Art can be a difficult critter to understand, particularly here in the Ozarks, the proverbial “buckle of the Bible belt,” as Springfield’s own nouveau-band Ha Ha Tonka intones on the album of the same name.

Ask 10 people for a definition of art and you just might get 11 answers. Discussions of what art is (and is not) vary wildly, often resulting in uniquely snide cliques, each comfortable in their own definitions — and perceived correctness.

So, according to #OzarkFineArtists on StateoftheOzarks, what is art (and how is it defined)?

[Drum roll please]

At its most basic, art is the physical manifestation of human expression.

Simple, I know. But far more powerful than you might imagine.

We live in an increasingly divisive world, but one in which the simple question, “How are you?” is invariably met with a generic, “I’m fine.”

Authentic communication between one another, honestly learning what goes on in our hearts — beyond an overly mechanized and electronic world — is becoming a lost art.

Enter fine arts. No, we’re not talking about arguments of acrylic versus oil, paint-and-canvas versus computer illustration, Bob Ross versus Renoir and, well, you get the idea.

We are, instead, talking about art as a means of communication, allowing our hearts raw and authentic expression. What makes us angry? Sad? Rebellious? Introspective?

All the things beyond a generic “I’m fine” are best expressed in art. Welcome to #OzarkFineArtists. We’re glad you’re here.

Joshua Heston, editor

Recent Ozarks Gallery Showing at Vintage Paris

Sarah Hebert

Sarah Hebert strikes a classic pose for figure drawing in the courtyard of Vintage Paris. StateoftheOzarks was honored to include the Branson Figure Drawing Group as our guests for the October Artists Gallery Showing.

The Three Laws of Art

1. Create: The worst it can do is suck.
2. Create again: Bad art happens to good artists.
3. Just create: Art is cheaper than therapy.

— Coldstone Press 2015

Curtis Copeland

Curtis Copeland of rural Christian County displays some of his exquisite work (at left).

Mary Arneson Art

Yesterdays Remembered was inspired by a photographer friend’s work. While travelling in Islay, Hebrides Scotland, my friend came across an abandoned cottage. He was intrigued and decided to explore. When I saw his photo, my imagination went into overdrive. I imagined all sorts of scenarios for the families that lived there over the years and all the things they saw out this particular window.  I knew I had to do a painting. Yesterdays Remembered is the result.” — Mary Arneson

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein

“It’s NOT ART unless it has the potential to be a DISASTER.”

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” — Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Learn the RULES like a Pro, Break them like an ARTIST.” — Pablo Picasso

Create something that will make the world awesome.

Christine Riutzel

The powerful and unique patterns and visual textures of Christine Riutzel’s work is instantly recognizable. She is one of our favorite artists.