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First Saturday exhibit displays MWSU student artwork

This weekend’s First Saturday in downtown St. Joseph took the community back to the 1970s with paintings and prints from Missouri Western alumni, recent graduates and current students.

The exhibit was on display at The Olive Gallery and showcased a variety of different artwork including those of buildings that had been done almost 40 years ago.

Assistant Professor of Art, Kathy Liao, selected several of the pieces of art that went on display and says the planning of the event took several months.

“As I’m kind of going through all the stuff and moving things around, I found all these prints that were just left behind,” Liao said. “Some of them are absolutely beautiful and I feel like they need to be shown rather than sitting, gathering dust.”

The gallery showcased artwork from past students as well as current students. Kelly Heinz, graphic design major, had two prints on display for the public.

Heinz explains how her professors, like Liao, have helped her in working hard to get her work shown and available to be seen by the public.

“I have professors who shove you, and they’re like you need to do this, and they encourage you, but not in a terrible way at all,” Heinz said. “They encourage you, and they kind of want you to go out there and have these experiences because they know how great as an artist it is for you.”

Heinz explains that having your artwork on display for the community can be nerve-racking, but says the experience is a great way for the students to meet new people and see how others react to the work they create.

“Getting people in the community to see my art and everyone else’s art and kind of look at it, because you don’t know how someone else is going to react to your work,” Heinz said. “ You don’t know if they’re going to be inspired to do something or if they’re going to love it or hate it, so I think that’s kind of exciting.”

Owner of The Olive Gallery, Rosie Lammoglia, explains why having the exhibit is important to bridge the gap between Missouri Western and downtown St. Joseph.

“I’ve always wanted to, somehow, bring Missouri Western across the highway, because it seems like such a separation from the city,” Lammoglia said.

It’s not just Lammoglia who feels the separation of Missouri Western from the outside community. Liao says the exhibit is used as a way to show how Western alumni are still around and present in the community.

“Missouri Western is part of the community,” Liao said. “One of the things, I really want to put this out, is I know that some of this work done by the students in the seventies, some of it is still around in the community.”

The exhibit was a great way to bring Missouri Western’s painting and printmaking department out into the community. To find out more about MWSU’s art department, visit the website at

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