By Kathryn Rice

Public art should be at the table from the beginning on all projects said Adam Jones, Kansas City, during his visit to Maryville on February 16.

Adam Jones, Kansas City consultant and developer, and Diane Sudhoff, Maryville Public Arts Committee, listen to Aaron Dobson, Maryville Parks and Recreation director, explain some of his vision for the future of Franklin Park, Seventh and Main Streets.

Jones, who describes himself as a design and development consultant who specializes in building renovation and structural restoration, sees art as a tool for social action.

He is familiar with Northwest Missouri State University leaders, John and Denise Jasinski and Tim Mottet, and Jim Blackford of Citizens Bank & Trust. He has worked with them on one of his projects in Kansas City. When Blackford suggested he contact the Maryville Public Arts Committee (MPAC), Jones was willing to work with Maryville.

Jones spent the day touring Maryville with Diane Sudhoff and Kathryn Rice, MPAC members. The first meeting was with Aaron Dobson, Maryville Parks and Recreation (MPR) director. Dobson explained his vision for Franklin Park at Seventh and Main Streets. Jones urged Dobson to set down his goals for the 10 Maryville parks and to consider art pieces at each park.

Jones met with Josh McKim, Nodaway County Economic Development (NCED) director, to get an overall view of Nodaway County development and McKim’s goals for continued projects.

Jones had worked with Veronica Watkins, a Northwest adjunct art professor, on a ceramic gallery display in Kansas City featuring Northwest students. The two, along with the Northwest Art Department, are planning a wood firing kiln event in April.

“An art-sympathetic community motivates students to go to the school,” Jones said about the “town and gown” efforts of Northwest and Maryville.

Jones gave the MPAC members suggestions on where more public art can be displayed in the downtown area.

The day ended with a discussion with Greg McDanel, Maryville city manager, about public art and ongoing city projects.

Jones’ next goal for Maryville is to have a group meeting including representatives from the city, county, Northwest, NCED, MPR and service organizations to outline goals and plans for the area. He said that it is important to have all entities on the same page and working together instead of at cross purposes.

MPAC is planning to identify and work on what Jones refers to as low-hanging or easy-to-obtain goals and projects. Then, the committee is planning to strength long-term goals.

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