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George Wardlaw: “A Life’s Work in the Agony and Sweat of the Human Spirit”

Part 3 in our series on featured artist George Wardlaw, whose work is on view in George Wardlaw, A Life in Art: 1954-2014.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), William Faulkner, 1947, gelatin silver print.

The famous William Faulkner was another national icon who lived in Oxford during the same time with George Wardlaw. Faulkner had already published The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), and several more of his best novels at the time. Wardlaw related to Faulkner’s writing because he described a way of life that was familiar to him. Wardlaw said “as a Mississippi artist, Faulkner’s ideals expressed were inspirational and represented strong and significant values.” He added, “ones that I hoped would be possible to apply to my own life’s work.”

Wardlaw described Faulkner as “a bigger than life hero for me, his 1950 acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for literature had almost biblical status for me. While living in Oxford I saw Faulkner frequently but I never had the courage to speak to him.” Wardlaw still likes to...

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Posted on Friday, June 26, 2015 by MMA

Glass Work

By Mary Rogers, Marketing/Public Relations Intern

As the Marketing/Public Relations intern this summer, one of the most exciting aspects of my experience at the museum is connecting with local artists who allow their work to be featured here at MMA. This past week, Julian Rankin, Marketing Director, and I headed over to Pearl River Glass Studio, located in Midtown, to experience the use of glass as an expressive, legitimate medium. Founded in 1975 by Andrew Cary Young, Pearl River Glass Studio now produces projects in Stained Glass, Kiln-fired Glass, and the Decorative Arts, all in addition to hosting shows of local artists.

After arriving at Pearl River Glass Studio, we were greeted and shown around by Lacy Barger, one of the artists of PRGS. After a brief introduction and a look around the gallery, Lacy took us through the studio, which is where the magic happens, telling us that there is a “whole other world going on,” and she was completely right. We went from a room full of finished pieces to being in the midst of the creative processes that happen...

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Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 by MMA

George Wardlaw: A Blossoming Career in Oxford

Part 2 in our series on featured artist George Wardlaw, whose work is on view in George Wardlaw, A Life in Art: 1954-2014.

Wardlaw’s career continued to blossom in the early 1950’s when he joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi to teach silver and jewelry making classes and enrolled in the school’s MFA program. Also during this time, Wardlaw embraced the opportunity to work with two nationally recognized visiting artists, Jack Tworkov and David Smith during their tenures in Oxford. (Tworkov lived across the street from Wardlaw) He learned their advanced techniques and theories, immersed his self in their art and visions, and expanded his understanding in American Art.

David Smith, recognized for his highly acclaimed skills working with steel, once stated about sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art; “metal possesses little art history, what associations it does possess are those of this century; power, structure, movement, progress, suspension, brutality.” He explained why he personally moved his sculptures and equipment to Mississippi in his own truck. Smith’s process, studio work ethic, and attitude toward sculpting,...

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Posted on Friday, June 12, 2015 by MMA

Face/Paint - Art Preserving Life (VIDEO)

Portrait artist Jason Bouldin paints longtime Museum employee Melvin Johnson. Johnson joins high school classmate and fellow 30-year veteran L.C. “Tee” Tucker in the Museum’s permanent collection.

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Posted on Monday, June 8, 2015 by MMA

New Collectors Club - Liz Hulsey

Some may be put off by the idea of a “New Collector’s Club” by thinking that being a collector also means having a big budget. However, Tuesday’s club meeting at Liz Hulsey’s home proved that perception wrong. Standing in front of two Matisse’s in her foyer, she said “anyone can begin art collecting. I began in my twenties by using my tax return checks and continued buying a piece of art every year until it became a hobby.” Now, she has more than seventy pieces from Mississippi artists as well as others found throughout her travels. Her collection is varied, showcasing works by Charles Carraway, Kathy Hegman, Jack Spencer, TL Lang, and Ellen Langford, as well as Rembrandt and Matisse, to name a few.

Hulsey shared that her favorite piece was a dear gift from her brother, painted by Charles Carraway, whose work she’s collected for twenty years. She said, “it was of a christening gown, and when I opened it I began to cry, because at the time no one knew I was pregnant.” Today it hangs at the...

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Posted on Friday, May 22, 2015 by MMA

Memorial Day Commemorations at MMA

On Monday, May 25th - Memorial Day - the Museum joins the City of Jackson and other partnering organizations for the “We are Jackson” Family Day on the Green. This event, held on the BankPlus Green in The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art, features food, drink, entertainment, volunteer drive, and live performance, all in commemoration of the sacrifices made by brave service men and women. The event runs from noon - 5 PM and is free to the public. The family fun includes space jumps, a video game truck, face painting, balloon animals, food trucks, and free screenings at Davis Planetarium.

Typically closed on Mondays, the Museum is opening from noon - 5 PM in conjunction with the community gathering. It is also the first day of the Museum’s participation in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day, May 25, 2015 through Labor Day,...

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Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 by MMA

Museum After Hours - Electric Dagger Tattoo

By Public Relations Coordinator, Sarah Crites

The entrance to the Electric Dagger Tattoo is lined with bursts of bright colored, “flash” designs. Visitors are greeted with these flashes, which I learned are a collection of signature designs representing the work of tattoo artists from around the world.

Studio owner Jason Thomas displays his collection, which he acquired while traveling or by trading his own art. Thomas describes an era when tattooing was still becoming an art by saying that “back in the day tattoo artists would paint their own tattoo signs called flash to go on the wall and people like sailors would pick through them.” He highlighted pieces in his collection from Hawaii, Denmark, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Japan, each created during different decades, some reaching as far back as the 1950’s. Thomas explains his execution as “taking vintage design and recreating it,” describing his style as “illustrated American traditional.”

The Museum After Hours pop up exhibition on Thursday, May 21, will showcase Electric Dagger Tattoo’s authentically modern flash art, as well as work that the artists pursue...

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Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2015 by MMA

Andy Young and the Parable of the Pothole Machine

​Andrew Cary Young, President of Pearl River Glass Studio, is a devoted Jacksonian. His studio in Midtown Jackson is a mainstay of the community, and the art he and his team produce brings light into spaces of all kinds, from churches to the Museum’s own Art Garden. Young might sometimes feign sardonic curmudgeonry, but he is, indeed, a self-described optimist, and his work throughout Jackson and beyond lays claim to his passion for the place he calls home.

Optimism, though mystical in its power to alter consciousness and inspire, falls short of some practical applications; namely, fixing potholes. Young does not like potholes, a viewpoint he shares with many in the city. And while some sections of Jackson’s streets are being freshly paved, perhaps as we speak, there is a well-publicized history of the havoc wreaked by infamous Yazoo clay on the municipal infrastructure. Recently, Young took to the drawing board with satire in mind and designed a Seuss-o-industrial blueprint for a pothole machine to relieve the city’s woes. He had plans to translate this design into a large scale rendering,...

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Posted on Friday, May 8, 2015 by MMA

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