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Painting created in memory of former resident wins top prize in Art is Ageless

Martha O’Bannon was a resident of Farmington Presbyterian Manor for nine years. When she passed away in late January, the loss was felt both within the community and throughout the surrounding area.

One of those impacted by Martha’s passing was local artist Dianne Dickerson.

The two women had become close when Dianne relocated to Farmington from Kansas City nine years ago and began providing transportation for Martha. During their time together, Dianne would often pick up Martha from the Farmington Presbyterian Manor and take a drive out to her family’s farm where the two would walk the property.

It was during one of those walks that Dianne acquired a critical element in what would later become a work of art.

“We were walking along the barn and I saw an old window beside the building and asked if I could have it. That was seven or eight years ago and I hadn’t done anything with it, so when she passed, I decided I wanted to do something with it in memory of her,” said Dianne.

That’s when Dianne decided to paint directly on the window’s panes.

“I was in mourning and decided I had to do something to remember her by,” said Dianne. “I knew she liked birds and thought that would make a good painting.”

The finished piece, titled “Martha’s Window (Somewhere Over the Rainbow),” was recently named a co-winner of the People’s Choice Award in the professional division of PMMA’s Art is Ageless® juried art competition.

According to Dianne, both the subject matter of the painting, as well as its title, were a tribute to Martha.

“She had a beautiful voice and would love to sing, and she loved that song and would sing it along with other songs,” said Dianne.

In addition to winning the People’s Choice Award, which was voted on through online comments through Facebook and in-person ballots at the community, Dianne also won first place in the professional photography category and third place in mixed media/crafts.

Dianne has entered the competition ever since she moved to town and is proud of the fact that her work has even been featured in the annual Art is Ageless calendar.

“I like to tell people that I’m a ‘calendar girl,’” said Dianne.

However, it’s “Martha’s Window” that will always have a special significance for Dianne.

“It was like art therapy for me to finish it for her,” said Dianne.

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