Born in Washington, D.C., Jean Carnahan graduated with a degree in business and public administration from George Washington University. Early on, she took up oil painting as a newlywed “simply to cover the bare walls” of their apartment. Her husband, Mel Carnahan, had been a longtime classmate and the son of a Missouri Congressman. Without any training, she painted about a dozen pieces, some of which still hang in the family’s farmhouse in Rolla, an area where the couple raised their family of four children – Roger, Russ, Robin, and Tom.
Jean played an active role in Governor Carnahan’s 40-year career of public service. As Missouri’s First Lady from 1993-2000, she worked to improve the lives of Missouri’s children by advocating for on-site day care centers, childhood immunization, Habitat for Humanity, abuse centers, and art opportunities for rural and inner-city children.
In 2000, when her husband and oldest son died in a plane crash, during the race for U.S. Senate, she was appointed to take her husband’s place in Washington after he was elected posthumously, making her the first woman to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate.
Today she expresses her love for the arts by “painting” words on paper – writing inspirational essays, political speeches, skits, short stories, and humor. Her eight books include a history of the Governor’s Mansion, If Walls Could Talk, and an autobiography, Don’t Let the Fire Go Out.
Nowadays, she lives in St. Louis, where she regularly writes her blog “Good Food St. Louis.” http://www.GoodFoodSTL.com/
Karen Glines learned about the St. Louis Artists’ Guild in 1999 when she worked with America Online as its first Arts and Culture writer for St. Louis. Born in St. Louis, she became intrigued with its impressive history as the oldest arts organization west of the Mississippi in continual use and soon became involved in the Artists Along the Katy Trail project for two years as its photojournalist – recording information and taking photos of over 250 artists and their artwork across the state. Schools in St. Louis used the website with the documented day-by-day information for their art students. She taught communication classes at the university level for nearly 20 years with a master’s degree in Media Communication.
Karen is the author of the book, Painting Missouri: The Counties en Plein Air, with over 8,000 books printed. A seven-year project, she collaborated with artist Billyo O’Donnell and they received the Governor’s Award in 2009 from the Missouri Humanities Council for the book. She is the editor of artist Bryan Haynes’ book, New Regionalism, the Art of Bryan Haynes and has published articles locally, nationally, and internationally as an independent journalist receiving awards in writing and photography.
Over the years, she has been involved in many boards across the St. Louis region. A former president of the board at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, Karen knows the importance of Collectors Choice and how diligent the committee, staff, and board are in making this signature event one of the best in St. Louis.