Morning News-Lisa Lete
Internationally acclaimed poet, designer, author and artist Billie Cullimore, along with her beloved puppy Jewel, stand before her original painting titled 'Pioneer's Dream' (valued at $10,000) on display at the Artistic Spirit Gallery, 67 North Maple St. in Blackfoot. Cullimore will be at the studio today from 10 a.m-7 p.m.
Billie Cullimore of Blackfoot is a woman of many talents: an internationally acclaimed poet, designer, author and artist...and, she said she's not a bad cook either.
Cullimore, whose work can be found in Germany, Holland, France, Australia and throughout the United States, has a studio called 'Billie's Originals' within the walls of the Artistic Spirit Gallery in Blackfoot featuring her $10,000 original painting titled 'Pioneer's Dream.'
Cullimore is a native of Utah and has lived in Blackfoot for 22 years. It's a town that she has grown to love. She painted 'Pioneer's Dream' 20 years ago describing it is a beautiful scene from Apple Valley, Utah, and reflective of her LDS faith, with a vision of a temple in the clouds. Cullimore said artistic abilities seem to run in her family and that her father and son were both skilled artists as well.
Many of Cullimore's popular outdoor or animal paintings adorn antique items such as milk cans, oil cans, shovels and saws.
"Art and poetry seem to come naturally to me," she said. "I wrote my first poem when I was seven years old and have been writing every since."
Cullimore has a book published of her poetry titled "Poems," also available at the art gallery.
"I'm inspired by my love of nature, children...and critters...I love critters," she said as she hugged her one-year old Great Dane puppy, Jewel.
Cullimore, who is the mother of six children, also keeps a room filled with a lifetime of her late son, Micheal Atkinson's, art work. Cullimore lost Micheal, a Vietnam War, vet, eight years ago."
With pride in her voice, Cullimore said of her son, "I named him after the angel Micheal; he was so beautiful when he was born..he looked angelic."
"It was apparent at a young age that he [Micheal] was a very talented artist. His work was very different and he was well known for his tattoo art."
Cullimore said her son contracted 'Agent Orange' from being in the war, which gave him lead poisoning, causing his death at the age of 54.
Also a renowned seamstress, Cullimore designed and sewed a Utah bicentennial square dance dress that has been displayed at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City and at Disneyland. It is now on display in the Utah Historical Society Museum in Salt Lake City. Pictures of the dress are on display at the art studio.
Cullimore, who is in her 80's, enjoys life in Blackfoot in with her husband Forrest, and still aspires to write more books and create beautiful art work.
Art lovers can stop by the art studio at 67 North Maple St. today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to meet Cullimore and browse through the gallery. For more information call the studio at 241-6654.