Christmas cards showcasing local art and artists may soon become a tradition for the City of Sedalia.

When Sedalia Mayor John Kehde decided he wanted to send Christmas cards that represented a local touch, he reached out to artist Myrna Ragar for direction.  

“I had been thinking about it for a while,” Kehde said. “Last year I used a pretty generic Christmas card. I’ve been working on different city images, I did a coffee cup with architectural features of Sedalia.

“So, I said I want to get something that’s interesting for my Christmas card,” he continued. “I knew we had a lot of great photographs from someone. I talked to Myrna and we came up with two.”

Kehde and Ragar settled on the two images by local photographer and lifelong Sedalian Mark Hammond. Hammond took the photo and the card was designed by Ragar Banners and printed by Inter-State Studio. Jack Robinson with Ragar Banners delivered the cards to City Hall Wednesday morning.

Ragar said her intent was to honor local artists in the community.

“I got to thinking, we needed somebody from the visual arts to do this,” Ragar said by phone. “I knew (Hammond) had a lot of photos that would work. I thought well why not go with a local artist with a Christmas or winter scene.”

Kehde decided on a view of the Katy Depot with snow and the second, a winter image of the Liberty Park Bridge, he suggested for the Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department.

Hammond said he was pleased his work was chosen for the official City of Sedalia Christmas cards.

“I’ve lived in Sedalia my whole life and I always try to help out when I can,” he said.  

Hammond, who owns Moonlight 10 Photography, added he’s been taking photos of the Sedalia area since 2010.

“It’s my city, and I like Sedalia,” he noted. “I was born and raised here and it will be my town until I die. I get a chance to help the city and people get to see my artwork — it’s a win-win for me.”

Kehde said he hopes to make the Mayor’s Christmas card a locally created tradition and said he may even consider having children design cards next year.  

Sedalia Parks and Recreation Director Amy Epple said she was excited to have locally designed and produced Christmas cards.

“We want to just showcase our beautiful parks,” she said. “And when you look at the picture it just says ‘magical,’ and that’s exactly what it captures. We like to work with local artists, and we like to buy locally.”

Epple will be sending out around 100 cards to coaches and volunteers and she added she would definitely use local art for the Parks and Rec Christmas cards next year.

“We’ll strive for someone local and something that showcases one of our parks,” she added. “We have a lot of beautiful parks, Clover Dell, Hubbard, all of them have spectacular views and moments that need to be captured.

“Yes, this will be something we continue to do,” she continued. “Before, it was just a generic card. These cards are better than any cards you can buy in the store.”

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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