Record-setting artist, author moves studio from New Orleans to Natchez

Published 10:20 am Sunday, July 18, 2021

Jax Frey, a New Orleans author and painter, has recently moved her home and art studio in Natchez.

Frey is the author behind the Gumbeaux Sistahs novels. Because of her ‘little views’ mini paintings, Frey the world record for most original acrylic paintings on canvas produced by one artist from the World Record Academy. More than 25,000 of the paintings have been created and sold into art collections worldwide.

Frey said she started her move to Natchez approximately two months ago after searching for a place to “get away from the hurricanes.”

It was her first ever visit and other places she traveled couldn’t compare.

“I went to a few other places, but they just didn’t work for me,” she said.

Frey said perhaps it was the close proximity to the Mississippi River or the “charming” buildings that reminded her of New Orleans, but “something about it felt like home.”

She is renovating a cottage-like house near Duncan Park, where she lives with her funny pug, Lucy. She has four children, Tony, Jessica, Erika and Lizzy, who are grown and spread out all over the country.

She has added new minis to her collection after a few places and things Frey has seen in Natchez, including St. Mary Basilica, the bandstand on the bluff, Rosalie, the horse drawn carriage and Under the Hill.

These are now for sale at Darby’s and Silver Street Gallery and Gifts, as are her novels — which contain characters based on friends and interesting people she has met in her encounters, she said. Frey said she spends a lot of her time at Natchez Coffee Company, which has become her favorite writing place.

“Obviously every writer has to have a coffee shop to haunt and Natchez Coffee Company has become my second home. I’m there every morning, so if you see me, stop and say hello. But be careful or you may end up a character in one of my books.”

When she is not writing, Frey said she has enjoyed meeting many of the Natchez residents and shop owners, eating at every restaurant she can, and has taken a production assistant class at Crooked Letter Picture Company for book research.

Frey said her first two novels in the Gumbeaux Sistahs series are set in Covington and New Orleans, two places she has lived, and is working on a third book to be released this fall.

Frey said her fourth book will be set in Natchez, “so that more people will discover the city’s charms.”

In this series, “Five Southern women wage a hilarious war against the problems of one of their deep-in-trouble sisters using their improbable friendships, evil-genius schemes, oh-so-numerous cocktails, and a shared passion for good gumbo,” Frey said. “The challenges that can arise in a woman’s day-to-day existence don’t stand a chance against these five resourceful ladies.”

The Gumbeaux Sistahs novels boast of heart-warming and heart-rending stories of friendship and unexpected shenanigans. They are available to order online at Amazon.com in paperback and kindle versions and also at www.gumbeauxsistahs.com. Jax’s art may also be found online at www.artbyjax.com

Frey said she plans to support the community by also selling her work in local stores and is planning a local book tour in the fall.

“I’ve only been here about two months but I have fallen head over heels in love with Natchez,” she said. “I’m all in with exploring everything Natchez offers, and I’m offering whatever I can do to help make my new town thrive.”