Library visitors getting glimpse of Orient

Published 7:00 pm Friday, January 6, 2012

Visitors to the Lincoln County Library’sart gallery will find themselves tourists to the Orient during themonth of January.

    The local arts council is hosting an exhibit featuring art,cultural items and other artifacts from the Orient.

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    In the local exhibit there will be porcelain items, tea sets, artprints and needlework.

    “It’s a lot of different things,” said Betty Ann Perkins, one ofthe event’s organizers. “That’s what we wanted.”

    An exhibit reception will be held Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 3:30 until5:30. The public is invited to attend.

    Exhibit organizers pointed out several highlights of the exhibitincluding embroidery with gold threads, an embroidery using atechnique called a “blind stitch” and a Japanese painting on silkmeasuring eight feet long.

    A traditional Japanese garment called a kimono is also ondisplay.

    Informational notes will be by provided alongside the exhibits.

    Perkins and other members of the arts council attended over thesummer an exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson: TheOrient Expressed.

    The arts council members saw potential for an Orient-themed exhibitin Brookhaven.

    “We knew there were enough collectors in Brookhaven to fill theroom in the library,” Perkins said.

    Perkins’ personal interest in the region stems from a familymember, her brother-in-law, Thomas Perkins, who died in 2000.

    Thomas Perkins’ interest in Oriental culture stemmed from hisinterest in the camellia, a flowering native to eastern andsouthern Asia. He was involved in the international and Americancamellia societies and even introduced several flowers toAmerica.

    Betty Ann Perkins said Thomas Perkins visited various Asiancountries many times.

    According to the family, Thomas Perkins visited China in 1974, oneof the first Americans to visit the country on a cultural visa.

    Betty Ann Perkins accompanied Thomas Perkins to Japan fourtimes.

    “He did a lot for the camellia,” said Betty Ann Perkins. “That’show this family got interested (in the Orient), because of Thomas’work with the flowers.”