Attic Gallery celebrating 45 years with ‘Still Standing’ art show Friday

Published 9:51 am Thursday, October 6, 2016


Situated in the heart of downtown Vicksburg is the Attic Gallery, Mississippi’s longest running and owner-operated art gallery.

Brimming with art from floor to ceiling, the gallery itself could even be considered a piece of art.

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Gallery owner Lesley Silver opened her business in October 1971, and in celebration of its 45th anniversary, an art show entitled “Still Standing” will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at 1101 Washington St.

“It seemed to sum up our feelings about being able to continue doing what I love doing — bringing art and artists and people together in a very special place and sharing their energy and talent,” Silver said about the theme of the show.

With more than four decades of offering and infusing art into Vicksburg, Silver reminisced about her early days at the Attic Gallery and about it being first located above her former husbands retail store, Versil’s Gift and Bridal shop at 1406 Washington St.

“Has it really been 45 years since I walked up those steps into a dark attic where there was nothing on the walls and dirt on the floor?” Silver said.

“I remember sitting in the dimly lit hall and waiting for customers,” Silver said following the renovation of the attic space.

“At times I even wondered if it even made sense to work so hard to try to make an art gallery in a small southern town a reality. Was it worth the effort?” she asked.

Many may have said no, but Silver was unwavering and continued her endeavors.

Some of the first pieces she carried in the Attic Gallery were contemporary prints, she said.

“Our first work was so modern, but I came to realize that Mississippi has its own rhythms and styles, and the Attic should find them and help the world find them,” Silver said.

As the gallery continued to prove resilient, Silver said she eventually began to integrate local work into her gallery.

She added paintings by Vicksburg artists like Jean Blue, and she also became more aware and embracing of southern folk art like the works by Earl Simmons.

With the growing number of pieces by Mississippi and regional artists, the Attic Gallery’s atmosphere began to evolve, Silver said, taking on a more colorful and craft oriented character, but also reflecting her sensibilities.

“I have to connect with the work,” Silver said.

After 25 years at the 1406 address, the Attic Gallery made the move to its current location and is still offering art enthusiasts a place to come, browse and buy. Artists participating in the anniversary show will include Pat Abernathy, Lane Berg, Sam Biebers, Rhonda Blasingame, Jean Blue, Anne Campbell, Rob Cooper, Wendy Eddleman, Paul Fayard, Martha Ferris, Elayne Goodman, Mary Hardy, Cat Hegman, Kennith Humphrey, Will Jacks, Ellen Langford, Ron Lindsey, Lee McCarty, George Ann McCullough, Patt Odom, Becky Pate, Susie Ranager, Lesley Silver, Earl Simmons, James Smithhart, Laurin Stennis, Jamie Tate, Sarah Teasley and Lucy Hunnicut.

On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Laurin Stennis will be pulling linoleum block prints at the Attic Gallery and Ellen Langford will be painting.

All events are free. For more information, call 601-638-9221.