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Mississippi Museum of Art Announces New Exhibition
Dusti Bongé, Bananas. Courtesy of the Dusti Bongé Foundation, Biloxi.

JACKSON, MI.- The Mississippi Museum of Art presents “American Masters of the Mississippi Gulf Coast , ” a traveling exhibition organized by the Mississippi Arts Commission , featuring works by Mississippi Gulf Coast natives George Ohr , Dusti Bongé , Walter Anderson , and Richmond Barthé. The exhibition is on view through July 12 , 2009.

The exhibition is underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and is the second in a series highlighting the cultural contributions of historic Mississippi personas in art , literature , theatre , and dance. William P. Andrews , gallery director with Mississippi State University ’s Department of Art , serves as the project coordinator for the exhibition , which will have visited nine venues across Mississippi between August 2008 and January 2010.

Locally , “American Masters of the Gulf Coast ” is sponsored by the law firm of Baker , Donelson , Bearman , Caldwell & Berkowitz , PC. William S. Painter , managing shareholder of the Firm's Jackson office , states , “Our Firm is grateful for the opportunity to support this unique presentation. The work by these renowned Mississippi artists is a vivid reminder to us of the Gulf Coast ’s natural beauty , humanity , and spirit.”

The Mississippi Museum of Art’s deputy director for programs , Dan Piersol , explains , “This exhibition reveals to the viewer that these remarkable Gulf Coast artists were marching to the drumbeat of modernism , but that each was following his or her individual path. Their individual aesthetic philosophies and concepts are certainly avant-garde and progressive and , more important , their creative visions and means to achieve them are so diverse and absolutely singular.”

Additionally , the Mississippi Arts Commission , the Starkville Area Arts Council , and MSU Department of Art are publishing a 104 page , full-color , hardback catalogue on the lives of the artists and artworks included in the exhibition. Noted Mississippi historian Patti Carr Black is lending her expertise to the project by serving as exhibition curator and editor of the accompanying catalogue , which will be available for purchase in The Museum Store , among other venues. The catalogue was designed by MSU Department of Art Graphic Design Professor Rebecca Davis-Kelly.

“It is a privilege for the Mississippi Arts Commission to partner in this rare and remarkable project that honors and recognizes these gifted Mississippians through the American Masterpieces Initiative , ” said Malcolm White , MAC executive director. “Through this exhibition and publication , we hope to offer a thoughtful and respective view of these legendary visual artists who drew life and inspiration from our beloved Mississippi Gulf Coast .”

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