Jack Dieckman has been a “lifelong” artist with his work spanning close to 84 years, he began with colored pencils drawing on wallpaper and has progressed to oils of a spiritual nature.

Dieckman, of Cole Camp, currently has an exhibit of his work at the Sedalia Municipal Building and has several of his paintings hanging at his church Antioch Fellowship in Sedalia. A member of the Sedalia Visual Art Association, Dieckman travels to Sedalia three times a week to paint in a small studio provided for him at the church.

On Tuesday while in his studio, he good-naturedly reminisced about once getting into trouble for drawing in church.

“At about age two one Sunday morning our pastor interrupted his sermon and said, ‘Mrs. Dieckman, would you please tell Jackie to stop rattling his paper,’” Dieckman said. “Mom grabbed my paper and pencil from me. I got my revenge several years later.”

He noted his mom eventually made him join an all-girl baton twirling group at school. One day he threw the baton up in the air and “walked off.”

He said as an artist he was never “driven” and didn’t particularly enjoy taking his work to art shows. Although he never lost the love for creating art.

“Pablo Picasso once said ‘all children are artists, but as they grow they lose it,’” Dieckman explained. “That didn’t happen to me because in my case art was first a tool to what I really wanted to do.”

Dieckman said his first love is design. He added he loves creating because it provides a means of expression.

“Mainly I’ve used art as a tool to design,” he said. “Basically, I consider myself more of a designer. But, the two have always gone hand-in-hand.”

Dieckman became an art major while in college at Central Missouri State University, began a job in 1959 as a technical illustrator for Kirk Associates in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, and married his wife Florence in 1960.

“We drew up the service platforms for the new Boeing 707,” he said of his job.

He also created illustrations for the Butler Building Co. and did some government work before beginning a job with Sexton Metalcraft in Raytown. Dieckman said this began a long career as Sexton’s artist/designer until 1999.

He added through the years his art has had four stages; childhood, high school and college, career and retirement. During his fourth, he plans to concentrate on inspirational images.

“This fourth segment will be my last,” he noted. “My art has now followed a spiritual direction. One day I asked God, ‘what has my talent done for your kingdom?’ He answered, ‘paint salvation by grace, through faith. So, that’s what I’m doing.”

His paintings at Antioch Fellowship take in a poignant piece, and Dieckman’s favorite “Fisher of Men.” The painting features Apostle Peter and a “distorted” view of his hands stretched out toward the viewer holding a net full of fish.

“I wanted to equate Peter’s profession as a fisherman into his transition into being a fisherman of souls,” Dieckman said of Peter’s hands. “I could have sold that one for $3,000, but I didn’t because I like it.”

His other work at the church takes in a painting of an angel watching over a homeless man, a broken vessel restored, Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos, and Moses and the burning bush. Dieckman is working on a commissioned piece, recreating the broken vessel painting for a client.

For more information about Dieckman’s art contact him at Antioch Fellowship Church, 507 W. 24th St., 660-826-3739 or 660-287-2687.

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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