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Art Is Popping Up Around The Metro - And You Can Take It Home - KOAM TV 7

Art Is Popping Up Around The Metro - And You Can Take It Home

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

     It's not something you see every day.
     Some art...some crafts...placed along parts of Main Street in Joplin.
     But a local group is on a mission to make sure folks can see it anywhere and everywhere.
Take a walk along Main Street - and you won't have to go very far to find some artwork on the side of the road.
Jessi Webb, Free Art 417: "You'll hear from random people that are like 'oh - you're the free art, you do the free art?' and it never ceases just to amaze me how far we do span."
The Facebook group "Free Art 417" has more than 2,000 members leaving pieces of art across the metro area.
Jessi Webb says she got the idea about five years ago...
Webb: "What it was it was actually my friend that was here from Washington, and in Washington they did Free Art Friday."
But unlike Washington, she couldn't stick to a schedule.
Webb: "I tried to do a few Friday's, but, I just need to do it when I can."
Now, it's time to place some art - and where better than downtown Joplin.
Webb: "All these little things are just little smiles waiting to happen...it's fun."
It didn't take long before someone - found a rather large piece.
Bri Blair, found some free art: "I think that's awesome I think that art is amazing and I think that it's something that needs to be seen more often especially in this kind of an area."
The inspiration for the art - comes from everywhere.
I asked her if she had a favorite piece...
Webb: "Oh, absolutely, the one that I hid, it says 'I can only be right where I'm at' and it's a Willy Tea Taylor song, and, if you do find it, YouTube it, and it is...it's just gorgeous, all his songs are right to the soul."
There's other sources of inspiration.
Webb: "And then I made this directly after a date."
Placement of the art - is key.
Webb: "Ooh!  Actually, we usually put hats on Mr. Spiva."
And for art connoisseurs like Bri Blair, finding art...
Blair: "It's exciting!  I mean, I know art is expensive so to be able to show people that someone can be an established artist just by leaving it somewhere is super cool to me."

Free Art 417 Facebook Group
 

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Chris Warner
Reporter

A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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