COLUMBIA — On the anniversary of her 100th birthday, Tracy Montminy's works were showcased on the white walls of the gallery named in her honor.
Montminy, who died in 1992, produced paintings going back roughly 65 years, which were compiled in an art exhibit Sunday afternoon by the Boone County Historical Society.
“She was one of the most driven women ever,” said Jenifer Flink, executive director and curator of the Boone County Historical Society.
After Montminy donated her entire estate to the historical society upon her death, the society built The Montminy Gallery in her honor in 1998.
The 8,000-square-foot gallery, located at 3801 Ponderosa St., is the largest in mid-Missouri.
Flink said that between the ages of 10 and 20, Montminy made a list of things she wanted to illustrate, including Alice in Wonderland, Water Babies and ex libris.
“The talent she showed at such a young age is amazing,” said Libby Gill, a volunteer at the Boone County Historical Society.
Montminy used the illustrator Jessie Willcox Smithas a model in these early years. She later joined the Art Students League of New York, where Rico Lebrun mentored her.
“(She wrote) letters to her mother talking about art, and it giving her legs. She talked about how she felt was good, had talent and wanted to pursue art,” Flink said.
Flink said Montminy decided to devote her life to art at this time, and her depth grew as she moved from watercolors to tackle oils.
Later in life, Montminy developed an abstract expressionism style to her work. She was painting the same as Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso, using brilliant colors and metaphysical content as a characteristic expression of the time.
She continued to create art late into life,and on exhibit at the gallery is a painting that was left incomplete on her easel.