WWU Hosts ‘Painting Missouri’ Exhibit

Mississippi CountyAn artist and a writer teamed up and spent seven years traveling their home state creating “Painting Missouri.” The resulting exhibit is being featured at William Woods University through Nov. 20.


WWU is hosting Billyo O’Donnell’s “Painting Missouri” exhibit in the Mildred Cox Gallery of the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts. All 115 original oil paintings, representing each county and the City of St. Louis, are on display.  


A meet-the-artist public reception with O’Donnell and a book signing St. Louis Countywith the writer, Karen Glines, will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 29. They also will make a public presentation at 7 p.m. in the Library Auditorium.


By using words and paintings, the pair worked together to capture the beauty and history of the Show-Me-State. “Painting Missouri: The Counties en Plein Air” is a collection of scenes and seasons along the highways and byways of Missouri.


It was important for O’Donnell to “catch just the right moment” when he painted and he often camped, hoping to paint an exceptional sunset or the next morning’s perfect sunrise. His experience outside included being in the midst of a snowy, icy night or a humid, sweltering day—or anything in between—so that each inspiring season was significantly represented within the state.


Camden CountyO’Donnell’s paintings in the book are accompanied by Glines’ essays, which capture essential historical facts about the painted location. These paintings and essays are combined to create “Painting Missouri,” which allows the reader to share the passion that both Glines and O’Donnell feel for Missouri. 


The artist lives in Eureka, Mo. He is the founder of the Artists Along the Katy Trail program and was selected as one of America’s 50 Exceptional Plein Air Painters by the Haggin Museum in Stockton, Calif. His artwork is included in prestigious collections in the United States, Japan and Europe.


Glines is a resident of Des Peres, Mo. She is an award-winning journalist, whose work has been published locally, nationally and internationally. She has taught communications classes to college students, mentored journalism students and served as the president of the National Federation of Press Women-Missouri Affiliate.


The Mildred Cox Gallery is open to the public Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about this exhibit, call 573-592-4245.  



Mississippi County—Azaleas at the Historical Society Building in Charleston

St. Louis County—University City

Camden County—Ruins at Ha Ha Tonka