Art show debuts at convention center today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; The Natchez Art Show opens at 7 p.m. today at the Natchez Convention Center to showcase works by Natchez artists and many others from the region.

For Natchez artist Barbara Kaiser, who only in recent years has begun to paint, the show is an exciting opportunity to put work on display and to see what others in the area are doing.

&uot;This will be my first time to show my art,&uot; said Kaiser, whose photographs, on the other hand, are widely known, both from her work at The Natchez Democrat in past years and her private pursuits of photography.

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As a member of the Natchez Art Guild, Kaiser has received encouragement in pursuing her painting. &uot;I want to encourage other people,&uot; she said. &uot;I hear so many people say, ‘I can’t paint, and I don’t have any talent,’ but they do and they can find it.&uot;

Kaiser said many people suppress desires to pursue something like painting as they move through the busiest years of their lives with school, young families and work responsibilities.

&uot;Sometimes you are near retirement age when you realize you want to try something like this.&uot;

She found herself drawn to painting in just that way. &uot;I’ve always liked to be creative but never thought I had talent. It’s a gradual process. And you have to have the desire to do it and to stick with it.&uot;

Sharon Goodrich organized the art event, pulling out memories of her California childhood. &uot;We went to art shows the year around. My parents thought it was very important.&uot;

Goodrich called on Kaiser and other members of the Natchez Art Guild for advice and assistance. The show has come together well, with artists of different mediums expressing interest.

&uot;We’ll receive the art Friday from 11 to 5 at the convention center,&uot; Goodrich said. &uot;Artists should have their work ready to be displayed and sold.&uot;

The Friday opening, billed as patron’s night, will be 7 to 9 p.m., providing a preview of the work and an opportunity to have first choice at purchasing works. Artists will be on hand to talk to patrons, as well.

&uot;We’ll serve wine and cheese,&uot; Goodrich said. &uot;Tickets for Friday night are $25.&uot; Tickets are available at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center

but also will be available at the door.

On Saturday, the art show will continue 1 to 5 p.m., with a $5 entrance fee.

&uot;We’re also going to have a contest to name the show,&uot; Goodrich said. &uot;We’ll have a big box for suggestions.&uot;

Goodrich and others who have been involved in organizing the show believe Natchez can be an excellent center for art shows.

&uot;The response has been good and from multi-media artists, including pottery, metal, stained glass, oil, pastels and water color,&uot; Goodrich said.

&uot;As we grow and establish a reputation, we hope to have artists from a five-state area take part.&uot;

Kaiser said the Natchez Art Guild welcomes new members and offers not only encouragement but a good place to paint. &uot;It takes a lot of practice, just like piano, for instance. We have a big room with wonderful light at the (Margaret Martin) Performing Arts Center where we paint.&uot;

Like Goodrich, she sees potential for Natchez to become a center for artists. &uot;We have everything we could want to become an art community,&uot; she said.