Next month, eight murals from painters across the country with a variety of styles will be installed in downtown Springfield.

The first mural art and culture festival in Springfield is MIDXMIDWST. It will take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 10-11, and will feature visual and performance art, live music, and local food.

The presentation of live mural painting is an important feature of the festival. Ten artists will be working on a collection of eight murals downtown throughout the festival.

Four murals will be displayed on the east side of the efactory, which is located at 405 N. Jefferson Ave., and four murals will be displayed on the northeast corner wall of Missouri State University’s Park Central Office Building, which is located at the intersection of Robberson Avenue and East McDaniel Street.

The News-Leader contacted the ten artists to learn more about their styles and what they intend to create while in Springfield.

Wagler, Meg
MIDXMIDWST was founded by Meg Wagler. Wagler thought that Springfield needed a diversified creative community after graduating from Missouri State in 2011. While she and her husband were looking at different cities to relocate to, she had the thought: why not create that environment here?

“As an individual, one of my goals has always been to figure out how we, as a community, can provide platforms for all different types of artists and styles to feel like they have a place here.” Wagler struck a stance. “I believe that the arts help to knit a community together. This (event) is a pretty effective approach for me to make people feel like (Springfield) is a good location to live, play, and work.”

Wagler’s style has been described as “bold, vibrant, and graphic.” Her work can be found all across Springfield. She has created artwork for the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield, the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center, St. George’s Donuts, and other businesses.

Wagler is collaborating with local muralist Christine Ruitzel on her MIDXMIDWST mural to channel the Missouri State Bears. A black bear and a black bear skull will be featured in the mural, which will be surrounded by a space backdrop.

More of Wagler’s work may be found on Instagram at illustration.

Riutzel, Christine
Riutzel, who lives in Hollister, is a muralist whose work can be found all over the Ozarks. Her contemporary realism style is characterised by bright colours and designs.

Riutzel’s first mural, a 300-foot painting at Branson Skateworld, was completed in 2018. She’s also done murals at Selfie Vibes in Battlefield Mall, Bees Knees Roller Skate Shop on Commercial Street, and the Ozark Greenways near Jordan Valley Ice Park.

Riutzel, who is frequently overwhelmed by tourism advertisements near Branson, feels a sense of obligation to transition the city’s art for the next generation.

“People pay $3,000 a month renting a billboard, but they don’t think about how people want to take pictures in front of a mural,” Riutzel explained. “Murals could function as a business billboard… I’m attempting to make (Branson) more stylish and modern.”