'Historic and Notable Homes of Berryville' project is announced

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Artist Paul O'Neill and photographer Steve Shogren are collaborating on a book to document Berryville's historic and notable homes. Ostensibly an art book, "The Historic and Notable Homes of Berryville" will be comprised of O'Neill's paintings and Shogren's photographs, along with histories or architectural "biographies" of the houses they paint and photograph.

"Steve and I really view this as a community collaboration," O'Neill said. "For us to succeed, we'll especially need help from home owners who'll be asked to provide as much information as possible about their house. Records from the Carroll County Historical Society will also be used, but it's the stories that people tell about their houses that will make the book interesting and valuable."

O'Neill became interested in Berryville's houses after he painted the old Ginn House at 108 Pritchard St. and a smaller house at 121 Springfield Rd. "The Springfield Road house really appealed to me, "O'Neill said, "because it is so fanciful and pastel-rich. Both it and the Ginn House filled me with curiosity about their origins and the people who have lived in them."

Steve Shogren, an award-winning photographer in his native Minnesota, recently moved to Holiday Island, where he is building a home with his wife, Colleen. "We've been coming to the Ozarks for many years," said Shogren. "I'm mostly a nature photographer, but I was often struck by the practical and unfussy stateliness of a lot of the buildings in Berryville and decided to photograph them. I was especially impressed by the old Saunders' Home which is now City Hall, and a couple of the houses on Huntsville Street."

O'Neill, and especially Shogren, will complete their work by season, which means that the project will take at least nine to 12 more months to complete. "To assure a full record, I need to shoot during each of the four seasons," Shogren said. "Fall and winter are just ahead and I'm looking forward to spring when yards will be dressed in redbuds and daffodils."

As Shogren and O'Neill indicate, "The Historic and Notable Homes of Berryville " is a community collaboration. Residents are encouraged to participate by writing the history of their home and any family stories associated with their house. Owners of homes selected for inclusion in the book will receive a free copy of the completed book and are invited to attend a wine and cheese reception at the Grandview Hotel where O'Neill's and Shogren's work will be shown. At least 30 homes will need to be included for the project to go ahead.

Sow's Ear Antiques and Books is underwriting the project to bring attention to the many charming, beautiful, and significant homes in Berry?ville. Homes considered for inclusion do not have to be "big, fancy, or expensive" but should have been owned by people important to Berry?ville's history or development as a town. For more information, or to find out how to submit one's home and or to participate in the project, contact Susan Krotz at (870) 423-7311.

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