COLUMBIA — Dave Dearnley was surprised to learn that Columbia artist Lisa Bartlett was painting his roots/folk band, Dave & Dyno with the Roadkill Orchestra.
“I didn’t really know she was doing it until she was pretty much done,” Dearnley said Friday afternoon.
On Thursday night, that painting had become the 2016 commemorative poster for the city. The announcement was made to an audience of 300 at the Missouri Theatre during the annual Celebration of the Arts.
Bartlett used a photograph taken of the band at Cafe Berlin for her painting, a colorful acrylic on canvas.
During the unveiling, Dearnley and the five other band members — "Dyno" Don Penny, Darla Betts, Rob Lampe, Joshua Wrong and Heather Wilson — played beneath the painted version of themselves.
“We hadn’t done anything like that before,” said Sarah Dresser, program specialist with the Office of Cultural Affairs.
Since 1992, the Office of Cultural Affairs has formed a committee to select a commemorative poster for the city. Until 2009, the poster was tied to the Festival of Arts. When the festival was discontinued in 2009, it became the city's commemorative poster.
Artists in central Missouri are asked to submit up to 10 pieces of art to the Cultural Affairs Office. A committee selects the piece of art they believe best represents Columbia, Dresser said. One of the members of the committee is the previous year’s artist.
Bartlett, this year’s poster artist, grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, moved to Columbia when she was 16 and has lived here ever since.
She said inspirations for her art include George Hunt, who did vivid paintings of black musicians; John Nieto, who paints the Southwest in bright primary colors; and Reginald Marsh, an early 20th century painter with a classical style.
Like Hunt, some of her subjects include musicians. In Nieto, Bartlett said she was “very inspired by his sense of color.”
Bartlett said most of her subjects are members of “oppressed groups," such as Native Americans and black musicians. Her painting for the commemorative poster, one in a series of paintings of local artists, displays a “folkiness” that her other pieces do not, she said.
Bartlett, who owns Artlandish Gallery on Walnut Street, said she believes Columbia has a lot to offer on the art front.
“In our small college town, we have an amazing array of artists,” she said.
One of the ways Columbia supports local artists is First Fridays, an art crawl in the North Village Art District on the first Friday of every month. This is where Bartlett first met Dearnley, who sometimes plays solo at the event.
“He’s very supportive of our gallery and what we do,” Bartlett said about him.
To Bartlett, representing Columbia with her art is more than marketing.
"(It) solidifies the fact that art is still important to our community,” she said.
The commemorative posters are available for purchase at the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Walton Building, 300 S. Providence Road. The current year's poster is $15, and previous year's posters are $10.
Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott.