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Rodney Burlingame has made the transformation from commercial art to fine art.

Originally from Columbia, Burlingame holds a bachelor's degree from Missouri State University, formerly Southwest Missouri State University, in Springfield, and has spent more than 30 years working as an art director in the advertising business in Boston. His clients were in a range of industries, including clothing, hospitality, automotive, food and beverage, financial and manufacturing, and won a number of Boston advertising awards.

Burlingame has created hundreds of newspaper ads for publications all over the United States on behalf of his many clients, in addition to creating magazine ads, outdoor billboards, product packaging, brochures, annual reports and hundreds of logos. For one nationwide clothing store, he even directed many, many photo shoots.

"We flew to New York several times a year, hired six to eight models for each session and rented a number of exotic locations," Burlingame said. "Sometimes, we shot pictures in Florida and in the Caribbean. It was a lot of work, but we had the time of our lives!"

Ten years ago, Burlingame decided to retire from advertising, move back to Columbia and explore the world of fine art. Since 2013, he has created and framed more than 175 acrylic paintings. His art style is primarily influenced by the commercial realism of advertising art, both for products and lifestyle.

"I had always admired the work of magazine illustrators like Norman Rockwell, Bob Peak, Bernie Fuchs and Robert McGinnis to name but a few," Burlingame said.

Burlingame studies the work of a number of contemporary artists and looks at a wide range of gallery sites, sometimes coming away inspired, but not always.

"Viewing the work of extremely talented artists is often inspiring, but sometimes it can be deflating," Burlingame said. "At times, I feel like donating my brushes to charity. But it's just too personally rewarding not to keep going. I love the painting process, but my biggest joy is finding that last brush stroke! People often ask, 'Which one is your favorite painting?' My answer is always the same The one I'm working on right now."

For now, he chooses not to offer his paintings for sale, but rather enters them into competitions. To date, he has won more than 30 local awards, including many first place and Best in Show awards. In 2015, his painting "The Conductor" was chosen by a local vineyard to grace the label of a wine bottle.

Burlingame does accept commissioned work. To contact him, email or visit

Mid-Missouri art happenings

The Mid-Missouri Art Alliance of Ashland is hosting its Summer Art Show Series, beginning with "Two To Tango." What does that bring to mind when you hear it for the first time? Some may have a positive response. Some may think of something antagonistic. Some may think of a well-executed dance movement with a beautiful lady holding a red rose. This is what the artist will explain through the work in this show. The gallery is located at 115 E. Broadway, Ashland, and can be reached at 573-657-0711 or

The Lake Arts Council and "Arts at the Lake" will begin its fourth annual Art for the Seasons Show on Aug. 31 at the Porto Cima Yacht Club at Sunrise Beach. Setup will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the show will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Each artist will be assigned an 8-by-10 space where they can display pamphlets, printed materials and other items. For more information about registration, contact the Lake Arts Council at 573-374-9297 or email

Under the streets of Columbia, Art Underground Downtown offers classical art training for all ages in both a historic and art-filled atmosphere. Modern calligraphy classes will begin soon for teens and adults, with classes set for 5-8 p.m. July 26 and 9 a.m.-noon July 27. This workshop will be taught by Kate Peiffer, an artist who was featured in "Altar'd State" and author of "Bible Journaling for the Fine Artist." For more information, call 573-355-2255.

Tune in to JCTV to see Rick Jey, also known as JCAC member Jerry Ricker, host "Spot Light On The Arts," a 30-minute interview of one artist, and "Mid-Missouri Art News," which features two guests in 15-minute interviews. Find JCTV on CenturyLink and Mediacom, as well as on YouTube.

The Silver Smith's Design Company specializes in personalized jewelry made of silver and precious stones. Sarah Smith is an accomplished artist/painter. The Smiths make fork and spoon rings, which may be made from your own antique silver, or you can choose from their extensive selection. Debbie Smith designs and re-designs handmade clothes, which may be made from your own clothes. The company has a shop in Tipton at 11272 U.S. 50, though they are closed throughout July. For more information, find the Silver Smiths on Etsy, Facebook or Instagram.

The JCAC Featured Artist through Aug. 7 will be artist Kathleen Dake. You may view a collection of Dake's artwork at the Department of Motor Vehicles, 1617 Southridge Drive. Also, find her as featured artist at the JCAC website,

Artist Gary Cadwallader also has very basic design, drawing and watercolor demos on YouTube, using regular watercolors; look for the G logo. Another artist, Larry Carver, has release a series of instructional videos to walk people through his most requested paintings one element at a time, allowing viewers to produce their own versions. Find the videos on Facebook on Cindy Powell Carver's page.

Columbia Palette (Plein Air Painting) is a group that meets each week to paint in different places. Members are of different backgrounds and experiences. All benefit from this sharing of ideas, techniques and materials. Painters primarily work alone. Painting as a group gives each a chance to interact with artists, to hear their encouragement and constructive criticism. These artists are plein-air painters, and the group paints outdoors as often as possible. Find out more at

Through Aug. 6, the Capital Arts Gallery "Creative Collaboration" exhibit will have art made by groups of artists, not just one artist. This collaboration of multiple artists opens new perspectives on the same themes. A reception will be 1-4 p.m. July 14 at CAG, 1203 Missouri Blvd.

Summer is here, and it's time for "The Imagination Station" in Capital Arts Gallery. This is an existing experience for the whole family or just individually. For $1 per person, a whole group may try one of their many prearranged art projects. You can paint a picture of many kinds; ceramic bowl painting is also available. A fully-stocked art studio is waiting for you to have a great time at "The Imagination Station" in Capital Arts Gallery. Call 573-635-8355 for more details.

The Columbia Art League "Members Summer Open" is through Aug. 9. This exhibit features the artwork of the many members of CAL, and it is open 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at 207 Ninth St. in Columbia. Call 573-443-8838 for more details. Starting Aug. 3 and running through Oct. 8, the Columbia Art League will host "The Child Within," where artists explore the aspects of the child that still remains after reaching adulthood.

Artist David Carter will be the Sedalia Visual Art Association Featured Artist through Aug. 18. The association maintains a rotating art exhibit at Sedalia City Hall, 200 S. Osage Ave.

"This is rare for us to have just one artist, but I feel that it's worthwhile in this case," association President Linda Hoover said. "He'll be bringing pieces from his series on Missouri Mills, and I think people will find this very interesting — to see the area filled with many Missouri Mills. It's going to be a great show."

The association meets at 6 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the annex to the Central Bank building, 403 W. Broadway Blvd.

The Village Art Studio's "Summer Art Camps" for 2019 are each for seven weeks. All camps are geared toward ages 6 and older. Each camp is $125 per session. It runs 8:30-11:30 a.m. or 1-4 p.m. For July 8-12, the theme will be African Animal Safari. For July 15-19, the theme will be Lakeside Summer; July 22-26 is Ole' Mexico. For July 24-28, the focus will be on CreaTeen for Middle School and High School. Both studios offer birthday parties for all ages at 1502 E. High St., Suites 40 and 60. Call Ann for more information at 573-230-1414.

Jimmy Mustion is a professional artist, who is involved in area organizations and galleries.