VAA kicksoff 37th annual MS art show

Published 6:46 pm Sunday, November 12, 2017

By Gabrielle Terrett

The Vicksburg Post

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The Vicksburg Art Association kicked off its 37th annual Mississippi Artist Exhibition Saturday at the Old Continental Firehouse.

The event displayed art from different media such as fiber, mixed media, watercolor, acrylic and more. Each group was awarded a first, second and third place winner, along with a few honorable mentions. Every piece in the show was up for sale Saturday and many were purchased less than 30 minutes into the opening of the show at 7 p.m.

From paintings, to drawings, to fiber pieces, the event took off as patrons and artists entered to view the pieces.

“This is absolutely a great way to get my fiancées artwork out as well as to see other artists and see what they’re working on,” said Elissa Yates a patron at the show. “My favorite part is seeing a lot of great people that we see at the Attic Gallery or that we see at other places. This is just a good way for the art community to get together”

Jean Blue said that she had been a part of the Vicksburg Art Association for years and has always contributed towards the art exhibition.

“I’ve been a member of the art association for 50 years, I’m one of the senior members and I’m in charge of the firehouse gallery maintenance so I’m very actively involved in the art association and I also paint. I have a few paintings in the show,” said Blue. “Since I was a young child, I just always loved crayons and pencils and new art supplies. I did not have any formal training in high school, but I did major in art and got a degree in fine arts from MUW (Mississippi University for Women).”

The art show was for experienced artists such as Blue, as well as artists who have just begun.

“I call the show non-threatening because if you’re a novice painter I think you would feel comfortable showing your work,” said Blue. “I think it’s a great way to get your art out there.”

Shortly after the artwork was viewed, the director of the event, Randy Jolly, announced the best in show winner. However, the winners name was not revealed until after the judge’s comments were read.

As everyone gathered around to hear who the winner of the Best of Show prize was, the tension in the air intensified. Once the winner, Jean Blue, was announced, there was a burst of excitement in the room.  Blue won the award for one of her many pieces in the art show labeled “Mixed Messages.”

The judge was certain to carefully select each category’s winners going so far as to study some pieces for more than 30 minutes, Jolly said.

“This is one of the largest shows we’ve had in a couple of years,” said Jolly. “ We have 132 pieces in the show. I don’t know exactly how many artists but there’s more than normal.”

Each of the 132 pieces will be available to view until 4 p.m. Wednesday. Doors will open at 10 a.m. Tuesday and close at 6 p.m. but it will open back up at 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. for judge’s comments.

The exhibit will be open Wednesday at 10 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. Artists, patrons and all citizens of Vicksburg are welcome to view and purchase artwork at the Old Continental Firehouse, 1204 Main Street.

“ I think it’s very exciting to see young new artists, and artists from out of town come in,” said Jolly.