Students Participate in Art Show For Joplin

Morgan Cormack, Section Editor

On Sunday, May 22, 2011, the community of Joplin, Mo. was forever changed by one of the most destructive natural disasters in American history.  The EF5 tornado that hit the town at 5:34 P.M. killed 160 innocent people and impacted the lives thousands more. Even 4 months later, the town is still devastated: rare intact homes, stores destroyed, and not a large amount of money to rebuild what was once Joplin. Many efforts have been made to help the town and its victims, with many successes. One particular effort has impacted a BV West student.

Sophomore Emily Webb participated in Project Reclamation, also called the “Twist and Shout” art show on August 27th, an art show dedicated to victims of the Joplin disaster. It was held at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Gallery in KCMO. “We auctioned our artwork. Webb said. “All of the proceeds go to benefiting Joplin and the relief down there.” Webb was introduced to the fundraiser by her art teacher.

“I’ve had this art teacher since the 3rd grade.” Webb said.  “She works at the gallery the art show was at. She asked me if I wanted to be in the show, and I said yes.” She plans on pursuing art in the future, so she took a hold of the great opportunity.

The artists’ pieces of art transformed actual tornado debris into a new way of seeing and sharing the experience. For her piece, Webb was inspired by not only the disaster of the town, but also by history she learned a couple of years back.

“I made a poppy flower painting with a metal lid from the tornado debris as the center of the flower.  In 8th grade we studied World War II and I remember there being a lot of poppies after the war, so I thought ‘Oh that’d be cool!’ because a poppy flower is a symbol of hope; I think that goes well with the Joplin benefit theme.” Out of 90 other artists, she was also the youngest at the event, being 15 years old.

At the event, Webb’s piece was immediately auctioned and bought at  $250.  Her aunt bought the piece right as the fundraiser started. BV West Senior Amanda Stumpf volunteered at the event, along with her mother.

“I had volunteered at a previous art auction for the Alzheimer’s Association and we were asked if we wanted to come help at the Twist and Shout auction.” Stumpf said.  “I registered bidders and notified the winning bidders from the silent auction.”

Just like other people attending the event, Stumpf got to meet some interesting artists. “I met an artist who had photographs of items that were affected by the tornado in the auction.” Stumpf said.  “After the auction, the artist made a point to meet the buyer of one of his pictures, a young boy who bought the picture of a baseball helmet.”  There were also many different types of artwork, from all 90 artists. Some pieces made a huge part of the total profit of the show.

“During the live auction, there was a piece which looked like a doll.” Stumpf said. “It was made out of half a globe, wood spindles from a chair, and fan blades. It sold for over a thousand dollars. It was very interesting to see all of the artwork and I’m glad I got to participate.”

The grand total for Twist and Shout’s success was over $23,000. The profits are going towards Joplin work in the near future. However, the art studio is still taking donations. Their online goal is $20,000. If you wish to donate (even if it’s only a dollar or so), go to and select the “Donations” tab on the left of the webpage.