Art installed around Perryville for exhibit


The City of Perryville had an infusion of art within the last week. Director of Perry County Heritage Tourism Trish Erzfeld spearheaded the 2023 Perryville Sculpture Exhibit on Friday. It is the third year that Perry County has taken part in the program.
Six new pieces of art were installed around the city on Friday, including Miget Park, the Post Office and the Short-Stop convenience store.
New artists for 2023 are: Nick Hurst of St. Mary, Matt Moyer of Columbia, Nathan Pierce of Cape Girardeau, Andrew Arvanetes of Chicago, Kaitlyn Abt of St. Mary, Michelle Hadler of Perryville.
The piece on the square in the Perryville City Parking Lot is permanent to the exhibit now. It is by Marc Moulton, from Statesboro, GA.
By hosting the outdoor sculpture exhibit in Perryville, the hope is to increase art awareness, energize some of the public spaces around the city, and inspire those in the community who may also be interested in creating art. The exhibition aims to create places of interaction, add meaning to the city and bring uniqueness to the locations where the sculptures are installed.
There are seven sculptures in total including a second permanent piece added this year called the Be Well Bell that was painted by Hadler through a program focused on mental health.
“Part of the program is that the bell was gifted to the city,” Hadler said. “It came to me as a primered bell and I wanted to make it unique to Perryville. I was really inspired by the fact that Perryville is made up of types of people.”
The bell is designed in part to look like a quilt with different items painted inside each square, including birds and horses.
“My grandma made quilts and because of that I wanted to do a patchwork quilt design,” Hadler said. “I wanted to be colorful and that each square represents different people and they are all sewn together. The hope there is that it shows Perryville as a tight knit community that supports each other.”

Hadler, who teaches art at the Perryville Higher Education Center, hopes that people enjoy the bell when they pass through Miget Park.
“I wanted each square to represent someone in the community and they could relate to different squares on the bell,” Hadler said. “I wanted people to respond to it and enjoy all the colors and brightness of the bell.”
It took Hadler about one month to complete painting the bell.
“It was one of those things where I would wake up at 2 a.m. and be painting the bell,” Hadler said. “I did one square at a time on my kitchen counter and I revolved my entire life around it. It’s been a joy to have in my house, but I’m glad to see it here in the park now.”
The same could be said for Pierce, who created “Splish,” which is stationed at Miget Park as well.
“When Perryville started this program, I was super excited,” Pierce said.
Pierce works mostly in the abstract art and his creation is along the same lines.
“My design is an abstract about the movement of water and the splash of a wave,” he said. “It’s powered panels and acrylic steel.”
Pierce hopes that people enjoy his art, along with the many pieces around Perryville.
“I think that when we see unusual things in ordinary places that it activates our imagination and brings a level of excitement,” Pierce said.