Meg Wagler believes in leaving things better than you found them. And if you’ve spent any time in downtown Springfield over the last couple of weeks, you’ve likely seen the ways in which Wagler has left the heart of our community better than it was before the inaugural MIDxMIDWST Art & Culture Festival.
Wagler is a local artist and the creator of MIDxMIDWST, the city’s first ever mural festival that gave artists from across the United States an opportunity to transform previously blank walls in downtown Springfield. During the festival four large murals were painted on the west exterior wall of the efactory. Four more were painted on the eastern side of Park Central Office Building at the corner of Robberson Avenue and East McDaniel Street. Both properties are managed by Missouri State University, where Wagler studied fine art and graphic design.
The festival was postponed twice during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic before happening in September 2022. “It’s been a long time coming,” organizer and artist Meg Wagler said. “This is about getting the community integrated in a really artistic experience, and this festival is a very different approach to that.”
Wagler’s work as an artist can be found throughout Springfield, including pieces at the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield, Oasis Hotel and Convention Center, St. George’s Donuts, and more. She was recently recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by Springfield Business Journal for her work as MIDXMIDWST organizer.
In addition to the live mural painting, the festival included vendors, aerial artists, interactive installations, and two stages that featured more than fifteen bands and DJs over the course of two days. Saturday night’s concert was accompanied by a light show projected onto the silos north of the efactory by Waveform.exp
Muralists whose work can now be found on the west exterior wall of the efactory include:
Steven Teller – Florida-based street artist and muralist who uses abstract realism to feature humans, animals, and nature.
Alexandria Hall – Nashville-based illustrator, muralist, and painter whose work features individuals interacting with the natural world.
Isaac Tapia (IT-RA Icons) – Kansas City-based muralist who explores cultural identity and uses art to bridge the gap between different communities who may live among each other.
Evan Wright – Multidisciplinary artist and Art Director at Bass Pro Shops who uses abstract elements to bring his murals to life.
In the wrap up of their 2022 event, the organization has announced that it will return in 2023 under a new name: Overlay. “Since our founding in 2019, our organization and values have grown and adapted, and we’re excited to move forward with a brand identity that feels more tailored and authentic to who we are. Everything we do revolves around finding common ground, the center of the Venn Diagram, the overlay area of ideas intersecting. We’re looking forward to leaning into this evolution of our growing organization and unfolding our potential.” Wagler says about the rebrand. Followers should expect to see a name shift in fall of 2022 online, beginning in October.