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Photographer will open exhibit in Kirkwood gallery March 30, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Events, Photographs.
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Missouri-based photographer Mark Appling Fisher will open his “Route 66 and Beyond” exhibit at the Ober Anderson Gallery in Kirkwood, Mo., on Friday.

According to a news release from the gallery about his photos:

Among them are hand colored, infrared film images of from unusual sites along the old Route 66, including a pink elephant shot with a homemade pinhole camera, images taken by the unpredictable and quirky, plastic holgas and colorful carnival chalk figurines.

Mark Appling Fisher is a professional fine art photographer from the Midwest. Fisher taught for more than forty years as an elementary school music teacher, a video production instructor and instructional media technologist. He now teaches black and white film photography, as well as alternative processes, toy camera, plastic camera, and pinhole photography. He loves all things film, and has found great satisfaction with digital photography, especially for color work.

Appropriately enough, the gallery is at 101 W. Argonne Drive, which is on a corner of an alignment of Route 66 in Kirkwood (map here).

Fisher recently completed a Kickstarter campaign for his “Turn Left at the Blinking Light” project. This video that came with the campaign shows his talents and interests well:

(Mark Appling Fisher image of the Bel-Air Drive-In sign in Mitchell, Ill., via Kickstarter)

A chat with a Texola business owner March 22, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Businesses, People, Restaurants.
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KC Keefer, as part of his ongoing “Genuine Route 66 Life” series, talks to Masel Zimmerman of the Tumbleweeds Grill and Country Store in the Route 66 ghost town of Texola, Okla.

About a year ago, Zimmerman took a 1930s building, Water Hole #2, and converted it into a personal art gallery, plus a convenience store and restaurant. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m in the area.

More about Texola may be read here. At one point during the 1930s, it had more than 500 residents. Save for a tiny increase in 2000, the town’s population has been declining pretty much ever since. In the 2010 census, Texola counted 36 residents.

(Worm’s eye view of Route 66 in Texola, Okla., by Phil via Flickr)

Joplin dedicates Route 66 Mural Park March 21, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions, Vehicles.
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Most of it has been up for months, but Joplin, Mo., dedicated its Route 66 Mural Park on Thursday night with a ribbon-cutting and other downtown events.

The park near at Seventh and Main — where two alignments of Route 66 intersect — features one-half of a 1964 Corvette embedded in a wall as a photo op and two tile murals as photo ops. The two Route 66-themed murals – “Cruisin’ into Joplin” and “The American Ribbon” — were created by Joplin-based Images in Tile.

Interesting excerpt from the Joplin Globe‘s report:

Josh Schmutz, 34, of Joplin, took the chance to get a picture of a replica 1964 Corvette anchored to the wall by the lower mural. He said the display helped his kids understand the road more — he noted that his daughter’s mother lives in Tulsa, Okla., which is named on the mural as one of the key stops along Route 66.

“She didn’t realize that Tulsa was on 66,” Schmutz said. “A lot of the younger generation don’t really know what an important asset the road was. It’s nice to see Joplin continue to associate itself with 66, because it’s helped make Joplin what it is today.”

Ron Hart of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce also supplied these photos from the event. Images include a Route 66 shield on a wall that’s backlit with blue neon; and a big 45 rpm record of “Route 66″ embedded in the concrete near the display:

KSN-TV reported from the event:

Joplin will dedicate Route 66 Mural Park on Thursday March 15, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions, Vehicles.
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The Joplin, Mo., Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon-cutting to dedicate the Route 66 Mural Park at 6:05 p.m. Thursday, according to a news release from the chamber.

The park near at Seventh and Main — where two alignments of Route 66 intersect — features one-half of a 1964 Corvette embedded in a wall as a photo op.

The mural includes two Route 66-themed murals – “Cruisin’ into Joplin” and “The American Ribbon” — created by Joplin-based Images in Tile that were dedicated in August as part of the opening of the Route 66 International Festival.

(Image of Route 66 Mural Park courtesy of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce)

Sapulpa tourism advocate named Citizen of the Year February 9, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Gas stations, History, Museums, Preservation, Railroad.
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Russell Crosby of Sapulpa, Okla., on Thursday was named the city’s 2013 Citizen of the Year for his work on the famed trolley car on Route 66 and other tourism attractions over the years, according to the Sapulpa Daily Herald.

His list of accomplishments is impressive:

His contributions in Sapulpa include the transformation of an old trolley car into a tourist stop on Historic Route 66, murals inside the Post office and the Creek County Courthouse, the Big Build playground, the restoration of the Waite Phillips Gas Station, the formation of the Sapulpa Fire Museum, the Guardian of the Plains buffalo and the documentation of the Liberty Glass legacy. He received the Governor’s Arts Award last autumn for his service to his community. [...]

He now serves Sapulpa as a member of the Sapulpa Trolley and Rail Museum, the Rotary Club of Sapulpa, the Sapulpa Historical Society Board and the Memorial Foundation. He is the vice president and general manager of the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway Company, where he has worked for 39 years.

His influence extends beyond Sapulpa. The railway was instrumental in moving a historic steam engine to a Route 66 roadside park in southwest Tulsa a couple of years ago. You can see the move in this video:

(Image of the historic trolley at Sapulpa, Okla., by Kevin via Flickr)

Atlanta begins second Route 66 Reinterpreted art contest January 13, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions, Signs.
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The Route 66 town of Atlanta, Ill., is calling for submissions for its second annual Route 66 Reinterpreted art project, where contestants re-imagine the iconic Route 66 shield sign.

According to a news release from Atlanta:

Participating artists will be provided a blank, 2-by-2-foot wooden cutout of the Route 66 highway shield, painted white, which will then become their personal canvas. The only requirement in creating a reinterpreted shield is to incorporate the text “Illinois U.S. 66” somewhere on the face of the shield, in whatever size, shape, or color the artist desires. Everything else about the design, style, background, and color of the reinterpreted shield is left to each artist’s imagination and creativity.

The project is open to anyone 16 years old and above. Up to 50 entries will be accepted in this year’s project, as determined by the date applications are received. All 50 entries will be displayed outside along Route 66 in downtown Atlanta, Illinois from May 1 to Aug. 31 The Atlanta Betterment Fund board of directors will select 10 shields out of the 50 entries as finalists. Voting will take place from May 1 to Aug. 31 to select the top five shield designs as winners of the 2014 project. Anyone, anywhere may vote: either in person at selected Route 66 attractions in Atlanta or online via Atlanta’s website at www.atlantaillinois.org. The top five vote-getters will be the winners of this year’s Route 66 Reinterpreted Art Project. At the conclusion of the project, the five winning shields, with the names of the artists who created them, will be displayed on a permanent basis in the Atlanta Route 66 Park. [...]

Entries selected as one of the top five winning designs will also be showcased at the International Mother Road Festival in Springfield on Sept. 26-28.

Artists wishing to enter must send a completed application form with a $25 entry fee. Applications are due Feb. 15. Guidelines for the contest are here.

(Image of Ron Frazier’s entry in the 2013 Route 66 Reinterpreted art project via Flickr)

New sex-abuse lawsuit filed against Stanley Marsh 3 January 7, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions, People.
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Seven anonymous men have filed a new lawsuit alleging sex abuse by Stanley Marsh 3, the proprietor of the Cadillac Ranch landmark and other whimsical art projects in the Amarillo area, reported the Amarillo Globe-News on Monday.

The suit alleges that between November 2009 and June 2011 Marsh 3 enticed the teens with cash or checks to perform sex acts, both consensual and nonconsensual.

“Marsh 3’s family, Gwendolyn Marsh, Stanley Marsh IV, businesses, employees and business associates aided and protected his predatory sexual activities on minor children by allowing him to carry on with this type of deviant conduct despite their duty to protect children from harm,” the suit alleges. [...]

The plaintiffs are seeking between $1 million to $50 million for physical and mental pain, loss of enjoyment and peace of mind, medical and psychiatric expenses and other expenses.

That is in addition to a pending lawsuit alleging similar conduct and sex-related charges from a criminal indictment. Marsh recently settled a series of lawsuits with 10 unnamed men with similar allegations.

Marsh, 75, was owner of the Cadillac Ranch, a nearly 40-year-old art installation near Route 66 on the west edge of Amarillo. However, since suffering a series of strokes in recent years, an attorney says Marsh no longer owns the property.

Marsh is reputed to be a multimillionaire. But with all these lawsuits and criminal charges pending against him, one has to wonder whether lawyers’ fees will empty his bank account.

(Image from Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo by Dean Terry via Flickr)

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