History

Kirksville Arts Assocation


Kirksville Arts Association is a private, not-for-private, 501 (c) 3. Our story began with the first Red Barn Arts and Crafts Festival help at Truman State University in 1974. The festival was organized by a group of art-minded citizens interested in recognizing artists and crafters.

The original festival was funded in part by the Missouri Arts Council. In 1995, the Red Barn Community Arts League and the Kirksville Regional Arts Council merged to form the Kirksville Art’s Association.

The Solstice Artery, which includes a sculpture of a petroglyph deer made from rebar by Crandall Sculpture and Design, as well as a bench made my Matt Farrell that was inspired by osteopathy and petroglyphs found nearby.

In 2005, a building was purchased at 117 S. Franklin to serve as the community’s Arts Center. The building was destroyed in 2016 by a fire. The Sue Ross Arts Center opened in June 2020 one block south of the original location, and is now home to the Kirksville Arts Association.


Sue Ross Arts Center

The Sue Ross Arts Center was named after former Board member Sue Ross, who was a long-time advocate for the arts, and passed away in October 2016.

The Ellebracht Gallery is located on the main floor, and is named after the Pat and Eleanor Ellebracht Family.

The Gaber Gallery is located on the mezzanine, and is named after Ron and Elsie Gaber. The Gaber Gallery overlooks the Ellebracht Gallery. The Travis Freeman Room houses art by Sue Ross, Dana Forrester, and Patti Kreps, as well as a hand-crafted table made by Justin Burrus and Brandon Crandall.

The Clara Straight Conference Room is located on the mezzanine and is named after artist Clara Straight. The room houses a collection of work by Clara.


The mosaic mural on the south side of the building was created by over 2,000 community members in 2020. This was assembled artist Jeanne Scott, and is dedicated to the Norvell and Ruth H. Allen Family.

The mosaic murals on the interior of the building were originally created in 2013 by the community under the direction of artist Connie Greany, and salvaged from the original building. Some panels were intact, may were not, and the new panels were designed by Ashton Clema.