A train, an elk, and the back end of a what?

Glen Tutterrow sculpted the elk that stands proudly above his business sign.

Glen Tutterrow sculpted the elk that stands proudly above his business sign.

One in a series of Viva Cuba artist updates for 2010

Glenn and Curtis Tutterrow are a father and son duo that do their work at the family business Wildlife Unlimited. They are taxidermists, craftsmen, and artists.

Their work is in museums, businesses, and homes around the country. Their business at 702 S. Franklin/Hwy. 19 features animals in their habitats, photography, paintings, sculpture, and some of their current projects. So closely do they work together that it is often tell who does what on their projects.

The Tutterrows' store is a rich gallery of their projects.

The Tutterrows' store is a rich gallery of their projects.

Glenn sculpted the elk out front by his sign when he couldn’t find someone to make one for him at an affordable price. And his pheasant sculpture would do any home or business proud.

Glen Tutterrow sculpted this pheasant out of 18 gauge wire.

Glen Tutterrow sculpted this pheasant out of 18 gauge metal.

The Tutterrows fabricated the 1873 train replica for the Viva Cuba Garden and, currently, they are making some decorative metal brochure boxes that will hold tourist informational brochures about some of Cuba’s art, history, and businesses. Glen contributed a painted chair to last year’s Viva Cuba Chair-i-table Auction.

The Tutterrows fabricated and installed the 1873 train replica in the Viva Cuba Garden.

The Tutterrows fabricated and installed the 1873 train replica in the Viva Cuba Garden.

A niche product for the Tutterrows has grown out of a humorous commission of the back end of donkey for the Toby Keith movie Beer for My Horses with Keith, Willie Nelson, Mel Tillis, and Ted Nugent. If you have seen the comedy, do you remember the back end of the donkey that was on the saloon wall during the shootout in the Mexican bar? Well, that little stage gag was the work of the Tutterrows.

The Tutterrows never know what their next project might bring.

The Tutterrows are always up for a challenge. This is the stage prop in production. The mounted front end is still available.

Beer for My Horses Banner

Recently, they were contacted by a Harley Davidson dealership in Louisiana that also wanted another back end of a donkey to use in an ad. They had seen Beer for My Horses and wanted the same thing. Who knew that there would be a demand for this unusual commission.

Now, if you know someone with a “man shed,” who would like to have a mounted front end of a donkey, Glen has a couple in stock. When the guys kick back to watch Beer for My Horses, the owner of the front end can be proud in his ownership of a part of movie history.  Or Glenn can make another back end.  It’s a niche market, but Glen and Curtis get a kick out of it.

Another project they are working on for lodge style decor is Curtis’s casting replica molds of 25 African animals with a European mount of heads and horns. Some are on display in their store, and it will be a continuing project during the summer.

For a look at some Ozark ingenuity and craftsmanship, stop by Wildlife Unlimited. There is always something new to see. In fact, when I stopped by to take photos, I found so many projects going on that I may have to write The Tutterrows II at a later date.

Visit Cuba, Missouri and other attractions: Wildwood Lodge since 1922

 Wildwood concerts 2010

Number 1 in the 2010 Day trip attractions series for Cuba, Missouri

In 2010, we will tell you about some other local attractions that you can combine with a visit to Viva Cuba’s murals.

Wildwood Lodge, which opened in 1922, in Steelville, Missouri perches on a bluff above the river and offers great food, some of your music favorites in an intimate setting, and takes you to back in time to a river resort of the past.

Full details are on the Wildwood Springs Resort webpage.  There are accommodations in the main lodge and in nearby cabins. For many visitors, the groups that play the “living room” concerts’ will bring back warm memories. Innkeeper Bob Bell grew up in the area, and he knows a wealth of local history.

You can book just the concert. Tip. Get there early enough to put your name on a chair. People who are eating at the lodge, usually put their name on chairs in the great room before they go in to dinner.  If you are early, there is a bar in the room where you can get a drink. You can also watch the band set up in front of the fireplace.

There's a reason they call them living room concerts.

There’s a reason they call them living room concerts.

You can book the concert and dinner. Jeanette Freeman is the head chef, and she and her staff use the finest ingredients to whip up some great meals and desserts.  If food like honey and brown sugar ham, pecan chicken breasts, Wildwood’s signature poppy seed and house dressings, and brownie pies drizzled with chocolate ganache call your name, you will enjoy the Wildwood dining experience. And the dining room looks like a movie set from the twenties.

This looks like a movie set from the 1920s.

This looks like a movie set from the 1920s.

You can book the dinner, the concert, and overnight accommodations. There are rooms in the main lodge or in nearby cabins. Long porches and rocking chairs provide a good view of the outdoors. Details and photos  are on the Wildwood website. Sign up for Bob’s email on concert updates and details.

Whether you rock on the porch by day or rock at the concert at night, it's a good time at Wildwood.

Whether you rock on the porch by day or rock at the concert at night, it’s a good time at Wildwood.

Come to Cuba, Missouri to visit the murals and an option is a trip to Wildwood for what some of their regular clientele call a little Wildwood magic.

UPDATE: Bob Bell and his daughter recently published a book on Steelville, Missouri.

See the entry “20 Things to Do in Cuba, Missouri…”

Ozark Technologies reaches for the sky…

Sky, ocean, and flying aircraft create a fitting scene for Ozark Technologies.

Sky, ocean, and flying aircraft create a fitting scene for Ozark Technologies.

When you think of art, Cuba’s Industrial Park probably doesn’t come to mind. But art is what Viva Cuba members found inside Ozark Mountain Technologies, Inc., a factory that does specialized chemical metal finishing for the aerospace industry and the military.

Company President Greg Smotherman Sr. recruited Jesse LaForet, an employee with artistic talent, for the project of painting their customers’ aircraft in a facility mural.

Using acrylic paints, brushes, and some airbrushing techniques, LaForet spent three months creating the mural featuring aircraft and an aircraft carrier. He took a little artistic license and added helicopters to the scene.

Jesse LaForet's creation is a welcoming site for visiting cusomer representatives.

Jesse LaForet's creation is a welcoming site for visiting cusomer representatives.

All of the aircraft companies are customers of Ozark Technologies, so when the company representatives visit the plant, a welcoming mural greets them. The mural also reminds employees how critical and important their work is for the safety and protection of the Armed Forces and Americans.

It's blue skies and fluffy clouds for these aircraft.

It's blue skies and fluffy clouds for these aircraft.

Although LaForet has no formal artistic training, both his parents were artistic, and he grew up working on projects with them. His regular job at the plant is a lead man in metal processing. But he also helped design the new Ozark Mountain Technologies logo.

Terry Sanders, Vice President of Operations, says that the company looks forward to having LaForet continue his murals on other walls featuring private jets and commercial aircraft. “All the client reps that come to the plant are so impressed with the mural,” stated Sanders. Sanders is proud of LaForet’s work and the team at Ozark in creating the pictured aircraft.

For security reasons and a no camera rule in the plant, only clients and workers are allowed to see the mural, but the company gave Viva Cuba members permission to photographit, so we are sharing it with you.  Now if they would just do an outside mural, everyone could enjoy it.

LaForet helped design the company logo.

LaForet helped design the company logo.

Cuba, Missouri’s artist Julie Balogh Brand

The art of Julie Balogh Brand

Another in a series of  Viva Cuba’s Mural artist updates for 2010

Julie Balogh Brand, who worked with another local artist Shelly Smith Steiger, on the Amelia, the Millworks, and River murals, never set out to be a mural artist. She is a fine art ceramic artist who works from her studio in the lower level of her home. She uses clay and glazes to create beautiful handmade objects that are also practical such as a bowl, a vase, or a pitcher.

She uses stoneware clay and paints her underglazes directly onto the pottery, firing it in her kiln more than once. Each piece takes many hours of  shaping, painting, and firing to create the colorful pieces that have her distinctive style. Balogh Brand creates custom pieces for many clients.

Balogh Brand fires pieces more than once in during production.

Balogh Brand fires pieces more than once in during production.

Balogh Brand was born in in Cleveland, Ohio and lived in New York City but has been living and working at her country home in Cuba since 1994. She is largely self taught although she has taken workshops with internationally known ceramic artists. Her father’s Hungarian ancestry and trips to Hungary exposed her to colorful Hungarian pottery and embroidery, which are influences on her art.

The glaze painting process takes several hours.

The glaze painting process takes several hours.

Since moving to Cuba, Balogh Brand learned mural painting, married, and had a son Ian (an aspiring artist himself). Before Ian’s birth, she taught children and adults from her home studio.  She currently teaches ceramic courses for various schools and from her studio.

Balogh Brand's artwork is on display at Java.net.

Julie Balogh Brand with some of her work at Java.net.

For more details and photos of her art, visit her website at www.juliebrandpottery.com.

Cuba Graduate Bill Gunn and Kirkwood students score big on Today Show

Chubbs Stillman and Bill Gunn pose on the set of the Today Show.

Chubbs Stillman and Bill Gunn pose on the set of the Today Show.

Bill Gunn grew up in Cuba and graduated from Cuba High School and returned to teach social studies and coach. His parents still live in Cuba.

Bill met his wife Brandi Goodwin Gunn, another Cuba teacher, at Cuba. They married and moved to improved coaching duties for Bill. They started a family and have three great kids. They call Kirkwood, Missouri home.

Bill and his wife Brandi met while teaching at Cuba.

Bill and his wife Brandi met while teaching at Cuba.

Recently, Bill and his student Chubbs Stillman were catapulted into the news. You can google Chubbs Stillman and read the articles and see the video of what happened. The attention led to an interview by Matt Lauer with Chubbs, his parents and Gunn on the Today Show.

Whether you follow basketball or not, the interview that Coach Bill Gunn, student Chubbs Stillman, and Stillman’s parents did with Matt Lauer will warm your heart. Their story has been in the making for four years.

The story is not about violence, bullying, or a dysfunctional family.  It’s not about poor schools or out-of- control young people. It’s about family values, a caring coach, and young people with big hearts. It’s about a young man called Chubbs who doesn’t see limitations.

Watch the video here.

Bill focuses on the action when his team's on the floor.

Bill focuses on the action when his team is on the floor.

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