Tim Murphy Art Gallery

Nook of gallery featuring seating area and art displayed on wall
The Tim Murphy Art Gallery opened in 1996. Our mission is to increase public awareness of the visual arts by providing a setting for exhibition and education. Gallery space will feature monthly exhibits by local and regional artists. All exhibits are free to the public and many artists will have originals and prints for sale to the public.



Call For Artists

The selection of artists for exhibitions will be done by committee, comprising at least one representative from staff and at least three anonymous professional artists. At the discretion of the committee, exhibitions may include the work of more than one artist per show. The recommendation of specialists may be solicited to supplement the expertise of the committee.

Application Information

Heartland Artist Competition and Workshop

Heartland Artist Competition 

The  Annual Heartland Artist Exhibition is a national show drawing artists from all over the United States.  Artist may submit three digital images in .jpeg format to be juried.  The entry fee is $45, non-refundable payable to the City of Merriam.

Best in Show: $1,500
Second Place: $1,000
Third Place: $500
Awards of Merit (3): $100
Irene B. French Memorial Award
Tim Murphy Memorial Award
Susan Hayden Award of Distinction

How to Enter

2022 Accepted Works(PDF, 497KB)

2022 Award Winners(PDF, 2MB)

Heartland Workshop - CANCELLED

Zorn Palette and Abstract Workshop Art by Catherine Kirkland

If you're an acrylic painter looking for a paint-mixing challenge or wanting to explore abstract art, then this workshop is for you! You'll stretch your painting talent through abstract exercises, both in sketches and painting, and will expand your color-mixing skills through the use of a limited set of primary colors.

A Zorn palette is four colors: black, red yellow and white.  The challenge is mixing a pleasing array of colors to create an abstract painting.  We'll also have fun using non-traditional tools for applying paint to your artwork. 

Cost includes 12 hours of professional instruction and lunch both days.

Feb. 24 & 25 ▶ 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ▶  $150


2022 Instructor:

Lenexa artist Catherine Kirkland knew from childhood that she wanted to be an artist. She was a studio art major at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Before retiring as an award-winning art director, illustrator, and graphic designer, Catherine began painting again in earnest. Her style has evolved from representational landscapes and figural works to vivid abstracts in pointillism and works in the limited Zorn palette. Catherine’s artwork was recognized with several awards in juried exhibitions in the Kansas City metro region. In 2019, a large collection of her work was purchased and installed in The Lofts at City Center in Lenexa.

High School Visual Arts Competition

The Annual High School Visual Arts Competition was created to show case the talent of high school students currently attending high school or home schooled in the Kansas City Area. Area high school artists may submit three pieces of artwork for consideration. The categories are 2D, 3D, Photography and Computer Generated art. Prizes are given to the top three pieces in each category.

Entry Information

Artist must submit images of their artwork in JPEG format. Images must be smaller than 1MB or they will not be accepted. Selection will be made from images. Submit only one image per piece. Students may enter more than one category but they are limited to three total entries.  

Virtual Monthly Gallery Show

Enjoy the Scene and Unseen Photography exhibit, featuring photography from Anne Nye, Jack Stemm, and Jeff Tamblyn.

 (PDF, 301KB)Scene and Unseen(PDF, 301KB)


Who was Tim Murphy?

Tim was born October 6, 1954 in Benning, Georgia, son of Col. (Ret.) James K. and Ellen S. Murphy.  He graduated from Immaculata High School in Leavenworth, KS in 1972 and Pittsburg State University in 1978.  He completed a Master's Degree at Pittsburg State in 1982.  He spent nearly his entire working career as a park and recreation professional and joined Merriam Parks and Recreation in 1997.

Tim was an extremely dedicated employee with an unquenchable passion for his job.

One of Tim's major accomplishments was the development of this gallery.  During his 15 years with the City of Merriam, Tim organized 188 art exhibitions, including monthly art shows, the Heartland national juried shows and High School Visual Art Competitions.

The City of Merriam Parks and Recreation Department named this gallery in his memory on March 3, 2012.