Browse the 2023 Director’s Creativity Showcase virtual art galleries

Virtually explore all of the artwork, crafts and photography from our annual Director’s Creativity Showcase from the comfort of your living room via our galleries.

Walk through the galleries or take an interactive tour of the work at the links on the right. Select artwork is also available for sale with proceeds going to the artist. 

Based on lived experience, artists choose one of the following categories to submit their artwork. Click on a category to explore this year’s selections:

Meet the Judges

Jacqueline Nelson

Jacqueline graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia with a degree in Environmental Design. Currently, she works as a Designer in Research and Development at SEMCO. She’s been an artist for most of her life, working mostly in mixed media. “I have always been interested in art and working with my hands, creating something out of nothing brings me great joy. I have been blessed to use art in my everyday life, both work and play.”. Jacqueline’s parents and brother are also artists.

Devon Was Here Today

Devon Was Here Today has been recovering from a neurological autoimmune disease called Guillain-Barre syndrome. They were the first Independent Hip-Hop artist to chart on the Billboard Charts from Mid-Missouri, without a major label’s help. They are currently a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (GRAMMYS) and the Audio Engineering Society. They have won two Southern Entertainment Awards and starred in a movie shot by Jet Ainsworth called “Hope & Mike’s Open Mic”.

Lois Thomas

Lois served as a Missouri state employee for 34 years, with 25 years spent at the Department of Mental Health. In the Office of Public Affairs, she helped facilitate the production and dissemination of information promoting mental health and wellness, as well as the critical need for treatment. During her tenure at DMH, she was involved in many aspects of the Director’s Creativity Showcase for several years, including helping to coordinate the traveling showcase.

Ben Nickelson

Ben is the photographer for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. He earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Fisheries and Wildlife from Mizzou and Graphic Design from William Woods University. In addition to his job at the state, he does a wide range of freelance photography including wedding, portrait, food, and real estate.

Katie Hicks

Katie is the owner and photographer of Sweet As A Peach Photography LLC. She has always had a passion for photography. “I remember when I was very little, walking around taking pictures of everything with a small, disposable camera. Not much has changed since then, [except] I no longer use a disposable camera and I may have gotten a little taller.” You can often find her, still, today walking around taking photos of anything and everything. 

Andrew Richmond

Originally from Hammond, Louisiana, Andrew was introduced to the Wet-Plate Collodion photography process in 2005 while working as a videographer. His interest quickly grew into a passion for all things photography, from the construction of his self-built view camera to making hand-coated paper prints, shooting film, lighting, digital image manipulation, and compositing. He has worked with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Office of Communications for 11 years as a videographer and photographer and currently serves in the role of Publications Manager.