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Iconic "I am Joplin" mosaic is coming down

JOPLIN, Mo. — An iconic piece of artwork in Joplin is gone — but not forgotten. But you might be able to purchase some of it.

The “I am Joplin” mosaic is coming down. It was made up of 52 panels of Joplin area residents, and was one of a host of large art works that took on iconic status in the years following the May 22nd, 2011, tornado.

“This was an Art Feeds project and was only supposed to be up six months, that was almost nine years ago,” said Stuart Price, Reporting.

“Originally back in 2013, I donated all the materials for this mural, as far as the aluminum panels and printing, so I’ve been involved in this project since the very beginning,” said Paul Whitehill, Whitehill Enterprises.

And ever since then he’s been trying to keep the panels safely in place. But he says that’s no longer possible.

“And over time uh it has becoming disrepair and faded, and there’s a danger of aluminum panels coming off the wall in high winds, and because they’re aluminum panels they could cause some real damage to to the public,” Whitehill said.

But the Downtown Joplin Alliance is giving residents the chance to own a piece of the mosaic puzzle.

“The pieces themselves that are coming down obviously have some significance because of its photos of our community, community members, um and so we’re going to auctioning those off in a silent auction format on May 7th from 10 to 12 at the Empire Market, uh we’ll have them all set up so people can come up and look at all of them and see who’s on the panels,” said Lori Haun, Executive Director, Downtown Joplin Alliance.

But this wall won’t be blank for long.

“So we’re going to have four rotating pieces of art work here, they’ll change out periodically so we’ll be able to show case a lot of different artists, a lot of local artists on a regular basis, so that will be really cool,” said Haun.

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