Steel Magnolias and Primitive Dining…

Chair-i-table Auction Steel Magnolias Chair Cuba, Missouri

Cuba artist Michelle Smith Steiger, one of our own local mural artists and local art teacher, has created this beautiful design for our Chair-i-table Auction on Saturday, May 14. With a little whimsy, she has named it “Steel Magnolias.” Steiger painted the magnolias on the cushions of the vintage steel chair.

Primitive Dining Chair from MO Hick Cuba MO

Dennis Meiser of MO Hick BBQ has crafted this solid, rustic chair.

Dennis Meiser, wood craftsman and BBQ restauranteur in Cuba, has crafted this one-of-a-kind red cedar chair. It is a solid piece of Americana to grace your home or a porch.  It is a piece that mirrors its Ozarks heritage, and Dennis calls it “Primitive Dining.”

These and other chairs can be viewed at the Hwy. 19 Peoples Bank. Each has a bid sheet for silent bids. Final bids will be taken at 9:00 pm at the Saturday, May 14 Route 66 Mural City Party held at the Knights of Columbus Hall, just off Route 66 in Cuba.

The drawing for the $10,000 will be held at 10:30 pm. There will be  door prizes given away throughout the evening.

Join us at this community party to benefit Viva Cuba’ s mural program. Very few tickets are left for this event.

A little birdie told us about these perches…

Tweet tweet bench Cuba Missouri

Bright colors characterize this children's bench.

Viva Cuba’s Chair-i-table Auction of artist designed chairs, tables, benches, and stools provide an annual event to put a little style and whimsy into your home. This year is no exception. This event on May 14 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Cuba will be held during the Route 66 Mural City Party. Silent bids will be taken until the bidding ends at 9:00 pm.

Two artists’ pieces are previewed below:

*Jessica Harrison is a Cuba, Missouri photographer whose work can be seen on her Captured by Jessica website. For the Chair-i-table Auction her creativity has produced a child’s bench. The bench with bright colors and talking birds should tempt one of the little birdies in your life. It might complete a child’s room or be child-sized perch anywhere in your home. Should it be called “Twitter” or “Tweet, Tweet”?  We do know that a little birdie told us that it would be a “tweet” thing.

*Jerri Brandenburger Sites of Washington, Missouri is a professional jewelry designer and metalsmith whose work is showcased on her website. Her love of design has played out on this hand-painted pressed back wooden chair with matching Anthropology seat cushion.  The cushion inspired the design and colors on her chair for this “Paisley Paradise.” It’s homey and colorful.

Paisley Paradise by artist Jerri Brandenburger Sites

Sites' chair and cushion combo speaks of home.

Go here to click on previous blog posts highlighting other creations that will be auctioned at the 2011 auction and to find more details on the event.

UPDATE: As of yesterday afternoon, 258 of the 300 tickets for the event have been sold and the money collected. That leaves only 42 tickets still out, and we believe some of those are sold too.  Don’t delay if you want to attend. Check at the Hwy. 19 Peoples Bank about a ticket.

Route 66 Mural City Party 2011 Cuba, Missouri

Only 300 tickets will be sold.

Artist Ray Harvey’s entry revs up for 2011 Chair-i-table Auction

Cuba, Missouri Artist Ray Harvey Route 66 Chair

Harvey's Route 66 chair USA-1 should create a lot of enthusiasm at the auction.

Missouri artist Ray Harveys latest piece is not a canvas or one of his outstanding murals. Harvey has painted this vintage lawn chair, which will be presented for bidding at Viva Cuba’s annual silent Chair-i-table Auction, on May 14 at the Route 66 Mural City Party at the KC Hall in Cuba, Missouri. The chair is titled “USA-1.”

To prepare the chair, Jim Montgomery’s Autobody sandblasted the chair and painted it with automobile paint to prepare the surface for Harvey’s design. Harvey also finished the chair with a protective finish.

Harvey who painted the Bette Davis mural and the History at the 4-Way Mural on the 1931 Phillips 66 station, as well as other murals for various businesses in Cuba, often uses classic cars in his murals. On this chair he has paired Route 66 theme and a the grill of a 50s Corvette.

All the artists’ chairs or tables for auction will be on display throughout the evening’s event and available for silent bids. Bidding ends at 9:00 pm with active bidding able to play out until the last bid.  This year’s auction should be an interesting bonus to the Route 66 Mural City Party. All proceeds from the auction and event will benefit Viva Cuba’s Mural Project and other community betterment projects.

Only 300 tickets are sold for the evening’s dinner , dance,  and the drawing where one lucky winner will take home $10,000. Only a few tickets are left for purchase.

Below are a few other of Harvey’s car-inspired works.

Anne-Marie Burger Cuba, MIssouri

Anne-Marie Burger of Lisving St. Louis interviews Harvey is front of a Sting Ray that he painted.

Ray Harvey Victorian Manor Mural Cuba

This classic drive-in scene at Victorian Manor Assisted Living in Cuba has many of Harvey's classic elements.


View “Classic Cars take their place in Cuba, Missouri’s public art offerings” for more of Harvey’s work.

2011 Route 66 Mural City Party Cuba, Missouri

May 14 Route 66 Mural City Party

Happy Earth Day…Make it last!

Viva Cuba Flag Cuba, Missouri

Cuba, Missouri is our part of the earth to manage.

Mother Theresa said, We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” On Earth Day we can think of that philosophy in relation to our part of the planet. We can do small things greatly.

*This week’s Cuba Free Press contained an editorial by publisher Rob Viehman with many ideas for practices that will help our environment. You don’t have to do all of them but a few can make a difference.

*It’s easy to google conservation and get lists of ideas. Better yet, let your kids google for ideas and talk about some of the ideas with them. Kids study these topics in school, and they are often the leader in the conservation project.

*Today, pick up some trash, clean up your yard, do something that makes your little corner of the planet better. Use your cloth bag when you go to the store. I have so many of them, but I have trouble remembering them. You can recycle cans in Cuba without a lot of trouble.

*Join Viva Cuba’s Adopt-A-Street Program for an ongoing effort to keep Cuba clean. Or the state has an Adopt-A-Highway plan if that is more appropriate for you.

Adopt-A-Street Sign Cuba, Missouri

Join the Adopt-A-Street Program to showcase your business or organization on the site of a cleaner street.

*Don’t litter and teach your children not to litter. Put fast food wrappers and containers and candy wrappers in a trash can or bag.

*If you live within city limits take part in Cuba’s citywide cleanup on May 2 & 3.  Guidelines are on page 6B of the this week’s Cuba Free Press.

*Participate in Viva Cuba’s May 7 Trash Bash. Gather at the Viva Cuba Garden at 8:00 am. Show up to clean up.

Cuba, Missouri Trash Bags and Safety vests

Trash bags and safety vests are available for Trash Bash participants.

* Read the Go Green supplement in this week’s Cuba Free Press. Pick out a couple of new ideas.

Earth Day 2011. Keep it local and keep it clean. And green.

Trash Dumpster Cuba, MIssouri

Swinger Sanitation will be providing a dumpster to use for this year's Trash Bash.


Keeping it personal…Cuba, Missouri style

Astralians in Cuba, Missouri

Cuba's murals bring us many international travelers and an opportunity to extend a personal greeting.

Viva Cuba works hard to maintain our presence  on the Internet and with social media.

*We have a website, a blog, and both a Facebook and Twitter page. These contacts allow us to tell Cuba’s story and maintain an ongoing presence with both international and US followers, as well as with local townspeople who like to know what is happening in Cuba.

*And people can comment on our blog or Facebook page and make it a two-way conversation.

Travel to talk about the murals

However, with that said, it’s nice to get out and to talk to folks face-to-face too. Sometimes we travel to do that.

*Recently, we wrote of the informational table we had in Chesterfield for attendees to a AAA travel industry meeting.

*We also traveled to Saint Genevieve, Missouri to make a presentation at the Main Street Conference about Cuba’s murals and their impact.

*Just this week I visited the Who’s New & You luncheon group in Rolla to tell about the murals and encourage them to visit. It’s always fun to see what others are doing and visit about Cuba attractions and events that people might be interested in.

Bus and travel groups

*We also get bus groups, where we step aboard and talk to them about the murals’ stories. Sometimes we lunch with the group or ride out to the World’s Largest Rocking Chair with them.

*Last summer, we also toured some travel writers along Route 66 in Cuba.

*The narrated trolley tours during Cuba Fest is another opportunity to interact with visitors and locals about the murals and the history of Cuba.

*This spring, a culinary group from St. Louis toured McGinnis Wood Products to see how wine barrels were make.

*During the 2010 Spyderfest, we gave the spyder riders a night time tour of the murals that ended with a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial. With so many of the riders being veterans, they appreciated that part of the evening. An even larger group of spyder riders are returning to Cuba this year from April 27-May 1.

It is always gratifying  to have others appreciate our town and answer their questions. We always encourage them to return for Cuba Fest, the Lions Club Car Show, or the Fair.

Cuba Fest Trolley Tour Cuba, Missouri

The trolley tours during Cuba Fest let us relate Cuba's history to visitors and locals. This year Cuba Fest is October 15-16.

The fourth graders

*One of our favorite personal contacts is in May when we get to board the yellow school bus and give Cuba’s fourth graders a narrated tour of the murals as part of their Missouri History studies.

*The students have a curriculum that they study about each of the murals, so they are well prepared for the tours.

*We enjoy their questions and like looking at their Missouri History projects, many which have a local angle.

*We have also given students walking tours of the murals because we feel it is important that students know Cuba’s history.

Cuba, Missouri School Bus Tour

Cuba kids learn their local history through hands-on projects, tours, and using the mural curriculum.

Encounters with tourists

And, of course, we always like to visit with tourists who we see in town, ask if they have a mural brochures, and ask where they are from.

*Just today, there was a group of Australian motorcyclists at the restored Phillips 66 station. They were looking at the murals, and I gave them mural brochure, which they could keep as souvenirs of their time in Cuba. I also looked over the brochures and pointed out where the murals were and talked about other local attractions with them.

*There was also a couple from Denmark in front of Wallis House taking photos too. They already had brochures, but I mentioned that we were glad that they stopped in Cuba.

So while Viva Cuba likes its Internet presence, it can’t take the place of a the laughter that we hear when we tell the story of  Wilbur Vaughn’s encounter with Bette Davis and her male companion. A comment on the website is not the same as when we see a bus full of fourth graders waving their hands in the air to answer a question. And it doesn’t let us see the tears when we talk about the Gold Star boys mural that pictures the faces of Cuba’s young men who did not return from WW II.

For some things, you just have to get up-front-and-personal. Come visit. You’ll see.

Canadian travelers in Cuba

These Canadians spent some time touring the murals and ate at Frisco's.

St. Louis Chapter of the Les Dames d 'Escoffier Culinary Group in Cuba, Missouri

The culinary group from the St. Louis area toured McGinnis Wood Products barrel making facility. We also told them about local attractions and encouraged them to return for some of our events.

Spyder riders at Cuba, Missouri Veterans Memorial

During last year's Spyderfest, spyder riders got a nighttime tour of the murals and a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial. The 2011 Spyderfest is April 27-May 1.

Read “5 Tips to get more out of your visit to Cuba, Missouri…”

Best of the Blog



Find Us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter