Art is like hospitality that invites us to explore universal themes of culture, community, and faith. The cfGallery exists to foster conversations around these themes. In addition, it serves as a space for personal engagement and spiritual reflection.
We welcome collaborations with artists of diverse backgrounds in this endeavor to gain a fuller understanding of ourselves, our neighbors, and the world. We believe that the bridges we form through the arts strengthen relationships for our common good.
Our art gallery in Columbia, MO is located in the CF foyer and is open to the public during regular office hours. We also host receptions for our different shows to celebrate and honor the artists.
This exhibit is a small sampling of the vast oeuvre created by Joanne Berneche over her lifetime as an artist, art instructor, advocate, and community leader in mid-Missouri’s creative culture. Her areas of influence included arts education in the Columbia Public Schools, at the University of Missouri, Stephens College, Central Methodist University, and William Woods University. Joanne served as a member of the Columbia Art League, including in the role of president from 1979 to 1981. Her husband Jerry Berneche (d. 2016) of 58 years was also an artist and arts educator. Their individual works created beautiful visual narratives with the other’s. Together they played a vibrant role in our community generously supporting the arts with their presence, talents, and resources.
Much of Joanne’s work was influenced by ancient architecture and sculpture, Renaissance masterpieces, and Modernist European artists. Though her decades of work represent a spectrum of imagery, she often created dream-like visions and dynamic patterns utilizing acrylic, gouache, tempera, and collage media. Much of her work speaks to ideas of beauty, aging, temporality, and permanence. This exhibit represents just a fraction of Joannes’s creative body, but viewers can detect the repeated colors, images, and patterns the artist favored in her artistic process.
This collection is graciously on loan from the Columbia Art League. Each work is available for purchase by contacting CAL’s Executive Director Kelsey Hammond at (573) 443-8838.
Kelly Durante & Wendy Yelton
November 5 – December 31
Traveling light can mean something different to everyone.
It can imply little or no extra gear or clothes. It can mean having less emotional baggage or being light-hearted.
This exhibit is a demonstration of two of the most literal forms of traveling light: the reflection of light that creates color and the viscosity and weight of paint itself.
Kelly’s method of poured acrylic painting takes advantage of the paint weight itself and allows her to control the composition of her pieces in a unique way. Her color choices enhance that result, “peaking” out under the lighter top coat.
Wendy’s choice of color, transparency, and shadow creates multidimensional work that appears to float and move on the two-dimensional canvas
Kelly and Wendy are both self-taught local artists who are painting for the joy of the process. Both women contribute and participate in the local art community as well as work full-time in the “regular world.”
Young Black and biracial men in our community selected these photographs to tell their stories. The participants were asked: “What do you wish people knew about you?” and “What does it mean to grow up as a young Black man in Columbia, Missouri?” In response, they chose snapshots taken with their camera phones and explained their significance in oral interviews and written descriptions. These gentlemen have created and shared their own visual narratives to break down stereotypes of young men of color and to build bridges in our community.
For nearly two centuries, the social and political practices of many white photographers produced a negative narrative of Black life in America. Black American artists responded with their own visual counter-narratives and counter-histories to dismantle these destructive stereotypes. In the hands of Black activists and photographers, photography has been a powerful socio-political tool to exert ownership over their individual and collective stories and to fight for freedom, equality, and justice.
For example, Ernest Withers’s 1968 iconic image, I Am A Man: Sanitation Workers Strike, Memphis, Tennessee, presents a chorus of Black voices affirming the fullness of their human dignity. Contemporary photographers of color – like the young men featured in this exhibition – continue this legacy and foster racial and visual literacy by telling their own stories.
When we see something every day, it often becomes ordinary to us, even if it is beautiful or aesthetically pleasing. We no longer stop and hear its quiet invitation to wonder. Visual artists can bring those beautiful things before us again, freshly incarnated in new media.
This exhibition features two artists whose work does exactly this. Dave Walker’s fabric landscapes and Gary Dietrich’s photographs on the MKT Trail both show us what our schedule-centered lives often miss. They take what seems common—trees, flowers, animals—and show us a new perspective, recapturing our attention and imagination.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning writes that “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; and only he who sees takes off his shoes; the rest sit around and pluck blackberries.”
Dave and Gary invite you to pause, remove your shoes if necessary, and see the transcendent in the ordinary.
Dave Walker is a Missouri native and lives in Columbia Missouri with his wife Julie. He has three grown children. Dave received a BSE in art education from Northeast Missouri State University (now known as Truman State University).
His original media of choice were oils and watercolor. In 1992 he became interested in fabric piecing and has constructed over a dozen quilt tops. In late 2009 he segued into making fabric collages which he calls “fabricscapes.” Current fabric choices give him an unlimited range of possibilities and subjects.
His art is accomplished by using a “cut and glue” or “hold and sew” technique of raw edge machine applique, textile painting, and tread-work. Most, but not all, “fabricscapes” are completed using free-motion machine quilting that complements the design and adds interest or shading. All his “fabricscapes” are matted and framed under glass and appear to be a painting or a photograph. The closer you look, the more you see. Each work depicts a story of travel, a record of time, or an impression from nature, either real or pictured in his memory.
His ”fabricscapes” have been well received by the public and have been accepted into several galleries for special showings. His “fabricscapes” are currently displayed in patrons’ homes from Florida to Alaska and he is a Juried Best of Missouri Hands Artist.
His work can be found at Art Off the Trail Gallery in Rocheport, Lake Academy & Galleria in lake Ozark, Garriott Porter Art Studio in Fulton, The Serendipity Salon and Gallery in Columbia and online at Best of Missouri Hands.
Gary Dietrich graduated from the University of Missouri in 1971 with a Bachelor of Journalism. He also graduated from the Navy ROTC program and received his commission as an Ensign. He served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hancock, CVA-19, during the Vietnam War. After his service ended, he worked in advertising sales for the Trenton Times newspaper in Trenton, New Jersey. After three years he returned to Missouri where he received a Bachelor of Science, with a major in fisheries and Wildlife. He married his wife, Michelle, in 1980 and they have resided in Columbia since then.
In 2010 he published Seasons of the MKT Trail, A Pictorial Journey. The book is a collection of photographs he had taken of the trail over the previous 10 years. He is now retired and working on book two, an accumulation of random thoughts inspired by the Holy Spirit, and book three, a fictional account of Artemis, the bookkeeper of the books of heaven.
Textile Artist and Storyteller
“My art unites stitches and sacred stories. Both highlight testimonies drawn from narratives of African Americans in bondage. Their simple, yet complex lives, heartbreaks, and victories are unveiled using original appliques stitched by hand and machine.
Through story and art, the curtain is drawn back on these ‘lesser-known lights in the vast heavens of Black History,’ who sought to live out their full God-given potential.
I gift these precious stories to anyone willing to see, hear, and learn.”
Sandra is a Show-Me state woman born in Sedalia, MO. Most of her life has been spent in Arizona, and most recently, east Texas. Having come full circle, she is excited to get reacquainted with the Midwest.
She is a self-taught artist who learned basic sewing skills on her mother’s antique Singer. Not long thereafter the detail and quiet rhythm of hand stitching got her attention. The twists and turns of recent years have steered her to explore textiles as art. Sandra has a longstanding interest in biographies and Black History. This in part stems from W.E.B. Dubois being in her mother’s lineage and her mom discussing life “back in the day.” When studying art masterpieces and history Sandra often asked herself, “Where are the Black people?”
Discovering the US slave narratives was like uncovering jewels. These common yet extraordinary people Sandra calls, “The lesser-known lights in the vast heavens of Black History.” Her growing compilation of historical fiction weaves color into the white spaces of their accounts.
Sandra’s artistic process is uncomplicated. When she reads a narrative, a scene becomes prominent, sparking creative ideas. Imagination and prayer lead the way in fabric choice, creation of appliques, and type of stitching. She has learned to relax and flow with the inspiration, especially since fabric is a forgiving medium. Just as life can be wild, sometimes the edges are left raw and strands dangling.
Learn more about Sandra and her art at her website Remnants Arise: Stitches and Sacred Stories.
Watch the cfGallery “Ask the Artist” video series below to learn more.
This group is designed to help you integrate your faith with your artistic interests. Come discover ways you can grow, be encouraged, and find opportunities to serve with your unique gifts.
Connect with this group by contacting Kristin Gadsden.
5045 Chapel Hill Road Columbia, MO 65203
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