Gallery will be tribute to Jake Wells

As an artist, Jake Wells touched innumerable lives. As a teacher, he is remembered by hundreds of former students as a gentle mentor.

Wells, who retired from the art department at Southeast Missouri State University in 1980 and died in 1999, was an, artist, teacher and friend who managed to inspire so many people, and a good-sized group of those people are establishing a lasting memorial to Wells: a teaching gallery at the university.

To be located in the art department, the teaching gallery will be a place where students can display their art in surroundings that match those of any professional gallery.

A fund-raising goal of $25,000 has been set for the memorial gallery. A special exhibit of Wells' art has been at the Kelsen Gallery in downtown Cape Girardeau this month. A $100 print of Wells' watercolor of the Old Appleton mill is helping to raise money for the teaching gallery.

It would be difficult to think of a more fitting tribute for a man whose life and art reached so many. Please be generous with your support of this special project.