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Visit Liberty

Explore Liberty, Missouri, and all it has to offer through the eyes and experiences of our guest bloggers. 

Jun 20

Meet the Artist - Jacob Burmood

Posted on June 20, 2019 at 10:09 AM by Claire Jackson

We sat down with Kansas City local sculptor, Jacob Burmood, at the installation of his sculpture Plumb Twisted (located in the 200 Block of Franklin Street outside of the Clay County Archives). This installation is the first of a new, annual revolving sculpture program that is funded through the Liberty’s Transient Guest Tax and awarded by the Liberty Arts Commission. Burmood was the first recipient of a $1,000 honorarium for his work, which will be on display for one year. There will be two more installations in 2017, which will be on display through July 2018 when six new sculptures will be installed, all around Liberty’s downtown area.

Tell us more about this piece – what inspired you to create Plumb Twisted?

JB: When I started sculpting Plumb Twisted I was trying to set up the conflict between organic growth, shown in the thorns, and gravity. It’s made of steel, fiberglass, resin and red iron oxide and was first completed in 2015, but any time a sculpture is in my possession I tinker with it. Making changes and additions.

Burmood w Plumb Twisted for web

What is your favorite medium to use?

JB: Bronze. Its workability is amazing and it’s very strong. Lately, I’ve also been using cold cast aluminum for most of my works.

How many sculptures have you made?

JB: Since I completed undergrad – nearly 200. Really I’ve been sculpting since childhood. My fascination started with carving wood I found outside in the yard.

Do you notice your style changing as you grow as an artist?

JB: Yes – Graduate School at the University of Kansas was a big catalyst for change in my work. This piece, Plumb Twisted, expressing conflict between two forces, is unusual for me.

What is your creative process like?

JB: I try to create an interesting composition with surprises. For me, sculpting is like taking individual instruments and creating a symphony. All of the elements and ideas that you have for a piece come together and work together to create something bigger, the complete sculpture.

Do you experience creative blocks?

JB: Yes, of course. The best way to solve them is to give attention to a lagging project. As long as I’m in the studio every day, I find a way to break through the creative blocks by always working.

What is your favorite thing about sculpting?

JB: Sculpting is an active form of meditation. It draws you into the immediate moment.

What is your advice for beginners?

JB: Take a class at a local community college. I’m an adjunct professor at the Johnson County Community College teaching sculpting. These classes are made for everyone, not just those wanting to major in art or sculpture, including those coming in with zero experience.

What do you wish you had known about sculpting before you got started professionally?

JB: Art is more of committing to a lifestyle than starting a career.

What’s the hardest part?

JB: Naming it once the sculpture is complete.

Plumb Twisted will be on display in Liberty through June 2018. Artists interested in applying for the remaining 2017 Public Art Sculpture Program honorariums can learn more on the City of Liberty website.

Jun 20

A walk through the woods

Posted on June 20, 2019 at 10:04 AM by Claire Jackson

The summer sun is heating up here in Liberty, but don’t let that stop you from exploring Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary. In fact, summer can be the perfect time to get out of the city and spend some refreshing time in nature. Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary (MLTNS, or Martha Lafite for short) is located on the east side of Liberty.


Rush Creek flows through the 100 acres of forest and restored prairie, and there are several miles of paved and grassy trails. An early morning hike on these trails is a great time to look for many species of birds that you won’t encounter in more populated areas, like indigo bunting, summer tanager, oriole, hermit thrush and bluebirds.

Rare Birds Photo by Linda Williams

Native wildflowers and pollinating insects are in abundance on the trail through the tallgrass prairie restoration, and hummingbirds can usually be seen in the Master Gardener’s butterfly and bird garden just outside the nature center.


Few can resist dipping their feet in the calm waters of Rush Creek as they look for frogs, little minnows and water striders skittering on the surface. You might also see if you can find my favorite spot at MLTNS, a little babbling brook at the start of Bluff Trail.

If it’s starting to heat up, there’s much more to see and do inside the Nature Center. Kids especially will enjoy exploring the touch table, watching the turtles swim, looking eye to eye with several slithery snakes (housed safely behind glass), and chatting with Carmel, the resident rabbit!

Much of the summer at MLTNS is dedicated to week-long summer camps for kids age 3-14, but there are still several programs to get in on if you’re in Liberty for a short time.
  • If it’s a Saturday, plan to attend a one-hour Story Time at 1:30 p.m. 
  • If it’s a second Saturday of the month, you’ll be amazed to watch the Northland Wood Carvers at work from 10 am – 3 pm. 
  • On the second and fourth Saturdays at 3 pm, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to help feed the animals in the nature center. 
And Thursday evenings you can join the Hiking Group. For a full list of scheduled events this summer, click on the Event Calendar on the MLTNS website.

Martha Lafite is definitely a spot you won’t want to miss on your visit to Liberty. The trails are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and the nature center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no fee for entry, but a $5 per vehicle donation is requested. MLTNS is a non-profit organization that receives no governmental funding, so individual donations are greatly appreciated. Also, pets are not allowed on the premises, so you’ll have to leave your sweet puppy elsewhere. I hope you’ll take some time this summer to explore this unique site and connect with nature at Martha Lafite!

Contributed by: Anne Nickel, MLTNS Board President

Jun 10

MUST TRY: Summer Drinks at Liberty Coffee Shops

Posted on June 10, 2019 at 4:30 PM by Sara Cooke

As summer arrives, cooler drinks and refreshing flavors become more popular on the menus of local coffee shops. Instead of ordering your usual, try something new! Liberty's locally owned coffee shops are ready to serve you a unique seasonal drink that is sure to make you want to return. 

Papa's Coffee Express - 124 Forrest Ave, Liberty, MO 64068 
Frozen Peanut Butter Cup Mocha
Papas Coffee Summer Drink
The Frozen Peanut Butter Cup Mocha is a blend of peanut butter, mocha, ice, and chocolate syrup. This is one of the most popular drinks during the summer and is a delight for those who enjoy peanut butter! Papa's exclusively uses coffee from Kansas City coffeehouse The Roasterie

Hammerhand Coffee - 22 N Main St, Liberty, MO 64068
Lemon Vanilla Tea

Hammerhand Coffee Summer Drink
Located in Historic Downtown Liberty, Hammerhand coffee continues to attract people with its cozy and modern coffeehouse vibes. This iced drink is a blend of lemongrass tea and oat milk, served with a candied lemon slice on the rim. The Lemon tea is not the only popular drink during the summer, their iced coffees are also frequently ordered. 

Over Flow Coffeehouse - 1005 Middlebrook Dr Suite E, Liberty, MO 64068
Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie
One of the most popular menu items at Over Flow during the summer is their smoothies. The strawberry lemonade smoothie is dairy free. The smoothie options consist of strawberry banana, mango, and the strawberry lemonade which is dairy free. Super refreshing on a hot day! 

-- Contributed by Liz Lovesee, intern with the City of Liberty