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Art alliance holds expo, seminar
Source: Neosho Daily News Author:Amye Buckley Updated Date:22 Apr 2009

The artists were eager to learn during the Southwest Missouri Art Alliance's 12th annual art expo and seminar.

The afternoon session was a live demonstration by Theresa Rankin, who talked about lighting effects. Rankin, the second of two speakers for the day, addressed art alliance members and guests who gathered at the Lampo Building on Saturday for a day of instruction and the chance to show off some of their own work.

Earlier in the day, Paula Giltner spoke about applied perspective. Attendance was down somewhat this year, so participants were able to get all their questions answered and received more individualized attention.

Caroline Colasanti moved to the area from California. A retired teacher, she wanted to learn art. She's taken classes at Crowder and has spent the last three years attempting to master her watercolor technique. She appreciates the art alliance programs.

"It took me a while to find a group to join," Colasanti said. "I really love it."

The alliance is on a mission to garner attention for all local artists said Suzanne Morgan (Ruebsamen).

"It's such a beautiful area," she said.

Ruebsamen gets her inspirations from her surroundings and from animals.

"It's an awesome area to be as an artist," she said.

Southwest Missouri is getting new focus as an area to develop art culture, said Pam Leisenring, co-chair of the group.

"We're about the education of the artist and the general public learning more about art and interesting the community," Leisenring said.

Her mission is partly for community benefit and partially to develop art education in the area.
Often their programs reach beyond Neosho to the four state area. She's had participants from Forsythe, Claremore and Pittsburg.

"That's a real feather in Neosho's cap that we're producing a program with that high of credentials and that people come that far," Leisenring said.

Ideas for the programs are generated from artists in the area.

"It's put on by artists, for artists and with artists," she said.

Speaker, Theresa Rankin has currently has an exhibit at the Spiva Art Gallery in Joplin and will be speaking there today.

The next in the series of lectures will be a workshop by Jim Bray on watercolor-based technique. Leisenring said the program is geared towards all levels of artists interested in water media and expects him to present some cutting-edge techniques.

The two-day conference will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 8-9. The program costs $75. For more information call 781-3839.

In October the group will put on the Thomas Hart Benton art competition and arts exhibit in conjunction with Crowder College, for both emerging and professional divisions.

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