I just realized I forgot to finish my blog post about my trip to Jackson to see the Raoul Dufy exhibit. My mom and sister were supposed to meet me in Jackson on Sunday and we were going to go together to the exhibit. That morning, I think, I got another call, saying that my nephew had advanced another level in his Little League tournament. Therefore, he had another game that morning, at 9:30. That meant that not only were my companions going to be leaving later, but they would be leaving from Carencro, LA – which is even farther away than Covington.
No problem. I had already slept in, and made the decision to get up and go ahead of them. That way, I would make sure I saw everything I wanted to, and then I could just follow them around when (or if) they got there.
I got my stuff together and drove to downtown Jackson and located the museum. Since it didn’t open until noon, I went out to find a place to eat. There’s not much in the way of restaurants in downtown Jackson, especially on a Sunday morning. I drove around the HUGE Mississippi State Fairgrounds, and through a picturesque gentrifying neighborhood (Belhaven Heights) before finding a Waffle House and deciding to eat there.
Before my trip to Jackson, I had asked my father if he had any advice – he lived south of Jackson in a little town called Osyka. So I figured he’d been to Jackson. His advice was to approach the city with an armed contingent. Apparently, my father thinks that Jackson is dangerous. This from a man who has traveled all around New Orleans and Houston and Atlanta – all three cities much bigger than Jackson. He just said to stay away from the bad parts of town after dark.
This Waffle House was on the periphery of the Downtown area, and I was joking around with my waitress (a college student) about my father’s pronouncement. She said, “Oh, this area is fine in the daytime…” Okay. Not long after that, suddenly two men started yelling at each other – cursing and challenging each other to a fight. The management got them settled down and send the angrier man outside, where he waited, furious, gesturing the other guy to come out and join him for a fight. We really don’t know the cause of the disagreement, but my waitress said, “Well, now you have something to tell you dad about!”
From there, I returned to the peace and quiet of the Mississippi Museum of Art. I paid my entry fee, and the kind people told me that I could leave and return if I wanted to without paying again for that day. I really took my time – there are two ongoing exhibits at the museum as well as the Dufy exhibit. I really enjoyed the Mississippi Story exhibit, which included works by Mississippi artists, as well as art about Mississippi.
I learned a lot about some artists that I had never heard of – I especially liked the work of Walter Anderson. Apparently, there is a museum in Ocean Springs, MS, with his work and an entire room of his house with painted walls. I will have to go there next time I’m in that area. His work is fabulous, and he apparently worked in many media, including watercolor, linocut, and clay (?).
In addition to Walter Anderson’s work, I was flabbergasted at the larger-than-life representational works of Glenray Tutor. It says on his site that he is a photorealist. His still life works are filled with all sorts of beautiful ordinary things like firecracker wrappers, marbles, candy, toys, bottles, Mason Jars – you just have to go to his website to see it for yourself.
There was one work by Lea Barton called Yellow Dog – it was a mixed media collage and had a picture of Jesus on it, so of course it caught my attention. It was inspirational to see because it was a large work, and I am trying to envision larger pieces for my own artwork. I went to her website, where there is a YouTube interview with the artist.
By the time my mother and sister arrived, I had spent about 2 1/2 hours in the museum and was going through the gift shop. I loved the Dufy exhibit – his body of work is so vast and colorful! I especially loved his woodcuts from Bestiaire, by Guillaume Apollinaire. I am definitely going to buy a copy! He was also the illustrator for an Alphonse Daudet book called Les Aventures Prodigieuses de Tartarin de Tarascon (I think). Here is a copy of an English translation of the book. Here is where you can buy a French version. Neither seem to have Dufy’s illustrations. Apparently a copy of that would cost a LOT.
It’s 11:00 and time to get up and do stuff!