Area talent on display at Ritz

Saturday, December 1, 2012
Arts Council assistant director Ken Jackson takes down the November artist's exhibit as he prepares for the next Artist of the Month. Jackson said the Artist of the Month program provides great art for the community while giving artists a chance to have their work seen.

The Arts Council of Mississippi County provides the community with numerous opportunities to be a part of supporting the arts through the course of a calendar year, namely its monthly artist gallery.

As one of the Council's most successful on-going programs, Artist of the Month provides artists from near and far a chance to have their work seen in a gallery setting. Each month features a new talent and brings something fresh to the local arts community, according to Arts Council assistant director Ken Jackson, while also serving as a launch-pad for many artists.

"It's great for artists who want some practice before they move on to a larger gallery or just the hobbyist that kind of wants a way to get their work out there to be seen," Jackson said, "It really helps boost confidence, especially in younger artists."

Jackson said when he started with the Arts Council, the program was very irregular, usually only happening three-to-four times a year.

But in nearly a decade of being with the Council he, director David Lyttle and the Council's board have turned it into a staple in monthly community events.

"Yeah, when I got here they weren't doing it very regularly--only three to four times a year--but I had several friends and family members who were artists so I started calling them up," he said.

As the year ends and the Council starts to make plans for 2013, Jackson said they are looking for artists for the months of February-December. Jackson said for artists wanting to do an exhibit there are a few guidelines that have been established by the Council's board.

The works exhibited must be original pieces that have not been already shown in a gallery at the Ritz.

Jackson said there are a few exceptions but artists should be prepared to bring in new work. Also, all hanging artwork must be of sturdy enough construction that when it is hung it will not curl or fold.

Jackson said the showings are "100-percent family friendly" and artists should keep that in mind when they are deciding what to put in their exhibit. The Arts Council does reserve the right to not show inappropriate pieces.

Each piece must also be marked with medium, dimensions and a title.

Artists are allowed to sell their pieces in the gallery and can charge what they deem fair, with 20-percent of each piece sold going to the Arts Council.

For more information contact Ken Jackson at 870-762-1744.