Artist Micheal Mabry was recently honored by a Fellowship Award from the Mississippi Arts Commission. Micheal Mabry: Revelations & Revelry, on display at the Ohr-OKeefe Museum of Art
through September 6, 2014, offers brightly painted Mississippi Delta scenes and realistic wildlife imagery, as well as a large book with 75 painted pages. Micheal Mabry now resides in Long Beach, MS, but is originally from Clarksdale in the Mississippi Delta region. Clarksdales rich agriculture and significance in the history of the blues provide Mabry with themes for his art.
The focal point of the exhibition is Eye of the Last Days, a large book (33 x 23) which is Mabrys interpretation of the Book of Revelations. Eye of the Last Days took Mabry over eight years to complete. The cover, containing an eye that opens and closes, is made of several types of tree bark collected by the artist. Different pages of the 75-page book are revealed each day.
Many of Mabrys other works depict people of his community engaged enjoying life together in front of the backdrop of a blues joint or café. His use of bright colors, often using primary colors as the focal point in his juke joint scenes, conveys fun and community spirit. Mabrys wildlife imagery, on the other hand, suggests a sense of realism, showing the versatility of the artist. Mabry stated, I always wanted to draw or paint, or even create something to catch a persons eye. Thats the kind of artist I am . . . I want to create something to catch your eye, something that you dont want to let go. According to Mabry, The things I saw as a child and wanted to paint, I am now, as a man, able to paint because these things have stuck with me . . . images such as how people live and how much fun they had. Mabry paints from his memory, never from photographs.
Other rotating exhibitions include June Ward: Passages and Possibilities and No Two Alike Ceramics Invitational. George Ohr: Prized, Honored & Cherished; George Edgar Ohr: Selections from Gulf Coast Collections; My House: The Pleasant Reed Story; and The Native Guard: A Photographic History of Ship Islands African American Regiment continue as permanent exhibitions.
The Ohr-OKeefe Museum of Art is located at 386 Beach Boulevard in Biloxi, Mississippi.