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Spiva Exhibits Bringing Back Memories this Summer

BY Spiva Center for the Arts |
June 29, 2024

An Exhibition Review by Kristi Spencer

Get ready for a summer of nostalgia at the Spiva Center for the Arts. Their exciting new exhibits will have you reminiscing about simpler times and chuckling at the awkward moments we all try to forget.

 Rewind with Robert Dohrmann

The Sharon and Lance Beshore Gallery is showcasing Robert Dohrmann’s work in the exhibit “As Seen on TV Trays.” Dohrmann transforms everyday thrift store finds such as vintage art prints, trophies and shadowboxes into thought-provoking art.

At first glance, these colorful pieces might evoke a warm sense of nostalgia. However, a closer look reveals Dohrmann’s deeper commentary on consumerism, corporate greed, and media influence. He uses a unique blend of original digital images and collage, combining vintage charm with a touch of punk. You’ll see elements from 1950s catalogs, clocks, knickknacks, and even board games—all commenting on consumerism, corporate greed, and media influence.

Shaun Conroy, Spiva’s exhibit curator, highlights the engaging aspects of Dohrmann’s work. Look for signs indicating which pieces you can touch, like album covers, a new take on the classic Operation game and ominous magic eight balls. Conroy notes how this exhibit pairs perfectly with the “Awkward Family Photos” exhibit, showing the darker side of our recent history and the wholesome hilarity of family life.

Embrace Your Awkward

Get ready to laugh out loud at the Freeman Health System Main Gallery’s “Awkward Family Photos” exhibit. This hilarious collection captures those unforgettable (and sometimes cringe-worthy) family moments we can all relate to.

This traveling exhibit is like stumbling upon a long-lost family photo album from a delightfully dysfunctional family. Forget picture-perfect poses and staged smiles. This collection is full of questionable poses, bad fashion and hilarious fails. It’s a time capsule of awkward family moments – birthday parties with overzealous cousins, teenage angst, and pure, unadulterated family chaos and it’s absolutely delightful.

Shaun Conroy has hand-picked the music you’ll hear while soaking up the documentation of our messy childhoods. With one-hit wonders from the 70s, it’s an upbeat and fun soundtrack.  Good for all ages, this exhibit reminds us that we weren’t the only ones with imperfect moments and weird family photos.

The “Awkward Family Photos” exhibit started as a website in 2009 and has since received millions of views and submissions from around the world. You might recognize some of the photos that have gone viral. For added entertainment, you can take your own awkward photo in a throwback retro living room.

How You Can Get In on the Fun

Awkward Family Photos Exhibit: Freeman Health System Main Gallery, June 22 – August 17.

Robert Dohrmann: As Seen on TV Trays: Sharon & Lance Beshore Gallery, June 22 – August 24.

A Very Awkward Family Photoshoot with Mark Neuenschwander: Saturday, July 13, 2-6 pm. Spiva is inviting you to a laughter-filled professional photo session. You can come dressed in vintage attire and bring props for your session. All family groups are welcome—friends, co-workers, etc. $30 per “Family.”

Game On! Board Game Night in the Gallery: Friday, July 26, 6-8 pm. In the spirit of a family game night, you can play classic board games and have fun while you enjoy drinks, popcorn, and other snacks. Spiva suggests participants should be teens or older and a $10 voluntary donation.

The Spiva Center for the Arts gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 am until 5 pm.


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Location & Hours

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Wednesday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Thursday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Friday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Saturday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Sunday: Closed

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Joplin, M0 64801