Spiva Center for the Arts Joplin MO Logo



Spiva Center for the Arts Joplin MO


The National Park Service celebrated its 100th anniversary on August 25, 2016. In honor of this centennial, Spiva’s Main Gallery will be filled with images from parks across North America. For this traveling exhibit, artists world-wide were invited to submit paintings of national parks, city parks such as Central Park in New York City, state and county parks in the U.S. as well as parks of all kinds in Canada and Mexico.

This is the third edition of America’s Parks.  Artworks in this exhibition are drawn principally from artists who participated in the first edition of America’s Parks, and some were added because they were award-winners in the second America’s Parks exhibition. Selections for America’s Parks I were made by a professional jury consisting of: M. Stephen Doherty, Editor, PleinAir™ Magazine; Susan T. Fisher, Past President, American Society of Botanical Artists and former Director, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute; and Todd Wilkinson, Managing Editor, Wildlife Art Journal.

The 2013 inaugural exhibition of America’s Parks: Through the Beauty of Art was scheduled as the first of three in the America’s Parks series, with others to follow in 2014 and 2015. The 2013 inaugural exhibition premiered in Bolivar, Missouri from March 17 – April 14, 2013 at The Ella Carothers Dunnegan Gallery of Art.

The history of park art in America is broad and deep, going all the way back to 1871 and the campaign to rescue Yellowstone by transforming it into the nation’s first National Park. In 1871, Ferdinand V. Hayden, director of the Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, led an expedition to Wyoming to explore the then-unexplored Yellowstone region. Accompanying Hayden were landscape painter Thomas Moran and photographer William Henry Jackson. After the expedition, Moran’s watercolors and Jackson’s photographs were used to lobby Congress to pass a bill to protect and preserve Yellowstone as “a public park or pleasuring ground.”  President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill creating the nation’s first National Park on March 1, 1872.


America’s Parks is sponsored by Harry & Erin Cornell, with additional assistance from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

“Celebrate the creative experience – be a community catalyst.”