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Natchez artists featured in Mississippi Museum of Art invitational

NATCHEZ — The Mississippi Museum of Art recently announced that 23 artists were selected for inclusion in the 2019 Mississippi Invitational exhibition.

The selected artists include three artists from Natchez: G. Douglas Adams of Natchez, Ben Hillyer of Natchez and Joseph Johnson of Natchez.

Hillyer is the news editor and a photographer for The Natchez Democrat.

The Mississippi Invitational, initiated in 1997, surveys recent developments by contemporary visual artists living and working across the state and includes work in diverse media.

The 2019 exhibition marks the 11th iteration and will be on view from Friday through Aug. 11. The presenting sponsor of the exhibition is Jane Crater Hiatt through the Community Foundation for Mississippi-Hiatt Fund.

This year’s process began in May 2018 with the Museum’s call to artists to apply and submit sample images of their work. One hundred thirty submissions were considered by guest curator Kimberli Gant, Ph.D, the McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. The guest curator then conducted studio visits to meet the artists and further assess their work. Following the visits, Gant created the final checklist of works for the exhibition.

“Because the guest curator makes a blind selection of artists and their work, without any knowledge of their identities or locations, it is fascinating that the selection always seems to result in a representation of the state’s diverse regions and municipalities from bigger towns and cities to tiny communities,” said Roger Ward, Museum chief curator. “And, as always, there is a strong showing by artists who live and work where art is taught at the collegiate level — Jackson, Oxford, Hattiesburg, West Point and Cleveland for instance.”

In addition to Adams, Hillyer and Johnson, other artists included in the exhibition are Kali Blakeney of Jackson, Charlie Buckley of Tupelo, Critz Campbell of West Point, Claudia Cartee of Seminary, Rory Doyle of Cleveland, Rick Fifield of Poplarville, Robin Jayne Henderson of Oxford, Philip Jackson of Oxford, Amelia Key of Jackson, Andrea Kostyal of Hattiesburg, Sodam Lee of Itta Bena, Dominic Lippillo of Starkville, Rod Moorhead of Oxford, Betty Press of Hattiesburg, Phoenix Savage of Jackson, Stephen Threlkeld of Oxford, Kristen Tordella-Williams of Jackson, Jennifer Torres of Hattiesburg, Steven Wayne of Southaven and Brooke White of Oxford.

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