A new statewide public art exhibit will provide a platform to support  the creating and viewing of local artworks to bolster a sense of place and belonging for neighbors and neighborhoods. 

Launched by the University of Missouri Extension, Show Me Neighborhood Art Week is set to occur from June 1 to 15, inviting residents and community groups to create art installations using materials available at home and placed in front yards or shared public places.  Suggested art projects include yard sculptures from found objects, painted stones, murals, and chalk art, with the concept  that no matter the skill set, every Missourian is capable of creating and sharing  art in their community.

The initiative is modeled after a similar program in Springfield, Mo. that launched in 2020. LAWN (Lawn Art With Neighbors) was founded and organized by multiple city organizations including the Springfield Art Museum and the Greene County MU Extension Council.

David Burton, a community development specialist for Mu Extension-Springfield stated,” There is a unique value to art created  for the community, by the community, as a way to strengthen social bonds with neighbors through art.”

Project ideas and event rules are posted on the Extension’s web site and include the following:

  • Projects should be viewable from the street or sidewalk.
  • Usage of dangerous or hazardous materials is prohibited.
  • Use materials that will survive outdoors for two weeks.
  • Hate speech and derogatory images are prohibited.
  • Art installation should be on your own property or with permission if the space is public.

Participants (individual or group) are encouraged to register their name and address so that their work can be added  to a location map.  Registered participants will receive a digital copy of a sign to print and place in their yard during the event, and also be eligible for a variety of prizes in two categories. The Judges Choice awards are based on age groups while the People’s Choice awards will be based on votes garnered through social media.

Existing art installations can also be registered to be included on the map but will be exempt from the awards as those are limited to new creations.

A community arts specialist with MU Extension- Kansas City, Elena Stephenson is excited that Show Me Neighborhood Art Week will give Kansas City residents a chance to showcase their artistic talents.

“Kansas City has a robust arts district in the Crossroads, but I am eager to see the pockets of art communities in downtown Englewood and the Historic Northeast get involved in this project,” Stephenson said.

Installations should be completed and placed by Saturday, June 1.

Click HERE for more information.