Springfield has vibrant art scene with plenty of chances to see excellent work from some really talented artists. You can find tons of different mediums of art here in the Queen City. If you like anything from sculpture or painting to photography or water color, there’s probably an artist here for you! We’ve highlighted a few we think you should know about located in the 417. Check out their work below.
Russ RuBert is the creator of numerous sculptures around Springfield that’d you would recognize in a heartbeat. A few of his notable works in SGF include: the giant aluminum man (named K-Man) located in Jordan Valley Park, the sculpture titled “Echosphere” at Missouri State University on the corner of National and Grand, and the idea factory.
“I like to take metal and make something extraordinary with it,” RuBert says of his art. “It’s not just that I’m making something large, but I’m making something that is able to hold a symbolic or graceful shape with strength and durability.” He is the only Missouri sculptor to have ever been awarded the prestigious “Missouri Individual Artist Award,” the State’s highest honor bestowed upon an artist. Check out more of RuBert’s amazing creations here!
If you’ve been around the Ozarks for a little bit, you’ve probably heard about the amazing photograph work of Julie Blackmon. Her photographs are inspired by her experience of growing up in a large family, her current role as a mother and photographer, and the timelessness of family dynamics. She adds an element of humor and fantasy to create works that touch on both the everyday and the fictitious. Julie has been featured in numerous galleries across the nation. For a local look at some of her artwork, head on over to Druff’s where you can see a few of her beautifully intriguing photographs, including “Patio,” “Olive & Market St.,” and more.
Stephanie Cramer is an artist and art educator, and she has worked on the Springfield Regional Arts Council as the Director of Communication. Stephanie’s work includes big, bold paintings that are known to many. She has shown her paintings in galleries located in Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, and New Hampshire.
For unique and thought-provoking sculptures, we turn to none other than Joe Malesky. He has many pieces featured in the Sculpture Walk in Downtown Springfield, some of which you may recognize! Using blacksmith, welding techniques, and a spontaneous design method, Joe enjoys creating sculptures that have an organic look and balance. He primarily uses found objects like rock, wood, and repurposed steel to create his pieces. What looks like junk to everyone else is potential art for him!
Alicia is an internationally recognized watercolor artist and has won numerous awards in both watercolor and acrylic painting. A few things that inspire her work include the personalities and flavors of people she meets, and her day-to-day life. Capturing mood, light and colors in her artwork is something she strives for when creating new pieces. Alicia has won numerous awards and her work has been in galleries all across the midwest and the east coast.
Doug Erb is an illustrator based in Springfield. He formerly worked on the west coast designing album art for record labels and has done work for Sony Records, Warner Records and much more. He moved back to the area around 2004 and now primarily focuses on illustration and character design. Check out more of his designs here!
Crystal Moody is a former art and math teacher. In December of 2013, she was inspired by her 4 year-old daughter’s huge pile of artwork. She challenged herself to build her own creative habits by doing one little, creative thing each day. In 2014 she made a drawing every day, often photographing it with her breakfast. In 2015, she painted each day. She also created series of portraits of local rescue dogs in hopes that they would find a loving family! You can follow her journey or even join her year of creative habits at crystalmoody.com.
Nicole Chilton is an incredible multi-media abstract artist in Springfield. She is inspired by people, the environment, and pop culture, and creates whimsical layered abstracts that represent the world around her. Her personal focus is to promote the arts in southwest Missouri and beyond! She is an original co-founder of the Moxie Cinema and currently coordinates the Queen City Art Swap. Check out more of her art in her etsy shop!
You might recognize the name Josh Mitchell if you frequent the Rountree area– he has a vibrant studio on the corner of Cherry & Pickwick. Josh’s work has been collected and shown across the country. He creates stunning work out of recycled materials and has over 25 years of commercial photography experience. Josh loves to capture and create images for his clients that challenge the intellect while capturing the essence of their story, product or service.
Nick Willett creates intriguing sculptures here in Springfield, MO. His piece pictured above on the left titled “Clathrus” was featured in the 2016-2017 Downtown Sculpture Walk. This particular piece is a representation of a cage mushroom, made with metals he has collected from the streams, valleys, sinkholes, and forests of the Ozark. Another one of his sculptures titled “Gorgonia” is currently featured on the 2017-2018 Sculpture Walk. It is the continuation of a series of sculpture emphasizing the beauty of nature and the need to preserve natural clean water sources. Nick also has a permanent sculpture going in to Jordan Valley Park this fall—a giant queen chess piece!
Let us know about more of your favorite artists in Springfield!