When walking into the local community center in downtown Merriam, one may not expect to find art. Sure, it’s commonplace to see meeting rooms, a gymnasium and fitness classes taking place. Community centers are known for health and wellness functions, events, classes, local networking and places to hold meetings, but a growing trend amongst public spaces like these is to also form a greater connection to those who frequent or visit the facility through the thoughtful placement of art. Venturing up to the third floor of Merriam’s center, visitors will discover a quaint and private space housing the rotating exhibits of the Tim Murphy Art Gallery.
Now in its 21st year and named after one of Merriam’s most beloved employees, the Tim Murphy Art Gallery is nestled in a cozy spot providing visitors a beautiful retreat to view and appreciate art. Eleven exhibits are hosted each year and all feature an opening evening reception on the first night of the exhibit. Varied types of art adorn the walls of the gallery, and two exhibits are regionally and nationally juried. In fact, the December, 2016 High School Visual Arts Exhibition included 182 submissions from 151 students in 20 metro area high schools–many going on to win awards for their work.
The Heartland Artist Exhibition (March 4 – April 11) is Merriam’s largest show and draws artists from all corners of the United States. This annual exhibition offers awards for Best in Show and is one of the highest attended receptions of all gallery events.
Whether you’re an art aficionado and trickle from place to place discovering the beauty and talent of local artists, or if you’re a first-timer and just want a peaceful place for an afternoon art excursion, try the Tim Murphy Art Gallery in downtown Merriam!