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Regional artists showcase work - KOAM TV 7

Regional artists showcase work

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COLUMBUS, KANSAS -

Works of art by the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition are on display in downtown Columbus' "Maple UnCommon" hotel and art gallery. Many of the pieces feature a local flair.

"This is a rare opportunity I think to see several pieces from the Joplin regional artist coalition members, and they've done a wonderful job of getting us venues like Maple UnCommon to have shows," Josie Mai, artist, said.

Most galleries in the area charge artists to have their work featured. Though she did not wish to comment, the venue's owner did not charge any of the artists to feature their work.

"Most galleries charge a commission, so the fact that you can hang your art here and not have someone take a piece of the pie is a nice thing and she doesn't expect anything back, I think it's great," Aaron Skapik, PSU art student said.

Skapik is Mai's protege, and attended the event to show the support for his professor who entered a text collage piece in the "People's Choice" contest. The piece is a rendition of a letter written by Georgia O'Keeffe to her friends about how much she loves the west after spending time in New Mexico. Mai says she was inspired after a recent trip to New Mexico. Mai is thrilled that the art scene is picking up in the area.

"I'd say the last 5 or 6 years I feel like it's exploded, and I think Joplin's been the heart of that just because of the population, and things like Connect to Culture and other organizations, but it's spreading. I live in Carthage, work with Joplin, teach in Pittsburg, but I'm sitting here in Columbus, so I think that's what we need to do as artists. Take advantage of the whole region," Mai said.

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