April might as well be called National ART Month in Oxford, Mississippi.
This year, the week and days leading up to Double Decker Festival will feature an international as well as a community flair, courtesy of the Yocona International Folk Festival, Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, and thanks to the relationships that YAC Director Wayne Andrews has formed with local businesses.
To get in mood for Double Decker, why not hop on the bus and be a part of the April Art Crawl on April 23? Several local businesses turn their offices into art galleries in support of local art and artists.
The Cuban Art Show will feature Milly West’s collection of Cuban paintings and photos, some from her trips 20 years ago and some collected just a few months ago. The show opens on Thursday, April 18th at The Edison on University Avenue and will be a featured stop during the Art Crawl on Tuesday, April 23rd.
Most local art lovers already know that The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council sponsors a Double Decker Bus tour to art venues every fourth Tuesday (weather permitting). It’s a classic “hop on – hop off” bus route which makes it easy and fun to see art! There will be art exhibits that night at Southside Gallery, Uptown Coffee, The Frame Up, University Museum of Art, and the Ole Miss Art Department in addition to the aforementioned special showing of Cuban paintings and photographs at The Edison.
The Edison is a co-working meeting and office space, next door to The Powerhouse on University Avenue, across the street from Sneed’s. Owners Lindsey and Phil Baquie had a vision for an entrepreneurial space, and as imaginative business people, they transformed a large rambling building on University Avenue into a welcoming space for all kinds of events. As supporters of anything creative, they were happy to say “yes” to Wayne Andrews when he asked about hosting West’s Cuban Art Show.
Photographer Milly West, who has been traveling to Cuba for over 22 years, is having a sale of some of her personal collection as well as work by many of her friends in Cuba.
“Some of my photos by the well-known Revolutionary photographers and paintings by well-known artists will be in the show and for sale at the Edison beginning April 18th and I will be there that evening from 6-8 to welcome any art lovers who want to drop by for a preview,” she said.
Then on Tuesday, April 23rd, there will be another very special showing for the Art Crawl. The Cuban Art Show will remain up for viewing at The Edison through May 18th.
”Cuba is a country of artists,” said West. “I’m extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to be enriched by their stories, their kindness, and their creativity. And I am so happy I live in a town like Oxford where art is intertwined with our culture. My art shows help support the working artists in Cuba who have difficulty getting supplies. So, I am grateful for the support of YAC. Working with Shelby Bickes (YAC) and getting to know Lindsey Baquie at the Edison have just proven what I already knew. We are a great and generous art community.”
Yocona International Folk Festival (YIFF) is a grassroots effort that invites the community to take a step back and appreciate the cultural diversity and variety of international influences that comprise the town of Oxford, Mississippi. Under the umbrella of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (YAC),
YIFF seeks to provide members of our neighborhood with the platform to teach workshops, tell stories, and otherwise explore and share their rich cultural heritage.