Focused on Mississippi: Mississippi Art Colony

Focused on Mississippi

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Art Colony is wrapping up the first biannual workshop since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

They’ve been doing this all week; staking out their place in one of the lodges at Lake Tiak-O’Khata near Louisville. The Mississippi Art Colony started out nearly 75 years ago at Allison’s Wells Resort north of Canton. The group has met regularly since then. There’s about a hundred members today. Nearly half of them were at this week’s retreat. It is a week of intense concentration.

“We basically do what we do best and that is create and paint, but we also share amongst ourselves. And we also are supported by a guest artist,” said Kim Whitt, director of the Mississippi Art Colony.

This session, the guest artists is Moe Brooker from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He’s been painting for more than 60 years and has a lot of insight. The way I get it, he sees his role as more of a guide than a teacher.

“I’m trying to show them what their vision happens to be. What I don’t want to do is say, ‘This is the way you are suppose to do it.’ Not at all. I look at their work, and we talk about what they want to do, and I try to find ways to help them get to that point,” said Brooker.

Brooker said there’s one thing that every artist needs to have before they start; and this could go for writers and musicians, too.

“And that is, have an idea and have a vision, and you will learn from each failure that goes on. Don’t worry about whether it doesn’t work initially, because it won’t. But with each failure you grow,” he said.

Visualize the finished product in your head before you ever put it on paper, and if the actuality doesn’t match the vision, figure out why and try again. That’s why these folks meet twice a year; to keep figuring out how to actualize their life of coming up with continual visions. 

The Mississippi Art Colony has a Facebook page where you can go see some of their work.

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