Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cotton District Arts Festival 2013

 Another super nice Cotton District Arts Festival this year. Beautiful, beautiful day! Started out in upper 30's as Joseph and I showed up to run the Old Cotton Mill 5k that morn, but was in the mid 60's by afternoon. Joseph was the overall winner in the race, and I was the 2nd overall male in the race. We won awesome sweet pottery for race awards. Pottery was designed specially for the race by Robert Long, MSU art professor extraordinaire! See more about the race on my running blog site at

So, the day started well. As we were milling about for the running awards, we got to hear the exquisite classical guitar music of Stephanie Jackson! 

Following the running awards ceremony, I headed to the juried arts awards ceremony at 9:30 AM. I was not overly optimistic about my chances in the juried show this year because there were some very nice pieces in the show. But, to my surprise, my piece entitled "Cancer" won best of show! Cool, cool! The award comes with a nice check. Sweet. I was especially surprised because "Cancer" was my least favorite of the three I that I entered, which also included "Mayan Awakening" and "Inquisitive Fish". Apparently, others agreed, as I had 3 folks interested in buying "Mayan Awakening", and indeed, by lunch time, it was sold! Good day!  This year's juror was talented painter Nan Cunningham ( Here is some info about Nan that I grabbed from the Starkville Arts Council web site. [An Auburn University graduate and faculty member of Arrowmont School, Tennessee, John C.Campell, North Carolina and The Alabama Art Education Center, Cunningham is in high demand for her creative workshops and expressive presentations. She happily shares the knowledge gathered in over 50 years before the easel and judges art competitions throughout the region. Jean Cocteau expressed Nan's philosophy nicely, "Art is not a past time but a priesthood."]

Mayan Awakening - SOLD!
My piece, "Cancer" - Best of Show
I thought the show was strong this year, and there were several pieces that I really liked. One (of many) was a very impressionistic painting of and old barn, which was framed in barn wood. Another was a relief sculpture type deal with raised cedar panels that represented a monarch butterfly wing. Very nice. I have done some wood/fossil shell mosaics, and this made me want to do more with that. 

my Inquisitive Fish below a beautiful painting of a barn
cool butterfly 
Joseph with a couple of friends at the juried show
After the awards ceremony, I headed to one of the stages to hear Joseph sing in the Starkville High Choir. Man, they sounded great! Lots of talented singers! Good music abounded at the festival with the likes of Bill Cooke and many others. Multiple stages were set up, so I could not hear everything, but I definitely enjoyed what I heard. 

some of the SHS choir
With the festival being held in conjunction with Super Bulldog Weekend, and with the beautiful weather, there were thousands of attendees, and many seemed to be buying. Artsits with booths did very well today.

a view of the festival
We hung all afternoon looking at art and listening to music and poetry. Joseph helped man a booth for a club he is in called Operation Smile. They are raising money for cleft palette research. Members of the club had made hand crafted gift items, such as magnets, bookmarks, and other similar items. They raised quite a bit of money! 

Operation Smile - Mrs. Wilson, Joseph, Julie MacGown, and Emily Damm
After the festival, we headed to the MSU Amphitheater to listen to a band we like called Cage the Elephant. I saw a couple of my high school classmates, Jeanne Butler and Patty George (now Permenter) who were in town for the Super Bulldog Weekend. Hung out with them, and  several thousand college aged students. Joseph quickly found his friends and I did not see any more of him during the concert. After three early bands, Cage the Elephant performed. Very cool. Lots of energy. That singer dude was a trip! Danced around like a leprechaun on crack. Love their music, and aside from the several thousand drunk or otherwise affected students, it was a a great concert! 

Great day! Lots of art and music from sunup to almost midnight. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

West Point Art Walk 2013

folks outside at the Art Walk
Had a great time at the Art Walk in West Point, MS on Saturday (April 13th)! This was a superb idea. Numerous artists were showing off their art inside and in front of various businesses in downtown West Point. I had mine in the office of Gallaway, Chandler, and McKinney Insurance on Commerce Street. Joining me at that business was Brooke Pettit, who does brightly colored painting, and Melody Vydas (, who does beautiful glass jewelry. Our host was Lisa Klutts, who also had some of her art for folks to see and/or buy. Lisa is a character for sure and a real go-getter. She seems to have her hands in everything in West Point. As of late, she is the driving force behind the Prairie Arts Festival, which is held every September. West Point recently acknowledged her wonderful work by voting her Citizen of the Year!! 

Lisa Klutts
Brooke Pettit
Yep, Awesome day in West Point. Met some really cool people and saw lots of folks that I already knew. Got some great reactions from people viewing my art and had some interesting conversations. I mostly brought prints, but also had two originals with me. Pretty good day with the prints, definitely worth the trip to West Point.

Me and a cool grandmother
Shelby Steelhammer, Courtney Hill, Eric Merkle, and Devon Bise (guys might not be in the right order)