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Joplin artist’s new mural hopes to inspire others to “look up and smile”

JOPLIN, Mo. —If you’ve taken a stroll in downtown Joplin lately, you’ll probably notice some murals around town.

And if you look up around fifth and main, you’ll see one of Joplin’s newest works of art.

“Definitely the highest painting that I’ve ever done, so this is four stories up, I think it’s the highest painting in Joplin, the highest piece of art, which is kinda cool if so,” said Eric Huan.

Huan is a local hairstylist in Joplin, but he’s also responsible for some of its newest paintings.

“This is my second butterfly mural to do in Joplin, so I did one at 7th and main and one on this building, and each one’s similar but different, and…it’s fun to make.”

Huan says, his reason behind creating art in Joplin is to enhance what he says is already a creative city.”

“I feel like Joplin’s at the start of becoming something super special, and that creating art for the town is something that I can do in my free time and contribute to the town and everybody contributes in their own way, but Joplin’s getting better all the time.”

His latest piece of art, look up and smile, hopes to make people in Joplin, do just that.

“To create something bright and beautiful that just makes people smile, that makes people happy is a nice thing, but I named the painting look up and smile because that’s when I’m at ground level looking up, that’s just what I do, like wow look what I did. and that’s part of why you make art is to share something beautiful with everybody, and I hope I’m giving a little gift of inspiration  to everybody that sees it.”

the piece took over one hundred hours to complete, but the artist says it’s worth it to add more beauty to the city.

“I could only work in the mornings because the bright sun would come out and cook me because we’re four stories up, but it’s a beautiful view of Joplin, you can smell all the restaurants and their ovens cooking when those kick on, so it’s just kind of a great place to be and I feel so fortunate to be able to add a piece of art to downtown.”

And at twenty five by ten feet tall, it’s something that can’t be missed.

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