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story.lead_photo.caption “Alaska Sea Stack,” a studio watercolor based on Jerry Thompson’s plein air sketch on the Kanai Fjord. “Finger Lakes Island,” a plein air watercolor of Finger Lakes State Park north of Columbia. “Headwater,” a plein air watercolor of Missouri’s Bennett Spring State Park.

Jerry D. Thompson has always dabbled in art.

The Oklahoma native studied architecture, practicing in the field until he retired in 2006. In that field, he used sketching and watercolor in his drawings for work; art for art's sake was primarily reserved for vacation trips. But in 1992, he made New Year's resolution to paint watercolors on a more regular basis, leading to many years of sketching and painting.

Moving from the Dallas area to Columbia with his wife, Ruth, in 1995, Thompson has been a member of the Columbia Art League ever since, later joining the Columbia plein air artist group, the Columbia Palette. That group provides opportunities to paint outdoors, going indoors during inclement weather, on a regular basis with a group of fellow artists, and Thompson has enjoyed its activities for about 20 years.

Thompson taught sketching and watercolor painting at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and taught watercolor painting at the Columbia Art League, where he also served on the board and its building committee while the group prepared to renovate and share the Missouri Theatre's building in downtown Columbia. Prints of his University of Missouri watercolors have been frequently purchased by the university for retiring staff and faculty. Enlarged prints of his watercolors are on permanent display at both Boone Hospital Center and Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in Columbia.

Art happenings

By now you know that I want everyone to be able to find that artist in themselves. It's an amazing thing, watching someone who has found that they too are an artist, after all.

So, to that end, what follows are some of the different art studios and teachers right here in Mid-Missouri.

The Mid-Missouri Art Alliance of Ashland hosts classes in many art skills. The alliance is also hosting its Summer Art Show Series beginning with "Two To Tango." The gallery is located at 115 E. Broadway in Ashland. For more information, call 573-657-0711 or email [email protected]

Village Art Studio, 1502 E. High St., Suites 40 and 60, offers classes for anyone ages 6 and up in a large variety of forms.

"The Imagination Station" at Capital Arts Gallery will help you to produce an art project for $1. They have many projects to choose from, a full stocked art studio and provide instructional classes as well. The Capital Arts Gallery is hosting the "Tell a Story" exhibit through Sept. 17. From Sept. 20 through Oct. 20, the gallery will host "Myth and Legends," which gives artists room to interpret what is fact and fiction. A reception will be held 1-4 p.m. Sept. 29. The Capital Arts Gallery is located at 1203 Missouri Blvd. For more information, visit

Art Underground Downtown offers classical art training for all ages in a historic and art-filled atmosphere. They have classes for beginners through professionals, providing the resources to learn anything about art. Classes for children in kindergarten through 12th grade are held Tuesday through Thursday nights starting this month. For more information, call 573-355-2255 or email [email protected]

YouTube is also a fine resource for finding art instructional videos. Local artist Larry Carver's instructional videos walk you through different paintings. By pausing on each element, you will be able to paint your own version. You can find his videos on the Facebook page of Cindy Powell Carver. Local artist Gary Cadwallader also does instructional videos to help you learn to paint with watercolors. These step-by-step instructional look for beginners can be found on YouTube; look for the Giant G logo.

The Lake Arts Council and "Arts at the Lake" are hosting "Photo Quest 2019" through Sept. 24 at Stonecrest Mall in Osage Beach. For more information, call 573-374-9297 or email administr[email protected]

The Sedalia Visual Arts Association always has an exhibit at Sedalia City Hall, 200 S. Osage, that features two artists. This rotating show changes every two months. For more information on the association, visit or email [email protected] or President Linda Hoover at [email protected]

Tune in to JCTV to see Rick Jey, also known as JCAC member Jerry Ricker, host of "Spotlight On The Arts," a 30-minute interview of one artist, and "Mid-Missouri Art News," which features two guests in 15-minute interviews. Jey also hosts "Quilting Inside and Out."

The JCAC Featured Artist through Sept. 19 is Brandi Rackers. You may view a collection of Rackers' artwork, including paintings and ceramic relief sculptures, at the Department of Motor Vehicles, 1617 Southridge Drive. Also, find her as featured artist at the JCAC website, Starting Sept. 20, the featured artist will be Essex Garner.

Columbia Palette (Plein Air Painting) meets each week to paint in different places, benefiting from the sharing of ideas, techniques and materials. These artists are plein-air painters, and the group paints outdoors as often as possible. Find out more at

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

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