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Visit Liberty

Explore Liberty, Missouri, and all it has to offer through the eyes and experiences of our guest bloggers. 

Aug 22

Meet the Artist - Jacob Burmood

Posted on August 22, 2017 at 10:31 AM by Claire Jackson

We sat down with Kansas City local sculptor, Jacob Burmood, at the installation of his sculpture Plumb Twisted (located in the 200 Block of Franklin Street outside of the Clay County Archives). This installation is the first of a new, annual revolving sculpture program that is funded through the Liberty’s Transient Guest Tax and awarded by the Liberty Arts Commission. Burmood was the first recipient of a $1,000 honorarium for his work, which will be on display for one year. There will be two more installations in 2017, which will be on display through July 2018 when six new sculptures will be installed, all around Liberty’s downtown area.

Tell us more about this piece – what inspired you to create Plumb Twisted?

JB: When I started sculpting Plumb Twisted I was trying to set up the conflict between organic growth, shown in the thorns, and gravity. It’s made of steel, fiberglass, resin and red iron oxide and was first completed in 2015, but any time a sculpture is in my possession I tinker with it. Making changes and additions.

Burmood w Plumb Twisted for web

What is your favorite medium to use?

JB: Bronze. Its workability is amazing and it’s very strong. Lately, I’ve also been using cold cast aluminum for most of my works.

How many sculptures have you made?

JB: Since I completed undergrad – nearly 200. Really I’ve been sculpting since childhood. My fascination started with carving wood I found outside in the yard.

Do you notice your style changing as you grow as an artist?

JB: Yes – Graduate School at the University of Kansas was a big catalyst for change in my work. This piece, Plumb Twisted, expressing conflict between two forces, is unusual for me.

What is your creative process like?

JB: I try to create an interesting composition with surprises. For me, sculpting is like taking individual instruments and creating a symphony. All of the elements and ideas that you have for a piece come together and work together to create something bigger, the complete sculpture.

Do you experience creative blocks?

JB: Yes, of course. The best way to solve them is to give attention to a lagging project. As long as I’m in the studio every day, I find a way to break through the creative blocks by always working.

What is your favorite thing about sculpting?

JB: Sculpting is an active form of meditation. It draws you into the immediate moment.

What is your advice for beginners?

JB: Take a class at a local community college. I’m an adjunct professor at the Johnson County Community College teaching sculpting. These classes are made for everyone, not just those wanting to major in art or sculpture, including those coming in with zero experience.

What do you wish you had known about sculpting before you got started professionally?

JB: Art is more of committing to a lifestyle than starting a career.

What’s the hardest part?

JB: Naming it once the sculpture is complete.

Plumb Twisted will be on display in Liberty through June 2018. Artists interested in applying for the remaining 2017 Public Art Sculpture Program honorariums can learn more on the City of Liberty website.

Aug 15

Solar Eclipse

Posted on August 15, 2017 at 1:43 PM by Sara Cooke

The path of the total solar eclipse will pass right over Liberty on Monday, August 21. Make travel plans early to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. You'll be able to see the eclipse happening from any spot in Liberty. If you're looking for a particularly good view, Fountain Bluff Sports Complex or Historic Downtown Liberty will please any eclipse enthusiast.

Where to View:
Science, Sun and Fun - William Jewell College
Join the Society of Physics Students and William Jewell College Physics Faculty members at Greene Memorial Stadium for a solar eclipse viewing event. Telescopes with solar filters will be available to view partial phases of the eclipse and students will offer eclipse models and other science demonstrations. A supply of solar eclipse classes will be available for guests and Cardinal Athletics will provide a free water station. The music and programming will run from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Parking is available adjacent to the stadium.

Wide Open Spaces -
Fountain Bluff Sports Complex

Fountain Bluff Sports Complex is 146-acres of unobstructed eclipse viewing space. The complex is home to 9 baseball and softball fields, soccer fields, playgrounds and 8 ponds that are stocked by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Bring the whole family and your lawn chairs for an afternoon picnic. 

Shopping, Dining and More - Historic Downtown Liberty
For those looking for some more action before or after the eclipse, head to Downtown Liberty. The 26 retail shops and 11 eateries in the business district will be ready to welcome eclipse goers. Some shops will be offering special eclipse deals and handing out eclipse glasses. Street parking is available around the downtown square area and in the parking lots at Kansas and Missouri streets.

When to view:
All times are approximate.
  • 11:45 a.m. - Moon begins to cover the sun (dusk)
  • 1:08 p.m. - Moon totally covers the sun (eclipse in Liberty)
    • We will see up to 2 minutes and 41 seconds of total darkness
  • 2:45 p.m. - Moon moves completely off the sun (dawn)
  • Protect your eyes: Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse called "totality", when the moon entirely blocks the sun's bright face. The only safe way to look directly at an uneclipsed sun is through special purpose solar filters, such as eclipse-glasses. Ordinary sunglasses, even very dark tinted ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.
  • Plan ahead and allow for extra travel time: Many people will be visiting Missouri and the Kansas City area to view the eclipse. Allow for extra travel time to get where you're headed.
  • If you're driving during the eclipse:
    • Don't take photographs while driving
    • Don't wear "eclipse glasses" while driving
    • Turn on your headlights, don't rely on auto headlights
    • Don't stop along the roadway, head to William Jewell College, one of Liberty's parks, Historic Downtown Liberty  or a parking lot to view 
Aug 15

Visit the Heart of Liberty!

Posted on August 15, 2017 at 1:43 PM by Sara Cooke

OK, even though summer isn’t over officially until September 22, doesn’t it seem like it really ends when school starts? In Historic Downtown Liberty, we have just gone through a $5 million infrastructure project and we’d love for you to see it. The sidewalks are wider with beautiful landscaping and trees and plenty of benches for you to relax and enjoy the charm of downtown Liberty. The unique shops and restaurants are open --- all that is missing is YOU!

Main Street shops 4 
Fun events planned for you in August:

6th Annual Dog Days of Summer Craft Beer Crawl – Aug. 19.
Buy a ticket for $20 online, Brant’s (15 E Kansas) or Whiteside Jewelry (16 E Franklin). On Aug. 19, stop at Huey’s on the Square (18 N. Main) to exchange your ticket for a taster glass and a map. The map will direct you to each of the 22 beer stops where you will receive a two ounce pour of a regional craft beer. The glass is yours to keep as a souvenir. In addition, there are two non-alcohol stops that you can enjoy as well. Not only do you get to sample some tasty libations, but you can also explore all that Downtown Liberty has to offer.

The Great American Solar Eclipse - Aug. 21
Experience this once in a life-time event through the eyes of downtown Liberty. All the shops downtown will have special deals, many of them including your very own solar eclipse glasses. Come get started early on your shopping (we have restaurants open for breakfast and also coffee shops) and stay for the eclipse ---- and then shop and eat some more!

4th Friday – Aug. 25
On 4th Fridays, the shops downtown stay open until 9 p.m. – giving you the opportunity to come downtown, eat at one of our fine restaurants and then shop the stores until 9. We bet you’ll find something unique you can’t live without . . .

Historic Downtown Liberty Cruise Night – Aug. 26 from 3-8 p.m.
This is the night you can see in living color the car you always wished you had. This month, we are hearing rumors of a DJ. Bring the whole family and enjoy an evening of fun looking and shopping (yes, the shops will be open for this too).

Come visit the heart of our community. We’re waiting for you!