COLUMBIA — The committee responsible for choosing the lone image that will serve as Columbia's Festival of the Arts commemorative poster has made a decision. From a pool of 166 pieces, Melissa Mudd's acrylic and mixed media painting, "My Columbia", was given the honorary nod.
"There really are no preconceived notions," said Rene Heider, a committee member and owner of Deck the Walls. "Every year we want the piece to be a little different, with different mediums."
Mudd's piece meets such criteria; with layers of vibrant colors and references to iconic Columbia hangouts, restaurants and sculpture.
"To me, there is something in it for everybody," Heider said. "Every age group can connect with it. That's a piece of art, when it's interactive like that."
In choosing the work for the poster, the committee comprised of 26 Missouri artists considers more than the painting itself. Artists must also submit a brief explanation of their work and how it visually represents the effect Missouri has had on them.
"One's experiences are a collage of overlapping moments, spaces and times, obscured and sometimes hidden," Mudd explained in her statement to the committee. "Instead of pinpointing a particularly photogenic scene or monument, as postcards often do, the idea of memory became a catalyst for me to capture intersections of time and place through layered color, personal journaling, text and image interaction.
"I feel fortunate to live in such a dynamic and vibrant city, one which will probably be the subject of many paintings to come. The title, ‘My Columbia,' alludes to the lens in which I view our community and the spaces and places which make it my home."
Like many of the festival entrants, Mudd is a Missouri native. Born in Warrensburg, she moved to Columbia in 2000, according to a press release. She has a dual degree in fine arts and arts education from MU and now teaches art at Rock Bridge High School. She currently splits her time between her home studio, her volunteer efforts with several art organizations and her efforts to obtain a Ph.D. in art education from MU.
Prints of "My Columbia" can be purchased at several locations in Columbia: Deck the Walls in Columbia Mall and at 1305 Grindstone Parkway, Columbia City's Office of Cultural Affairs or at the Columbia Festival of the Arts, which will be held from Sept. 27 to 28. For more festival information, go to http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/Arts/Festival/index.html.