Natchez Art Association members seeking to build organization through classes
Published 12:05 am Sunday, November 16, 2014
The Natchez Art Association wants to turn Natchez into an artist-driven community.
The association — formed in 1971 by local artists hoping to support and promote art in the Natchez area — is preparing for its biggest event of the year, an artists’ studios tour.
The tour of 11 locations on Dec. 13 will feature the work of 23 artists.
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It’s the culmination of a yearlong effort to grow the association’s size and influence in the community, administrator Carolyn Weir said.
“We’ve been busier lately because we’ve been trying to do more things in the community, focusing on trying to provide more workshops for adults and implementing new children’s after-school art meets since July,” Weir said.
It’s working; in July 2013, the association had just 15 members, but since the association collaborated to produce new art classes, the membership has climbed to 70. New classes include a weekly oil painting class instructed by Sandy Lane, along with a weekly after-school class taught by Natchez Art Association President Sarah Carey. The art history teacher’s class is devoted to fourth- through sixth-grade students.
Classes are something that the association has always provided, but Vice President Leon Hollins III, who teaches a digital photography class, has said they’ve snowballed into something bigger recently.
“As soon as we say we’re going to do something else, we get instant questions about it, so there must be interest,” Hollins said.
Hollins photography class, for example, has grown to double-digit numbers, and though it’s a class devoted to basics, there are a few people who want to get to the advanced aspect sooner than later.
“Yeah, you have a Learjet, but this is how you get on board,” Hollins said.
This month though, everyone’s focus is on the studio tours.
The tours will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
The locations on tour include:
• Conner Burns studio
• Natchez Clay
• The Elms studio
• Adam Gwin studio
• Uniquely Aimee studio
• Sarah Carey studio
• Keith Karlson studio
• Jerry Dixon studio
• Vidalia Art studio
• Brandon McCranie studio
• Natchez Art Association
The association’s classes will continue in January with an Art Center Group Show Jan. 10, a continuation of the after-school class (a six-week session) on Jan. 13 and an after-school art sculpture class beginning on Jan. 14.
Prices for the after-school art will be $100 for the six-week instruction, while cost for the sculpturing class will be $45.
Those interested in becoming a member of the Natchez Art Association may do so for $25 a year.
“While our main goal is to bring art to art lovers, our secondary goal is to teach art to those who are interested in learning,” Weir said.