Question: What happens when an ex-military business head with an artist’s heart moves to small town Iowa?

Answer: The Painted Camel Gallery in Macedonia.

The small stretch of Pioneer Trail in eastern Pottawattamie County that calls itself Macedonia (Donia to the locals) is a cultural oasis. Visitors will find the Stempel Bird Museum, Pioneer Trail Museum, the Grist Mill Theatre (hosting performances and art shows for more than 35 years), and the Back 40 Bar & Grill — an eatery gaining a reputation throughout southwest Iowa.

Behind the pictorial black wrought iron railing that lines downtown sits the Painted Camel Gallery — home to pottery artist Paul Koch. The shop itself offers an artistic sensibility rarely found in a town of 250 people. It is lined with tile...