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Late artist found the beauty of Missouri’s historic spots

Allen Garner, Rotary District 6040 Governor, participated in the Pars v Polio golf Tournament at Staley Farms this month. The district includes 56 clubs.
Allen Garner, Rotary District 6040 Governor, participated in the Pars v Polio golf Tournament at Staley Farms this month. The district includes 56 clubs. Photo provided

Ben Ferrel art exhibit

“Artfully Missouri: an Exhibit of Paintings by Gale Stockwell” is on display at the Ben Ferrel Platte County Museum through Sept. 29.

Stockwell, a Platte County painter who passed away in 1983, helped preserve history with his paintings of farms, homes, historic buildings and the countryside of Missouri, said Lisa Wittmeyer, curator at the museum.

“His most well-known work is an oil of Main Street in Parkville, which he completed for the WPA in 1933, during the Great Depression,” she said.

One Stockwell painting, now in the Smithsonian Art Museum, was on loan to the White House. His paintings have hung in the Rockefeller Center and museums throughout the country.

“Stockwell lived in both Clay and Platte counties for many years and painted in this area and Northwest Missouri,” Wittmeyer said. “Some of the places he painted no longer exist.”

His works include Northland churches, the St. George Hotel in Weston and buildings at Park College. The paintings show all the seasons.

“He liked to use colors in interesting ways. So you have complementary and contrasting colors in the same painting.”

In an interview with Missouri Valley Review in 1959, Stockwell said, “There is beauty everywhere, and we all respond to it. I try to paint this beauty.”

The exhibit includes watercolors and sketches on loan from the artist’s family and others.

A watercolor class is planned in October. For information, call Wittmeyer at 816-304-1627.

The exhibit is open 1 to 4 p.m., Thursday and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 16; and 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 28.

Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children under 12.

A book about Stockwell’s life, written by his son, Jo David Stockwell, “A Country Painter – the life of Gail W. Stockwell,” will be on sale during the exhibit for $10.

The Ben Ferrel Museum is at 220 Ferrel St., Platte City.

Family support group

Dealing with stress disorders in the family is the topic of the next Family Support Group meeting at Tri-County Mental Health Services Sept. 6.

Under the direction of Candis Desselle, the group will examine how trauma from witnessing a death or serious accident can create post-traumatic stress disorder in family members.

The meeting will be held 6-7:30 p.m., Sept. 6, at the Northland Human Services building, 3100 N.E. 83rd Street, Kansas City, North. The meeting is free.

For information call 816-468-0400 or go to www.tri-countymhs.org

Aging Master graduates

Eighteen Liberty-area senior citizens are the latest graduates of The Aging Master Program.

Graduates ranging in age from 60 to 84 and their family and friends gathered Aug. 17 at the Liberty Community Center to celebration their completion of the 10-week program.

The 10-week Aging Master Program covered topics such as hydration, exercise, advanced planning, financial planning, end-of-life decisions and resilience.

“We work on resilience a great deal with our young people,” said Tom Petrizzo, CEO of Tri-County Mental Health. “But it’s true for all of us at every age. Those things help you stay healthy and well.”

This is the third class of graduates from the Aging Master Program. For information on the program call Clay County Senior Services at 816-455-4800.

The program is sponsored by Tri-County Mental Health, Clay County Senior Services, Mid-America Regional Council and the Liberty Park and Recreation department.

Rotary holds Pars v Polio tournament

Rotarians in the metro and northern Missouri raised $6,000 toward combating polio at their Aug. 14 golf tournament at Staley Farms in Kansas City, North.

The funds raised by Rotary District 6040 at their Second Annual Pars v Polio Golf Tournament will be matched 2:1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The district goal is to raise $50,000 this year.

The winner of the golf tournament was the Kearney Rotary Club.

Seventy-three Rotarians from the 56 Rotary Clubs in District 6040 participated in the tournament. They represented 2,400 Rotarians in the district. There are more than 1.2 million members worldwide.

“All Rotary clubs focus on their local community, but also have a strong passion to help internationally,” said Frank Dixon, president of the Liberty Rotary Club. “The eradication of polio has been a focus for Rotary since 1985. We have never been closer. There are only three countries that are still endemic. Our focus is to eradicate and prevent large scale recurrence of polio.”

Excelsior Springs SAFE luncheon

Excelsior Springs SAFE, a substance abuse-free coalition, invited the community to attend a luncheon Sept. 7 to learn more about their advocacy work.

SAFE — Substance Abuse Free Environments — is supported by Tri-County Mental Health and made up of volunteers from a variety of fields as well as community members.

RSVP for the 11:30 luncheon by calling program director Julia Mees at safedfc@gmail.com or 816-589-6697.

The luncheon is at the Early Childhood Education Center, 113 Line St., Excelsior Springs.

By Norma King, Special to The Star