Thursday, May 8, 2014

"Mississippi," an art exhibition featuring local artists from the Golden Triangle region of north central Mississippi

The Starkville Area Arts Council currently has a group exhibition entitled "Mississippi" up at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership Welcome Center at 200 Main Street in Starkville, MS. The reception was this evening from 5:30 PM to about 7 PM, and the show will remain in place for at least another month. 

Artwork by me on left and upper right, by Vicki Burnett in center. Not sure who did the piece on the bottom right. Greg Martin, MSU art professor and painter extraordinaire looks on knowingly. 
The idea of this show was to feature "Mississippi" in some way. Various artists chose different subjects and media to showcase the state such as local landscapes, historic buildings, plants and animals common in our area and other similar things. With artwork from talented folks such as Dylan Karges, Vicki Burnett, Betty Jane Chatham, Mike Box, Charles Bryson, and others, there is a nice spectrum of art to see. 

The reception was nice, good food, wine, and it was wonderful to chat with art loving folks. The artwork was pleasing as well, although certainly not mind bending (nor was this show meant to be). I would like to have seen more locals present at the show who were not members of the arts council. Somehow, we need to find a way to bring in other people in the community to view these shows. If the only people attending are basically the artists and those who put on the show, then something needs to be done differently, in my opinion. A large negative is that our local arts association does not have its own gallery. The space here at the Welcome Center is nice, but not very expansive and with the many windows, the lighting is marginal at best.  Also, if you don't sell something at the reception, which most shows here don't even have, then you are not likely to sell anything, because there is no one present to pay for art. Finding some type of permanent space has to be a priority for the arts group here before we can really be taken seriously as an art community. How can this happen? I don't know, but it has to happen. It could be the result of the generosity of a wealthy person or group of wealthy area patrons, or perhaps using SAAC funds to lease a property. Perhaps under the leader of the new president things will move in this direction. 

One thing we do have here in town is a large number of very talented people. They can all use your support. Buying artwork is very helpful, and it is encouraging to artists to know that people in their community like their art and will even buy it. Even though this is a small show, it is well worth seeing. If you are in Starkville, go by and check out the art, most of which is for sale. I would say that absolutely everything in this show would look great in any home in this region! 

worn out from viewing artwork
art: top left and right are works by Dylan Karges, middle piece by Vicki Burnett, bottom right by Kathryn Ramsey 
Greg Martin and Russ
studies for a quilt project thing
more art, and reading
Paintings by Kathryn Ramsey
gazing at Betty Jane Chatham's beautiful painting (top center) and other fine works
Laurie Burton, SAAC President Elect 
SAAC members

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