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Black history exhibits on display in Lincoln County Public Library

An art exhibit celebrating Black History Month is on display at the Lincoln County Public Library.

The exhibit features the works of McComb artist Charles Crossley — the first such exhibit since his death in 2012.

His widow, Fern Crossley, will attend the reception at 5:30 p.m. today. She will be interviewed by local artist Kim Sessums about her husband and his art.

“This is the first major show that I’ve done and I’m doing it during Black History Month,” Crossley said. “They wanted me to come and have a conversation with him about (my  husband’s) art and what made him who he is.”

Crossley met her husband in San Diego, California. Charles Crossley was a Mississippi native, but studied at Coronado School of the Arts, where his talent began to shine.

“(Art) was in him when he was born, but he really didn’t express it as well until he got to California,” Crossley said. “I was doing a play, and was passing out flyers. I invited him to it and the rest was history.”

Heavily inspired by artists like Pablo Picasso and the Latin-American art scene in San Diego, Charles Crossley’s art makes heavy use of vivid color and texture.

“He was a very interesting person,” Crossley said. “His colors and his impressions — sometimes he would (use) metal and sand. I asked him where this came from and he said, ‘It’s spirituality.’”

In addition to the art of Charles Crossley, the library features a collection of photographs collected by Maxine Allen. Allen organizes an exhibit every February of local black First Achievers.

The exhibit will be on display throughout the month.