110 St. Louis Street
West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA) will host an exhibition of works by area artists in the Gallery at the Center, West Plains Civic Center from November 18 through December 16, 2023. The Gallery, on the mezzanine, is open to the public during regular Civic Center hours.
“Winter holidays are a wonderful time for creating and sharing. Artists will share their memories through their works, showcasing what the holiday season means to them,” organizers say.
Featured artists include:
Janey Hale – Hale’s desire to create began when as a young child a women’s group brought an exhibition of old master’s paintings to her hometown of Hope, Arkansas. Teaching art for over twenty years, she is now focusing on painting full time. Janey has benefitted from working with local artists and attending workshops of noted artists. Hale says, “Creating art is a means by which I record both emotional and visual experiences. The interaction of color, light, and textures in combination with mark making appeals to my own aesthetic, which I hope gives something to the viewer.”
“The work I selected for this show is representative of things I paint because they evoke a memory, tell a story, or present a new challenge. I paint what catches my eye. It might be the way light falls across a building or the interesting textures created by the aging process on old farm equipment. Ultimately, I hope the painting tells a story.”
Terry Hampton – Terry Hampton is a native and lifelong resident of rural West Plains who has been involved in creative endeavors and arts organizations for more than 40 years. She seeks to promote the arts as a means of economic and community development and as a way for Ozarkians to tell our own story, rather than having the narrative left to others. She is currently president of Ozark Artery, a non-profit organization on a mission to grow local art opportunities.
Artist Statement: “I am a multi-disciplinary, creative type. I enjoy making visual works – 2D, 3D, calligraphy, photography – am a published author and had a long-time involvement in live theater. I’ve loved artistic pursuits for as long as I can remember. My folks encouraged me and sent me to a neighbor lady for oil painting lessons when I was barely school age. It had a lifelong impact. Roy Hathcock, my high school art teacher, was also a big influence. My “Deck the Halls” entries are mixed media pieces consisting mostly of recycled holiday materials. Recycling and upcycling are where my creative energies have been focused recently, especially using many items that belonged to my parents, including the vintage wrapping paper featured in my entries. Art can and should convey serious themes, but sometimes, it can (and should be) just for fun, like these pieces which remind me of when I was growing up. The way my folks carefully saved wrapping paper to reuse it multiple years. Seeing the remnants of one piece that indicated a gift wrapped in the paper was from my Grandpa. A smiling little girl who didn’t have much, but in her mind, she didn’t need anything else. So many nice memories of what, in some ways, were simpler times, even though I know now the simplicity was an illusion. The world has always been complicated. It is my hope for all of us throughout the holiday season that we make joyful memories without trying too hard, have loving connections with those we care about and take a googly-eye view that through ups and downs, we should try to seek that which is worthwhile and of lasting value.”
Josie Hanson – Josie Hanson lives in West Plains, Missouri with her 8-year-old son Lincoln. Hanson has always enjoyed art and has recently started taking art classes, especially enjoying learning how to paint with watercolors!
Ann Kulpa – Ann is a self-taught creative who has been working her art since she was a child. She has lived in Cabool for 20 years with her husband Lee. Ann lived in Colorado before moving to the Ozarks. In Colorado Ann worked as a portrait artist, mural painter as well as creator and writer of craft “How To” articles for an herb magazine based in Loveland. While living in Cabool she absorbed herself in the creative process of Digital Art Painting, becoming involved in that work for years while continuing her work in Photography, Pencil, and Pen & Ink drawings. Because of her interest in the process of creating intuitively, in 2022 Ann returned to the form of abstract art that she loved to create as a child. ”My finished work is the result of completing a puzzle that is continually fluctuating. It’s always a surprise.”
Donna Lay – Donna K. Lay moved to this area from Texas in June of 2000. She was raised in the Sandhills of Nebraska on a small family farm but left to attend college and eventually earned her Master of Science Degree in Educational Counseling in 1981.
She began her career as a therapist when she enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1981 and spent most of her time living in West Germany. She was able to participate in her military community celebrations of Christmas, German Style and discovered she loved the Gingerbread cookies, the wood ornaments, the nutcrackers, and the music. These paintings portray that time as she sipped steaming mulled wine in the Christmas Market. She invites you to join her in this Weinachten celebration.
Willie Lyles – Willie G Lyles, originally from California, attended high school in San Fernando. He ran track throughout high school and was one of the fastest quarter mile runners in the world in 1980. Lyles was a conservation officer in three different counties for 18 years and recently retired from the Missouri Department of Conservation after 30 years’ service. Artist statement: “I also worked as an outdoor skills education specialist, where I perfected some of my art. I used to use sawdust flour and water to make my sculptures, but now I use gourds and I attended the gourd show in Springfield for the first time this year, taking first place awards. I also attended the Empire Springfield Fair and received four first places and three honorary awards as well. This will be the first time that I have attended this art program. It’s gonna be really exciting for me. By the way, I did not start doing artwork at all until I was about 45 years old, and I have gotten to the place where that’s about all I do now, and I enjoy it in my retirement.”
Judy Norton – Artist statement: “Art has always been a big part in my life. It was always my favorite subject as a child, and I guess it still is. I started painting with oil but went quickly to watercolor because it was easier to transport. When my late husband was in the hospital at Little Rock with esophageal cancer, I painted a picture for every doctor and nurse that worked with him. I always joked I could have an art gallery in Little Rock for all the paintings I gave away and someday I’d be famous!
Later after he passed I met and married Tom, and he and I bought a winter place in an RV park in Texas. It was then I started a watercolor art class and got serious about painting. During COVID I had an art Zoom class five days a week with my students. It’s no wonder I have over 400 paintings in my possession. I still paint twice a week now – once with the Ventures in Art group meeting at the First Christian Church on Tuesdays at 9:30, and then on Zoom on Friday mornings with my Texas students.”
Diane Smithey – A native Virginian, Diane Smithey moved with her husband and sons to Missouri thirty years ago and has enjoyed photographing the Ozark region and surroundings ever since. Many of her photos have appeared in the West Plains Daily Quill through the years. Her first entry in a photo contest, titled “Rainy Stroll at Big Spring,” won first place in the People Category, as well as Best in Show, at the Heart of the Ozarks Fair in 2004. One of her favorite subjects to photograph was her beloved cat, Jelly, who lived to the ripe old age of 18 and “who loved Christmas more than anyone else.”
Cindy Temple – Temple says, “The pieces I chose for this exhibit reflect some fond memories of times gone by. My mom’s Christmas cactus, and baking cookies with my boys and arranging them by the fireplace so Santa would be sure to notice.”
“I’m actively seeking to do better and learn new skills,” says Temple. “I enjoy painting, sharing ideas, and learning with other artists in our local art groups. Being a self-taught artist and learning as I go, breaking rules doesn’t seem to matter and has given me freedom to find my own style. Honestly, I believe all artists, educated or not, are all self-taught. We retain and choose what we want to learn. Subsequently, we go with our gut and what moves and stirs our souls.”
Mark Wallen – A Missouri native currently residing in Raymondville, Missouri, Mark Quentin Wallen is primarily self-taught. His studies include time working with Wendy Ziegler at Missouri State University-West Plains; he also credits the encouragement and support of the “Ventures in Art” group in West Plains. He describes his style as somewhere between Realism and Impressionism. His goal is to move closer to realism without losing the mood present in his current works.
The Ventures in Art group meets once a week and has artists using different mediums from watercolor to oils. The goal of the group is to challenge your comfort zone; to push you to learn from different experiences and other individuals. The work exhibited reflects the input from these meetings.
The works of the artist reflect his interest in landscapes of the mid-west. His interest is in old farms and buildings, cars, trucks, trains, and equipment. He likes snow scenes, and skies of the morning and evenings. He also likes working on nocturnes of moonlit skies.
Dolores Winkler – Dolores Winkler was born and raised in Redlands, CA. She owned two salons in the downtown area and retired in 2018 after 47 years, moving to Pomona, MO, with her husband Grady.
Winkler says, “I have loved art since I was a little girl, taking classes all through my life. I love acrylics, watercolor, alcohol inks, and Inktense pencils on canvas. I have been in California teaching classes for a month. I love colors and different textures!”
Winkler has taught art for the last 20 years, in California and Missouri. She teaches private groups, as well as one-on-one. I love teaching children and beginners in watercolors. 6 lessons are a great way to start. I am teaching at Six Sisters Mercantile in West Plains several days a week and Saturdays for larger groups. Winkler works part-time as a travel agent for Uniglobe Travel, specializing in personal and group travel. “I love to travel, and it gives me inspiration for my art,” she says.
Jaylee Yarber – Jaylee Yarber is a 14-year-old student in the 8th grade. She has enjoyed drawing and painting since a young child and recently started taking formal lessons to explore more art forms such as watercolor, alcohol inks, acrylics, and more advanced drawing techniques. Her favorite subjects to draw are animals, landscapes, and flowers.
WPCA will host a Meet the Artists event on Saturday, December 2, from 2-4 p.m., in the Gallery at the Center. All are invited to attend, meet the artists, and discuss the pieces. The exhibit is co-sponsored by the West Plains Civic Center and West Plains Council on the Arts, with partial funding provided by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
Photo of work by artist Cindy Temple