Thursday, August 6, 2009

Community invited to be part of World’s Largest Things “movable mural” celebrating Northwest Missouri’s culture and heritage

New art-on-site project at Trails West!® Festival, Aug. 21-23, Civic Center Park, St. Joseph, Mo.

ST. JOSEPH, MO. — You and your family are invited to be part of an enormous piece of art, way too big to hang on the fridge – and a lot more exciting.

Now celebrating its 17th year, the Trails West! ®  arts festival, Aug. 21-23, St. Joseph, Mo., will feature the creation of a very large movable mural. The mural will be facilitated by professional artist Erika Nelson, the national artist, author and roadside art expert who created The World's Largest Things, Inc., a traveling roadside art museum through the Kansas Arts Commission "Arts on Tour" program. (

The mural created at Trails West!® will feature images from the community's past and present. The "canvas" is a series of doors, hinged together accordion style. Guests at Trails West!® are invited to watch the art unfold, and be part of it by adding their own images.

"Being part of the World's Largest Things project means we will create a one-of-a-kind showcase of St. Joseph's unique cultural heritage," says Martha Greer, Fine Art Committee Chair, Trails West!® 2009. "It will be huge. It will be beautiful. And it helps tell all of our stories."

Volunteers interested in being part of the project are invited to meet at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21, at the festival grounds at Civic Center Park, St. Joseph, Mo. Shifts are available throughout the weekend. Art supplies will be provided, but participants are also welcome to bring their own. For more information, contact Martha Greer, Fine Arts Coordinator, Trails West!®, by email at or call 816-271-4121.

Now in its 17th year, Trails West!® will offer main stage musical acts including a nationally-acclaimed blues/rock guitarist who regularly plays with legends (Clapton, anyone?); an Academy of Country Music's Top New Male Artist;  and a multi-platinum 80s rock band.  Throughout the weekend, enjoy outstanding Midwestern fine artists and crafters, non-stop family entertainment and tantalizing food, August 21-23rd, 2009, at Civic Center Park in historic downtown St. Joseph – for admission of about $2 a day.

         Trails West!® is an arts festival celebrating the unique cultural heritage of St. Joseph. A program of the Allied Arts Council, the festival is coordinated by a volunteer steering committee, and receives financial assistance from the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of St. Joseph, Buchanan County Commission, and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. For more information, visit

Erika Nelson is a visionary artist, educator and one of America's foremost experts and speakers on the World's Largest Things. She is a national researcher and speaker on Grassroots Art environments, Roadside Attractions and Architecture, and the World's Largest Things. Nelson is also the founder and curator of a unique and innovative traveling roadside attraction and museum called "The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things."

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