Texas County Museum new administrators


                                                                                                                             Photo by Christy Porter
Gary and Jackie Duncan, new administrators at Texas County Museum of Art & History, will open the doors on March 2. The 2020 Spring Reception and Winter Works Art Show will take place on Sunday, March 15 from 2 – 4 p.m.
By Christy Porter
Managing Editor

The Texas County Museum of Art & History will open its doors for the season on Monday, March 2 with new administrators Gary and Jackie Duncan. The Duncans will continue the 17-year progress of the museum after Curator Ellen Reynolds’ retirement last year. Reynolds and Sandy Campbell, volunteer extraordinaire, will still be volunteering and contributing for the different programs offered.  
“As new administrators of TCM we recognize the existing success and greatly appreciate the past 16-years of hard work and dedication of Ellen Reynolds and the great support of Mr. Ron Rennick, museum benefactor,” says Gary. “We will be getting our feet wet and continuing all of the programs and community services that are currently in place.”
Gary Duncan was born and grew up in Excelsior Springs, Mo., graduating in 1969. Gary eagerly anticipated summers spent on his grandparents’ farm; his love of the arts began while walking through the woods there as a kid, “It awed me,” says Gary. “My grandfather was a farmer and workaholic; my grandmother was an artist in her own right. She loved to hunt, fish and trap but she was also very inventive; when there was a need, she worked it out in her head and then made it tangible. Later in life she would make small art objects out of tin, bending and shaping it from a flat surface to miniature works of art, such as a miniature rocking chair.” He doodled, sketched and drew while in school and had a ninth grade art teacher who was very encouraging.
Gary went on to serve four years in the U.S. Air Force working on camera systems in fighter jets. After his discharge he moved to Colorado and worked primarily in construction as a glazier for nearly 20 years.
At forty, Gary took formal instruction in painting classes. His first painting was a snow scene, which he said only looked like art after it was framed. He held his first art show with two other artists in 1992. His submission of 20 -30 paintings brought in $3800, thrilling and exciting him, and he continued to paint. Gary built a new studio in Ft. Madison, Iowa, and spent three years painting, doing art and attending art show and festivals.
He returned to Missouri working in various positions, eventually running a satellite home office in Licking. He and his wife, Jackie Duncan, owned and operated Dunky’s Ice Cream and Diner for almost two years before closing in July 2019.
Jackie was born and grew up in Licking, daughter of Betty and the late Jack Bates. She graduated from LHS in 1980. While living in Oklahoma for 20-years, she raised a family and was office manager for a general surgeon. Jackie has been very active in many different service groups and owned and managed the Licking License Office for three years. Her artistic endeavors include photography, stitched handwork and dabbling in the arts. Jackie will be handling a lot of the administration duties at the museum, allowing Gary to participate in the art endeavors. 
The Duncans hope to expand the wonderful volunteer base already in place, as well as the membership of 35 current patrons.
After learning of the availability of grant money while recently attending a Missouri Arts Council (MAC) conference, they plan to investigate this possibility. TCM has not pursued grant money in the past and even doing so will require a two-year application process. It could expand the options available at the TCM for the community.
More art and crafts classes are anticipated; volunteers are welcome to present their own special skill or craft through the class offerings. Additionally the hope is to have some classes and demonstrations available on evenings and weekends for those who cannot attend during regular hours, which will remain Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Plans also include a summer program for children, musical events, an Artists Roundtable and book signings.
Local talent, the “Current River Artisans,” currently has retail space available to market their crafts. There are plans to expand and reorganize that area. They are also exploring the possibility of utilizing The Annex next door for a Gallery of Local Artists.
While founder Rennick, general membership, donors, local businesses and fundraising events provide most funds; there are plans to seek the help of local businesses as special event corporate sponsors.
                                                                Photo by Christy Porter
Consistently over the years, the TCM has become a place for creative minds to gather and for inspiration for others who appreciate the creative process as well as the historical archives of the local community; this will continue and be built upon in the future. “We are blessed to have many talented artists living and working in our area and we think we can expand on that. The Museum Collection itself is one of wonder,” say the Duncans. They welcome everyone to come for the opening on Monday, March 2 and to attend the 2020 Spring Reception and Winter Works Art Show on Sunday, March 15, 2 – 4 p.m.
Friends of the Library will also be opening the Book Nook located at the museum on March 2, open during museum hours.

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