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Sci Fi and Fantasy – the Art of OzCon

“The World of Sci-Fi and Fantasy”

The Art of OzCon


West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA) will host a multi-media exhibition, “The World of Sci-Fi and Fantasy,” featuring works by artists connected to OzCon. The exhibit will be displayed at the Gallery at the Center, West Plains Civic Center from April 16 through May 7, 2018.  The Gallery, on the mezzanine, is open to the public during regular Civic Center hours.


Inspired by the phenomenal growth of the Comic-Con culture this exhibit will feature works by many local artists who have excelled in creating images of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The exhibit is co-hosted by Oz-Con, a two day “happening” in West Plains.


Oz-Con is a gaming, cosplay and anime convention nestled in the Ozarks. The convention is hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains Computer Graphics and Programming department as well as the local chapter of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). This non-profit event will be held at the West Plains Civic Center. The three days of awesomeness will have a little bit for everyone including Anime, Cosplay Events, MTG, Warhammer, Warmachine, Role Playing games, and now an art exhibit specifically designed to complement the event. Come help support OzCon, browse the vendors and meet the celebrities on April 27th – April 29th, 2018.


The artists participating in the exhibit include:


Malinda Barkley – Barkley is a 13-year old young lady originally from the West Coast. Her hobbies include drawing, writing and taking care of her beloved cat Dennis. Her hope is to be a successful artist/entrepreneur and bless others in the process.


Sabrina Brinkerhoff – Brinkerhoff is a student at MSU-WP majoring in agriculture, minoring in art.

She has parlayed her natural born Dog Whisperer talent into a working Farm Collie breeder/trainer, known in national circles; and has everything from pigs to wild birds, ducks, and a renegade steer under her spell. She has a talent for decorative art with stylistic roots in early animation. The natural world will always play a part in her narrative fantasy art. “Ever since I was young, I’ve enjoyed creating fantasy stories about mythical creatures adapted to our hills and meadows, and it was just natural to paint worlds for them to live in.” You might find Sabina behind a farmer’s market table, arranging floral displays, baking her famous bread to sell, painting Spirit Indian ponies on old barn wood, or out in the field, counting cattle, tracking deer, or collecting skulls for her folk painted collection. She says, “If anything stands around too long, it will either be trained to walk on a leash or get covered in paint!” And, “Never be too afraid to follow your dreams, reach high, and give it your all!”


Katie Cahoj – Cahoj is a local artist and teacher in Howell county. She is self-taught and has been creating artwork since she was a child. She has always been interested in fantasy literature and film and draws inspiration from such topics. Cahoj currently works at Junction Hill C-12 school teaching math, science, and art. In her free time, she writes and illustrates children’s books, teaches private art lessons, and creates her own artwork for personal enjoyment.   


Sarah Corniels – Corniels is a self-taught artist who drew inspiration from her mother, who told her when she was young that the only way to improve was to practice every day, and she’s been drawing ever since.


Miranda Jennings – Jennings is a 22-year old local artist who currently resides in West Plains with her husband Thomas and their three dogs Yodinki, Fauna and Penny. She spends her free time drawing, reading fantasy novels and playing Table top RPGs with friends. Some of her favorite artists who’ve inspired her are Gabriel Ba, Brookes Eggleston and her art teacher from high school, Lee Copen, along with many other artists in the illustrating field. She does freelance commission work as well as clipart, which she sells nationally to educators. Miranda has had her works featured in newsletters to teachers in the past year, and she has also been creating logos and t-shirt designs for businesses in the surrounding areas.


Lauren Neuhard – Neuhard was born in West Plains and has lived in the area her entire life. She attended school at Bakersfield and lived in the Caulfield area with her family when she was young. She and her husband Justin live in West Plains with two cats, Church and Bean. Neuhard says, “I have always loved creating and appreciating art, and I’ve been doing so ever since I can remember. I am mainly self-taught, never having any formal training specifically for art, though I did take a few art classes while attending college. My hope is that I can make art that people enjoy and interpret in many different ways.”


Leona Somoza – A West Plains native, Somoza graduated from Drury University in 2010 with a BS in Biology. She lives with her husband and four boys on an 80-acre farm where they raise cattle and care for many other animals. She has had a love for creating art most of her life and is always looking for ways to develop her talent. Somoza’s favorite media is acrylic, but also enjoys pencil sketching. She says, “Creating art has always been very rewarding to me, especially when I’m able to use my talent to spread joy to others.”


Alex Webb – From West Plains, and an artist since a young child, Webb draws original cartoons and comic characters, in addition to other styles. He uses mostly inks as medium of choice and has specialized in them the past six years.


Allison Wilson – Wilson is the general manager/managing editor of the West Plains Daily Quill. She began working in 2002 as a staff writer/photographer at the Quill covering local news and sports. She especially loved sports photography, which led her to begin a life-long study of every aspect of lighting, camera settings and techniques to hone her skills. Portraits, nature and wildlife photography became a great way to practice what she was learning. In her free time, Allison and her husband, Daniel, enjoy spending time outdoors with their three Jack Russell terriers.


WPCA will host an Exhibit Reception on Saturday, April 28, from 2-4 p.m., in the Gallery at the Center. All are invited to attend, view and discuss these wonderful 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.