New to the world of art, David Maupins, formerly of Sedalia, is becoming known in Sedalia and Columbia for his detailed drawings that bring an eurhythmic human quality to social issues.

When looking at his artwork it can be described as almost hearing a child’s musical laughter as they scoop a handful of water from a falling steam or hearing African tribal discourse in a portrait of a Masai warrior or even hearing the rhythmic hum of a vintage water cooler as a man drinks from it.

Maupins, 48, now living in Columbia is a self-taught artist working in colored pencil and graphite. He attended Smith-Cotton High School and is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1989 to 1993. He currently works as a network technician for Socket Telecom, LLC.

Although Maupins has drawn all his life, it’s only been since April that the art world has opened and blossomed for him. On the advice of a friend, Aimee Warren, he participated in the NoBro Art Walk in April hosted in downtown Sedalia.

“The art walk in April was the first time I’ve ever shown my work,” Maupins said by phone on Friday. “I never thought of it as being anything special. I just did it for me.”

He noted when he showed his work in April he received a “good reaction” in Sedalia.

“I was inspired,” he said. “In June, I entered a few pieces into the Art in The Park (show) in Columbia. They accepted all three pieces and one of them won People's Choice.”

The award-winning drawing “Colored” depicting an African American man drinking from a water fountain designated for “colored” has a Norman Rockwell quality. Maupins said the style was unintentional although Rockwell is one of his favorite artists.

“This is all new to me and it’s amazing,” he said of entering art shows.

Maupins said he’s been drawing since childhood.

“I was never a popular kid, I spent a lot of time just drawing pictures pretty much my whole life,” he explained. “I never could afford paints and easels and canvases and these things.

“So, I just always used a pencil and whatever paper I could get my hands on,” he continued. “Probably two and a half or three years ago was the first time I really used colored pencils. I really have no ties to the art world, no real knowledge of the art world.”

But, the art world is expanding for Maupins. Since April, he is receiving support from members of the NoBro Art Walk and members of the Columbia Art League as well. 

“A couple people at the Columbia Art League have been showing me the ropes,” he said. “So, I’m trying to branch out as much as possible. I’m working a lot more than I used to. I’m very inspired.”

Maupins wants his art to speak to others, and to make a social statement.

“I want people to see the world as it actually is,” he said. “There are a lot of beautiful flowers and landscapes that people hang on their walls. But, there are a lot of bad things going on. I want people to think outside of themselves every once and awhile.

“That’s where my focus is right now,” he continued. “I just pay attention to current events and that really influences what I do.”

When working on a piece, Maupins said it sometimes takes two weeks to finish a detailed drawing.

“I spend a lot of time on each piece,” he said. “I can do like maybe three-square-inches in an hour. It takes a very long time, it takes at least 10 layers of color on the paper.”

Maupins will participate in the next NoBro Art Walk from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday Aug. 7, in downtown Sedalia. For more information visit Maupins’ website at or like his Facebook page at David Maupins Art.

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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