Shawn Bitters: Burn Out

Exhibit Details

July 19, 2019 - July 2020
Art Museum Amphitheater and Phelps Grove Park

The ‘stones’ in Burn Out form a narrative; each rock is encoded, representing a letter that when joined together tell a story. The stones can be ‘read’ by moving through the landscape. The title of the work references the ‘necessary destruction’ of fire in certain landscapes such as the prairies of the Midwest. The shape of the stones is based on volcanic bombs – masses of molten rock that form when a volcano erupts.

Bitters is a sculptor and printmaker. He is an associate professor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. His work explores the use of language, narratives, and belief structures to establish connections to our environment. Burn Out was first exhibited in Kansas City’s Swope Park as part of Open Spaces 2018.

The installation begins at the Springfield Art Museum Amphitheater and moves west and north through Phelps Grove Park. Burn Out is comprised of 23 stones and will be on view through July 2020 as a long-term loan courtesy of the artist. This installation is a collaboration between the Springfield Art Museum and the Springfield Greene-County Park Board. 

To decode the work, please visit the artist's website here or visit the Museum's front desk where printed copies of the key are available.

Program Details

Artist Talk and Walking Tour: Saturday, November 23, 1 PM

Kansas City-based artist Shawn Bitters will lead a walking tour through the installation while sharing his artistic process and inspiration for the creation of the work.

Guided Walks:
Tuesdays, September 17 & 24, 11 AM
October 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29, 11 AM
November 5, 12 & 19, 11 AM
December 3, 10 & 17, 11 AM

*Walk is approximately 1 mile in distance. Weather appropriate clothing encouraged. Join a scheduled guided walk or request your own guided walk through July 2020 free of charge, by contacting Museum Assistant Rick Briggenhorst at (417) 837-5700 or There is no minimum group number required to schedule a walk.

three brightly printed 'stones' on aluminum installed in an outdoor green space surrounding by

View of Burn Out installation on southwest corner of Museum amphitheatre. Image courtesy of the artist. © Shawn Bitters.

logo for the Springfield Greene-County Park Board with two trees and three blue wavy lines and the w