As with so many things in Sedalia, where there is a need individuals will find a way to solve the problem.
One problem Sedalia Mayor Stephen Galliher noticed has been staring him right in the face since he took office: the problem was the lack of artwork and the number of blank walls throughout City Hall.
“I know we have a lot of really talented artists in the local community, and I have been wanting to do something for such a long time to cover all the bare walls here,” Galliher said. “I spoke to (Executive Administrative Assistant) Joleigh (Melte) and that was all it took.”
Melte said she and former mayor Bob Wasson had discussed the problem but as with so many things, the idea was put on the back burner until Melte recently contacted Sedalia Visual Art Association President Linda Hoover.
“When Joleigh called we were just tickled to have the space,” Hoover said. “It’s like having a gallery space of our own and I think it’s a win-win for both the City and our organization.”
The two wall spaces in the lower level of City Hall, along with an accompanying display case, will be filled with work from members of the Visual Art Association.
“We plan on changing the displays every two months,” Hoover said. “We have such a wonderful group of members we can draw from that I think we have the entire year already planned out.”
Past president of the organization, Democrat reporter Faith Bemiss, said there are 70 members in the organization.
“We have a large number of artists we can draw upon,” Bemiss said. “There is such a gambit of talent of artists whose works we can use from painters and photographers to individuals who make jewelry and sculptors.
“Sedalia has an unusual number of nationally-known artists and many of the pieces have been chosen for the Missouri Top 50 (at the Missouri State Fair),” Bemiss added. “We are just thrilled to have this opportunity.”
The group has several ideas for plans and hopes to organize another showing at the Liberty Center when it reopens as well as its annual showing at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art in the Goddard Gallery at State Fair Community College, plus work at the Missouri State Fair.
“We are really hoping that once the word gets out about the works displayed here that people may want to come in just to see them,” Hoover said. “All of the works are for sale; if someone is interested in a piece they simply need to contact the artist.
“We hope too that this may inspire younger artists in the area to join the Visual Art Association,” Hoover added. “We are always looking for fresh new talent.”
Hoover and Bemiss are the first two artists to have their work displayed at City Hall.
Galliher was pleased with the results.
“This turned out much better than I imagined,” Galliher said. “I think this is a wonderful way to showcase the talents of our local artists and I especially love seeing the images of Sedalia.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484