Won’t you join us this coming Friday evening, 6:00-8:00 p.m., June 1, 2018, for the Opening Reception and announcement of awards on artCentral’s beautiful lawn? Everyone is welcome! For a gourmet picnic dinner your donation of five dollars will be appreciated. If I can keep my courage up and my voice steady, my artist husband David and I, accompanied by his guitar, will have a couple or three celebratory tunes to share with you.
All the artworks in this exhibition are heartfelt expressions created by artCentral member artists—artists who are practicing and mastering the art of loving, living and leaving.
Artists love. They make art for love—their love of art and their love of creating.
Artists live. They live to find and claim and cherish the precious moments and hours and days they need to listen to their souls and allow inspiration to flow in and inform their art-making.
Artists leave. While they’re here and after they pass over, with each of their creations artists leave our world better, more truthful and more beautiful for all of us.
Karen Brust, artCentral member artist and recipient of the 2016 Membership Exhibition Underwriter Award, left our company to pass over in early May. She was an exceptional artist in her loving and her living and her leave-taking. The beauty and inspiration of her colorful paintings linger still on our walls and in our hearts.
Soon after Karen’s departure, my younger brother and only sibling, Dr. David Stanford Baker, II, passed from us on the 14th of May in Charlotte, North Carolina. David, too, was an artist—a sculptor who chose to spend his professional life as a micro-surgeon working to rebuild hands with the skills of a dedicated, compassionate and well-trained artist.
Like many an artist, David early realized his life’s calling. As one childhood friend posted on facebook: “Even at Jefferson Elementary [Little Rock, Arkansas] he set the example for how we ought to behave. Once a boy seriously lacerated his head on a swing set during recess. David immediately took off his shirt and wrapped our playmate’s head to stop the bleeding, while the rest of us did nothing useful or ran for the teachers.” My little brother, while still that very small boy, stood before our church congregation and declared his intention to be a medical missionary.
Hearing the news of David’s death, one of his lifelong friends wrote to me, "I will never in my lifetime know a finer boy or man than your sweet brother always was—he was simply the best of the best." As the minister declared at David’s celebration of life, he’s “actually been living life eternal for quite a long time.”
David devoted himself to family and community life. He was at his best as a loving husband and father. He led scout trips and family adventures to share his love of nature and the renewal that comes with time outside. He helped with homework and art projects and read bedtime stories, enthusiastic and ready to model the discipline needed to achieve excellence. He trained his golden retrievers with a gentle hand and was rewarded with their faithful companionship. At Myers Park United Methodist in Charlotte, his church home for forty years, David found comfort and insight and the opportunity to serve in myriad ways including on medical missions to third world countries.
After retiring in 2014, David pursued his lifelong commitment to social justice, practicing his Eagle Scout's habit of looking for how he could leave a place better than he found it. He participated in Dismantling Racism seminars and volunteered to benefit children as a Guardian ad Litem and reading buddy. He carried his well-organized tool kit to build homes, communities and hope with Habitat for Humanity.
My brother David showed up for family and friends with strong arms and perpetual optimism. His support for the people he loved never wavered. He was exceedingly happy for my husband David’s and my finding each other in love and art and our celebrating our first anniversary of wedded bliss. He was proud of my work as Executive Director-Curator of artCentral, and yet he brashly chided me to make more time for the creation of my own art.
In the last months of his life, David and I wrote emails back and forth under the subject line: ART MENDS. He asked for prints of my art he found particularly inspiring. I sent them. To know my art surrounded him with his last breaths is a blessing.
In his too brief lifetime among us, my brother David set the curve for every artist who aspires to leave a creative life well-lived. Dr. David Stanford Baker II mastered the art of loving, living and leaving. Àshe!
Registration forms are available in Carthage at artCentral, Carthage Public Library, Cherry’s, The Deli, KOKA Gallery and The Palms. In Joplin you’ll find registration forms at Spiva Center for the Arts, Cleo’s Picture Framing and Design and Crackpot Pottery and Art Studio. You can also go online and download the registration forms available on artCentral’s website: http://www.artcentralcarthage.org/artcamp-2018.html.
Our community’s support is awesome for artCentral’s eighteenth summer artCamp! At a recent awards ceremony, Jackie Boyer, president of artCentral’s Board of Directors, and I were honored to receive a grant of $2,500.00 given for artCamp by the Carthage Community Foundation from the Marsh Family Foundation Fund. artCentral’s Board of Directors is deeply appreciative to the Carthage Community Foundation for this generous support which will be used toward scholarships for tuition for children needing financial assistance; camp preparations and operations; classroom equipment: class materials and supplies; refreshments; daily overseeing and support by artCamp staff; and stipends for teachers.
Teachers selected as artCamp instructors are either recognized working artists, experts in their media, or public and private school teachers having professional credentials. Many times they are both. The well-balanced artCamp curriculum is selected from unique class proposals submitted by the individual staff teachers. I’m delighted to introduce you to artCentral’s amazing staff of 2018 artCamp teachers!
ALEXANDRA BURNSIDE – Alexandra grew up in El Paso, Texas. She loves her musical husband, cats and playing with clay! She teaches elementary art at Fairview Elementary and loves making art with kids and watching their creative minds at work. For Alexandra, drawing and doodling are fun and relaxing.
APRIL DAVIS-BRUNNER – Well known in and around Carthage as an accomplished painter and experienced teacher in oil and acrylic, April exhibits and teaches frequently throughout southwest Missouri. She is one of the seven artists contributing to the mural on artCentral’s Great Wall.
SANDRA CONRAD – Sandra achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts on a full merit scholarship at Missouri Southern State University. Her paintings were featured in “Winged Women”, a solo artCentral exhibition. She’s a past president of Joplin Regional Artists Coalition and a member of artCentral. She lives with her family in Neosho.
TERI Y. DIGGS – Teri holds a BS in Graphic Design. Her original design was the official art for our 2017 Maple Leaf Festival. Teri works as a Mark Twain Elementary School tutor and teaches art classes and parties for kids and adults in her home studio. She lives in Carthage with her husband, Craig, and their son, Jasper.
CHRIS GREGORY – Chris, owner of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Missouri, is a world-respected, in-demand farrier, “the one every horseman wishes he could get”. Chris holds several academic degrees and travels the globe teaching the art of hoof-care. Thousands of practitioners and educators use his textbook.
KAHLIE JONES – Kahlie attends Missouri Southern State University and enjoys crafting and making art in her free time. She was first an artCamper then an artCamp aide at artCentral. This will be Kahlie’s fourth year as an artCamp instructor. She loves giving artCampers the tools and the techniques to create.
TOM JONES – Tom is an accomplished and prolific artist in many media and holds both Bachelor and Masters degrees in Art Education. He’s won several state and national awards for his cartoons and has instructed at many artCamps. Tom is well known for his watercolors of snowmen among Carthage landmarks.
JANE McCAULLEY – Jane taught elementary art for thirty-five years in Indiana before moving with her husband to Missouri nine years ago. She holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from Ball State University. Currently she teaches classes in glass art at Spiva, in her home studio and at artCentral.
SARAH SERIO – A native of Neosho, Sarah is a professional artist/printmaker and returning artCamp teacher who enjoys teaching kids to be creative thinkers. Sarah’s prints are shown regionally and exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. She is president of the Neosho Arts Council Board of Directors.
ALICE LYNN GREENWOOD-MATHÉ – I’m the artCamp Director, an artist and Executive Director-Curator of artCentral. I LOVE artCentral and artCamp! With my artist husband, David, I like to travel, garden and share a big, old house filled with our art and furry and feathered companions. I’m teaching French to our puppies. artCamp is coming! I’m super excited!
My friend and a member of artCentral’s Board of Directors, Gail White, has a painting of a white lily blossom. She sent me a text with the image just the other day. Her message read, “I purchased this treasure, painted by Karen Brust, at last year’s Annual Membership Exhibition!”
I remember the day Karen Brust brought her “Healing in Bloom” white lily to Hyde House. She was jubilant to be delivering a new work from her easel.
Her artist statement sounds like a resurrection declaration. “Recovering from surgery, I looked forward to sitting at my easel to paint and find solace from my struggles. I expected to pick up where I left off with my brushes and pigments, filling one canvas and another, creating masterpieces I’d been envisioning. My upper and lower body, as well as my limited stamina, presented different agendas. This painting is the result of many short painting sessions needed to regain control of my brushes combined with my desire to win the battle. Painting this Lily was good for the heart and confidence of this artist.”
The morning of Karen’s “Healing in Bloom” delivery, as we’d so often done before, we paused in our fast forward day and took time to enjoy one of our artist-to-artist chats. Karen wanted to tell me about her “next-up” painting waiting to be started.
Artists, like Karen, make excellent friends! We are kindred-spirits. Our conversations flow easily. We can talk about our art-driven passions anytime and anywhere, every chance we get. I knew for sure Karen was this kind of artist friend for me the first time we stood dripping wet in the Y locker room after our swims—talking about art and art and more art and then on to families and grandchildren and how we’re doing our best to take care of our bodies.
My artist friend, Karen Sue Brust (Collins), 68, of Carthage, Missouri, passed away on Sunday, May 6, 2018. Her family and friends surrounded and comforted her during her brief hospital stay. As throughout their marriage, her husband of twenty years, Terry Brust, stood by her and supported her with great love and commitment.
The surprise and shock of losing Karen so unexpectedly, has left many of us disbelieving that we won’t see her pretty face again where we saw her last. When I go to the pool today, I’ll instinctively look for Karen and our next talk. I’ll find her place empty. Only time can soften the ache of her absence. She leaves a space no one else can fill. Her family’s beautiful tribute says this all so well:
Karen was a highly talented, creative and beautiful artist in every sense of the word and in all aspects of her life—wife, mother, grandmother, friend, daughter, aunt, sister, businesswoman, seamstress, financial planner and painter. She brought an indescribable kindness and magic to everything she touched and created. This is especially true for the joy, fun and creativity she brought into the lives of her seven grandchildren whom she loved with all of her being.
Karen was born on August 14, 1949, in Joplin, Missouri. She graduated from Carthage High School in 1967. Her daughter, Kelly Hunter, was born in 1968. Karen married Terry Brust on November 28, 1997. They were blessed with a large and loving blended family.
Karen believed that with dedication, sacrifice and hard work we can all achieve our dreams, even when they seem impossibly out of reach. She had a diverse and successful business and philanthropic career. Her businesswoman/artist friend, Linda Teeter, remembers, “I knew Karen when we were two women out to break the glass ceiling in two-piece business suits and clicking high heels. Karen always acted like a lady. But don't think she couldn't hold her own. Karen was a New York Life agent. We were among the first women with agencies.”
Karen was a member of the National Association of Female Executives; the National Association of Life Underwriters; and the Million Dollar Roundtable. She was longtime member of Soroptimist International and a supporter of Camp Soroptimist.
After years of service to others, Karen achieved her ultimate dream of being a painter—creating and sharing her vision and working with other artists at the Koka Gallery, artCentral Carthage, Spiva Center for the Arts, the Carthage Art Walk and other artistic venues. In 2015, Karen received the McCune-Brooks Healthcare Foundation Underwriter Award at the artCentral Annual Membership Exhibition.
Like her ethereal white lily, Karen’s beautiful spirit lives on at artCentral and in her art and the hearts of so, so many. I am thankful for the enlightened joys she gave to my life. My pretty, talented artist friend, Karen, is remembered with great love and admiration.
These magical artistic feats are richly, wonderfully replete with secrets—secrets of inspiration and technique. Often these secrets are hidden away—turned or brushed or woven or layered into the finished whole. Sometimes these secrets are up front and obvious. Sometimes these secrets lie dormant, only to be revealed over time.
The secrets of artCentral, our vibrant non-profit, creative arts community, have been a long time in the making and the keeping and the sharing.
Way back in 1985, Sandy Higgins saw magic-in-the-making when she first happened upon a rag-tag consortium of emerging artists in a cavernous old Carthage emptied-out store. Lowell Davis, Jerry Ellis, Larry Glaze, Bill Snow and Bob Tommey (artists we recognize today as regional “greats”) were happily ensconced inside, rapturously making their art and plying their secrets into supernatural feats, while they were hidden away, beyond the public’s view.
Sandy decided, “These magic makers need to be seen, their creations displayed.” She passionately believed she was the one to help this happen. She did. Voilà! Sandy’s vision was born as C.A.S.T.—Carthage Arts Support Team—located first on Central Avenue before moving to the Geranium House at Red Oak II and finally becoming artCentral at home in our beautiful, historic Hyde House on the hill.
Every day, whether working at Hyde House or at home in Paradise, I live in a world of art-filled supernatural feats and secrets of wonderment. Upstairs in artCentral’s Boardroom Boutique, Jerry Ellis’s large watercolor, “Geranium House” is proudly on display, while the terrific hand-rubbed collages and prints of Josie Mai continue on exhibition in all of Hyde House’s galleries through May 20th.
Downstairs at home in Paradise, the magically-colorfully-whimsically painted, cool cat “Lawrence”, by artCentral artist Tyla Raredon, resonates vibrantly with the stained glass windows and the global collection of artful feats and secrets on the tall walls of our spacious salon. While several works come to us from afar—a quilted faux camel bust from India (to be used in this autumn’s “Art of Quilting” exhibition) and a landscape scroll with boaters painted in China over fifty years ago by Edward Lee before his East to West immigration—we locally sourced Tyla’s dear “Lawrence” this time last year at artCentral’s Annual Membership Exhibition.
Love-at-first sight was our instant response to “Lawrence”, since he stands proudly posturing and erect with his secrets hidden behind his no-nonsense magician’s gaze, just like our ancient white cat Ding. “Lawrence’s” purchase transaction came with a bonus. As though under a spell, Tyla dedicated and donated her artist proceeds from our check to the Spare Cat Rescue program here in Carthage. (Cool cats and cool artists can be natural philanthropists spreading magic all around them!)
Oh, my! That old cliché rings so true once again, “What goes around comes around,” or as Joni Mitchell sings, “And the seasons they go round and round, the painted ponies [and cats] go up and down” especially in our community of fine artists.
Lately David and I have been talking a lot about this, for artCentral’s 2018 Annual Membership Exhibition, opening June 1st, is coming back around in just three weeks. The call for artist entries is out!
All you artists of artCentral, for all the details visithttp://www.artcentralcarthage.org/2018-annual-membership-exhibition-middot-artist-submission-information.html. Bring us your best! The Hyde House walls will be ready to celebrate your talents!
Once again McCune-Brooks Healthcare Foundation is providing the generous underwriting that makes this collective supernatural feat an exciting reality. Cash awards will go to works of excellence selected by our two celebrity jurors. Juror Elizabeth Simmons is the innovative executive director of McCune-Brooks Healthcare Foundation that makes so much good go round and round in the arts as well as health care throughout this region. Juror Andy Thomas, well everyone knows he’s our magic-making local artistic treasure who certainly knows his way around a set of brushes and a palette laden with oils. Besides living right up the street from artCentral, he’s painted a few famous paintings of our Presidents and hundreds of other memorable works, too!
Both our jurors are très art savvy! Lucky me, I get to be the one who holds the secrets of their selections until their revealing at the Annual Picnic on artCentral’s beautiful lawn, Friday, June 1, 2018, 6:00-8:00 pm. Dinner is yours for a five dollar donation.. Everyone is invited to join in the magic and the merriment as we feast and celebrate the supernatural feats and resplendent secrets of artCentral’s amazing artists!
I tidy the kitchen, give Lasyrenn her training walk and run her a few times through her agility course—over and under bamboo hurdles and down the hay bale and barrel tunnels—then take my place at my studio computer and look at my to-do list.
Write Art Notes, text Bev to check facts. Finish graphics for Membership Exhibition postcards and posters, purchase stamps for invitation mailing. Update mailing labels, ask Lora Waring to generate a new set. Swim laps. Play date for Lasyrenn (with her sister, Roxi). Prep for gallery hours. Set up for Josie Mai’s collage workshop.
“Laundry Can Wait!” is my mantra as I work from one task to the next until time to hug David when he comes home.
Home. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the arts of home and hearth and how we’re celebrating them this year at artCentral. Josie Mai’s spring EAT ART exhibition, currently at Hyde House, is all about the pleasures of cooking. This autumn’s THE ART OF QUILTING showcases the art of stitching. (Visit www.artcentralcarthage.org/the-art-of-quilting.html to submit an entry.)
Josie makes food-centric art because she loves food. What inspires quilters to do what they do hour after hour—thread to needle and needle to fabric again and again? I ask quilters Jinny Hopp and Ruth Potter to share their quilting stories.
Jinny: “Quilters stitch quilts for the sheer joy of combining color and shapes in a unique creation, to communicate emotion and to honor loved ones. Though they seldom call themselves artists, quilters are artists—fiber artists.
My maternal grandmother and my mother were quilters. They both had a very fine, even stitch to embellish their quilts. They both taught me the sewing skills needed for quilt making. My mother passed on to me several bins of quilt fabric when she quit quilting.
I don't often hand quilt, but I do a lot of designing and machine sewing of quilts. Last year, using Mom's fabric, I made twenty quilts for cancer patients in memory of my sister who died from pancreatic cancer. Vicki Elliff takes quilts to the KU Medical center every Christmas in memory of her son who died from cancer. We share love with people in the hospital cancer unit through the quilts we create. Quilts are about love.”
Ruth: “Both of my Grandmothers quilted. My Mother never did. I was fifty before I started going to Quilt Guild Meetings just to hear the speakers. One day the speaker, Margaret Miller, said, “With my technique seams don't have to meet.” Her book describes her approach as “strips that sizzle”. I thought, “I can do this!”
I signed up for Margaret’s next day class. I don't know how many quilts I made using that technique. Everyone got one for Christmas for several years. Then I discovered attic window quilts showing scenes outside. Oh my! Everyone got quilts again. We were living in Washington State at that time, and each April we'd come back to Carthage to celebrate my mother's birthday and Mother's Day. On our way we'd attend the International Quilt Show in Paducah, Kentucky. I got to thinking about my bucket list and mused, if I could only make a quilt that would be accepted, I would be thrilled. After a few years I made and submitted a quilt. My quilt was accepted.
By then we'd moved to Texas. I wondered if my quilt might be accepted in the International Quilt Show in Houston. I sent in my entry. My quilt was accepted! Well, now the bug had bitten me, and I've been accepted in many shows, even Nancy Zieman's PBS show in Madison, Wisconsin.
The quilt I am showing at Art Central was thirty years in the making. I worked on it for seven years until my hands gave out. A Mennonite lady finished my thirty-year quilt. It's my last hand-quilted quilt. I've loved my hobby.”
David and I have loved this full and happy day in Paradise. The puppy is safely tucked away in her kennel. Chiquita, her companion, sleeps beside our bed. Ding’s curled up on top. We’ll snuggle now beneath our paw-printed spread and a couple of family heirloom quilts. The laundry is still waiting!