The Arts and Entertainment theme of this City Magazine issue had me intrigued and excited as soon as I heard about it — so much so that my first impulse was to immediately grab my paint brushes and get creative. Instead, I put a pen to paper for creative writing rather than watercolor!

The magazine itself is a work of art, showcasing stunning photography that makes you want to explore all the sights and sounds that Jefferson City has to offer. That’s what I love about art — it’s broad. Art is in everything. Art surrounds us. Sometimes we notice it, other times it flawlessly becomes part of us without us even realizing it.

One of my favorite pieces of art is the Missouri State Capitol. From every bit of its stately architecture to the walls inside and every ornate detail, it always blows me away. I’m constantly amazed each time I walk through the hallways and find myself taking photos of every beautiful angle.

There is so much for our mind and eye to explore in the Capitol and beyond. Soon, the walkway bridge from the Capitol to the riverfront will bring even more inspiration!

Art is my passion. If I could choose my dream occupation, it would be to play with paint. Happiness is a constant mix of paint and colors, and I always have the desire to capture our beautiful city on paper — or, in the case of my personal style, in acrylic on canvas. My favorite painting I’ve done currently hangs in the Capitol building, and the story is even better than the painting!

Our giving community steps up for many causes, and we all give of ourselves. I’m often asked to donate a painting or photograph to charity auctions, and over a decade ago, I was inspired to capture Jefferson City’s 4th of July Celebration and donate my work to the Downtown Association fundraiser to keep our downtown vibrant. At the time, generous car dealership owner Mike Kehoe was the highest bidder, but nothing goes high without two people volleying back and forth at a live auction to keep up the excitement and dollars! In this case, Kehoe’s sparring partner was then Senator Carl Vogel. No surprise there. He was always supporting Jefferson City.

Mike Kehoe “won” my painting, and it only made sense: They were the Kehoe fireworks, after all. Kehoe loaned the Capitol Fireworks painting to Senator Vogel to display in Carl’s Capitol office years before Kehoe himself gave political office a thought. Then, after the late, great Carl Vogel’s senate term had ended, the office became that of Senator Kehoe’s, and the painting proudly remained there.

Now, in its latest transition, the painting has followed Mike Kehoe to the office of the lieutenant governor! I could have never dreamed that paint on that canvas — that art — could have such a special story. It starts with creative inspiration, capturing the dynamic #JCMO fireworks, and thanks to the generosity of our great community members like Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, the story continues to grow. As an artist, it is certainly the highest honor, and as a mayor, it’s inspiring to tell that story, to remember those like Carl who worked hard for our state, and to see people continue to give so selflessly to our city.

We all have a talent and a passion. The key is to be motivated to use it for good and to give back to our community. You might be the artist or the one who appreciates the art, but there would be no art without both! #ART #MayorArtist