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Artist Michael Walsh says he loves to paint suggested pathways of streams, rivers and country passages like this one in “Morning Glory.” Walsh’s artwork will be on display Oct. 23 to Nov. 12 at The Gallery on the Mezzanine at the West Plains Civic Center. The exhibit is being sponsored by Missouri State University-West Plains. (Photo provided)

(West Plains) – Works by local artist Michael Walsh will be featured in a free exhibit October 23 through November 12 at The Gallery on the Mezzanine at the West Plains Civic Center.

The exhibit is being hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains’ University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department. A “meet the artist” reception is set for 2 PM October 27 in the civic center’s Magnolia Room.

Walsh describes his artwork as “expressive poetic truth”, and encourages audience participation through contributing their own personal experiences to the motif during the viewing process, thus enlarging their connection with the painting.

Some of Walsh’s favorite painters include Edgar Degas, Edgar Payne, Clyde Aspevig, Dennis Doheny, Matt Smith, Josh Eliot, Winslow Homer, Kathryn Stats, Ralf Oberg, Bill Anton, Tucker Smith, Richard Schmid, Mian Situ and Scott Christensen.

Born in 1952, Walsh’s journey to becoming a professional artist has been unconventional. In order to support a family, he worked 30 years as a graphic designer. Ten years ago, however, he was challenged to pursue his passion. His professional goals now are to facilitate workshops, continue instructing others in the craft, and finding broader recognition of his work through gallery representation, he said. He also said his life is blessed with his wife, his sons and their families.

Walsh has received several awards and honors for his artwork. His “Strong City SF Railroad Depot” painting was selected as artwork for a Kansas Lottery Scratchers ticket in 2011 to celebrate the state’s sesquicentennial. In 2010, his pieces “Fall Dreams” and “Home” were winners at the MidAmerica Pastel National Exhibition and Competition. His artwork also has received awards from the Paint America Association’s “Paint the Parks” competition; Arts for the Parks Top 100 Award – Bronze Medallion Marine Art Award of Merit; and the best of show award in the Commerce Bank on the Plaza Blue Ribbon Art Show in Kansas City. He served as a judge and demonstrator at the Blue Springs Fine Art Show in March 2009, and his piece “Red Onions” was published in the June/July 2005 issue of International Artist Magazine.

Walsh has made presentations to art organizations and taught university-level courses in drawing, painting and color theory, and has also donated his artwork to raise money for scholarships and charitable organizations, including MidAmerica Nazarene University’s Autumn Auction, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral Dean’s Cup Auction; the KCPT auction; Plains permanent collection at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; the Yellow House and Missouri State-West Plains.

For more information about the exhibit or other upcoming U/CP events, visit wp.missouristate.edu/upc/ or call 417-255-7966.

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