artNotes from Hyde House: Spiritual Spaces – Perfect for Summer’s Finish


Just when our southwest Missouri heat seems to be never ending and we all are beginning to feel a bit wilted, artCentral is preparing to bring you SPIRITUAL SPACES that offer a perfect finish for our summer.

SPIRITUAL SPACES, a year in the making, will happen August 5 through September 17, 2022. Together Al Gritten and Sandra Parrill will fill the galleries downstairs and upstairs with seventy-four original paintings rendered with oil, acrylic, pastel, watercolor and whiskey, too. The buoyant spirituality of their two portfolios is ideal for a combined presentation.

Graciously underwritten by SCHMIDT CPS & ADVISORS, the Opening Artists Reception will take place, Friday, August 5, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Hyde House, 1110 East Thirteenth Street in Carthage. Libations and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Admission is free. Weekend gallery hours will be Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00-5:00 p.m. through September 17. Plan to come and enjoy a cool reprieve from our end-of-summer heat as you nurture your soul with this elegant collection. Soon you will be able to preview Al’s and Sandra’s exhibition art on artCentral’s Facebook page at and at

Knowing an artist’s story can be a window into an artist’s renderings. For Al and Sandra this is certainly true.

Al Gritten

Al Gritten is a painter who works under the banner of Big Spring Studio.  He is a retired pastor, a writer and currently is an adjunct college instructor, as well. He studied for a Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Illinois where his focus was on painting.  He also has a BA from Middle Tennessee State University where he majored in Philosophy and minored in History.  His M.Div. is from Memphis Theological Seminary with Masters Degrees in theology and church history.  As part of his undergrad and graduate work he lived on several Native American reservations to study their spirituality.  This time has impacted much of his art.

Al has worked as an illustrator, a cartoonist, and an advertising artist, as well as, in sales and in ministry.  He is married with two grown children and one grandchild who also loves to draw and paint.  Besides painting he enjoys camping, gardening, golf, reading and music.  He plays guitar and mandolin.  His work can be found at on Facebook at Big Spring Studio and on Instagram @algritten.  He has received awards for his work from Crowder College, the Annual Thomas Hart Benton show, and is currently an active member of artCentral, the Neosho Arts Council, the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition and Mid-America Pastel Society.

Sandra Parrill

Sandra Parrill, a native of Michigan, has made Joplin, Missouri, her home for the last fifty years. She spent several years in the retail horticultural trade in Joplin, and she owned a bead store, creating award-winning hand-crafted jewelry while teaching classes. As a passionate and prolific artist, today Sandra is a contributing member in group exhibits for artCentral and the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition.

Art has been Sandra’s passion since she was old enough to hold a crayon and color her world. She has made many forays into many mediums on her artistic journey through life, but drawing and painting have always been her first loves.  Sandra seeks to draw out the souls of her subjects, revealing hidden secrets and dreams through the pens and brushes she holds in her fingers. Many of her paintings reflect her love of the natural world and endangered native species. The house and land she shares with her husband are lovingly known as Chaos. At you can see a plethora of images of Sandra’s amazing gardens. As a writer, Sandra pens a weekly garden column for the Joplin Globe. She was awarded first place as Best Newspaper Column of 2018 by the Missouri Writer’s Guild.

Come see Al’s and Sandra’s inspiringly soulful works in SPIRITUAL SPACES and finish out your summer perfectly!

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