Lowell Davis

Artist and Citizen of Distincition

Lowell Davis, son of Berton Clayton Davis and Nell Marie Davis, was born in Lawrence County, Missouri on June 8, 1937 and grew up in Red Oak. He attended Mark Twain School and Carthage High School. Lowell married Rose Castillo Davis in 2003. He has three daughters and three sons from previous marriages: April Davis Brunner, also an artist, Heather Davis, Wren Davis, Phillip Davis, Jeb Davis and Aaron Davis.

Ironically, after failing English and art his sophomore year at Carthage High School in the 1950’s, Lowell dropped out to join the Air Force. As a part of a four-member crew, he flew prop planes during the Algerian War. After one particularly rough landing in Algiers, Lowell received a medical discharge. Following his military service, Lowell moved to Dallas-Fort Worth to be an Art Director for a large advertising agency. He explains his experience, “All those fourteen years, all I could think about was getting back to Missouri and getting a farm.” Fulfilling that wish, Lowell returned to a farm outside Carthage in 1974 to farm and pursue his own art full time.

Well known for his art depicting farm life in America, most especially in Jasper County, Lowell is often referred to as the “Norman Rockwell of Rural Art”. His artistic works include paintings, figurines, bronzes, metal sculptures and art storybooks that reflect small town life in rural Missouri, giving a glimpse into simpler and often sweeter times.

Among Lowell’s greatest contributions to the Carthage area is his recreation of his childhood hometown of Red Oak, the original now vanished. Red Oak II is a charming step back into a small rural town, complete with the original Phillips 66 gas station, general store, school house, blacksmith shop and the Belle Starr home he preserved, moved and restored on the property. Thousands of visitors traveling Route 66 make a special stop to visit Red Oak II and sometimes have the pleasure to run into Lowell at his home there.

Lowell has created numerous creative metal sculptures and signs around Carthage, highlighting various businesses, schools and activities of our community. In 1978, he was one of the founding members of The Midwest Gathering of the Artists, a juried art exhibit and sale held in Carthage for more than thirty years to showcase Midwestern and Western paintings and sculptures. Throughout his career, Lowell has received numerous industry awards for his paintings and collectibles, both locally and nationally, and was recognized as “Artist of the Year” at the 2019 Carthage Chamber of Commerce Banquet.