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Spiva Center for the Arts Joplin MO


June 1 – July 20, 2019

Darral Dishman: The Artist as Mentor

Sponsored by Missouri Southern State University and Anne Sharp


“Art’s golden thread of mentors stretches not just into the ancient past, but also far into the future.”

Paul Soderberg novelist, journalist, editor of Art-Talk newspaper, mentor to young writers

Exploring the enduring connections between artists and their students—mentors and mentees—Darral Dishman: The Artist as Mentor demonstrates how the act of mentoring flows through one generation of artists to the next.

Over the course of his painting and teaching career, Dishman (1936-1984) developed a reputation as a fine painter and accomplished teacher. Between 1966 and 1984, he maintained a private studio and served as Art Department head for Missouri Southern State College and director of Spiva Art Center on the college campus. His passion for both art and education led him to mentor a variety of developing artists: young, private students in his studio (as in the case of Jeff Legg, Stan Baden, and Mark Vanslyke); K-12 students in small, surrounding communities; students enrolled in MSSC art classes; participants in Spiva workshops; and senior citizens in area artist guilds. Interacting with emerging artists both invigorated and inspired him. Many of his students went on to become professional artists and teachers, in turn adding their voices and talent to the “thread of mentors” that began, for them, with Dishman.

The Artist as Mentor celebrates both the power of mentoring and the legacy of Darral Dishman. Through his own artwork and reflections, as well as those of former students and MSSC alumni, this diverse exhibit underscores the importance of the mentor/mentee relationship. Mentored by Dishman and other MSSC art faculty members, these mentees explored personal directions and developed unique artistic styles.

This invitational, curated exhibition incorporates paintings and 3-D works by 19 artists in eight states. Their stories about Dishman’s mentoring—compiled for the exhibit by Marilyn Dishman-Horst—reveal treasured memories of a devoted mentor and the insightful “take-aways” that have stayed with them throughout their own careers. Featured artists include Stan Baden, Gary Bowling, Lana Caywood, Tricia Courtney, Linda Dishman, John Fitzgibbon, Jeffrey Jones, Annette Key, Jeff Kilbane, Kim Kissel, Melody Knowles, Jeff Legg, Dan McWilliams, Elaina Edman Oberzan, Richard Sachan, Ron Seat, Brad Talbott, Andy Thomas, and Mark Vanslyke.

Proceeds from the sale of Dishman paintings will be donated to the Missouri Southern State University Foundation for the annual Darral Dishman Art Scholarship to perpetuate the mentoring tradition.





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