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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Art in the Library: Preview Party Two

The Mississippi Library Commission (MLC) and the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) partnered this year to showcase artists adjudicated through MAC's annual Visual Artist Fellowship Grant program. The exhibits, on display at MLC (3881 Eastwood Drive in Jackson), have featured some of Mississippi's finest artists.

The current exhibit, which runs through January 11, 2019, features seven pf the 2019 MAC Visual Arts Fellowship recipients. A special artist reception takes place Thursday, December 13, from 5-7 pm. MAC's Visual Artist Fellowship grant program honors Mississippi artists who demonstrate the ability to create outstanding work in their chosen field, including painting, sculpture, photography, and many other mediums. These grants are highly competitive - only a small number of applicants receive an award. Meet some of these folks below!

Rory Doyle is a working photographer based in Cleveland, Mississippi-the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Doyle is a recipient of a 2018 Visual Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission for his ongoing project on African American cowboys and cowgirls in the Delta. The project was featured in the Half King Photo Series in New York City in June 2018, along with a concurrent show in Harlem.

He was also recognized for the project by winning the photojournalism category at the 2018 EyeEm Awards in Berlin, Germany. Doyle's publication list includes The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Photo District News, The Atlantic, ESPN's The Undefeated, Getty Images, Financial Times, Yahoo News, and more. Born and raised in Maine, Doyle has lived in Mississippi since 2009.

Eric Huckabee was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1985 and grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where he currently lives and works. He earned his MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2011, and his BA from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2009.

His work has been exhibited across the eastern United States, including shows at Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia, Prince Street Gallery in New York, and at The Satellite Show Miami. In 2018 he was awarded an individual artist grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission. His work is included in the collection of Woodmere Art Museum. Huckabee has been featured in New American Paintings and is currently teaching drawing at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Betty Press never expected to be living in Mississippi. She grew up on a farm in rural Nebraska. After graduating from university, she traveled around the world for two years with her husband. In the 90's, she worked as a photojournalist for eight years in Africa. Because of this, she brings a singular perspective to her current photo project which documents the black and white culture in Mississippi. Recording "real life" in small communities throughout Mississippi with black-and-white film and toy and vintage cameras - the resulting imperfections, soft focus, and vignetting serve as metaphors for how landscape, race, and religion have played a part in the complicated history of Mississippi and still affect lives today.

She is well known for her photographs taken in Africa where she lived and worked in Kenya from 1987 to 1995 and in Sierra Leone in 2008-2009 while her husband was on a Fulbright scholarship. Now living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and retired from teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi, she continues to photograph in the South as well as in Africa, which she still considers her second home.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out yesterday's post collecting the rest of the artists who are showing their work at the Mississippi Library Commission, Charlie Buckley, Carolyn Busenlener, Rob Cooper, and Earl Dismuke! We look forward to seeing you Thursday, December 13, from 5-7 pm.

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