Local artist receives art commission award

Published 12:22 am Sunday, September 16, 2007

NATCHEZ — Natchez artist Conner Burns has been awarded a $4,000 award/grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

The award is one of the few awards given to individual artists and is awarded based on quality of artwork. The intention of the award is to help support training and professional development or to help underwrite the costs of creating new works of exceptional quality. Artists fellowships are highly competitive.

“I am thankful to be awarded this honor by the Mississippi Arts Commission,” Burns said. “I appreciate this opportunity and will use this award to further my progress on some specific techniques that I have been exploring”

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The Mississippi Arts Commission stated that “The arts in Mississippi depend heavily upon the state’s individual artists. The Arts Commission represents the interests of artists in many disciplines. As a result of the Mississippi Arts Commission’s most recent strategic plan, the agency created a distinct goal aimed at recognizing and encouraging Mississippi Artists.”

This award/grant is a portion of the $1 million in grants the commission will award in 2007-2008. Burns will use his award/grant to further develop the knowledge and resources to produce larger scale artwork. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment of the Arts.

“The individual artists across the state continue to offer their support to prove the value of arts in Mississippi. Their participation in local events and activities helps to insure the economic success of their community. The Mississippi Arts Commission is proud to support their efforts,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC.

The commission is a state agency that serves more that 1.7 million Mississippians through grants that support programs to enhance Mississippi communities: assist artists and arts organizations: promote the arts in education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. Established in 1968, the Mississippi Arts Commission is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wallace Foundation and other private sources. The commission is the official grants making and service agency for the arts in Mississippi.

Burns is a local artist and owner of Natchez Clay, located at 209 Franklin St. In addition to work as an artist, participating in art festivals and curating a gallery. Burns operates a teaching studio where he holds classes for all levels and hosts workshops.

The gallery of Burns includes Burns’ work and selected work from special guest artists. Burns’ artwork has been featured in books about teapots, pitchers, bowls, cups and glazes and has received awards from galleries, art festivals, national clay organizations and national arts associations. Burns makes clay vessels that are single fired and glazed with natural glazes that are subtle in both color and texture. His work is organic and his intent is to have each piece look as if it ‘grew that way’ rather than something that was made. Burns’ work is exhibited widely and is in collections across Europe, Asia and the United States.

For information, contact Conner Burns, 209 Franklin St., Natchez, MS 39120, 601-446-6334, www.connerburns.com.