Mommy and Me painting class offered at SCHCPublished 12:00am Sunday, May 11, 2014
Coast naturalist and artist Walter Anderson’s works have been shown all over the world and reproduced by countless artists since his death in 1965, but his works probably were never copied like the work performed by the teams of artists who gathered Saturday at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center.
The center’s art room was occupied by mothers and their children and one father-daughter team for “Mommy and Me,” a special art program to bring mothers and their children together for a morning of art and quality time.
SCHC executive director Stacey Massey said the program was a suggestion by one of the heritage foundation board members.
“It seems fitting that it came on the weekend of Mother’s Day,” she said,
She said foundation business manager Angie Wilkinson contacted Nancy Mitchell, a retired art teacher who taught at Warren Central High School and occasionally comes to Vicksburg from her home in Oxford to teach art classes, “and Nancy put the program together.”
“We’re teaching the mothers and their children to paint in the style of Walter Anderson,” Mitchell said. “I’m also teaching them who Walter Anderson is, and about color theory.”
Born in 1903 in New Orleans, Anderson was a longtime resident of Ocean Springs. He was known for his watercolors, ink drawings, linoleum block prints, and murals.
He also spent a lot of time on Horn Island, which is off the coast in the Mississippi Sound.
Copies of two of his works — paintings of a fish and a crab — were on display Saturday to be admired and copied by the young artists and their mothers.
“It’s something we’re able to do together,” said Chloe Thames, who was working with her daughter Frances, 10. “It’s something to do on Mother’s Day weekend, and I’ve known Nancy for a long time.”
Frances Archer said the program gave her a chance to share an interest of her 10-year-old daughter, Marykatherine.
“She loves to paint. I think she’s a better artist than me,” Archer said as she filled in a line on her fish. Marykatherine was handling the crab.
For Judy Nussbaum, Saturday gave her a chance to do something she never gets to do.
“I never get to paint,” she said, adding her son Matthew Turnage, 10, paints all the time, and attends children’s art classes at the center.
She was working on her rendition of one of Anderson’s fish. “I got the simpler project. I’m just not the artistic type,” she said.
Bridgett Hunt and her son Richard, 7, were working on their painting in the style of a mural. Instead keeping a space between their canvases like the other participants, they put them together.
“We really haven’t had much time to do things together because of school,” she said. “This is a wonderful way for us to get together and get away from everything. We needed some down time. Something for just the two of us.”
“My mom is the best,” Richard said. “She’s really great. I wouldn’t trade her for anything, even a big box of Legos. (and) I like Legos a lot.”