George A. Spiva
Originally incorporated as the Ozark Artists Guild, George A. Spiva Center for the Arts has presented visual arts experiences to the four-state region since 1947.
George A. Spiva – businessman, philanthropist, and lover of the arts – helped establish Joplin’s first art center in 1958. Founded on the belief that opportunities in the arts should be available to all, the Center continues to flourish through the generosity of members and friends who share that vision.
First located in the Zelleken House at 4th & Sergeant, Spiva moved to the campus of Missouri Southern State University, then to the historic Cosgrove Building at 3rd and Wall before relocating to its current home at the state-of-the-art Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex in downtown Joplin.
The Zelleken House
4th & Sergeant
The Zelleken House was built in 1893 by Edward Zelleken. He died in 1920 and left the house to his daughter. The Ozark Artists Guild opened an art center there in 1958.
Photo: “The World’s Greatest Zinc and Lead District”,1907
Missouri Southern State University
In 1967 Spiva Art Center moved to the Fine Arts Building at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, MO.
3rd & Wall
The historic Henrietta Cosgrove building was remodeled to house three galleries and two classrooms and was the home of Spiva Center for the Arts from 1996-2022.
"Celebrate the creative experience - be a community catalyst."