Calling all Adults: Make Your Space!

By now, you’ve likely heard some variation of the term ‘makerspace.’ But what is a makerspace? A simple googling reveals that “Makerspaces, sometimes also referred to as hackerspaces, hackspaces, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. In libraries they often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools, and more.”

But still, what is it? Perhaps the only sure answer is that makerspaces tend to be unique. While one makerspace might include loud, messy machinery, another might offer digital media conversion, workshops in various arts and crafts, or access to a sewing machine. Yet another might provide 3D printing alongside plant propagation or a class on making hummus. Still another may specialize in electronics and robotics. The opportunities are seemingly endless. One might say a makerspace is any place that encourages creativity and makes accessible the materials needed to explore and bring ideas to fruition, whether it be by way of 3D printing, robotics, a wood-burning kit, an art class, knitting needles, or so on.

The thing about libraries and librarians is that we’re in the business of making the inaccessible accessible. Thus it makes sense that all sorts of makerspaces are gaining popularity and popping up in libraries—public, school, and otherwise—all over the world. In Spring 2017, Joplin Public Library will become an addition to the list of libraries with makerspaces. I’m happy to say that Post Art Library has the opportunity to help make and manage the space.

Months ago, the Joplin Public and Post Art Libraries co-hosted a public makerspace focus group. The group generated great ideas and gave valuable input. Although we’ve yet to determine all of the particulars, we’ve a general idea of what our space will entail. Digital media conversion, 3D printing, a creative suite, and other technology will be among the offerings. We’ll also offer options that are not steeped in technology similar to those that we’ve traditionally offered, such as making hand-rolled beads, paper quilling, or collage.

Yet our projected move date to the new facility that will have the makerspace isn’t until next Spring. For the time being, I’m making lists and asking questions:

What would you like to learn how to do? Write? Paint? Propagate plants? Something else? Are you interested in recording oral histories? Storytelling? Would you like to have access to arts & crafts hand tools? Which types of DIY things would you like to learn how to do? What are you interested in exploring?

I ask, as it’s your space. And I’d like to keep the conversation going. For more information or to further the discussion, give me (Jill) a ring at Post Art Library: 417.782.7678. And remember–the fun is in the making!

I might add that if you simply can’t wait to spring into the making or would like to see a makerspace in action, then be sure to check out Joplin Makers. (Whereas they emphasize robotics, electronics, wood, metal, and plastic, the library’s space will not have as much of an industrial or technological focus.)

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Words with Hiram Mesa

Throughout November, the Post Art Library is showing Hiram Mesa’s The Magic Mirror, which is comprised of mixed-media artworks, screen prints, jewelry, and wonderfully cut cabochons. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to ask Hiram some questions about his art.

Jill’s questions/comments are in bold,
whereas Hiram’s are not.

You’re making a name for yourself cutting stones. Could you tell me about what drew you to pursue lapidary work?
I was traveling with some friends through Colorado and New Mexico and we stopped at a rock shop. I noticed a nice piece of turquoise jewelry on display and I thought maybe I could do something like that. So I bought a rough, unfinished stone and I started buying Rock & Gem magazine and set about teaching myself lapidary work. Eventually I joined a gem and mineral club in Joplin and started borrowing some of their equipment and cutting stones. That was about 12 years ago.

Although you do buy some stones, you prefer digging for them. Where have you dug for stones?
Colorado, mostly. I’ve been to Canada, some places in Arkansas, and New Mexico.

What’s it like to dig for stones?
It’s the most amazing thing EVER!!! When you pull something out of the ground and it’s been there forever and no one has ever seen it and the light is shining on it—it’s very, very cool… I’d rather be digging for stones than doing just about anything else.

But tell me about the process. What types of tools do you use?
It’s actually a lot of work. It’s funny, I work harder on my vacations than when I’m working. I use shovels, pry bars, picks, chisels, brushes, things like that.

How do you know where to go?
This is a tricky question. I’ve read a lot of books and field guides so I have a pretty good understanding of how to read the geology. You have to know how to read the rock itself, the geology. There’s a host rock that most of the stones form in, so you have to know how to read the host rock and it will tell you where you need to be digging. But a lot of it is intuition and luck.

Some of your mixed-media art incorporates specular hematite. Could you tell me about specular hematite and why you like to use it?
Specular hematite forms in large masses. I take two of the stones and rub them together over a piece of paper and collect the flakes to use in my art. I love stones, so I feel the need to apply stones to my art. I like specular hematite because I like the way it feels.

You’ve mentioned that you’d rather be digging for stones than anything else. So how do you turn your attention away from that to your other art forms, such as metal work, jewelry fabrication, and mixed media?
The abstract images that I envision are more easily conveyed through paper and paint. Besides, I really enjoy painting.

What are some of your favorite mediums to use in your mixed-media pieces?
Markers, watercolors, fingernail polish, and acrylics.

Aside from the art that you make, what are some of your favorite forms of art and who are some of your favorite artists?
I like photography, poetry, music, watercolor, ceramics, and most all forms of art. In regards to my favorite artists, that’s tough. I like so many art forms and artists that if I answer this question I’ll just be thinking of the most famous and that’s not fair.

Thanks, Hiram, for answering questions about your art. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Thanks, Jill.

Left: “Seascape” by Hiram Mesa
Right: “Waterfalls from the Heavens” by Hiram Mesa

Joplin’s Jasper County Courthouse

Joplin’s Jasper County Courthouse once stood on the southeast corner of 7th and Virginia. The following information is taken directly from the Post Art Library’s album Joplin’s Historic Buildings and Houses, which was compiled by former Director Leslie Simpson. If you’d like to see the album proper, then visit the Post Art Library! In the meantime, enjoy…

jc courthouse

JASPER COUNTY COURTHOUSE – Joplin, Missouri – Southeast corner of 7th & Virginia

In 1883, the Jasper County presiding judge determined that it was time to build a courthouse–in the center of the Carthage square. Joplin opposed building on in Carthage unless it had one. Several hot meetings ended in violence. One incident involved Joplin founding father Patrick Murphy, who had been “free with his abuse of Carthage men.” Prosecuting Attorney T.B. Haughawout punched Murphy in the face several times, leaving him bashed and bloody.

After the 1883 election failed, the ruckus continued with no resolution in sight. Things heated up again in 1891 with a proposal for two courthouses–one in Joplin and one in Carthage. This time, Webb City caused trouble, arguing that it should have a courthouse, too. Newspapers published scathing editorials suggesting that “such simple-minded business men ought to go to the insane asylum.”

In spite of all the mud-slinging and fist-slinging, the issue finally resolved itself at the polls on May 9, 1893, with the decision to build courthouses in Carthage and Joplin. Two grand halls of justice were erected in 1894. The limestone courthouse in Carthage cost $100,000, while Joplin’s brick/stone one cost a comparatively paltry $20,000.

A crowd of 15,000 turned out for the cornerstone-laying ceremony on May 8, 1894. Fifty-one organizations participated in a festive parade, followed by a round of patriotic speeches. Architect T.R. Bellas designed the impressive structure with its four corner towers, the tallest one standing 92 feet high and crowned with a cupola. The raised basement, contructed of Carthage limestone, house the janitor’s room, four prisoner cells, and the furnace and coal storage area. The first floor held the sheriff’s room, two petit jury rooms, a grand jury room, a large waiting room, and “water closets.” The main stairway led up through the large corner tower. On the second floor, a 16 x 40 feet balcony rose about the 40 x 53 feet courtroom, which seated 400 spectators. Also located on the second floor were the consultation room, circuit clerk’s office, 8 x 8 feet steel vault, jury rooms, and closets.

On June 13, 1911, a can of disinfectant in the basement exploded and engulfed the building in flames. The three people inside at the time jumped to safety from a second floor window. The fire spread so rapidly that firefighters, who could not get sufficient water pressure, could do nothing to stop it. The cupola fell to the street with a crash and the topless tower acted as a funnel to feed the blaze. The entire community turned out to watch the exciting event. Firefighters dynamited the remaining tower to keep it from collapsing and injuring any of the foolhardy spectators. Fortunately, all the important county records, locked in a fireproof safe, survived the blaze.

County offices then moved to7th & Main; in 1917, they moved to the McKinley Building (southeast corner of 5th & Joplin), then to 6th & Pearl in 1954. Once again plagued by fire, this building burned in 1972. The present courthouse on the same site was built in 1975.

Historic Missouri Roadsides by Bill Hart

In his recent title Historic Missouri Roadsides, author Bill Hart takes readers on a journey of Missouri’s two-lane roads and highways. This wonderfully illustrated book is for both the figurative and literal traveler. In addition to beautiful photography, Hart offers facts about each destination, directions, and information about where to eat, stay, visit, and what to do, as well as a few travel tips. Perhaps unique to Hart’s adventure advice is that he does not manage your time, but encourages you “to take your time at every juncture of your trip” so that you may explore and enjoy Missouri’s heritage.  What’s more, all of his listings for food & drink, accommodations, and such are venues that are truly local to the area in which they are found.

The book proper is divided into six tours: Missouri Highway 79 / The River Road; El Camino Real; Route 100 / Gottfried Duden & the Lewis and Clark Trail; Osage Hills and Prairies; Mostly Route 24; and The Platte Purchase. Throughout each tour, Hart expertly covers historic, small-town Missouri. He engages with intriguing histories of towns traveled and captivates with photographic landscapes and streetscapes, ranging from beautiful buildings and homes in current use to structures that have either fallen into serious disrepair or stand vacant.

Although Joplin is not featured in this title, the Osage Hills and Prairies tour winds through Jasper County, beginning in Avilla and passing through Carthage and Jasper before moving on to nearby towns. Carthage’s Boots Motel, a decorative parapet made of “Carthage marble” that crowns a downtown building, and “A Victorian lady of a building” on Maple Street are among the sites photographed in Jasper County. Hart touches on the rich history of Carthage, including the infamous Belle Starr, the lawful Annie Baxter, the Civil War, and more.

Not only is Hart’s Historic Missouri Roadsides an entertainingly educational read for those interested in history and preservation, but its a fantastically fun resource for those who are interested in taking the drive through Missouri’s roadside heritage. To learn more about Missouri author Bill Hart or his recent publication, then visit his website or visit him during his book signing in the Post Art Library, 300 S Main St, Joplin, MO, on Saturday, September 19, 2015, from 4pm-6pm.

Carthage 13 Boots Edited

The photograph above shows the Boots Motel in Carthage, Missouri. It’s but one of numerous buildings depicted in Historic Missouri Roadsides. (Photograph courtesy of the author, Bill Hart.)

About the Author:
Bill Hart grew up in Perry County in southeast Missouri. His interest in small town and roadside Missouri was fostered by his work for the past several years with the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation (Missouri Preservation), where he currently serves as executive director. He holds a degree in Historic Preservation from Southeast Missouri State University and did his graduate coursework in Architectural History at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Bill is particularly interested in vanishing Missouri building types, including roadside and countryside. He was one of the founders of the Missouri Barn Alliance and Rural Network (Mo BARN), advocating for documentation and preservation of Missouri’s historic farmsteads.

The Quirky Worker

This month’s exhibit in the Post Art Library features quilled art and watercolors by one Laura Horn. When I approached Laura about an interview, I asked her if she had a title or name for her exhibit: “Howard,” she said. …This self-proclaimed quirky worker was kind enough to share her time with me by answering the following questions.

(Jill’s comments/questions are in bold;
whereas Laura’s are not.)

Tell me about what inspires your art. This exhibit is comprised of watercolors and quilled pieces. I know that you also work with polymer clay, resin, fabric, yarn and other materials. When you’re of a mind to make a piece, how do you choose what to work with? Or do you choose a medium and see where it takes you?
It varies. Sometimes I get new supplies and just want to play and create with them. Sometimes I have a particular image that comes into my mind and I want to create it in a certain way. For example, I recently bought some new molds and now I am anxious to make something out of polymer clay that I think will be quite pretty. On the other hand, I went, the other day, to Firehouse Pottery because I wanted paint and I had a specific image in mind that I wanted to put onto a piece. I guess it is kind of circular whether the idea leads to the material or the material leads to the idea.

In your artist bio (for the exhibit), you wrote that your wish is for everyone to see the importance of art. This leads me to believe that perhaps you think art lacks importance in our culture. Outside of creating art, do you have any suggestions for how this could be remedied?
I don’t necessarily think art lacks importance in the culture…more that it lacks personal accessibility. People think of art and too many think only of famous artists long dead and gone rather than their own selves. Too many think of art as something only Artists (with a capital A) do. Too many say, “I wish I could…”
I think we need to continue to make art accessible and to make it clear that everyone can create in some way. Art needs to not just be a distant museum (though, don’t get me wrong, I love museums), but also something held by each and every person.
As a society, perhaps getting away from the grade school art class mentality: “You did this right, You did this wrong.” Or “I used to like playing with clay/colouring with crayons/using sidewalk chalk…” and now you think you’re too old to do so.

Why is art important to you? 
To me personally? I am compelled to create things. Big things. Little things. Whatever they are made out of, whatever they look like… I just like to take pieces and turn them into something new.

Does your perspective change, depending on whether you are the creator or the patron? If so, how?
I suppose I can’t help but look at my own stuff differently because when I see my own art, I see the time and the thoughts behind it. When I see someone else’s, I don’t know what they made. I only know what I see. Does that make sense? The art I see and the art you see are not the same thing.

How much time do you think you put into all of the quilling that’s included in this exhibit?
I can’t even begin to calculate the number of hours that I put into the quilling part of the exhibit. Hundreds, would be my guess. For example, if I have all of my supplies laid out and am uninterrupted while working (a rare thing indeed), it takes an hour or two to make a snowflake, depending on the complexity.

Do you have a favorite among the pieces that are included in the exhibit?
It seems that most people are drawn to the quilling portion of the exhibit. My favourite of those is “Be the Change” because that was a design that completely took shape in my own head. To me, anyone who wanted to put in the time could do quilling and, for those pieces that followed a pattern, could create a piece that was essentially the same to the eye.
So, my favourites are the paintings. It is a style I enjoy and find pleasing to look at. I would say “Chaos Theory” is my favourite. “We Are Family” is also special because those are the hands of the five people in my immediate family.

Do you have a favorite medium to work with?
My favourite is whatever one I am working with at the time. It will probably be a while before I do quilling again. *smile* I have been making quite a bit of soap and also doing a fair amount of knitting. As I mentioned earlier, I am thinking it might be time to pull out the polymer clay, but I also want to sew some new clothes for Spring.

Do you have a favorite style of art or a favorite artist?
I thought about this one for a while, and I really don’t. I know, when I look at something, whether I like it or not. Whether it is a painting, a sculpture, a garden, a building, a finely crafted meal or a tattoo. Whether it has a modern feel, Renaissance or ancient… There is just so much that, in my mind, qualifies as art that I can’t really peg any one thing as a favourite.
I also recognize the difference between liking a particular piece and appreciating the skill of it.

Have you any advice for aspiring artists?
Find your passion and don’t be afraid to go for it. Create in a way that is meaningful and enjoyable to you.

Final question: You’ve homeschooled/are homeschooling three children who are now in their teens; how did/do you find time for creativity?!
You find time for the things that are important to you and prioritize.
(My house is a mess!)

Quilled Art and Watercolors (or “Howard”) by Laura Horn is on display at the Post Art Library through March 2015–be sure to stop by and say Hi! To read more about The Quirky Worker, visit http://www.postlibrary.org/?cat=8.  

Interview: Clayton Shilling on his “Tour of India”

This month’s exhibit in the Post Art Library features Clayton Shilling’s photographic “Tour of India.” From the Golden Triangle to Auroville, Clayton spent six weeks traveling the country. I had the fortune of asking Clayton the following questions about his tour.

(Jill’s comments/questions are in bold,
whereas Clayton’s are not.)

How long have you been a photographer? Could you tell me a little about your camera set-up? That is, do you work primarily with digital? What are some of your techniques?
I became interested in photography about 8 or 9 years ago. I didn’t own a camera and had been wanting one so I asked for one for Christmas and the interest grew from that point forward. The majority of my experience behind a camera has been in digital although I took a film photography course during my undergrad studies and I have also worked with a Lomography camera which takes film as well.  Mostly, I shoot with a Nikon DLSR camera and I shoot most everything in manual mode which gives the photographer total, free-range control over both the aperture and the shudder speeds.

I read that your tour of India took six weeks. It’s my understanding that when you took this tour, you were five months post-craniotomy. How do you think this experience impacted your outlook as a photographer/traveler?
The initial idea of going to India came to me the days after I had surgery. I was in ICU and in between moments on consciousness I remember laying there planning out my life over the next 4-6 months and a little voice told me to go to India. My original plan was to move to Denver, where I am now but since I didn’t have to be here at any specific time, I set a few “gap months” aside to do this. Obviously I had to clear it with my Dr. and she didn’t have a problem with it. Planning something this big during that time was the perfect distraction. The physical and emotional recovery after something like brain surgery can be so overwhelming and the idea that I had to get better and pull through this so I could go to India was far more appealing than getting better and pulling through this so I could go back to punching the clock and paying bills. It was exciting and motivating and kept my mind in focus.

This exhibit includes 13 photographs. Have you an idea of how many you took from which you selected these 13?
I took around 6,000 photos total but a lot of them were several shots of the same subject taken at different camera settings. I still consider myself to be a novice at photography so I like to take as many shots of something as possible in case I goof up.

Of the photographs in this exhibit, most depict people. What about people appeals to your photographic sensibility?
A lot of what I shoot depends on the country I’m in. Typically I’m more drawn to architecture and landscape photography. During my year abroad in Germany I had a mild obsession with taking photos of people’s homes, historical buildings, and cityscapes all over Europe. Life in poorer countries doesn’t always present the most photogenic settings therefore as a photographer it’s on you to find the expression elsewhere. In India, it was people and daily life. I chose the man in Delhi: Day 1, and the 2 girls with the baby in The Residents of Tamil Nadu because they were all so eager to have their photo taken. That’s one of the things I love most about India. They have no reservations about being photographed.

Interestingly, all of these photographs are close-up. What weighs in your decision to photograph close rather than depict a scene at large?
As I sorted through my photos when I returned I did a lot of cropping and zooming and found there was so much more detail in some of these photos than what I had even noticed while shooting so I guess subconsciously I wanted to include all the vivid detail. Plus, my camera lens has its limits and I find that it shoots better shots when things are a little closer.

Generally, these photographs are very colorful, vivid. ‘Waiting for the Parade’ is the exception. What’s the significance of this photograph being in black and white?
What can I say? Sometimes a photo just looks better with no color at all. It seemed to show better when I turned it black and white. Although I chose 13 different shots, I tried to think of all 13 pieces as one whole piece with a variety of sizes, colors, subjects, etc. and I wanted to include some quiet, small shots to help balance the bigger presentations.

Did you set-out to India with photography/an exhibit in mind or is this something that came later?
I set out on two missions: to backpack and cover as much territory as possible, and to eventually end up in Auroville, an international eco-community in the SE region of India just outside the city of Pondicherry. I had stumbled across this township during my undergrad studies and as an International Studies major, I chose Auroville to write my senior thesis about. I had spent an entire semester researching this interesting little community and felt it was only appropriate to visit after all that work. I packed my camera, naturally, but had not planned to turn it into an exhibit. I spent hours upon hours riding trains, commuting between cities and during that time I would read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to DSLR Cameras and would take the time to practice when I stopped in a new area.

Do you have a favorite among these particular photographs?
The Best Kept Secret is one that is very dear to me. But if I told you why, it wouldn’t be a secret. 🙂

Do you have a memorable moment not depicted in these photographs that you would like to share about your tour of India?
I set aside several times throughout my trip to put my camera down and just enjoy the moment. Often times when you travel somewhere and have photography in mind you can get stuck behind the camera and forget to take in your surroundings and just be in the moment. I would have to say that some of the best memories were those moments when I got a little off the grid and away from the touristy areas. There’s enough going on in India that anyone can find something interesting depending on their taste. If you like the big city environment and the hustle and bustle of city life, India is the place to go. If you’re a history geek and enjoy monuments and museums, they’ve certainly got those too. I took the time to enjoy all those things but renting a small hut a half mile off a small country road and laying and swaying in a hammock all day proved to be the perfect fit for me.

clayton-india

Worn Hard and Hung Wet to Dry

“Tour of India” is on display in the Post Art Library through February 2015–be sure to stop by! To read more about “Tour of India,” visit http://www.postlibrary.org/?cat=8. 

Post Mail Art Projekt Workshop

Greetings! You’re invited to participate in the Post Mail Art Projekt’s Mail Art Workshop, which shall take place on Saturday, November 15th at 2:00pm in the Post Memorial Art Reference Library, located at 300 S Main Street, Joplin, Missouri. This workshop is FREE and open to adults 18 and older. Space is limited, so registration is preferred. To register, call the Post Memorial Art Reference Library at 417-782-7678 or email Jill at ladyvonhalbach@gmail.com. Please include “MA Workshop” in the subject line and your name in the email proper.

The aim of this workshop is to provide the basic how-to of creating mail art (thus postage will not be provided). Items on hand include: typewriter, cutting mat, rotary cutter, paper cutter, glue sticks galore, tape, colored pencils, sharpies, pens, pencils, markers, crayons, various papers and card stock, select rubber stamps, magazines and other material for collages, memo pads, name badge stickers, receipt books and other bits and pieces. You’re welcome to bring along any other materials that you would like to work with, such as ticket stubs, particular paper, collage material, rubber stamps and so on.

Let us (create) mail art: Saturday, November 15th, 2:00pm, Post Memorial Art Reference Library

 

 

Happy National Arts & Humanities Month!

October greets us with National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM)–a coast-to-coast collective celebration of American arts and culture. Established in 1993, NAHM has four goals, to:

  • create a national, state and local focus on the arts and humanities through the media;
  • encourage the active participation of individuals, as well as arts, humanities and other interested organizations nationwide;
  • provide an opportunity for federal, state and local business, government and civic leaders to declare their support for the arts and humanities; and
  • establish a highly visible vehicle for raising public awareness about the arts and humanities.

On October 2, 2014, Mayor of Joplin, Mike Seibert, kicked-off Joplin’s NAHM celebration with an official proclamation. The celebration continues, as opportunities abound to participate in Joplin Arts & Culture: http://connect2culture.com/national-arts-humanities-month-2014/ (Many thanks to Emily at Connect2Culture for the [ongoing] events calendar!). Other than attending official events and exhibitions, one might celebrate by

  • taking a stroll through an historic neighborhood to wonder at the beautiful architecture;
  • learning a new art, craft or technique;
  • reading poetry or other such literature aloud;
  • visiting a local venue to take in music by local musicians;
  • discovering new artists and writers, particularly in one’s own community;
  • exploring local arts and cultural based galleries, libraries, museums, studios and theaters;
  • driving about town to view Joplin’s Public Art;
  • becoming an advocate for arts and humanities;
  • and so much more…

So, let us celebrate: Happy National Arts & Humanities Month, Joplin, Missouri!

(Sources: http://www.americansforthearts.org/events/national-arts-and-humanities-month; http://www.nasaa-arts.org/Advocacy/National-Arts-and-Humanities-Month.php & http://connect2culture.com/national-arts-humanities-month-2014/.)

The Case of the Copper Cornice

Jopliners are no doubt familiar with the history of the Connor Hotel. Perhaps a presently lesser-known history is that of how the hotel’s national historical distinction was supposedly removed. According to accounts archived, a Memorandum of Agreement was drawn to essentially replace the Connor Hotel’s listing in the National Register with that of the Joplin Carnegie Library. 

Naturally, stipulations abounded. The first of which was that the Carnegie building had to in fact be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The second stipulation was that the Missouri State Historic Preservation Officer be given an opportunity to solicit workable plans for re-use of the Connor Hotel. The third stipulation was that “If no feasible re-use plans are submitted, the site of the Joplin Connor Hotel, and adjacent parcels, will be cleared for the purpose of constructing a new Joplin Public Library.” Included in the third stipulation was that the City of Joplin salvage and preserve certain architectural details of the Connor Hotel. The fourth and fifth stipulations stated that the items salvaged and preserved be incorporated into the interior, exterior or landscaping of the new public library or “other use that will benefit the citizens of Joplin and serve as a reminder of the Joplin Connor Hotel.” The sixth stipulation was that within thirty days of the Connor’s demolition, the appropriate parties take the action and notify the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places and request the Connor Hotel’s removal from the register. This memorandum was signed in December of 1977.

As one who looks at the Northwest corner of Joplin’s 4th & Main Streets can see, all of the memorandum’s stipulations were met. Well, sort of. Listed among the items to be salvaged and preserved were the wall murals from the hotel’s lobby; the lion-face keystone; the caryatids; the frieze panels from the east and south elevations of the hotel; segments of the lobby’s marble balustrade; segments of the copper roof balustrade and four copper brackets from the hotel’s cornice. Although the Connor was demolished in 1978, these architectural details (sans the murals and marble balustrade segments) were lying in an open field northwest of the airport building as late as 1983, as evident in the following Polaroids taken that same year:

Eventually, the two decorative frieze panels and the two caryatids made their way to the Joplin Public Library and the lion-face keystone to Missouri Southern State University, as stipulated by the memorandum. Also, the hotel’s murals were installed in the then-new public library’s small meeting room, which is visible from the building’s west entrance. It’s unclear, however, what became of the marble and copper balustrade segments, as well as the four copper cornices. Perhaps they lie still, in some field. Just as the Joplin Connor Hotel listing lies still, in the field of the National Register of Historic Places, though thirty days have long since passed. (http://www.dnr.mo.gov/shpo/jasper.htm

…On a lighter note, the following photograph of the Connor’s exterior is tucked among the archives: