Canton Library Features Culver-Stockton Artists

September 01, 2023

The Canton Public Library’s Guest Artist Series resumes in September featuring the art of Culver-Stockton College students. A public reception hosted by the Canton Area Arts Council is planned for Thursday, September 7 at 5:30-7 pm at the library.

The artwork was created as part of a Spring three-week class on “Literary Nonfiction and the Mississippi River,” taught by Dr. Alissa Burger. Students explored and analyzed a wide range of literary nonfiction formats, including documentaries, podcasts, historical scholarship, personal experience essays, educational materials, walking tours, music, art, and mudlarking.

Students made several preliminary visits to the river, then developed projects in a chosen format. Most students completed photography projects, paintings, drawings, and documentaries. Burger said “The goal of this literary nonfiction project was to give the students the opportunity to synthesize their learning about the river, choose a form of expression that resonated with them, and create their own vision of how they see and experience the river. Seeing students develop and explore their own perspectives was inspiring and rewarding, and it was a pleasure to be able to share these river experiences with them, as they got to know more about the Mississippi River, including what it means and why it matters so much to our communities.”

This course also launched C-SC’s Adopt a River Mile partnership with Living Lands and Waters, a river conservation group based in the Quad Cities. Students spent an afternoon cleaning up litter along the riverbank. As student Julia Svegi reflected, “Cleaning up the river was a special feeling. You know you are doing something good for society and that makes me happy. It creates a special bond to the river and you go home feeling proud of yourself. Having that feeling is what makes me want to go down there more and do more to help.”

Students also participated in a year-long learning community focused on the river. This included a first-year experience (FYE) course with Dr. Aren Van Houzen and an experiential learning course with Dr. Scott Giltner. Students interviewed local residents about historic flooding. Through this year-long learning community experience, students gained in-depth knowledge about the Mississippi River, which included jazz traditions, the local history of flooding, and the river’s impact on the Canton community in particular.

Culver Stockton student’s artwork, featuring their experiences on the Mississippi River, will be on display in the library throughout the month of September.

The library is located at 403 Lewis St. in Canton, MO and is open Tuesday through Friday 9 AM - 6 PM and Saturday 10 AM - 2 PM. Visit the library at, on Facebook at Your Canton Public Library, or call 573-288-5279.