Copyright Christine Riutzel 2023. Digital rendering. Final mural may vary

Two female artists native to the Ozarks are teaming up to bring a new mural to Downtown Branson. This 21x28 foot mural will be on the corner of Commercial and Pacific Street on the side of The Branson Centennial Museum. Will you help us raise funds to help us pay tribute to Rose O’Neill?

Who is Rose O’Neill?

Rose O'Neill was an American cartoonist, illustrator, artist, writer, suffragist, activist, and philanthropist. She rose to fame for her creation of the popular comic strip characters, Kewpies, in 1909, and was the first published female cartoonist in the United States.

What is Bonniebrook?

Bonniebrooke Homestead is on the National Register of Historic Places, and was Rose O’Neills estate here in the Ozarks. Bonniebrook Homestead not only displays the artwork of world-famous artist,, it also includes a full-size recreation of O'Neill's 14-room Ozarks mansion. It is located in Walnut Shade, Missouri just ten miles north of Branson on Highway 65.

Bonniebrooke includes a museum and fine art gallery. O'Neill's original art exhibited in Paris along with many pieces that were published in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Woman's Home Companion, Harper's Bazaar. Hundreds of antique Kewpie products, including dolls, figurines, comic pages, and dishes are on display in the museum.

The O'Neill Family homesteaded here in 1893. Rose O'Neill visited in 1894 and named the homestead Bonniebrook. O'Neill fell in love with the family homestead and spent many years at a time at this historic site as she created art, poetry, novels, and short stories. O'Neill had a home in New York City, Connecticut, and the Isle of Capri but considered Bonniebrook to be her true home. She often said, "Bonniebrook is my favorite place on earth. Here I have done my best work." O'Neill's original Bonniebrook home burned to the ground in 1947, this a recreation was made.

Why are you painting this mural?

Christine Riutzel and Delanie Cooper met on instagram and bonded over their love for Rose O’Neill. Christine shared her dream of creating a mural to pay tribute to Rose and Delanie immediately jumped on board, bringing her expertise to make it happen. Both women expressed their desire to make the Ozarks a better community that honors the visual arts.

Christine often says, “I’ve lived in the area my whole life and didn’t hear about Rose and her incredible career until I was an adult. If I had been aware of her as a child, I believe she would have inspired me to start my art career sooner. Branson is a great tourist town that supports music and theater but is lacking in visual arts. There’s a history of world famous artists who are from the area yet people don’t know about them. I want to preserve the Ozarks art history for our locals and tourists for the next generation of Branson.”


What’s the goal for the mural?

Many people are unaware of Rose and Bonniebrook. Branson receives over 9 million tourists a year. This mural will bring more visitors to Bonniebrook and the Branson Centennial museum. Christine and Delanie believe that artists should set an example. Many artists get frustrated that their talents are under-appreciated, that local governments owe them a better community, not realizing that community preservation and beautification is already in the hands of the citizens.

About the team

Christine Riutzel @beautyfromlight is a professional muralist from Hollister, Missouri. She serves as Vice President of The Southern Missouri Arts Connection (SMAC) and serves on the board for Parks and Recreation in Hollister. She creates fine art in a studio located at SMAC with her main focus being involved in creating public art. Her goal is to continue to use public art as a way to inspire the young underprivileged artists in an area where the visual arts are easily overlooked. See her work at
Delanie Johnson @showmestateofmind is an artist and online retailer. Raised in Springfield and residing in Kansas City, Missouri - the Ozarks and its people inspire her work and everyday life. She collects Ozark ephemera and sells patches, pins, and more under the brand Show Me State of Mind on Etsy.

Estimated cost

Estimate cost of lift: one month $1800

Cost of paint: $500

UV clear coat $300

Cost of labor: 21x28’ at $30 a square foot $17,640

Total fundraising goal: $20,240.00

Checks made payable to:

Christine Riutzel
7 Downing Steet
Hollister, MO 65672

Show Me State of Mind etsy page