Stranger Than Fiction
to Apr 27

Stranger Than Fiction


Merriam-Webster’s word of the year in 2016 was surreal. A concept bequeathed to the public by a quirky group of Frenchmen.  Surreal literally means beyond real and conjures images of the bizarre and the unusual, the unbelievable and uncanny, as well as freakish, unearthly dreamscapes; worlds that are truly Stranger than Fiction.  We invite artists to explore the fantastic and the strange. It’s time to channel your inner Dali, Picasso, Miro, Magritte or Giacometti and juxtapose reality with the impossible!

We will be accepting artwork for this show on Friday, March 9th from 11-6 and Saturday, March 10th from 11-5.

The juror will be Doug Freed, a working artist and art professional in Mid-Missouri:

Opening Reception: Friday, March 16th, 6-8 PM @ CAL

“The objective of Surrealism is to make use of the dream, which will open the way to the Great Mystery of Life in the cause of his own art.” - Nathalia Brodskaia

View Event →
to Jun 23


“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” -Anatole France

The late spring show is an homage to the kingdom Animalia: the furry, the feathered, the slimy, and the scaled; the creatures of the land, the sea, and the sky. Throughout mythology, animals have come to represent all aspects of human nature including our compassion, our cunning, and our cruelty. To mirror our love, fear and wonder of the animal kingdom, artists are invited to celebrate the critters that share our planet, capture our imagination, and steal our hearts.

We will be accepting artwork for this show on Friday, April 27th, and Saturday, April 28th from 11-5 either day.

Opening Reception: Friday, May 4th, 6-8 PM @ CAL

Please complete the following Entry Form prior to bringing your work to CAL.

Name *
Address *
Phone *
Artist Agreement: I understand the Columbia Art League may photograph my work for public relations materials related to this show. I also understand the Columbia Art League will retain a 35% commission on any artwork sold in the gallery, and I will receive 65% for the sale of my work. I understand that should I sell this work as a direct result of it being shown in the CAL gallery within the next 6 months, I will sell my work through the Columbia Art League. I understand that For Sale artworks shown in the exhibition will be kept in the gallery until the end of the exhibition, unless a buyer specifically requests to remove the work early. Once purchased the decision to keep or remove an artwork from the show is at the discretion of the buyer and the gallery director. I confirm that the submitted artwork is my own original work and is not a copy or likeness of another artist’s work including published photographs or reference material not attributable to me. Standard insurance is provided by CAL while artwork is on CAL’s premises. Work is insured at 50% of retail price.
View Event →
to Aug 24

Summer Open

“Creativity takes courage.” -Henri Matisse

Our Members’ Summer Open is an annual showcase of our talented community of CAL artist members.  

There is no theme for this unjuried show.  If you’d like to submit, but are not currently a member of CAL, join here.

We will be accepting artwork on Friday, June 22nd, and Saturday, June 23rd.

Opening Reception: Friday, June 29th, 6-8 PM @ CAL

View Event →
to Nov 9


“It seems that these old cards were conceived deep in the guts of human experience, at the most profound level of the human psyche. It is to this level in ourselves that they will speak.” ― Sallie Nichols

Far from just a tawdry fortune telling device, the Tarot is shrouded in mystique and intrigue.  What is it about this strange system of images and symbols, uncanny and yet so familiar, that continues to fascinate and beguile us? The 78-card deck is made up of 4 suits and 22 trump cards often referred to, respectively, as the minor and major “arcana”. The cards present us with archetypes, an iconography of collectively inherited images and symbols which cross human culture and time - the Fool, the Hermit, the Hanged Man, the Lovers, the Devil, Death, and more.  Through them we see ourselves, our common journey reflected in the great mythos, incarnations of the same images we see across fairytale and folklore.  Visually rich and steeped in symbolism, the possible interpretations of the archetypes presented in the deck are infinite, and have been mused over by artists for centuries.  We invite our artists to do the same, and contribute to the creation of a collaborative deck that is truly one of a kind.  Draw your card, contemplate, interpret, create, and in the process learn what may be in the cards for you.

*Entry Process: Participating artists are invited to come into the gallery to draw their card Tuesday, April 3rd – Saturday, April 7th, 11 AM – 5PM.  Participation is limited to the number of cards in the deck, and artists will be admitted on a first come, first served basis.  Important Note: Once you pull your card from the deck, your fate is sealed.  You must commit to completing your contribution to the deck by the deadline.  The whole project is counting on you!

We will be accepting artwork on Friday, August 24th, and Saturday, August 25th.

Opening Reception: Friday, August 31st, 6-8 PM @ CAL

View Event →
to Jan 4

Give a Gift of Art

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

There is no theme for this unjuried show, which is only open to current CAL members.  We simply ask that members consider entering work that may make a good gift for art-loving holiday shoppers.

We will be accepting artwork for this show on Friday, November 9th, and Saturday, November 10th.

Opening Reception: Friday, November 16th, 6-8 PM @ CAL

View Event →

Let Them Eat Art! 2018
6:00 PM18:00

Let Them Eat Art! 2018

The Columbia Art League is thrilled to announce another year of our Let Them Eat Art! fundraiser! CAL partners with 10 local chefs who choose a piece of art from our Indulge show as inspiration for a tasty bite. This delicious night is full of great food, incredible art, wonderful friends, and immense creativity.
Come to CAL for this event on February 23rd, from 6-8 PM, and vote for your favorite in the People's Choice ballot!
This is a ticketed event, and we will only have 100 tickets available, so please plan in advance! Tickets are $40 each and well worth it!

Let Them Eat Art Featured Chefs


Chef Trish Robertson

Bleu Events


Trish Robertson is the talented Pastry Chef behind Bleu Events. She creates one-of-a-kind handcrafted cakes and desserts for weddings, conferences, conventions, galas, fundraisers and more. She also leads and manages the production of all Bleu Events bakery requests as it relates to specialty bread and desserts, gluten-free and special dietary bakery requests.


Robertson's culinary talents include advanced cake decorating and fondant work, advanced sugar sculpting, handcrafted confectionaries, and molecular gastronomy desserts. She also has extensive experience in baking production and cake decoration in high volume commercial bakeries.


Robertson has served as a Pastry Arts Instructor at Baltimore International College and ProStart Competition Instructor for the National Restaurant Association. She received her Associates of Applied Science, Baking & Pastries Degree from Baltimore International College.


Chef Daniel Pliska

University Club of MU & University Catering 

Daniel Pliska is the Executive Chef and Assistant Manager for the University Club of MU located in Columbia, Missouri he started at the university 1998.

In his early years Chef Daniel trained and worked at first-class hotels, restaurants, and pastry shops in Washington DC, Dusseldorf West Germany, and New Orleans. His 35-year career in the culinary field includes more than 20 years as an Executive Chef in private clubs and hotels.

In July, 2015 at the ACF National Convention Chef Daniel was awarded a Presidential Medallion for his dedication to the ACF and his work on the National Apprenticeship Committee. In 2014 he was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Chefs. He has been a Certified Executive Chef with the ACF for more than 15 years and also tested and earned the Certified Executive Chef designation while working for the Club Corporation of America. He has received 10 ACF awards and medals in cooking and pastry, including 2 grand prizes and a gold medal in traditional cold food competition.

Chef Daniel has authored a pastry textbook in 2014 titled “Pastry & Dessert Techniques” with American Technical Publishers. He was a contributing author of the ACF National Apprenticeship Training for Cooks -- Baking and Pastry Station released in 2012. He has authored more than 25 articles on culinary and pastry arts for the National Culinary Review, Club Management, Pastry Arts and Design, Columbia Home magazine, and Club and Resort Business.  He is the president of the American Culinary Federation Central Missouri Chapter and a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Chefs Collaborative and Slow Food.

Jeremy Bowles.jpg

Chef Jeremy Bowles

Room 38 Restaurant & Lounge

Jeremy Bowles, born and raised in Rolla, MO, graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a bachelors degree in hotel and restaurant management in 2004.

From there Jeremy went on to cook for a variety of restaurants around town, learning under each chef and taking his progress with him. As kitchen manager of the former Forge & Vine, Jeremy decided he was ready to write his own menu, and, in August of 2008 opened Room 38 Restaurant & Lounge.

Since, Jeremy has wowed Columbia with an eclectic menu offering a wide variety of creative plates for any palate.


Chef Kittikoon Chompupong

Thip Thai

Chef Kitt was born in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand and moved to Boston later in life to work in his father's restaurant. After receiving official certification as a Thai Chef, he opened several successful business throughout the east coast and the south.

He opened Thip Thai to immerse the people of Columbia in true, authentic Thai cooking. Chef Kitt draws from each of the regional influences of Thailand to create a one of a kind dining experience. He recently opened a second location on the south side of Columbia

 Josh Smith

Josh Smith

 Ben Parks

Ben Parks

Chef Ben Parks and Chef Josh Smith

Barred Owl Butcher & Table

Ben started working in kitchens while in college at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. After graduating with a BA in Business Administration in 2002, he decided to pursue a culinary career and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America. After completing his studies, he returned to his hometown of Columbia, Missouri, eventually becoming Sous Chef at Trattoria Stada Nova.

Ben spent several years teaching culinary arts through the Columbia Area Career Center before returning to the restaurant business. He was with bleu Restaurant and Wine Bar just after its opening in 2008. He and his business partners opened The Barred Owl Butcher and Table in 2016.

Photos by Erin Achenbach, Vox Magazine, and Aaron Ottis, Feast Magazine

Levi Grantham - 44 Stone, John O'Connor.jpg

Chef Levi Grantham

44 Stone Public House  

44 Stone is a restaurant and bar in the spirit of the comfortable, casual and convivial pubs of the British Isles. Their menu is often inspired by the food one might find in an English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh public house, but with Contemporary American insight. While the preparation, presentation and ingredients are modern and high quality-driven, 44 Stone’s fare is approachable and familiar.


Chef Anna Meyer

Range Free

The need for convenient, safe food is no stranger to Anna Meyer. She moved to Columbia in 2006 to attend the University of Missouri and completed her Masters in Art History in 2008. Over the next 8 years, Anna baked and decorated cakes professionally in local grocers. In 2009, after 2 years, 7 doctors, and one vengeful chili cheese dog, she was diagnosed with extensive food and environmental allergies. Allergic to 7 of the Top Eight, all grains, yeast, many fruits, vegetables, chocolate, & spices, both cooking at home and dining out became a challenge and commercial bakery positions became detrimental to her health. In 2012 Anna began catering to the needs of allergen-free and specialty diets throughout Columbia. She has built a specialty baked goods following, all in need of a local eatery servicing their needs, but most importantly, understanding the needs of a specialty diet as no other establishment in Columbia can.


Meriwether Team

Meriwether Cafe and Bike Shop

We are a community centered locally sourced cafe and bike shop serving the residents of Rocheport and the world at large.

We incorporate our love of classics in everything we do, offering simple scratch cooking in a casual cafe setting.


Chef Jill Rostine

Good Food Co.

Jill began Good Food Co., a from scratch dessert bar and pastry shop, at the first of the year. Nestled in downtown Como, Jill focuses on treats that are primarily locally sourced and a perfect combination of excellence and nostalgia.


Photo by Aaron Ottis, Feast Magazine

 Crystal Hartman

Crystal Hartman

 Jess Bowman

Jess Bowman

Chef Jess Bowman and Chef Crystal Hartman

Cafe Berlin and Wine Cellar and Bistro

Crystal Hartman is the sous chef and pastry chef for The Wine Cellar and Bistro. 

Crystal has been working in the food service industry since 2007. She has worked as pastry chef for Broadway Brewery, 44 Stone and 44 Canteen. She has been working at The Wine Cellar and Bistro since 2015, and is currently sous chef and pastry chef. 

"I got my first chance to work in a commercial kitchen one year ago, starting as a part-time prep cook at Cafe Berlin, by a total stroke of luck. I was hungry to learn, being a total newbie with zero experience, & every day spent in the kitchen was stretching me. A year & a few months later, I finally feel like I'm growing into my own as a cook. From working as a weekend line cook to training new cooks to making weekly specials, soups, pastries, & countless batches of biscuits-- I am becoming the confident, intuitive cook I know I have in me. I want to reach outside my super rad community at Berlin to learn from the nuanced food community around me that I know little about.

Enter Crystal, my partner for this event. I respect her so much, & am stoked for this being our first time cooking together. It has been so fun to work off each other's strengths & challenge one another. I am excited to continue weaving into other chef's lives here & sharing my love of food wherever I can!" 

-- Jess Bowman

Sean Curd

Sean Curd

Bartender, Sycamore Resturant



Treven Smith


Treven Smith grew up in Mid-Missouri and has been a skilled bartender in Columbia for 12 years. Currently holding positions as the Taproom Manager at Dogmaster Distillery and as a bartender at The Quarry, but is also a freelance bartender for special events. Smith grew a love for bartending & craft beer while working at 44 Stone which quickly evolved into spirits and cocktail creation at 44 Canteen. He loves educating his patrons and excels at creating a warm, fun and inviting atmosphere.

View Event →
to Mar 9


“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” - Ruth Reichl

In this show, we invite artists to explore the art of eating.  Artists’ connection to food tells us much about the time, place, and culture in which they lived. Our relationship with food can be complicated, tangled up with the need for survival, with our primal connection to land and community, and fraught with emotions from guilt to pleasure! In this show, artists are encouraged to Indulge and serve up a veritable feast for the eyes.

We are accepting artwork for this show on Friday, January 12th, and Saturday, January 13th.

Information for submitting artists: Indulge is a juried show open to CAL members and non-members. Artists are invited to submit up to two works for the juror's consideration. Artwork should be submitted on Friday 12rd or Saturday 13th of January, 11am-5pm both days. Artwork in all mediums is welcome. Please note that all artwork must be for sale, be no larger than 48” in any one direction, have been completed in the last two years, and have neither been in a previous CAL gallery show nor juried out of a CAL show. All paintings must be completely dry and all work must be WIRED – we cannot hang work that does not have a wire - and labeled on the back with the artist’s name. Artist entry fee (per person, not per work) is $15 for members and $25 for non-members.

The juror is Don Luper, Art Instructor, from State Fair Community College.

Opening Reception- Friday, January 19th, 6-8 PM @ CAL

View Event →
CAL Members' Annual Meeting - December 14th
6:00 PM18:00

CAL Members' Annual Meeting - December 14th

Once a year, we invite the CAL members to come along for an informal meeting at the Columbia Art League where we thank the outgoing board members, welcome in the new members (Shannon Soldner, Phil Gresham, Anastasia Pottinger & Ann Merrifield) and our Executive Director, Diana Moxon, will give her last short State of the League address. We're delighted this year to have musician/composer Ben Colagiovanni providing music for the evening, wine from our pals over at Les Bourgeois and some dessert bites from Room 38. 

The meeting is from 6-7pm at CAL, though it might go longer, and we'd love to see you!

View Event →
to Nov 3

Interpretations V

Interpretations: A marriage of 40 visual artists and 40 literary artists, each submitting one work of his/her own choice with any theme. Then, an art swap: Each visual artist receives a work from one of the writers; each literary artist receives an artwork. The task for each artist and writer: to create a second work of art or piece of writing, which is his or her interpretation of the other artist’s work. The result: A show of 80 artworks and 80 pieces of writing. The aim of the show: A reminder that we all see the world differently; our interpretations of the world around us are uniquely ours. How will each artist interpret the other artist’s work? How will the viewer interpret the written words and artworks in the show? This will be the fifth year of this extraordinary show. You can see all of the previous years’ entries in the InterpretationsInterpretations II, III and IV books, available to view or purchase at the Columbia Art League.


View Event →
to Jun 23


There’s a reason galleries around the world are filled with so many landscapes, seascapes and fantastical dreamscapes: at some point in our daily lives, we all crave an escape. For some that’s gazing out onto a golden hayfield beneath a huge mid-western sky, for others a view of a tumultuous ocean, or a languid wild-flower carpeted meadow, or maybe a view into another dimension, to a world other than our own.

In Scapes artists are invited to transform the gallery into a myriad of views - an exploration of the world we live in and worlds beyond, from the prosaic humdrum scapes of daily life, to inspirational views and escapist fantasies.

View Event →
to May 5


Language loves food: cornucopia, ambrosia, delicatessen, confectionery, aphrodisiac, and the show’s title, comestible, are such lovely words upon the tongue, that they almost have their own flavor. Just as food has inspired such a decadent linguistic feast, so too has it provided a font of creativity for the visual artist: think of those heaving tables of the Dutch Baroque period, Arcimboldo’s surreal fruit portraits, Cezanne’s apples, Thiebaud’s Cakes or the jello art of contemporary British food artists, Bompas and Parr.

In Comestible artists are invited to explore our love of food, its role as both a necessity and a luxury in a world where gluttony is far outpaced by hunger.

View Event →