Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Break is Here!!

Spring Break week is upon us and we are ready with some great activities at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. On Tuesday, March 13, we will have our annual Spring Break Festival on the front lawn of the museum from 1:00 to 3:00 P.M. We have several great art activities, live music from Kristie Reddoch, and Joe McGee from the Mississippi Museum of Natural History will be on hand with live animals! The best part of the festival is that the whole thing is FREE! So bring the kids out and have a great time. Just before the festival there will be a book reading and signing of Darby Does the Met by Kathy Elzey and illustrated by Adam Trest.  Both of them will be on hand for the event.

Spring Break Art Break will be for the rest of the week for elementary age children. This class is full, but sign up the kids for our next class, Kids' Pottery. Pottery class will be every Tuesday afternoon in April from 3:30 to 5:00 P.M. The cost is $40 for museum members and $50 for non-members. Call now and reserve your child's spot at (601) 649-6374.

There is still time for adults to sign up for our Girls' Night Art class, which will be held on Thursday, March 29 from 6:00 to 9:00 in the Carriage House Studio. Participants will create a finished painting in this class.  Bring your friends and something to drink for a great girls' night.  The cost for the class is $50 for museum members and $60 for non-members. 

We hope that you can join us for some of these great spring events at LRMA!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall is Fun at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

As I sit down to write this article, my head is buzzing with all of the things going on this fall for the education staff at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. We have just finished two pottery classes, one for children and one for adults. Our annual Heritage Arts Festival was on Saturday the 1st and with gorgeous weather it was better than ever. Heritage Festival is one of our most labor-intensive events of the year, but also one of the most enjoyable because it is filled with fun and excitement, mainly for the children who come, but also for adults.

On Thursday, October 6, the Concentrated Drawing class with teacher Cassie Marcellino will begin in our Carriage House Studio. The class runs for four weeks on Thursday nights from 6:00 to 8:00. This class is great for people who want to learn how to draw but don’t know where to begin. Anyone from junior high to adults are welcome and supplies are included. To sign up for this class, please call the museum at (601) 649-6374.

Later in October, we will have our annual Fourth Grade Tours program. We call this event our "Choctaw Days" because local Choctaw visit the museum to perform their traditional dances and demonstrate basket weaving to local school children. The students who visit are given a tour of our By Native Hands Basket Gallery and experience a truly interactive field trip with hands-on art activities and the Choctaw demonstrations. So far we expect about 500 students on October 18 and October 19.

At the end of October, our Trick Art Treat Halloween art class will wrap up the fun for the month. On November 11, we will have the annual Very Special Arts Festival at the Cameron Center in Laurel. This is one of my favorite days out of the year because Very Special Arts Festival is just for students with special needs, and every year the students who come have a wonderful time. This year’s theme is "Beach Party" and promises to bring the fun of summer into the cold days of November. This event is held in conjunction with the Laurel Junior Auxiliary and the Laurel Arts League.

The Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color exhibition is open through November 6. This is a fascinating show that allows the viewer to see the work of an important American artist over the span of her entire life. We also have wonderful family guides that go along with the show as well as a hands-on mask collage that kids can make in the gallery. I hope that you will be able to join us for some of the great things happening at Lauren Rogers.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

At the Museum: All About Internships

Museum Internships

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art has partnered with the University of Southern Mississippi to offer unpaid internships to interested students. The Museum offers internships in the areas of education and outreach, marketing and public relations, library and archives and the curatorial department. These internships can be used for class credit with approval from the student’s department chairperson. Sessions mirror the fall, spring and summer class schedules with each internship consisting of 150 hours.

LRMA requires students to complete the Internship Application Form which can be found on the Museum's website (click on About and then Staff). The application can be found at the bottom of the page.

We also ask the student to submit a resumé with full contact information for three professional references and a cover letter explaining their reasons for applying. Applications are due 30 days prior to the beginning of the requested semester and a student must have completed at least two full years of college. Other requirements are listed in the application.

While USM has been our main source of college interns, the Museum will gladly accept students from other colleges and universities by following the same application process.

The Museum has been fortunate to have many dedicated and committed students to work through an internship program here at the Museum. Some of the past interns have accepted museum jobs in other locations after gaining experience at LRMA.
While student interns focus on work in one area, we feel it is important for the intern to work a few hours in other departments to get a well-rounded knowledge of the various departments.

This summer we welcomed Hayley Ivy, a Hattiesburg native and a USM art major, to the internship program. She has been invaluable to the curatorial department by assisting with exhibition display, label research and writing, and file organization.
When interviewed, Hayley stated, "my favorite part of the internship is seeing the process of how an exhibition comes together. There were things I have learned during my time at LRMA that I hadn’t considered before – such as taking an idea to the Board for approval, the marketing of an exhibition, the process of installation and making it available to the public along with the educational aspect of training docents for tours."

Hayley shared her reason for applying for the internship was for resumé building and exploring art as a career. "I'm unsure of what part of the art field I would like to pursue. I would be happy to apply for an internship at other museums to have a broader range of information," says Hayley.

Museum internships exist formally at most medium to large museums and informally at small institutions. Many small museums have only 1-5 staff members and welcome dependable help in the form of volunteers.

We have accepted assistance from students who can't devote their time to the academic schedule of a formal internship but would simply like to volunteer their time to learn more about the profession. Formal internships mean that the student can work on more sustained and long-term projects. Our limited staff prevents us from accepting multiple interns in one department at the same time, so if you're interested, please apply early.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is open to the public Tuesdays - Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. and on Sundays 1-4 p.m. For additional information, check the website at or call 601-649-6374.

Tommie Rodgers is the registrar at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Guest Blogger: George Bassi

“Are you busy at the Museum in the summer?” That is a question we are asked a lot this time of year at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Summer has become our busiest season, thanks to a terrific education program under the direction of Curator of Education Mandy Buchanan and Education Outreach Coordinator Angie King. From art classes in our two studios to off-site programs around our six-county area, the summer is full of hands-on activities for children and adults.

Two weeks of Art Camp were just completed, and it is fun to see children leaving the Museum with paintings, collages and t-shirts that they created. The educational role of museums is at the core of museum service to the public and is the founding principal of this institution.

Through our free admission and our strong programming, we work constantly to serve the public by preserving our cultural, artistic and historical heritage. That is our role in Laurel and Jones County, and that is the role of more than 17,500 museums across this country. Together, museums preserve and protect more than a billion objects in their collections, and Americans trust us to interpret them. According to a study by Indiana University, museums are considered a more reliable source of historical information than books or teachers.

This summer has also been one of our busiest in terms of visitors to our exhibitions. Two popular exhibits of local interest, Focus on Fashion and Laurel Collects: Vintage Toys, have attracted multi-generations of families into our doors. Our popularity mirrors that of other museums across the country. Americans from all income and education ranges visit museums, and the latest statistics indicate that two-thirds of American adults visit a museum each year. There are nearly 850 million visits per year to U. S. museums– more than the attendance for all professional sporting events and theme parks combined.

Once school begins in a few weeks, museums in our country will spend more than $2.2 billion during the year on education, with the majority spent on K-12 student programming. Museums annually receive more than 90 million visits each year from students in school groups. Here at LRMA, we follow suit by committing two of our ten full-time staff members to education and attracting thousands of school children each year from a primarily rural audience. Thanks to Museum members who support our “Adopt-A-Bus” fund, we can reach schools that might not otherwise be able to afford a bus trip.

Museums are also economic development engines, with U.S. museums contributing $21 billion to the American economy each year. Communities recognize that the arts, humanities and museums are critical to the quality of life and livability of American cities and towns.

Based on our busy summer here at the Museum, I think we are definitely adding to the livability of Laurel and Jones County.

George Bassi, Executive Director

Guest Blogger: Allyn Boone

Since opening in 1923, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art has reached out to our community with an outstanding permanent collection, exciting temporary exhibitions, and innovative education programs. Today, LRMA is recognized across the United States as one of the best mid-sized art museums in the country.

LRMA members make this possible. Annual membership contributions allow LRMA to care for and expand the permanent collection, bring nationally significant temporary exhibitions to our area, and create education programs that introduce thousands of children and adults to the visual arts.

Members receive benefits ranging from personal invitations to exhibitions to discounts on Museum Show purchases to complimentary tickets to the LRMA Gala. Additionally, LRMA members have the benefit of knowing that they are making a difference in our community by supporting the Museum’s educational mission through their annual membership donations.

Throughout its history, LRMA has never charged an admission fee. The Museum’s founders felt that LRMA should be a gift to the community, and we do, too. More than 90 percent of LRMA programs and activities are open to the public free of charge, thanks to the generosity of LRMA members and supporters.

Many LRMA members choose to make an additional contribution to provide transportation stipends for schools that bring students to the Museum for tours and activities. The LRMA Adopt-a-Bus fund allows the Museum to reimburse schools for transportation expenses, ensuring that more children are able to visit LRMA.

Membership is the cornerstone of LRMA support. The generosity of Museum members allows LRMA to achieve the level of excellence for which we are known throughout the nation – from caring for our collections to presenting masterworks by le artists to creating learning opportunities for children and families. We consider our members to be our partners, and we invite you to join with us for an exciting year of high-quality collections, exhibitions, and education programs.

For information about joining LRMA, call the Museum office at 601-649-6374 or visit our website at We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Allyn Boone is Director of Development at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vintage galore this summer...

We have vintage toys on display, vintage fashion photographs, and today I've just put up a small show of vintage travel posters. Although the travel and war posters in our vaults are not part of the official art collection, they've been part of the museum's history since the very beginning. Ella Bradley, the museum's first director and librarian, collected advertising and war posters and, according to legend, stored them under an Oriental rug in her office. In the late 1990s, Museum staff called on experts in vintage posters to help us decide which to keep, frame, and exhibit. That project resulted in the retention of 60+ high-quality vintage posters. We occasionally exhibit them here, and sometimes send them out on loan to other organizations.

Since we had some room left over in the Lower Level Galleries after installing the Vintage Toys and Games show, I went ahead and selected twenty travel posters to hang in the Lecture Hall. Of those, four are posters for travel to the Mississippi Gulf Coast via Illinois Central Railroad. These have never been exhibited at the Museum, having been unframed until a year or so ago. Two feature golfers, and two feature horseback riders. The styles of the posters range from illustration-style to Art Deco to somewhat Cubist, and locations from Biloxi to Germany.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two shows opened this week

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will present two summer exhibitions for 2011 - Curator’s Choice: Focus on Fashion and Laurel Collects XI: Vintage Toys and Games. Both exhibitions will be on display from June 21 - August 14, 2011.

The public is invited to attend the opening for the exhibitions on Sunday, June 26. David Longest, guest curator for Laurel Collects XI, will give a Gallery Talk at 2 p.m. and LRMA Curator Jill Chancey, PhD will speak on photography. A reception will follow.

Curator’s Choice: Focus on Fashion features a selection of fashion photographs ranging from the 1940s to early 1960s. Laurel native Charlotte Payne worked in New York, Japan, and Europe during that time period, and her personal and professional photo collection is currently in local hands. Those who have been watching the TV show Mad Men, or who remember the styles of the ‘50s and ‘60s, will find a lot of familiar material in this exhibition. This nearly twenty-year survey will show how quickly fashion and images of fashion changed during the post-war years and how clothing and styling changed again around 1960.

Charlotte Payne was crowned “Miss Laurel” in the late 1930s. After a brief marriage and a stint working for the war effort in Jackson in the early 1940s, she moved to New York and signed with the prestigious John Robert Powers Agency. She began as a juniors model. Her baby face and “girl-next-door” look kept her in juniors for nearly ten years before she “graduated” to more sophisticated work. She appeared in hundreds of ads and on the covers of such magazines as Life, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Junior Bazaar, and many others.

The exhibition will feature approximately 60 photos, tear-sheets, proofs, and contact sheets that show the development of both the fashions in the photos, and the style of fashion photography. The show will also illustrate the career arc of a successful fashion model during the pre-supermodel years, from juniors catalogue work to the cover of Vogue, when models were meant to be anonymous chameleons, not celebrities.

Curator’s Choice is generously sponsored by Gilchrist, Sumrall, Yoder & Boone, LLC.

Laurel Collects XI, organized by LRMA and the Laurel Arts League, will feature vintage toys and games from Laurel and Jones County collections. Previous “Laurel Collects” exhibitions have been devoted to furniture, portraiture, Asian art, and the work of Laurel native Billy Ford. Toys in the show include rare early Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls – and even rarer, their nanny, Beloved Belindy; three different kinds of train sets; Barbie and GI Joe dolls and many more. Visitors will find familiar faces and traces of childhood memories in this exhibition.

David Longest, a lifelong collector of toys, has written nine books on antiques including Collecting Disneyana, Toys, Antique and Collectible, Character Toys and Collectibles, and Santa Claus Collectibles. He was a feature writer and contributing editor of the national Toy Shop news magazine as well as a feature writer for Collector’s Showcase magazine. Longest has been a guest lecturer on the subject of antiques for various regional organizations and is also a published playwright. He is an award-winning high school theatre director whose drama program has been featured on Showtime and The Movie Channel cable networks and in the arts section of The New York Times. Longest has won numerous national teaching awards including the D.A.R.’s National American History Medal and the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award.

LRMA Director George Bassi said “Laurel Collects is a terrific tradition in our community, and we are pleased to present this latest installment with the continued cooperation and assistance of the Laurel Arts League. Over the decades, this unique exhibition series has staged a variety of collectible shows, and vintage toys will surely please visitors of all ages.”

Laurel Collects XI
is generously sponsored by Laurel Arts League and Laurel Bone & Joint Clinic.

Visit us on Facebook to see installation views of each of these exhibitions.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Guest Blogger: Angie King

Summer Art is Hot at LRMA!

The summer is in full swing at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. This Wednesday will be the last Free Family Art day for the summer, so don=t miss it! Swing by our Museum Annex between 1 and 4 p.m. on June 29 to create a fun, Fourth of July-themed project.

For more free art activities from the LRMA education staff, check out some of your local libraries. LRMA staff will offer an art activity on Monday, June 27 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Mize Public Library and an activity from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 30 at the Petal Public Library. These collage activities are based on the summer reading theme, AOne World, Many Stories.@

Local art teacher Cassie Marcellino is offering a concentrated drawing class for ages junior high to adult every Thursday in July from 10 a.m. until noon beginning July 7. There are still a few spots open in this class, so call now to make your reservation! Also being offered in July is "Aqueous Painting" with LRMA Registrar Tommie Rodgers. This class will teach participants about alternative techniques for printing and painting with water-based media. This is a one-day workshop on Wednesday, July 13 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and includes lunch. This class is open for junior high students to adults. Both weeks of the annual LRMA Summer Art Camp are booked this July but there is a waiting list for those who are still interested. In August, the education staff is offering an all new class called "Girls' Night Art." This class is designed for adult participants of all skill levels to come and make a fun and creative still-life painting to take home that night. This class will be held on Thursday, August 25 from 6 - 9 p.m. in the Carriage House Studio. Make your plans now and call to sign up. Paint supplies will be provided. To find out more about dates or class information, please call the Museum at (601) 649-6374.