Local Artists


Joyce Spurgin, Pacific, Missouri

Local artist, Joyce Spurgin, has always had a passion for art, and especially for drawing. She even received an art scholarship to Fontbonne University in her senior year of high school. However, after giving birth to five children, she put her artwork on hold and entered the food service industry to help support the family.

Then in 1992, life changed dramatically for Joyce. On November 20, she fell and broke both elbows. The fall ended her career as a banquet chef, but it didn’t end her gift of creativity. Her expertise as an artist, combined with her love and compassion for animals, led her to put her talents to use creating pet portraits. Today Joyce is well known for her pencil and color pencil art work, which she draws in her home studio from photos sent by clients from all over the country. She is dedicated to providing very detailed drawings, sure to be a special memory for each pet parent, and a blessing to all those who see them.


Higher Focus Photography, Grover, Missouri

We know how important your loved ones are to you and we want to help you celebrate them by creating beautiful works of art for you to treasure for years to come. We believe your family deserves more than digital files delivered on a disc. They deserve portraits that will be displayed and enjoyed.  Jill has been delivering stunning portraits to her clients for over 10 years. She is a Certified Professional Photographer and has learned from and worked with some of the top photographers in the nation.  Her passion is to freeze time in this fast-paced world so that you can enjoy every moment. Tim has been a visual storyteller ever since he received his first video camera at age 14.  He is our video guru, lighting guy, sherpa, comedian and marketing expert. We love helping you save your precious memories.

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Cynthia Hitschler, Celebration Studios of Missouri, Wildwood, Missouri

Since 1998, Cynthia’s studio has offered superlative sculpture and bas relief in bronze, paintings in oil and acrylic, and drawings in ink, colored pencil and charcoal. Cynthia’s distinctive two- and three-dimensional creations are currently featured in private collections, Catholic Parish Churches and other institutions, and public venues throughout the United States and abroad.

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Barbara Jean Meyer, Washington, Missouri

She creates portraits using pencil and various other mediums. She initially wanted a way to help grieving friends commemorate their beloved pet and began drawing for them. From there, it grew into a passion. According to Ms. Meyer, it all came about as a “mid life crisis”! Stop by the hospital to see these beautiful works of art and many more in person!


Barbara Bareis Rigabar, Wildwood, Misouri

Barb grew up in Champaign, Illinois where she is an alumni of the University of Illinois. She has an SPHR Certification, a B.S. in Psychology, and an M.A. in Labor & Industrial Relations. She is a member of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement and the St. Louis Publisher’s Association. She lives in Wildwood, MO with her husband, three children, and Tucker.

Barb wrote her first book to help children and families celebrate the special bond a family has with a loved pet. Her family and four legged friends give her inspiration to write stories about “lovable tails”.

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Jeff Zarinelli, St. Louis, Missouri

Jeff is a traditional artist who is mainstream in all aspects of art and design. He graduated with a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in May of 2000. With a double major in design and illustration, Jeff focused his artwork with an enthusiastic painting technique capturing the essence of life. After working in graphic design world for several years, Jeff turned his attention to his true passion with the fine arts and started his own business by painting murals. With a realistic approach, he quickly established a name in the Saint Louis area.

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Erica Wagner, St. Louis, Missouri

My name is Erica Wagner, and I am a multi-media artist specializing in abstract oil painting, and photorealistic charcoal animal portraits. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design (Go Blue) with a BFA, in April 2012, I decided to return to my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri to pursue a career as a freelance oil painter and personal pet portrait charcoal artist. I have been participating in art shows across the St. Louis, and Chicago area and hope to continue for years to come.

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of what I wanted to be when I grew up… A Veterinarian or an Artist. I have now been given the perfect opportunity to have the best of both worlds; showing my art in a Veterinarian hospital! I try to make sure my work shows my love for animals. Each piece is made of pencil and charcoal and created from scratch. All I need is a favorite photograph, size preference, and I transform it into a one of a kind drawing. I love creating original art for people. This talent is something I am grateful to have and I would love the opportunity to share it with you and your family.

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Leslie Faust

A frequent question I’m asked by friends is “what project are you working on now?” because they know it is always something different, and sometimes interesting. (I think)  Since the mid 80’s (yes) I’ve worked professionally as a creative.  Mostly self taught, and being rather impulsive has lead me down a variety of paths.  Doing home portraits led to architectural renderings, to illustration, to self publishing a line of drawings of St. Louis landmarks sold in galleries around town, to conceptual drawings, to murals, to portraits…and the list goes on.  Some of the more memorable commissions have been where I charted a helicopter and flew around taking photos that I later used as reference for illustration.

So…I am very good as listening to what your project is about and discussing how I may be able to help you.  If you kind of know what you want, but not quite sure, I’m almost always able to come up with some ideas….some you may have not thought of.  Though I go in many directions on my own, I can laser focus in on a project when I have a commission/deadline.  I have never been late in delivery of a finished project.

To see more of my work, please visit my page on stl-illustrator.com.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss any ideas.

Thanks!  Leslie

Bert Vandermark


It is simple – art will be custom framed, shipping available
Choose a photo of your pet from Instagram, Facebook, your camera roll or your computer. You can also send me a text message. Estimates are free and no obligation.

(314) 496-4522 or email at bert@studiomontage.com


We invite you to come by Cherry Hills Veterinary Hospital to view our display of local artists and consider one for yourself or someone you know.

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