HOME RUN – Montgomery County Arts Council host their First Annual Big Art Show and Sale

Kim Carr Photo - Art Here

Story and Photos
by Kim Carr

The newly formed Montgomery County Arts Council (MCAC) hosted their very first “Big Art Show and Sale” earlier today, Saturday March 23, 2013 at the Bellflower Community Club.  Doors opened at 9:00 am allowing shoppers and art enthusiast to meet area artists and craftsmen up close and personal.





Kim Carr Photo - Quilt Work


Just like the Kevin Costner movie, Field of Dreams, the MCAC proved…..If you build it, they will come.  Artists and Craftsmen from around the county were visibly excited for the opportunity to show their work close to home.  Sadly rural communities and counties such as Montgomery often lack in venues for artists to strut their stuff.  That time has come to an end with the newly formed MCAC working hard to bring artists and community together.  




Kim Carr Photo - Add a stroke of paint


All levels of skill, ability and interest are welcome.  Whether it be 2D, 3D, musical, performance or even written word, the MCAC is in your corner.  For those who create or those who just enjoy the arts, there will now be opportunities right here in our own back yard so to speak.  


Kim Carr Photo - Branstetter's making music


For those who have been to Bellflower you know it is a tiny town of just under 400 folks.  So it was obvious today when you drove into town that something was happening as cars lined the main street and side roads.  A few brightly colored balloons hung outside the Community Center along with a “Art Here” sign.  It was quiet outside but it was another story inside.  I was happily greeted by volunteer artists, given a list of artists exhibiting and told food was being served if I liked.  Chatter filled the room as artists and customers visited and music by the Branstetter’s could be heard as they played and sung for the crowd.  

Kim Carr Photo - Ross Castle







Ross Castle, Painter www.artbycastle.com

Kim Carr Photo - Pat Moore basket weaver








Pat Moore, Basket Weaving

Show Me Shoppe Artists patmorebaskets@yahoo.com

Kim Carr Photo - Art Show at Bellflower Community Building



A variety of artists and different mediums could be found from several painters, wood turners, quilters, folk art, jewelry, metal sculpture, basket weaving, knitting and more.  Much of the work could easily be seen hanging in a gallery or quaint little shop.  


The quality of work was impressive and it was nice to see these artists and craftsmen with an opportunity to show so close to home.  

Until now chances for Montgomery County artists to exhibit within the county were pretty limited to the County Fair or to travel into surrounding communities such as Columbia, St. Charles, and Hermann or beyond.   

Kim Carr Photo - Laura Burnham, Quilter










Laura Burnham  Piece Makers Quilt Guild 

Kim Carr Photo - Paula Adams, Jeweler






Paula Adams, Jeweler



Kim Carr Photo - Patti Cunningham, Painter





Patti Cunningham, Painter Piece Makers Quilt Guild



Kim Carr Photo - Donna Lotton, Quilter


Donna Lotton, Quilting dlotton@dishmail.net 

Another promising factor that was visible at this show, there were at least three organizations/business’s represented here that already promote the arts in our community.  


Kim Carr Photo - Fran Garrett of the Piece Makers Quilting Club


Fran Garrett Piece Makers Quilt Guild

The Peace Makers Quilt Guild which meets the last Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm in the First United Methodist Presbyterian Church in Montgomery City had a wonderful display.  Fran Garrett was very enthusiastic about the work the Peace Makers do and very proud of their Valor Quilt work and other projects the group has worked on.  Also nicely represented was a group of artists from the Show Me Shoppe at 113 W. Hudson Street in Wellsville.  Seven of their artists had their work on exhibit and for sale at this show.  If you would like to visit them at the shop they are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM or by appointment if you call 573-684-2434.  Last but not least, “The Shop at High Hill” which just opened this past year giving artists an opportunity to sell their work locally.  For shop hours please email them at Theshop@highill@hotmail.com 

Kim Carr Photo - Bob Bishop, Jeweler, Metal Smith


The newly formed MCAC is in the process of making plans to pave a path for our current artists and future artists to come.  If you would like to get in on the ground floor of this new organization please contact them at mcartc@windstream.net  Watch for details of upcoming events, meetings and opportunities for Montgomery County artists.



Bob Bishop, Jeweler/Metal Sculpture montemd@mccountymo.com 


Kim Carr Photo - Janet Percy, Folk Artist

As with any event it takes many hours of planning, hours of volunteering your time and a group of like minded folks coming together for a cause.  I would say for their first time up to bat that the Montgomery County Art Council and its members hit a home run.  

Janet Percy, Folk Art/Gourds noyning@socket.net


Kim Carr Photo - Linda J Rice, Painter







Linda Rice, Painter ILove2Paint@live.com

Kim Carr Photo - Jim Ruhl, Wood Turner







Jim Ruhl, Wood Turner Jimruhl59@gmail.com

Kim Carr Photo - Susan Espen, Painter


Suzanne Espen Painter

Show Me Shoppe Artists suzesp@yahoo.com

Special thanks to All About Cakes out of Montgomery City for refreshments, Cindy Branstetter for musical entertainment and to the Bellflower Community Club for donation of the facility for this kickoff event.  

Kim Carr Photo - Mr. and Mrs. Castle


Next board meeting, Thursday April 4, 2013 at the Montgomery City Extension Office 6:30 PM






Kim Carr Photo - Branstetter Music

Kim Carr Photo - Paula Adams Jewelry

Kim Carr Photo - Patti Cunningham, Painter

Kim Carr Photo - Suzanne Espen, Painter

Kim Carr Photo - Baskets by Pat Moore

Kim Carr Photo - Paintings by Linda J Rice

Kim Carr Photo - Laura Burnham quilt

Kim Carr Photo - Jim Ruhl, Wood Turner

Kim Carr Photo - Janet Percy, Painter

Kim Carr Photo - Donna Lotton, Quilter

Kim Carr Photo - Bob Bishop, Sculptor

Kim Carr Photo - Ross Castle Paintings

Importance to me: