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Monday, May 4, 2015

"Old Friends/New Friends" Exhibit Opens at the Mississippi Library Commission

The Mississippi Library Commission is hosting a two-month exhibition by Mississippi artists Mary Lane Reed, Steven Moppert, Laura Tarbutton, and Jackie Messer. The exhibit, entitled “Old Friends/New Friends," opens Monday, May 4, and continues through Monday, June 29, 2015. An opening reception is set for Thursday, May 28, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Mississippi Library Commission, which is located at 3881 Eastwood Drive off Eastover Drive on the grounds of the Education and Research Center in Jackson.

Old friends, Mary Lane Reed, Steve Moppert, and Laura Tarbutton, met at Art Supply Headquarters in the 1980s. Jackie Messer, the new friend, joined the friendship eight years ago. All four will share the Library Commission’s venue to display their work.

Portrait artist Mary Lane Reed was smitten by art at the age of five. Her father stood her in a window to watch a rare Mississippi snowfall and asked her to draw a picture of the scene. She promptly complied and never stopped drawing after that.

Her approach to the creation of art is direct and intuitive. She feels the tone of the painting should be determined by the personality of the subject. The backgrounds of her oil portraits may be interior scenes or outdoor settings. She enjoys the painting challenges of both, but admits a bias for the outdoors. "I love the challenge of capturing dappled sunlight," said Reed.

Steve Moppert, also a portrait artist and winner of the National Portrait Competition Grand Prize for Best in Show in 1981, will share the Library Commission’s venue with Reed. Moppert has successfully balanced an active career as a portrait artist with one as a painter of landscapes, still lifes, and figurative works for more than 45 years. Always holding himself to the highest standards both in the polishing of his skills and production of his work, he has consistently attained distinction in the mastery of his art.

Moppert’s paintings are included in the permanent collections of the Governor’s Mansion, the state historical museum, Mississippi College, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and the Louisiana State University Medical Center. His subjects have included leading educators, scientists, physicians, and clergymen. His paintings have been featured in Colorado Homes and Lifestyles, Mississippi Magazine, and International Artist Magazine.

Artisans Laura Tarbutton's and Jackie Messer's works complement each other. Tarbutton began The Beach House Studio with a group of friends who loved to create beautiful jewelry. “I love to create beautiful and unique jewelry from various forms of metal." It gives her an outlet to express herself through the design and creation of her own jewelry. Tarbutton strives for an organic feel in her work--a feel where textures abound and her love of nature shines through. Textures, whether lamp work beads, PMC, pottery, enameled PMC and copper, or mixed media jewelry, are all prominent in her pieces. She fabricates jewelry using copper, fine silver, precious metal, clay, and enamels. Messer began chaining in 2007.“The shine of the silver got me hooked! I love how putting on one ring at a time can make such beautiful accessories!” she said.

The exhibit is open for viewing Monday through Friday from 8 5 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the general public. For additional information about the exhibit or the Mississippi Library Commission, call 601-432-4111 or email Gloria Washington.

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