• 75°

Stately Scenes On Display

In May, the visuals of Mississippi will be on display: the ruins of Windsor near Port Gibson, rows of columns standing naked against the sky. The Sprague steamboat, once located at Vicksburg, its stern-wheel turning nothing but dust and dry air. Less well-known scenes of rural life throughout the state.

     These are among the sights available for viewing at the Lincoln County Public Library during the spring arts exhibit of the Brookhaven Trust’s Fine Arts Committee.

     The May exhibit is entitled “Mississippi Scenes,” and all works on display are watercolor paintings by Tom Cochran.

     Cochran, who passed away in 2006, was a noted watercolor painter as well as a sculptor and woodcarver. A Walters, Okla., native, Cochran moved to Jackson in 1959, where he continued to live throughout his life, except for a brief time living in Brookhaven.

     Local residents will also have the opportunity to take home some of Cochran’s “Mississippi Scenes.”

     All works on display are for sale and all are original paintings. There won’t be a print in sight in the gallery.

     “I wish I could take them all home and just cover my walls,” said Nancy Myers, chairwoman of the Fine Arts Committee.

     Myers said anyone interested in buying works on display may contact her at 601-833-3144. They may also contact the Cochran estate. Contact details will be available at the gallery.

     Out of a body of work totaling nearly 600, approximately 50 paintings will be on display at the library’s gallery until the end of May.

     A public gallery reception will be held May 10 from 4 to 6 p.m.

     Myers said there’s a puzzle hiding within the paintings.

     Within each painting, the number “5110” can be found. Sometimes it’s obvious: a license plate or bus number. Other times it’s hidden.

     Myers said after a little looking she’s only found the hidden numerals in one painting.

     Cochran earned some impressive clients during his career. Former presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush each commissioned carvings by Cochran.

     He also sculpted a bronze bust of Oklahoma’s Sen. Robert Kerr and the late Lt. Gov. Carroll Gartin of Mississippi.

     Cochran held art shows during his lifetime at such venues as the Jackson Municipal Art Gallery, the Mississippi State Law Library and the Eudora Welty Library.

     Myers said those on the committee that know watercolor better than her praised Cochran’s work as of high quality.