Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September Art Talk: Ellis Anderson

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will kick off a new Art Talk series on Thursday, September 16 at noon in the Museum’s Lower Level Lecture Hall. In recognition of the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Ellis Anderson, author of Under Surge, Under Siege: The Odyssey of Bay St. Louis and Katrina, will be the featured speaker.

Anderson, a writer and photographer, was winner of the 2010 Eudora Welty Book Award presented by Mississippi University for Women in recognition for Under Surge. The book was also noted as an "Editor’s Recommendation," by Barnes and Noble and the Times-Picayune has twice listed the book as one of its "5 Hot Reads." This project was awarded a Fellowship for Literary Excellence by the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Anderson bears witness to the events of Hurricane Katrina by sharing entries from her personal journal, one she began shortly before the storm and continued for more than three years. In Part One – "Under Surge," she details the terror of the storm and the trauma of the immediate aftermath. "Under Siege" follows the plucky community through the next three bizarre years of recovery. The journal entries are interwoven with accounts from other survivors from this close-knit coastal arts community. The book also includes over 50 images by Anderson and photographer Joe Tomasovsky.

An artist and gallery owner before Katrina, Anderson has since served as president of a large community activist organization, giving her a unique insider’s view of the town’s post-storm dilemmas. During the recovery process, she volunteered in numerous community endeavors, garnering recognition as a Hancock County Outstanding Citizen, a Gulf Coast Preservation Hero, and receiving a Heritage Award from the Bay St. Louis Historic Commission. In 2008, she was named Mississippi Public Citizen of the Year by the Mississippi chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Art Talk, sponsored by West Quality Food Services, Inc., is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to use the North Garden Entrance and bring a sack lunch. Desserts and beverages will be provided. For more information, call LRMA at 601.649.6374 or visit the website www.LRMA.org.

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