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BRAG promotes local collecting

With community events such as music, food and arts festivals becoming more frequent as the weather warms up, this presents an opportunity to appreciate the creations of local artists.

“Art collecting” might sound like an intimidating term, but it is a lot more attainable than one might think. Cherie Langston, amateur painter and member of the Brookhaven Regional Arts Guild, said collecting works by local artists is a great way to get started, and every artist was considered “local” and maybe unknown at some point in time.

Upcoming events such as an art walk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 9 in conjunction with the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League’s event, Barkfest, are an excellent opportunity to browse and possibly purchase, or commission, artwork by local artists. The presence of the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven also presents the unique opportunity to visit exhibitions and events to view and experience works from today’s up-and-coming artists.

MSA’s Coordinator of School Advancement Jennifer Jackson said while the students cannot sell the art they display as part of their schoolwork – students may sell extra-curricular work or commissions on the side – there are many events, showcases and exhibitions open to the public. Fostering an artistic community begins with becoming familiar with these types of events, and there are full schedules for upcoming displays online at http://www.msa.k12.ms.us.

In conjunction with the Brookhaven Little Theatre’s production of “Annie Jr.,” there will be a silent auction of “The Private Art Collection of Oliver Warbucks,” with proceeds benefiting the Save the Haven Fund, funding renovations of the theatre. BRAG member Nancy Hanks-Meyers said the auction, which begins the weekend “Annie” opens, aims to have pieces related to the story of “Annie” or New York City, and are all created by area artists.

BRAG President Sue Minter shared her feelings on collecting art, and how many residents may not be aware of the growing art community in Brookhaven.

“There are lots of opportunities to purchase local art, and our local artists are some of the best in this region,” Minter said. “I think that many residents may not understand the value of collecting local art.

“Number one, just because it is good, and it usually represents a place that they know and love: Brookhaven and Lincoln County,” Minter said. “And number two, it’s just a valuable work of art in its own right. I could probably name 75 artists who are local and do a fine job in whatever medium they use.”

BRAG member Nancy Hanks Myers agrees.

“We have got a great little group of artists, and they work in different mediums, so there are opportunities to find something [you love] from paintings to mixed media to jewelry,” she said.