Kent Library Staffer Receives People’s Choice Award from Arts Council


Mary Robbins, media specialist in the Heather MacDonald Greene Multimedia Center in Kent Library at Southeast Missouri State University, recently received the People’s Choice Award from the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri.

Robbins received the award for her large wall installation “Captured Moments,” consisting of 198 individual circles.

The “Observing Moments” exhibit consists of 10 framed pieces each depicting narratives open to interpretation.

“The exhibit also includes ‘Observing Moments,’ which consists of 10 framed pieces each depicting narratives open to interpretation. All of the artwork on display incorporates painted circles and hand stitching with embroidery thread to emphasize, contrast, or to work harmoniously with the colors of the circles,” said Robbins.

The recipient of the People’s Choice Award is chosen by Arts Council patrons during their First Friday arts events.

“Being given an exhibition at the Arts Council was a wonderful opportunity to share my artwork in a public setting with the local community,” says Robbins. “This allowed me to show my artwork to a larger audience over the course of several weeks.”

Robbins describes her artistic vision by saying, “I am inspired by the human experience of color and how this can affect our emotional state. I enjoy the process of intuitive mark making, especially working with inks due to the high contrast that can be achieved. Many of the visual forms that appear in this type of painting remind me of the formations in nature such as cloud formations, bodies of water, geographical maps, microscopic environments, and even the atmospheres of other planets. When I add more controlled marks, either by drawing or stitching, this is a personal form of meditating on, enjoying, and expressing my experience of the color in each piece.”

The “Captured Moments” large wall installation consists of 198 individual circles.

Robbins says she hopes that those who see her piece will share in the joys she felt when creating it.

“I hope they will take away a feeling of having discovered something unexpected, pleasing, and perhaps a feeling of connection with their own imaginations,” she said.

Robbins says she feels honored to be the recipient of such an award.

“It is an honor that ‘Captured Moments’ was selected as the People’s Choice Award. It means that the community members who visited the exhibition and participated in voting felt that my artwork was meaningful to them. I am happy that my artwork was enjoyed by others,” she said.

 The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri is the oldest arts council in the state of Missouri and provides a forum for residents and artists of the southeast Missouri region to explore, experience and share in the diversity and excitement of the arts.