One of Mississippi’s most colorful characters is finally coming home. George Wardlaw will be on hand for the opening of an exhibit of his work at The Mississippi Museum of Art this Friday.

Painter, sculptor, teacher. George Wardlaw has worn all those hats, quite well over his long career. Much of that time was in the Northeast. First in the New York art scene, then gradually all the way up to coast of Maine.

George Wardlaw came of age as an artist after a stint in the Navy in World War II. His painting and sculpture reflect an abstract chronology of post war America. The color filled movement is here in all its indelible glory.

Betsy Bradley is the Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art. She says, ” So he really has taken this sense of, how do I work with color and shape and texture in an abstract way to convey the emotional impact that comes with pattern and rhythm and hard edges.”

A hard edge honed in the Northeast, but the seeds of his genius were planted on a farm in depression era, Baldwin, Mississippi.

Betsy Bradley continues, ” So much of his career was spent, has been spent in New York and New England, that Mississippi people don’t necessarily know about him, but he is very much a Mississippian at heart, and he is thrilled to be coming home for this exhibition.”

The Mississippi Museum of Art has had some of his works in its collection for a while now, but nothing as in depth as this exhibit.

Betsy Bradley sums it up,” If you want your collection of Mississippi art to really reflect that the state has produced, then you need to know about George Wardlaw.” .

The Wardlaw exhibit will remain on display until August 30. Here’s a fun fact, for about 15 years George Wardlaw only painted apples. Apples, like you’ve never seen them before, are part of his exhibit in Jackson.