As the weather warms and the flowers bloom, festivals abound, and art is abundant. I am continuously reminded of the breadth and depth of artistic talent in Mississippi as I travel to towns and cities around the state to see the goings-on of artistic communities.
I recently had the pleasure of witnessing the unveilings of two beautiful pieces of art in Brookhaven and Oxford. The Lincoln County Library has successfully started and continues to grow a fine art collection for the public to enjoy. MAC’s Dille Fund for Art Acquisition recently made possible their purchase of two paintings: one by Stephen Scott Young, Out Island Sloops and another by Dean Mitchell, Farm Road. Thanks to a gift from the Perkins family, the library recently added a Marie Hull painting, Portal to the City, Cordes, France, this past April.
In Oxford, William Dunlap’s Meditations on the Origins of Agriculture in America was recently unveiled at the University of Mississippi amid a conference centered on the notion and importance of place in art and literature. Many of our state’s most accomplished artists and writers attended and shared their thoughts on the mystique and effect of our landscape on the human psyche and how it informs our creative endeavors, among other things. William Dunlap’s piece was purchased in part using MAC’s Dille Fund.
The Dille Fund for Visual Art Acquisition is a special initiative MAC offers from time to time to enhance collections at Mississippi museums, arts organizations, and cultural institutions. Thanks to the generosity of Avery B. Dille Jr., who bequeathed funds to the MAC for the purpose of visual art acquisition, high quality artwork is now on display in spaces across the state for the public to enjoy. To ensure the sustainability of the fund, MAC offers the grant periodically, based on the health/level of the fund. We are encouraged by the results of the first round of Dille grant funding, and we hope to offer it again to eligible organizations in a few years.
At MAC, springtime is grants season. We were very pleased to receive many worthy applications this year. All grant panels have now taken place and if you applied for a grant this spring, you should receive information about funding decisions on or about July 1.
Speaking of grants, Minigrants for individual artists and organizations are now open. Apply before June 3 for up to $500 (individual) or $1,000 (organization). Schools and organizations can use a Minigrant to hire one of MAC’s Roster Artists to perform or teach a workshop. These grants can offer lots of possibilities!
Thanks for all that each of you do in your own way, large and small, to further the arts and creativity in our state.
All photos in this post are courtesy of Bill Perkins. Thanks, Bill!