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Art Council Studio Crawl Friday Night

One of Erin Austen Abbott’s triptychs.

Elvis Devote by David Wharton.

“The Return” depicts Biloxi shrimp boats post Katrina using the contemporary technology of digital photography by Angela G. Clanton.

“Dad and Doug” is the tile of this original 1959 print from the first roll of film taken by Photographer Jack Gurner when he was nine years old.

Art Aficionados Take To Streets

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – The city’s emerging art scene will take center stage Friday evening with a photography show at Bozarts Gallery and a studio crawl featuring the area’s artists.

The event, sponsored by the Water Valley Art’s Council, will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception at Bozarts. Then it will continue with a tour of local artist’s studios before ending at the White Star Tavern on South Main, according to sponsors.

“Crawlers will see an exhibit of photography at Bozarts and pick up a map that will guide them to the participating studios,” said Bill Warren of the Arts Council. “Crawlers may move from one studio to another at their own pace.” (Click here for map online)

The photography exhibit at Bozarts will feature Erin Austen Abbott and Jack Gurner, both of Water Valley, along with Angela G. Clanton of Batesville and David Wharton of Oxford.

“I’m delighted that we have four such talented photographers in this show,” said Annette Trefzer, owner of Bozarts and coordinator of the exhibit.

“Photography is a medium that is often misunderstood,” she added. “It takes a special vision, a sense of place, and an understanding of the subject to make a photograph work.”

The Photographers

Abbott, a Tupelo native, studied photography at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston and at the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle. Her work has appeared in shows all over the world.

She is the creator of the “One Night Stand Motel Art Show Series” a series of art shows transforming a motel and its rooms into a one night only art show.

Abbott has had work published in Esquire, Teen Vogue, Alternative Press, LA Times, and in Southern Spaces, an online journal for Emory University Press.  She is currently living in Water Valley. She works in color and still shoots with film.

Gurner, the only Water Valley native in the show, has been in photography for 50 years. He was a combat documentation photographer for the U. S. Air Force, a photojournalist, a studio photographer, and is currently a reporter and photographer for the Herald.

His images have appeared in publications ranging from Time magazine to the National Enquirer.

Clanton, owner of ILLUS Visual and Design Arts in Batesville, is an alumnus of the Mississippi State University School of Architecture where she studied freehand drawing & watercolor painting techniques, her career in fine art began as an architectural illustrator.

Her work is a montage of architectural elements with views of rural life created by using the contemporary technology of digital photography.  

David Wharton is Director of Documentary Studies and Assistant Professor of Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture.  

He is the author of The Soul of a Small Texas Town:  Photographs Memories, and History from McDade (University of Oklahoma Press, 2000).  He has an MFA in photography and a Ph.D. in American Studies, both from the University of Texas at Austin.  

Among the  other artists participating in the crawl will be Coulter Fussell, Megan Kingery, Anissa Wilkinson, Deirdre Uncapher, Bill Warren, Pati D’Amico, John Davis, Rachel Ballentine, and Leslie Love.

The studio/galleries are located on Main, Panola, Dupuy, and Calhoun Streets.

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