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Art 2 Make U Smile

Rich Brooks Inspires with His Artwork

At the beginning of the pandemic, Richard Brooks started a new project to lift spirits. “Art 2 Make U Smile” started as a daily painting challenge, where he would bring his creativity to his neighborhood and paint in front of his home every morning.

“Essentially, when Covid shut everything down, I told myself, ‘I want to keep the arts alive,’” says Rich. “So, I built myself a temporary easel on the front of my house, and I started painting outside.”

Rich painted more than 50 pieces over 600 days and inspired hundreds of people who walked by him every morning while he painted, no matter the weather.

"They stopped. They honked. They waved,” he says.

Rich is an artist, teacher, and artist mentor who is involved with a multitude of artistic and social events in the area. He also served as the Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of St. Peters for 27 years, until 2004.

While in that role, Rich helped conceptualize and create the St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre. He also acted as President of the St. Charles County Arts Council and continues to find ways to bring art to the St. Charles County community.

“I always wanted to come back at some point [to the Cultural Arts Centre],” says Rich. “Right now, they have a wonderful director with Jill [Tutt], and I just think it’s remarkable what they’ve done, and how they’ve improved the building, how they’ve kept the arts going.”

  • Richard Brooks