Del Rendon festival slated for Saturday


Jacob Beard

Jacob Beard



Isabelle Altman/Dispatch Staff



The Del Rendon Foundation will host its 10th Annual Del Rendon Music Festival at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Dave's Darkhorse Tavern in Starkville. 


This year at the foundation will auction off paintings entered into the foundation's recent "Dead Entertainers" competition, including the Best in Show painting of Johnny Cash by MSU forestry student Jacob Beard. 


The Del Rendon Foundation began 10 years ago in honor of Starkville artist and musician Del Rendon, who died in 2005. The Foundation awards scholarships to art majors in their freshman or sophomore year at MSU. So far there have been three recipients of the Del Rendon Scholarship, according to Rendon's brother Andrew, who helped found the Foundation. 


The Foundation's annual festival will include a silent auction featuring entries from the recent Del Rendon Legacy Collection competition. 


The competition called for paintings continuing Del Rendon's "Dead Entertainers" series, which features paintings of John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley. 


Entrants in the competition were to submit paintings of entertainers who died before completing their careers. All seven submitted entries hung in the "Before Their Time: A Del Rendon Foundation Art Series" exhibition in Union Gallery along with art pieces by the three receivers of Del Rendon scholarships. The exhibition was on display from Mar. 5 until Mar. 19 when the winner was announced, according to Andrew Rendon. 


"We were astonished by the quality of art that was submitted," Rendon said. 


Beard had never entered an art competition before. The Kentucky native took an art class here and there in high school and college but eventually pursued a degree in forestry. Having several friends who are talented artists, Beard knew art to be a competitive field and thought it would be harder to make a living primarily off his art. He certainly did not expect to win his first art competition. 


"It was completely a surprise for me," Beard said. 


Beard received help creating the frame of his painting from forestry professor Laura Grace. He called the piece a "joint effort" between him and his professor. 


At the ceremony on Mar. 19 when his painting was announced Best in Show, he had been mentally preparing himself to leave without having won. 


"I was very taken aback," he said. "I had a huge adrenaline rush." 


Andrew Rendon admitted that Beard's painting didn't strictly fit the requirements of entertainers who died young, as Cash was in his 70s when he died. Still, the judges felt like Beard's painting captured the spirit that Del Rendon's paintings had and that Cash could have continued his career if he hadn't died when he did.  


"We felt like (Del Rendon) was trying to pay homage to individuals...who left us before they were done," Rendon said. 


The proceeds from the paintings sold at the auction will go to the artists, but Beard has asked that the proceeds from his go back to the Foundation, said Rendon. 


"The fact that the competition supports the Foundation, that was the main reason I wanted to do it," Beard said. 


Though this year was the first year that the Foundation has held the competition, Rendon said it will continue to host competitions to add to the "Dead Entertainers" series every year.




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