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West Plains Artists Guild Exhibit



West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA) will host a mixed-media exhibition of pieces produced by members of the West Plains Artists Guild of West Plains. The exhibit will be displayed at the Gallery at the Center, West Plains Civic Center from August 1-27, 2017. The Gallery, on the mezzanine, is open to the public during regular Civic Center hours.

West Plains Artists Guild is a diverse group of artists and art enthusiasts interested in promoting an awareness of art; encouraging and uplifting fellow artists through events and activities of common interest; and providing opportunity for learning new skills and fresh understanding through workshops, classes and exhibits.

The Guild welcomes artists of all skill levels to join them. Although art is an individual activity, creativity is fed by fellowship. They meet once a month on the third Tuesday at noon at The Harlin Museum, located at 507 Worchester Street, West Plains, MO.

Artists participating in this exhibit include: Angela Bullard, Anna Cluck, Barbara Willey Elgin, Gladys P. Morris, Ginny Thomason, Regina Willard, and Velma Wilson. The group has provided these biographical comments:

Angela Bullard – Bullard returned to West Plains after several years in Chicago, Illinois, where she was pursuing an active career as a professional actress. In addition to the theatre arts, she has always had a great love of the visual fine arts, taking many classes and workshops while attending college. She attended classes at the Art and Chisel Studio while living in Chicago, and has studied with and participated in watercolor/monotype workshops with Ingrid Albrecht.

After returning to her home in the Ozarks and all the colorful splendor surrounding her in the area, she really wanted to get back into painting and the visual arts. She has participated in several workshops with local award -winning artist Regina Willard to improve her painting techniques. Willard’s expressions of color and her enthusiasm in working with oils instantly won Bullard over for the medium.

Bullard also enjoys expressing herself by exploring other artistic visual mediums – textiles and fiber arts, painting abstract designs, and jewelry making. Angela is a creative new artist to be watched.

Anna Cluck – Cluck grew up in southern Illinois, just outside of St. Louis Missouri, but has also lived in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas; giving her the opportunity to meet many colorful people and visit a multitude of museums. Although she worked as an accountant, she always found comfort and beauty in nature and life that surrounded her.

After retiring, Cluck and her husband traveled throughout the country, giving her a wide variety of natural scenery and subjects to paint during her retirement years; finally settling down on the outskirts of Pomona, Missouri.

Although Anna’s favorite medium to work with is oils, she also has produced many award-winning pieces in acrylics. Anna’s art is mainly self-taught, although she has attended many workshop and seminars with prominent professional artists. You can see Anna’s love for life and art through the subjects that she paints; her flower gardens, pets, home life, scenery, and the places Homer and she visited in their travels. Anna is a passionate, enthusiastic person, and an award-winning artist. Her personality glows from within and shows in her art work.

Barbara Willey Elgin – Elgin (Barb) was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and even as a small child liked to draw and color. She would copy cartoon characters from the funny papers that came in the Sunday Star and from comic books. Barb was very creative on her own as a child. When she would color in her coloring books, she would add in characters to make it more personal. Barb’s favorite was a little worm that she would add to most of her drawings and coloring book pages. Her little worm didn’t have a name, he was her little friend and she added him in doing things, sitting on a leaf or a shoulder. Once she had him running for his life, with sweat shooting out over the his head.

When Barb was older, her Dad bought her a John Knaggy art set that had her first set of pastels, along with colored pencils and watercolors with instruction booklets. Barb saved her allowance for buying Foster art books, where she came to love drawing portraits in graphite and pastels. Throughout her Junior and Senior High School years, Barb was always in the special art classes for gifted students.

Since retiring Barb has taken many art classes and workshops learning to mix colors and painting techniques to enhance her painting skills. Although, she has tried other mediums, pastels on sanded paper is by far her favorite. Barb is a dedicated artist with an innate natural talent and ability. Her awar-winning work is something that should be shared with the world.

Gladys P. Morris – Gladys Morris is from rural Maryland. She moved to West Plains, Missouri in 2003 after retiring from the US Air Force. Her extensive travels with the military have given her the opportunity to visit many art museums not only in the United States, but other countries as well. Morris’ first “Wow” moment in art was during a field trip to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC to see the “Mona Lisa” during her senior year in High School.

After graduating from high school, life took her in a different direction, not leaving her with much time for art and painting. Since retirement Morris decided to focus on developing her artistic skills and techniques. Her art is basically self-taught, although she has attended several workshops and seminars. She dabbles in all mediums, and just has fun creating and painting nature in its full burst of color.

Gladys has hosted many workshops as well as art camps for children, and is committed to promoting the visual fine arts in the West Plains area. Gladys’ art work has won many awards, and has been included in art shows in Maryland, Alabama, Missouri and Arkansas.

Ginny Thomason – Thomason is a long-time resident of West Plains a mom of two and an ecstatic first time grandma. She is a self-taught artist, dabbling in a wide variety of mediums. Art is therapy for Ginny, and was for many years a relatively private passion.

Ginny is an award-winning animal and pet artist. Last year, she began accepting pet portraits on commissions. Her pet portraits seem to come alive with expression and feeling on paper. Surprisingly, Ginny enjoys working in watercolor most.

Ginny also teaches the Monday after School Art program for children in grades K-8, as well as various art camps and workshops in her home town of West Plains and the surrounding communities. Students learn the fundamentals of color theory, while having the opportunity to experiment with different tools and techniques. Her focus is always on giving the child enough instruction to be confident, but enough freedom to enjoy being creative in expressing themselves.

You can find more about Ginny’s art journey on her blog: or on her Facebook page: Gin’s Joyful Pet portraits.

Regina Willard – Willard is from West Plains. Her desire and passion for art started at a very early age. When she was in her teens, she was exposed to oil painting and instantly fell in love with it as a medium. Regina is primarily a self-taught artist who gained knowledge from attending workshops with accomplished artists such as Laura Robb, Carolyn Anderson and Laura Putnam. and paints regularly in her studio. Her ideas for paintings are sparked by surroundings of familiar subjects. She describes her style as “painterly with emphasis on color and brushwork.” “I enjoy the sound of the brush on canvas and the mark making process” she said. “My favorite part of a painting is the beginning where the paint is born of just scribbles and brush strokes.”

Willard’s work has been exhibited in numerous juried and non-juried shows in the Ozarks, winning multiple awards including Best of Show and People’s Choice Awards. She is currently a member of the American Impressionist Society, the National Oil painters of America and president of the local Artists guild. Her paintings have been purchased by local West Plains businesses and by private individuals throughout the U.S. She lives in West Plains with her husband Jason.

Velma Wilson – Wilson has gone by the name Squeekie since day one. He mother called her that in the hospital, because when she cried or fussed she squeaked. Being from a large family in a very small town, the nickname stuck. Born and raised in Thayer, Missouri, Wilson’s innate love for art was inherited from her grandmother. As a young girl she always loved to draw and color.

Although, Wilson has attended artists’ workshops, her talent in the use of color is mainly self-taught, by being creative and experimenting with mixing, blending and harmonizing her pallet of colors. Although, she enjoys being creative and working in all mediums, her medium of choice is oils. Because they are thicker and slower drying, there is some flexibility to step away from the work, come back with a fresh look, and make changes.

Wilson’s ambition is not to become an award-winning artist but to pass on her love of art and her joy of being creative as an artist to her grandchildren one day.

WPCA will host a Meet the Artists Reception on Saturday, August 12, 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.