Art Submissions Encouraged for Free Art Show ‘Reflections of Hunger,’ Which Focuses on Eating Disorders

Image Credit: Freeman Health System

(Joplin, MO) – A free art show, showcasing the lived experiences of local individuals struggling with eating disorders and body image issues, will shed understanding on these subjects that, even in 2023, continue to be stigmatized and misunderstood.

Opening at 5:30 pm Thursday, June 29, Ozark Center’s Innovative Solutions’ themed art show, Reflections of Hunger: Disordered Eating and Body Image Through Their Eyes, will be on display in July at the Joplin Public Library, ending Monday, July 31. Last year’s art show, the first ever, was a single-night event.

While most American recognize anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating as eating disorders, few truly understand how harmful these eating patterns can be or how difficult it is for sufferers to describe them to friends and loved ones. By utilizing the age-old idiom — “a picture is worth a thousand words” — Reflection of Hunger artists hope to educate and enlighten the public through paintings and sculptures.

“Eating disorders impact our community more than any of us realize, and this speaks to people far better than listening to a lecture,” said Dr. Jenny Copeland, a licensed psychologist and director of Reconnect Eating Disorders Clinic at Ozark Center Hope Spring. “I think it’s important for the artists to tell their stories in their own way. I think there is a lot of power in that.”

Joplin-area residents, including clients served by Ozark Center or the Reconnect program, are encouraged to submit artwork for the exhibit. Media can include paintings, photography, sketches, sculptures, clay designs, creative art projects, and writings. All entries must be submitted to Ozark Center Hope Spring, 3901 E. 32nd Street, by Friday, June 16. Guidelines and entry forms can be found here.

“Last year we walked around and listened to people viewing the art show and the responses were both visceral and emotional; they kept talking about how powerful it was,” Dr. Copeland said. “It was a really powerful response, and we’re excited for the opportunity to do this again.”

Opening night will include a body positive photo booth and light hors d’oeuvres. For more information, please call 417.347.7500.

About Freeman Health System

Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2020, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2020-2021. With more than 320 physicians on staff representing more than 80 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit

About Ozark Center: 

Ozark Center is based in Joplin, Missouri and has been an entity of Freeman Health System since 1996. It has been providing comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults and families since 1965 in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from the Four States. Ozark Center continually looks for innovative ways to address the behavioral health needs of the community and promote awareness of behavioral health issues in an effort to eliminate the discrimination associated with it. For more information, visit or call 417.347.7600.


Ozark Center
Freeman Health System

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