Thursday, May 22, 2008

Guest Blogger: George Bassi

The summer months are upon us at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, and that means lots of visitors traveling through the area, including people from Ireland, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands just this past week. Summer also brings lots of children and adults taking part in art classes either here at the Museum or in outreach activities throughout the community.

One of our more popular summer art activities is Free Family Art Day, which will be held on Wednesday afternoons, June 4 through July 2. At any time from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., children and their families participate in free “make and take” hands-on art activities with different themes each week, including origami, animals, collages and printmaking. No registration is required for these Wednesday afternoon classes, which attracted more 150 people each week last summer.

Of course, summer at LRMA would not be complete without our popular Blues Bash, which will be held on Friday, June 6, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. It is hard for me to believe that this will be our 15th annual event, which we have moved from mid-August to early June this year.

Blues Bash started in 1994 as a way for LRMA to celebrate Mississippi’s blues heritage and attract younger audiences to the Museum. Held in conjunction with the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the first few events brought in blues musicians from around the Mississippi Delta. Originally staged on the Museum’s front lawn, the event now encompasses the front lawns of LRMA and the Rogers-Green House as well as the closing of 5th Avenue.

Past performers include a who’s who of blues talent, including James “Super Chikan” Johnson, Blind Mississippi Morris, Kind Edward and Walter “Wolfman” Washington. This year should prove to be another crowd-pleaser with Mississippi blues guitarist and singer Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry. Born in Abbeville, Mississippi, Perry has 35 years of entertainment experience, including performances at the Apollo Theater in New York City and the Palladium in Hollywood. A regular at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Perry hosts a weekly blues television show, Blues Trekkers, in Oxford, Mississippi.

Tickets to this year’s Blues Bash are on sale now for $20 each at the Museum (601-649-6374). Besides a night of soulful blues music, you also get a barbecue dinner by The Smokehouse of Laurel and beverages from Southern Beverage Company and Coca-Cola of Laurel. Other sponsors are BancorpSouth, Cellular South, Ellis & Walters Dental Care, Gholson Burson Entrekin & Orr PLLC, Kim’s Chrysler Toyota, The Koerber Company, Stinson Petroleum Company, Laurel Leader-Call, Rock 104, and WDAM-TV.

I hope you will bring a blanket or lawn chair and join us for a night of Mississippi Delta Blues under the oak trees of the Laurel Historic District.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blues Bash, now in June!

We've had Blues Bash in August for quite a few years now, and with rare exceptions, it's just way too steamy-sticky-hot in August. So, we're trying a June date. June 6, to be precise, which is just a few weeks away.

Here's the 411:

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will hold its 15th Annual "Blues Bash" Friday, June 6 from 6:30 - 10:30 p.m. on the Museum front lawn.

This year’s event will feature blues guitarist and singer Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry of Tupelo, Mississippi. Perry’s 35-year career has taken him across the United States and abroad. He has played venues such as the New York City’s Apollo Theater and the Palladium in Hollywood, California and was one of the first singers to appear on Soul Train.

Tickets are $20 per person and include a barbecue dinner from Smokehouse of Laurel. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum or reserved by calling 601-649-6374 by Wednesday, June 4. Guests should bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy the fun. In case of rain, Blues Bash will be held at the Cameron Center.

Blues Bash is sponsored by Southern Beverage Company, BancorpSouth, Cellular South, Ellis and Walters Dental Care, Gholson Burson Entrekin & Orr, PLLC, Kim’s Chrysler Toyota, The Koerber Company, Stinson Petroleum Company, Coca-Cola of Laurel, Laurel Leader-Call, Rock 104, and WDAM-TV.

Proceeds from Blues Bash support the Museum’s education program. To purchase a ticket for Blues Bash or for more information, call LRMA at 601-649-6374.

Anybody who's been to Blues Bash knows it's one of the best entertainment values in Laurel.

See you there!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Floating World: Ukiyo-e Prints from the Wallace B. Rogers Collection

Our latest Gallery Walk, courtesy of WDAM TV:

Guest Blogger: Mandy Buchanan

At the Museum --

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Education Department has a busy summer art program planned with a variety of classes for all ages.

"Free Family Art" will be offered Wednesdays June 4 - July 2 from 1 - 4 p.m. in the Museum Annex. These classes will feature a variety of free art experiences for children and families. No reservations are required for these make-and-take summer classes.

LRMA will provide free art activities at the Townley Center as part of the Laurel Housing Authority’s summer program. These classes will be offered from 11 a.m. -1:30 p. m. on Mondays and Wednesdays June 2 -July 30.

"Summer Art Camp" will be held July 15 - 18. Children in K5- 3rd grade will meet from 10 a. m. - noon and 4th - 6th graders will meet from 2 - 4 p. m. The theme for this year’s camp is "Around the World with Art." Students will explore artwork from around the world and experiment with a variety of art materials. Projects will include batik, printmaking and clay. Registration is required.

We are excited about the new LRMA Seventh Street Art Studio which will open in June. In the new space we will offer pottery for children and adults and studio art classes for middle school, high school students and adults.

Pottery classes will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays June 17, 19, 24, and 26. Children in K5 - 3rd grade will meet from 10 a.m. - noon and 4th - 6th graders will meet 2 - 4 p.m. Adults will meet from 5 - 7 p.m. Participants will create functional and sculptural pottery using hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques.

Two new studio classes will be offered for ages middle school students to adult.

"Basic Drawing" will be offered in the Seventh Street Studio Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. until noon. Students will be introduced to basic drawing techniques using different drawing media. Supplies are included. Registration is required for these classes.

"Introduction to Painting"
will be offered Wednesdays July 2 - 30 from 10 a.m. until noon in the Seventh Street Studio. Students will be introduced to basic painting techniques and different paint materials including watercolor, acrylic and oil paint. Registration is required.

LRMA has art programs for everyone in the family. Also, a tour of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is a great way to beat the heat on a summer afternoon!

For more information, please contact Mandy Buchanan or Angie King at 601.649.6374.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street in historic downtown Laurel and is open 10:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:00 until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.

Mandy Buchanan is the Curator of Education at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.