. 10 and will be available for local artists to display their work at no cost.

Neosho resident Conrad, senior art major with an emphasis in painting and a minor in writing, was approached by the arts council to be the first to have her works displayed at the new gallery.

“I was in the Neosho Sweet Arts Gala and had won Best of Show there,” said Conrad, “so they had me in mind, I guess, and approached me.”

Conrad began painting and showing her work in high school and spent almost 10 years displaying her pieces in galleries before attending Southern.

Although she does sculpting and playwriting, her main focus is on painting. The 14 pieces at the Neosho art gallery are mainly oil paintings of landscapes and what Conrad calls her “metal work” which shows how nature reclaims things, such as old cars.

Starting Oct. 1, Conrad will be displaying her work at the Neosho Fall Festival, and hopes to move her exhibition to Joplin Avenue Coffee Company in downtown Joplin at the beginning of November.

After graduation in May 2015, Conrad plans to continue pursuing gallery shows and volunteer at women’s abuse shelters.

For artists trying to get their work displayed, Conrad offered this piece of advice: “Just do it. A lot of time insecurities can get in the way. It’s a lot of work, but if it’s what you want to do, it’s definitely worth putting yourself out there.”

Conrad also suggested bringing a portfolio or samples of your work to potential gallery owners instead of emailing them.

“More times than not, if you actually talk to them, they will have you show,” she said. “It’s harder to get overlooked that way.”