Three Floors of Art

Shopping and culture come together at WinterFest, Springfield’s annual juried winter art show.

If you think the mall is your only one-stop shopping venue for everything gift-related, you haven’t shopped WinterFest at Juanita K. Hammons Hall.

What started out as an opportunity for artists to show their work during the winter season has blossomed into a visual and performing art extravaganza. Local choirs, musicians and not-for-profit musical groups perform from the venue’s loft while guests shop from the booths of 39 local and regional juried artists—located on all three levels of the atrium. The building is beautifully decorated, and attending the event to pick up a special gift has become a Christmas tradition for many.

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Kevin Kloppenburg, an art instructor at both Central High School and Drury University, is the only artist who has participated in every WinterFest. “This is the only show that I do,” says Kloppenburg, a handmade paper artisan. “It’s an amazing, exciting atmosphere of artists and the community coming together.”

Now in its 17th year, the event continues to evolve. “This year, we are allocating no more than 25 percent of any medium in order to guarantee balance,” says Samantha Hogenson, who is the head house manager and WinterFest coordinator. All items for sale are handcrafted by the artists. There is nothing imported, and there are no crafts.

According to Kloppenburg, there was a large variety of art that was offered when the event first began, but over the past few years, it has leaned toward more jewelry. “I’m glad that it has gone back to its roots and will offer more of a variety,” he says.

WinterFest begins during First Friday Art Walk and runs in conjunction with the New Winter Solstice Concert and Carl Whidden’s performance of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Tickets are needed for the performances, but admission to WinterFest is free for everyone all weekend. Concessions are available through Ovations (Missouri State’s campus caterers), and there is an interlude area to sit and snack.

The 411
When: Dec. 2, 5–9 p.m.; Dec. 3,
10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Dec. 4, noon–5 p.m.
Where: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, 525 S. John Q.
Hammons Pkwy., Springfield
For more information: Visit or call 417-836-7678

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