February 6, 2013 11:05:58 AM
Jan Swoope - [email protected]
For years Bruce West turned his insightful eye and powerful lens on rural Mississippi. The result is a candid collective snapshot of some of the people and settings that make the Magnolia State unique. Many of those photographs will go on exhibit in Columbus when "Take Time to Appreciate: Photographs by Bruce West" opens at the Columbus Arts Council's Rosenzweig Arts Center Thursday with a free public reception from 5:30-7 p.m.
West, a professor in the Department of Art and Design at Missouri State University, has maintained a dual career as a photographic artist and educator for more than three decades. His creative work has garnered numerous awards and recognition, including fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation for the Arts and The Polaroid Corp.
In series like "Take Time to Appreciate" and "Spiritual Advisor to the World," West introduces his audience to intriguing personalities, particularly from the African-American community.
There's Mrs. L.V. Hull, in her yard overflowing with brightly painted artifacts. Hull's folk art has been displayed in several galleries.
Other photographs reveal the world of the Rev. H.D. and Margaret Dennis, a self-proclaimed preacher/artist/architect in Vicksburg and his wife who have devoted more than 20 years of their lives to converting Margaret's Grocery Store into a one-of-a-kind nondenominational church. These are only a few of the many faces visitors to the Arts Center will encounter.
Also debuting Thursday evening in the Arts Center's Artist Alley is a mixed media exhibit of artwork by The Gathering of Artists, a group which meets monthly at the Rosenzweig to share their work, ideas and inspiration. Meetings are open to all artists.
"This month, the Gathering celebrates their one year birthday by showing for the first time as a group in an exhibit called 'First Exposure'," said member Renee Sheridan.
Other artists displaying are Debbie Alexander, Angie Basson, Sheila Clark, C.C. Coggins, Jerry Hodson, Judy Howle, Mark Huerkamp, Stephen Jolly, Jane Cooper Rogowski, James Tracy Jr., Kevin Voller and Marilyn West.
"Take Time to Appreciate" and "First Exposure" will be on display through the month of February. The Arts Center is located at 501 Main St. For more information on these and other Columbus Arts Council events, call 662-328-2787 or visit columbus-arts.com.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.