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Jimmy Mustion is a Jefferson City resident who adds his sparkle to the art community.

For as long as Mustion can remember, he has been interested in art. As a child, that was one of his favorite activities. In his teen years, he spent a lot of time going back and forth between Kansas City and St. Louis. He attended concerts and art functions and met lots of people. He went on to graduate from the University of Illinois with his Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. Throughout all his years in school, he had many great instructors who helped his creativity flourish. Art has always been Mustion's life. He laughs and says he has spent his whole life learning how to unlearn how to do art.

This past year through the pandemic has been especially hard for Mustion.

"I feel shut off from the whole world; people don't understand the fact disabled senior citizens spend so much time alone," he noted.

Even now as we move forward through the pandemic, some people still don't want that physical connection they once had. He missed being able to see and hug people.

"We weren't afraid of each other," he said, adding that since it's hard to understand how people communicate these days, he uses his art.

"Art speaks volume, (and it) doesn't accept silence."

Mustion loves all art mediums but mainly works with photography and glitter/glue.

Mustion has been on a spiritual search his entire life, painting things and more things, then painting over those things, and just playing. Every day, he would feel different about the piece he was working on. He would look at it in the morning after working on it the night before, and if he didn't love it, didn't like it, he'd just completely do it over.

He mainly works with glue and glitter, and this medium isn't the easiest or cleanest. He really must work with the movement from the glue and glitter, which is so hard because he says it has a mind of its own. It goes and drips where it wants. He's still working on one canvas painting he started at the beginning of the pandemic. He has put more glitter on it than any piece ever before, and it's only a 24-by-20 inches when he normally works with much bigger canvases or plywood.

His glitter works are like eye spy boards. You'd look at one thing and realize it's made of 100 things and it goes on and on with shapes, pictures, words, art.

Mustion wouldn't be who he is without his family and people who've inspired him throughout his life. One special thanks he gives is to Van Johnson who he did a lot with during his graduate work. Johnson lost his life when Mustion was in college, and he has been honored in many of Mustion's photos. He is also very proud and inspired by his son who was born in 1975. Art was passed on through their family as Mustion's son is a writer, has performed in musicals and plays. His son has also directed community theater and shared his talents with students all the way over in China. Mustion has a granddaughter named Noelle who is 7 and was born in China. He hopes she'll enjoy art just as much as her dad and grandpa.

Mustion is excited to start doing more artwork and getting back out in the world. He frequently displays his art at Capital Arts gallery and is a member of the Jefferson City Art Club. He just recently bought a piece of plywood and is hoping to do some orchids on it. When you walk into a gallery and see a beautiful glitter, sparkly, piece of art making the room glow, you know it's Jimmy Mustion's.

Leann Porrello is the cultural arts specialist with the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department.

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