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Friends in Action hold fourth art exhibit

PARK HILLS – Curtis Easton put some last touches on his drawing before packing it up to take to The Factory in Farmington.

Easton and Terry Jimenez are two new artists in this year’s art show to be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 17 by members of the Friends in Action clubhouse. The 4th Annual Art Exhibit will remain hanging one month after the opening at the Factory. Art may be purchased the day of the show or anytime after.

Entries will include pencil drawings, watercolors, paintings and charcoal drawings in all sizes.

The annual art show raises money for a new clubhouse that can accommodate adults and teens with mental illness at the same time. In the current clubhouse, located on Crane Street in Park Hills, the groups have to meet at separate times to meet laws that prohibit the two groups from meeting together.

Friends in Action Clubhouse is a facility that helps children and adults who have mental illness or emotional disturbances become more independent. Approximately 200 adults and children split their time at the clubhouse in the morning, afternoon and night. Members come from St. Francois, Washington and Iron counties.

Project Clubhouse funds for the new facility are growing, but at a slow rate. The  goal is $600,000. New artists and their works are a welcome addition to the annual fundraiser.

Approximately 30 artists have been painting and drawing at the clubhouse or at home for months in preparation for the annual art exhibit and sale. Some have participated every year. Others, including Easton and Jimenez, are new to the event.

Jimenez uses water colors, pastels, charcoal and pencil to create his artwork.

“I’ve been drawing since about the third of fourth grade,” he said. “I won my first art contest in fifth grade.”

His favorite medium is watercolor.

“You have to go slower with watercolor than acrylics or oil,” he said. “But watercolor is very versatile. You can be an impressionist or realistic.”

Art provides an outlet for self-expression, he added. He likes to paint pictures of places he has never visited.

Easton also has been selling his artwork since childhood. He was president of his high school art club and has had his work in many designer showcases, Easton said.

He likes to paint someone else experiencing what he feels. Some of his artwork for the show are pencil drawings that illustrate his emotions.

The art exhibit is one of many fundraisers throughout the year, said Maggie Payne,  one of the artists.

“We made calendars to sell for $5 a piece,” she said. “Each month has a different artist.”

Other fundraisers also raise money for Project Clubhouse, and donations are accepted at any time. To make a donation to Project Clubhouse, send a check made out to Friends in Action Clubhouse, 206 Crane Street, Park Hills, MO 63601. Note that the donation is for the building fund.

For more information or to make an in-kind donation, call Anna Portell, psychosocial rehabilitation center coordinator, at 573-431-9628

Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at


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