Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Show 'em some love

When the winners of the 2013 Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts were announced last year I was shocked, aghast, even disturbed.  Not because of who was selected, but because there wasn't anyone selected in the visual arts category.  Did you notice?  It was the first time that I was aware of that someone had not won an award for Excellence in the Visual Arts.  I couldn't imagine how the MS Arts Commission (MAC), which is in charge of the program, could leave the visual arts out.  How could visual artists who have given their lives to their work be overlooked?

I contacted a friend at MAC to inquire, and she said that there simply weren't many nominations.  Oops, sorry MAC for blaming you.  It's us to blame.  It is those of us who have been inspired, influenced, and enriched by the work of seasoned artists around the country with Mississippi ties that are responsible. MAC actually has nothing to do with who is selected.  Anyone can nominate someone, and an independent panel of experts in the different fields make the selections.  There are too many deserving artists who have been leading visionaries for our state and country, and have been trail blazers for young artists like myself for this to happen again.  So please show 'em some love.  Nominate someone before June 28th by going here.

Past winners include the late textile artist Gwen Magee and portrait painter Marshal Bouldin III, as well living legends like wood worker Fletcher Cox and glass artist Andy Young.  To see a full list of past winners contact Susan Liles with MAC at