A renowned artist of more than five decades, Aaron R. Horrell is the owner of Painted Wren Art Gallery, which opened in 2010. Known for painting beautiful landscapes, he has developed his unique way of creating animal paintings that he calls “celebrations of life.” The gallery, managed by colleague Barb Bailey, sells original paintings, photographs, prints, graphite drawings, gifts and household items, such as goat milk soaps, children’s books, pottery, quilts, coasters and note cards, all created and made by local artists. A highlight of Mr. Horrell’s career was creating the Missouri Bicentennial Mural, which took nearly four years from its inception in June 2018 to the grand reveal inside the Harry S. Truman State Office Building in Jefferson City, Missouri, in June 2022.
Mr. Horrell began his career as an artist in 1970. Knowing he was about to be drafted in 1971, he decided to join the U.S. Navy, where he spent the next four years as part of the U.S. Naval Construction Battalions, or Seabees. He was proud to have helped build a hospital on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. While there, he painted four murals on the wall in the chow hall, with the understanding that the murals would be later installed in the hospital. After his military service ended in 1975, he returned home to Southeast Missouri, where he managed a dairy farm for several years–all while raising his four children and continuing to paint at night in his basement. In addition, he also writes poems and has written and illustrated several children’s books with Ms. Bailey.
To remain abreast of his field, Mr. Horrell maintains membership with The Best of Missouri Hands, the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, the Cat Ranch Art Guild and the Sikeston Art League, of which he is a past president. Additionally, he is a founding member of the International Society of Poets in Owings Mills, Maryland. Finding true success in his artistic endeavors, Mr. Horrell attributes his success to never giving up and being a self-taught artist. Looking ahead, he plans to continue to paint for causes that resonate with him and can positively impact local communities.
The Best of Missouri Hands (2016-Present)
Arts Council of Southeast Missouri
Past President, Sikeston Art League; The Cat Ranch Art Guild
Recognition, Missouri Bicentennial Mural
Numerous Awards for Paintings and Photographs (50 Years)
Co-author, “Beyond the Vines at River Ridge Winery” (2022); Co-author, “Remi Paints for His Friends (Remi The Great)” (2022); Co-author, “Alison Barbaron’s Awesome Book of Pictures” (2021); Co-author, “Alison Barbaron Presents…, Vol. 1” (2021); Co-author, “The Sky Story” (2021); Co-author, “Grandma Groundhog and the Vacuum Cleaner” (2020); Co-author, “Superbus, Where Are You Going? Vol. 1” (2020); Co-author, “Remi The Great” (2020); Co-author, “Dig The Pig” (2020); Co-author, “Fantastic Bluecat Mannerfish, Vol. 1: An Alison Barbaron Children’s Story” (2019); Co-author, “Gonk-Gonk The Giant Canada Goose: The “Angel Wing” Story” (2019); Co-author, “The Fox Came at Four” (2018); Co-author, “The Gooey Cake Caper” (2018); Co-author, “A Little Ursus Adventure: A Big Fish Story” (2018); Co-author, “Paint for a Cause: for the Residents of the Missouri Veterans Home – Cape Girardeau” (2018); Co-author, “Toad and Turtle Conquer the World” (2018); Co-author, “Thurman Gets the Help He Needs” (2017); Co-author, “Alison Barbaron’s Counting Book, Vol. 1” (2017); Co-author, “Alison Barbaron’s Picture Book with Poems” (2017); Co-author, “A Happy Country Coloring Book, Vol. 1 (Volume 1)” (2017); Co-author, “Izzy & His Missouri Friends” (2016); Co-author, “Alison Barbaron’s Counting Book, Vol. 1” (2016); Co-author, “Alison Barbaron’s Color Book for Kids of All Ages, Vol. 2” (2016); Co-author, “Alison Barbaron’s Color Book for Kids of All Ages” (2016)