Who's Who in the Springfield Visual Arts Scene?
A subjective accounting of who’s doing some interesting art and who’s making and shaking the arts scene. Your eyeballs will thank us later.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.
(page 1 of 4)
Chamber of commerce types love talking up Springfield as the âregional downtownâ of southwest Missouri. The city is our population center and our economic hub. Itâs also our aesthetic hub. While the arts flourish throughout the region, Springfield is now home to a proper urban visual arts scene, evidenced by a First Friday Art Walk that (finally) boasts its own website (ffaw.org), newsletter, spokesperson and sponsors. As you prepare for those crowded-wonderful Art Walks of the spring and summer (and fests like Arts Fest), hereâs a whoâs who guide to some of the names making Springfield a more creative place. Howâd we make the list? We spoke to some people plugged into Springfieldâs scene and asked their opinion, and mixed those names in with ones we know. Inevitably, the results are subjective (and listed in no particular order), so visit 417mag.com and pile on the story comments. Who should be on this list but isnât? Who are your favorites?
Jan HydeA Springfield art dealer for many years, Hyde was long a main mover behind First Friday Art Walk, helping it reach its current standing-room-only popularity. She led the push to make downtown an arts district, not merely a nightlife district. Her galleries, Hyde Gallery and Walnut Street Gallery, showcase heartlander American regionalists of national reputation. Learn More: hydegallery.com
Photo Edward Biamonte
Randy and Shannon BaconThe photographer hubby shares whoâs-who status with his make-it-happen manager wife. For years, Randy Bacon Photography has been a major First Friday Art Walk stop. When the Bacons chose to relocate their gallery into a building they christened the Monarch Art Factory in 2006, they opened their doors to a squadron of arts collectives that share space with Randyâs photographs. The place also hosts innovative musical acts that wouldnât otherwise be in 417-land. Learn More: randybaconphotography.com
Robert E. SmithYouâve seen this octogenarian painterâs work if you live in Springfield, even if youâre not sure who painted it. (A building that once housed this magazine is now named after him.) Of national stature, Smithâs raggedy, childâs-play (or are they?) canvases have earned him a rep as a âfolkâ or âoutsiderâ artist.
Learn More: Smithâs work is sold by more than one Springfield gallery. Ffaw.org has info on many of them.
courtesy Brad Noble
Rob Weislocher and Brian KingThese gents own the MudHouse locations, as well as MudLounge and Gaileyâs Breakfast CafÃ©. Seems like every trendy coffee shop puts art on its walls, but King and Weislocherâs choices as to whatâs displayed at MudHouse determines some of the art seen by a wide swath of Springfield society who might not otherwise go to galleries or museums. Learn More: Visit the MudHouse, 323 South Ave., Springfield
Jane TroupTroup creates market-friendly pet portraits featured in national magazines as well as thank-you cards and other items, but (most importantly) she creates paintings with a stylized, nature-fantasy aesthetic. Itâs a world of wonder worth loving. Itâs her work youâve seen at venues such as MudLounge, Hyde Gallery and Hawthorn Galleries (which also focuses on local artists to a great degree). Learn More: janetroup.com
Jacqueline WarrenDruryâs artist-in-residence is a noted watercolorist. She divides her time between teaching in Springfield and studios in California and Florence, Italy. She has great influence over budding artists at Drury and is pals with art dealer Jan Hyde. Learn More: Search âJacqueline Warren Portfolioâ at drury.edu
Edit ModuleShow Tags