Downtown Focal Point features MSSU artwork


Liz Spencer/The Chart

Holding Hershey the Pomeranian, Richard Henning, left, of Carl Junction, talks with students as he views the art on display in the Focal Point art gallery in downtown Joplin, Sept. 19. Henning, father of Jade, a senior studio art major, said, “We are very proud of her.” Jade Henning’s design is featured as the print of the month for the September Third Thursday art walk exhibition.

Missouri Southern State University’s art club, Focal Point has a gallery at 525 S. Main Street. The gallery holds a collection of artwork from the MSSU art department students, alumni and faculty.

Burt Bucher, associate professor of art, the club’s advisor, said Focal Point is open to any MSSU student, not just art majors.  “There is no cost. The cost is your participation,” he said.  The profit from each print sale is split between the artist and the art club and goes to pay for the cost of art trips.

Focal Point meets each Thursday at 6:00 p.m.  The first and second Thursdays of the month, the group meets in room 202 of the Fine Arts Building. On the third Thursday, the group meets downtown at the gallery. The last week of the month is reserved for an art trip. In September, the group traveled to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. 

The group is planning a Halloween party with an art history theme for the October 17 Third Thursday art walk. “Imagine becoming the Mona Lisa,” Bucher said.  Focal Point is planning edible screen-printing to coincide with the seasonal festivities. Bucher has created edible food dye with cornstarch, gelatin food dye and water. “We will screen print monsters onto soft shell tortilla wrappers,” he said.

Connect with Focal Point on the MSSU Art Majors Facebook page. Request to join the Facebook group or email Burt Bucher at [email protected] to learn more.