Public invited to grand opening scheduled for Friday, Sept. 23 After a 5-month renovation, Cultural Corner is ready to open its doors to the public with its first featured exhibit “Painting Missouri: The Counties en Plein Air.”
Public invited to grand opening scheduled for Friday, Sept. 23 After a 5-month renovation, Cultural Corner is ready to open its doors to the public with its first featured exhibit “Painting Missouri: The Counties en Plein Air.” This 115-piece exhibit features paintings from each of the 114 counties in Missouri, plus the city of St. Louis. The Painting Missouri journey began in 2001, when acclaimed artist Billyo O’Donnell and journalist Karen Glines teamed up to document – O’Donnell with paintings and Glines with essays – the rich history and culture of the diverse state of Missouri. Understanding the importance of painting on location, O’Donnell traveled 160,000 miles over the course of the seven-year project to capture each image on site, painting en plein air, or open air, in each of the counties. The project was completed in 2008, and the paintings, along with essays written by Glines, were combined into a book, titled “Painting Missouri: The Counties en Plein Air” which is currently sold out of its third publication. Of note, the image selected for the cover of the book is “Round Bales,” painted in Livingston County. As written in the “Painting Missouri” book, O’Donnell explains, “I painted the scene in the low rolling hills, five to six miles south of Chillicothe in the last light of day.” According to Glines, University Press, the publisher of the book, selected this painting as the cover image because it “best portrayed the state of Missouri.” Both O’Donnell and Glines will be attending Cultural Corner’s grand opening Friday, Sept. 23, and will be presenting “The Journey of Painting Missouri” beginning at 7 p.m. The Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce will be present for a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:45 p.m. Cultural Corner Art Guild & Gallery is located at 424 Locust Street in Chillicothe. Built in 1940, the building accommodated a number of businesses before most recently housing the Odd Fellows Lodge. The building was purchased by Cultural Corner in 2014, and underwent a complete interior remodel beginning in March, revealing the barrel ceiling and exposed concrete floors that provide the modern industrial feel to the space. The renovation was funded through tax credits awarded by the Missouri Department of Economic Development's Neighborhood Assistance Program, and local and state grants and donations. Cultural Corner offers a variety of art classes each month, including painting, woodcarving, stained glass, drawing, and will soon be offering pottery. Event space accommodating up to 150 people is available for rental. Guild memberships are also available.