JOPLIN, Mis - There's no sugar coating it, this building in Joplin is a piece of work.
Taylor Kubicek: Oh my god, look at that place. It's a mess.
And yet, amidst the dilapidation, Taylor Kubicek has a vision.
Taylor: : Initially I passed it over, honestly, because I knew the building was in pretty bad shape and I said well, I don't know who's gonna buy that... Turns out it was me (laughs). I actually was online and I saw it for sale, and it intrigued me because of the mural on the outside which is something I did with the tank group which was a group of local artists. Five years ago we painted that mural on the outside of the building and I said "Oh, look the bullseye building is for sale. Interesting.
That tank was part of a larger platoon of change that's been rolling in over the years. The art scene in Joplin has grown immensely since Taylor was a kid.
Taylor: Yeah, well, let's see. I think art centers like Spiva and the upcoming Cornell Complex really anchor arts in this town, but in order for arts to be regenerative, it has to be at a grassroots level and it really has to be taken on by local artists.
So as a local artist, he's doing exactly that.
Taylor: ...which seems ambitious, but I'm ambitious....
Turning something forgotten into something memorable.
Taylor: I also come from a construction background so it's just not hard to me. This building isn't on the map in 1890, but in 1900 it's there. It just says produce on it.
While still learning the building's past, Taylor can see its future. Fundraising through the sale of his own work, his goal is to convert into a gallery and studio space for local artists like himself and add another anchor to the art scene in Joplin.
Taylor: : Absolutely, I think an artist doesn't need to keep his vision on the easel. They can take it and do something like this. They can take an old derelict building and turn it into another work of art.