Art, music and food converge at Natchez bluff May 21

Published 12:05 am Sunday, May 15, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Marina Cavette’s watercolor painting of the gazebo at the Natchez Bluff, above, is featured on Art and Soul posters this year and will be for sale at Art and Soul on May 21.

NATCHEZ — An eclectic spread of handmade fine art and fine crafts will be on display and for sale at the sixth annual Art and Soul event on the Natchez bluff Saturday.

But it won’t be just visual art. Music, food, beer and a Miss-Lou Idol youth talent show make the event accessible to people of all ages, interests and tastes.

At least 20 local and visiting artists have registered to display and sell their creations so far, and the planning committee will still accept artist applications though Thursday.

Email newsletter signup

While the event is designed to be lighthearted, the artistic standards of Art and Soul, which benefits the Natchez Downtown Development Association, are high.

“It’s fine art and fine crafts,” said artist and committee member Sálongo Lee. “Nothing manufactured, no crafts and no kits.”

Lee, owner of Sálongo’s Art LLC, is providing graphic design services for the Art and Soul tee shirt and creating the staff, artist and volunteer badges.

Artist and committee member Marina Cavette will sell her watercolor miniature originals of birds, bayous, churches, flora, fauna and a special painting of the gazebo on the Natchez bluff — an image that represents Art and Soul on the poster this year.

“We are hoping a lot of people come out for Art and Soul, especially to participate,” she said.

Chris Cavette, Marina’s husband, will sell his albums and perform his songs, which he describes as modern folk rock with country flair.

“I’ll be playing feel-good songs and classics at the gazebo,” Chris said.

The Cavettes’ booth will be a family affair, as they will sell jewelry designed by their daughter, Lexi, and stunning crosses by Marina’s sister, Carmen Gavette.

Burnley Cook will open Art and Soul at 9 a.m., playing his calliope. A calliope is an organ-like musical instrument that produces sound through whistles. Organizers of Art and Soul think the calliope is the perfect feature to start the day on the bluff, since its unique sound harkens to the days when riverboats and trains were the main modes of transportation.

“We imagine people gravitated to the river when they heard the calliope,” Yvonne Murray, director of Art and Soul, said.

Murray said there will be attractions for children too, besides the talent show. A space-jumper and snowcone stand will be available.

“Paul Melancon will be cooking up some mighty good Cajan food,” Murray said. “He will be serving jambalaya by the bowl, barbecue plates with of chicken, baked beans, and jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, hamburgers and hot dogs, soft drinks, beer and water.”

Murray said the public should check out Art and Soul because it’s a celebration of the arts in Mississippi. She said four state craftsmans guild artists will show and sell their work.

“Make a day of it,” Murray said. “Bring your lawn chair, listen to the music, have lunch and shop.”

Lee agreed.

“Bring your family out instead of staying at home watching TV,” Lee said.

Spronsors are Fat Mama’s Tamales, Natchez Fine Framing and Art Gallery, Sálongo’s Art LLC, Brodeur Gallery, Shameca A. Collins Law Office, PLLC and Art by l.c.g.graphgics.

To register as an artist, or to get more information, contact Murray at 601-238-8325 or Terry Roddy at 601-720-2525.