Current Show:

Art Lives!

January 25 - April 30

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Current Show

When artists pass on they leave parts of their spirits in the works they have created. In a very real sense, their art lives on.

The Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art presents Art Lives! Pat A. Stapleton (1933-2013) and Robert F. Bussabarger (1922-2013) from January 25-April 30. The Gallery is on the campus of Central Methodist University in Fayette.

The Gallery show is free to the public.

StapletonPatricia Ann Stapleton, known always as Pat, grew up in Kansas City, Mo. She earned a degree from Central Missouri State College (now UCM) in 1955. She followed up with a master's in education and a Master of Fine Arts, both from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

After teaching at various high schools, Stapleton found a home teaching art at Central Methodist College (now CMU). She was a beloved teacher and friend to many, including those who went on to develop their own artistic talents under her tutelage.

A Fulbright student, Stapleton discovered a love for traveling and she traveled widely in Asia and Europe. She had a special interest in handicrafts from India.

In the mid-80's the ocean called to her and she moved to Sacramento to be close to it. She served on the staff at the University of California – Davis and as a secretary in the Department of Art at Sacramento State University.

Pat Stapleton was known for her laughter, energy, marvelous talent and love of life. These all live on in the art she left with us. The Ashby-Hodge Gallery will display more than two dozen pieces of Stapleton's works, and it will include works created by 10 of her students.

BussabargerRobert Franklin Bussabarger is no stranger to the Ashby-Hodge Gallery. His last showing was in 2004 and was an unmitigated success. His living art comes back to the Gallery this spring, thanks to the gift of art from the Bussabarger Estate by his son David Bussabarger and daughter Wendi Newell.

The artwork, which will all be on show, consists of 10 pieces of sculpture and 22 paintings.

Bussabarger, who grew up in Indiana and Ohio, fell in love with art early, and was encouraged by his family. He played with the clay from his father's farm and learned to paint on the back sides of wrapping paper.

He earned his bachelor degree in art at Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio, while being part of the V-12 Naval Program. He took Officer's Training in Chicago and entered World War II as a Lieutenant J.G., serving until 1945.

After his discharge, he married his sweetheart Mary Louise Sterling.

The G.I. Bill allowed Bussabarger to enroll at Michigan State University to study art practice and theory. He graduated with a Master of Art degree in 1947. After teaching in public schools for a couple of years, he went on to study painting design and ceramics at Ohio State University, followed by a stint teaching at Stephen F. Austin State College in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Bussabarger came to the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1953, and it became his home for the next four decades. He taught ceramics and painting and developed a ceramics department. He served as the chair of the Art Department from 1970-73.

In 1961 he received the first of his two Fulbright Scholarships. He went to study terracotta sculpture and temples in India. He also fell in love with Indian artwork. He collaborated with local artists in Calcutta to produce ceramic sculptures and pottery and returned repeatedly to produce and show. He and co-author Betty D. Robins produced a book, The Everyday Art of India (Dover Press) in 1968.

He and his wife used his 1973 Fulbright-Hays Faculty Center Fellowship to go back to study more in India. He and his wife traveled often in the United States and abroad. In 1987 Bussabarger served as visiting professor of ceramics at Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea, for a semester.

As a much admired teacher as well as artist, Bussabarger shared his love for all types of art with many. He was active in establishing the Columbia Art League, which promotes local artists. He also carried a sketch book wherever he went, especially to catch performing arts in action.

Bussabarger leaves a body of art work that reflects his attitude toward living. In his work people see his sense of humor, wit, caprice, drama, and satire. His art continues to live as fully as he did.

The Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art is open Sundays and Tuesdays–Thursdays from 1:30-4:30 p.m. It will be closed March 8-15 due to Central Methodist University's spring break.

For additional information on the Gallery, contact Dr. Joe Geist, registrar of the collection at or Denise Gebhardt at, or by calling the Gallery at 660-248-6304.