IN HONOR OF FREEMAN The goal: ‘Artists on the street’

Published 11:43 am Thursday, January 19, 2012

An art festival on the streets around the Southern Cultural Heritage Center planned throughout the year should rival some of the nation’s best-known creative districts to highlight the life and work of Hobbs Freeman, executive director Annette Kirklin said Wednesday.

“I envision Jackson Square,” Kirklin said of the famed New Orleans venue as members of Vicksburg’s artistic community met to fill the schedule of events for the Hobbs Freeman Arts and Nature Celebration and Festival. “I want to see artists on the street.”

Freeman, a Fayette native, died in 2009 at 65. The multitalented artist and sculptor served on the boards of Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society and the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation, which governs the SCHC, and was a member of the Vicksburg Art Association. The center received a $24,200 grant from the National Park Service’s Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative to stage a series of nature-themed workshops and events to reflect Freeman’s passions.

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It kicks off Feb. 21 with a cooking workshop by local chef William Furlong in the center’s conference room with some of Freeman’s favorite herbs as its focus. Furlong is food and beverage manager at DiamondJacks Casino.

The Art Round the Center festival on Nov. 3 will be open to the public and feature works by local art vendors for sale and various musical performances. Event organizers have asked the city to close Cherry Street to offer the art fair more space, Kirklin said.

In between, Freeman’s paintings, jewelry and sculptures will be displayed March 5 through March 30 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the parlor of the old convent on the center’s grounds. Opera singer Lester Senter Wilson will perform in the chapel in April. The time and date is to be announced. In May, Lewis Decell will teach a seven-step chair-caning class. Dates are to be announced.

Other events in the works include photography workshops, sculpted art to highlight the Mississippi River and Vicksburg National Military Park and gardening activities. Children and adults may submit art for competitions planned after April 30.

Members of the center’s board, Vicksburg National Military Park, the Old Court House Museum, Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation and others in the Vicksburg arts community meet again Feb. 22 to round out more of the schedule.

If you go

Hobbs Freeman Arts and Nature Celebration and Festival events:

Feb. 21

• Cooking with Herbs, with William Furlong

• 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

March 5-30

• Hobbs Freeman Exhibit, in parlor of old convent

• 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.


• Lester Senter Wilson, concert in the chapel

• Date and time TBA


• Lewis Decell

• Seven steps to caning a chair

• Date and time TBA

Nov. 3

• Art Round the Center festival

• Times, details TBA