I’ve been traveling so much lately that I haven’t had a chance to write about where I’ve been and the art I’ve seen. Balancing traveling and blogging is still something I’m working on.
On September 19, I was at Water Valley’s Art Crawl.
I stayed a couple of extra days in Water Valley to continue interviewing Katrina Geenen and Pati D’Amico and to talk with Coulter Fussell of Yalo Studio. At Pati D’Amico and William Warren’s home on Panola Street, which was one of the stops along the Art Crawl, one room became a gallery for Jack Gurner’s photographs, which depicted Panola Street in decades past. A native of Water Valley, he was a photojournalist in Memphis and has retired with his wife to his hometown. I’ll tell you more about all of these artists in later posts.
Also that week, I had the privilege of interviewing three creative, young men in the YOU Program for youth offenders at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. They had recently painted a mural, and I left feeling hopeful for them and grateful for their stories, which you’ll get to read after the interviews have been processed.
The oldest, artist-run, art colony in the country, it has been meeting at Henry S. Jacobs Camp since 1973. Randy Jolly, Director of Gore Galleries and instructor in the Department of Art at Mississippi College, arranged my visit. There, I met about 40 artists, including Byron Myrick, who directs Mississippi Art Colony, and Colony president Judy Berry.
Randy Jolly gave me directions to the Colony and told me he would either be painting under the pavilion or in the woods, cutting vines that he could paint and incorporate as snakes in his paintings. The Colony artists start about 8:30 in the morning and some paint until as late as 7:00 p.m., missing Happy Hour (although it’s an hour and a half-long happy “hour” someone told me with a smile). Each artist occupies at least one table during the entire five days of Colony, and their focus was evident when I strolled through the pavilion with my camera and hardly anyone looked up at me.
There is much to say about the Mississippi Art Colony and about the artists I met there. I’ll share images and more about them in future blogs.
Monday, September 28, I was at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi for a Mississippi Museums Association meeting. Director Kevin O’Brian generously showed me the current exhibitions: The Mysterious Play of Water with photographs and paintings by Susan Guice; I Come From Women Who Could Fly, featuring Delita Martin‘s large-scale works that layer multiple mediums from quilts to drawings to gelatin printing; The Ooma Collection of Toshiko Takaezu’s “closed form” ceramic vessels; and two George E. Ohr installations of a total of 151 pots by the master potter. I saw 151 Ohr pots in one place in one afternoon!
One more visit that I want to mention happened last Thursday, September 17, at the Gore Galleries at Mississippi College. I saw the alumni art show being hung and got to select the purchase prize for MC’s art collection. Walking through the library to the coffee shop (Students don’t have to sneak coffee under their jackets when they enter the library. They can even have pizza delivered at the library!), I passed a painting by Elizabeth Pajerski and a triptych by Kenneth Quinn. I met Dr. Quinn and will be interviewing him next week.