by Sherry Lucas
I’ll never look at a shovel head the same way again. Poor Julia Scrap Metal Art changed all that. My first visit to her studio in Jackson was a revelation. Those aren’t bolts. They’re eyeballs. What do you mean mattress springs? Those are curls.
Was there no room for junk in metal artist Julia Allen’s vocabulary? Apparently not. But there was plenty of room for discarded, assorted parts just waiting for the fairy dust of inspiration and imagination.
Everywhere I looked, things scrappy and familiar had been recycled and upcycled into sculpture with a bit of whimsy and a lot of charm. They became people. Animals. Scenes and tableaus. And they all radiated a dash of mischievous fun. Especially that moo cow. That’d once been a radiator.
Her open house is Friday and Saturday. You’ll see what I mean.
There’s plenty more on the arts scene ahead, with a Thursday night twofer at the Dickies Building. Well, with three artists featured at Fischer Galleries and two at Susan Russell’s studio, maybe it’s more like a fivefer. Give your eyes a treat.
The nine-piece Brooklyn “Powerfunk” outfit Turkuaz rules the Duling Hall stage Wednesday night, 7:30 p.m., with a modern take on classic funk that stokes a modern soul, plus tight and strong rhythm and horns to keep those thick grooves grooving. Organ Freeman opens for an evening that’ll catapult you right over hump day and into a weekend state of mind. Tickets are $15 advance (ardenland.net) and $20 at the door.
Fischer Galleries hosts an opening reception 5-7 p.m .Thursday for a show of new paintings by Charles Carraway, Noah Saterstrom and Jason Twiggy Lott, in its Dickies Warehouse Loft, 736 S. President St.
Big Sur artist Erin Lee Gafill and Jackson artist Susan Russell are featured in a pop-up art show 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Russell’s studio, next to Fischer Galleries on the Dickies Building’s fourth floor. The two artists struck up a close creative relationship online, and will meet for the first time this week as they hang this show. A tasting menu of surprises from the Crescent City is promised.
Poor Julia, aka metal craftswoman Julia Allen, hosts an open house at her studio Friday and Saturday to show off her latest whimsy. Tools, machinery and assorted spare parts turn into jaunty yard art and fun tabletop sculptures. The open house is 4-8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at her studio, 4615 Womack Drive (off West Northside Drive) in Jackson.
FamFriday Movie Night in the Highland Village Courtyard, 6-9 p.m. Friday flickers forward with a 7:30 p.m. screening of the Disney/Pixar animated hit “Ratatouille,” free pizza and movie popcorn while supplies last. Activities and games start at 6:30 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket for seating, and even a picnic if you wish, or purchase munchies to-go from restaurants on-site. The event proceeds rain or shine.
David Rae Morris’ documentary “Yazoo Revisited: Integration and Segregation in a Deep Southern Town,” which won the Most Transformative Film Award at the 2015 Crossroads Film Festival, has its broadcast premiere on Mississippi Public Broadcasting at 8 p.m. Friday with an encore showing at 2 p.m. Sunday. The film revisits the hometown of Morris’ father, late author Willie Morris, to examine the history of race relations and the 1970 integration of public schools — a topic Willie Morris wrote of in his 1971 book “Yazoo: Integration in a Deep Southern Town.”
Nobody sings a story like Mac McAnally. He’s great at telling them, too. Voted CMA Musician of the Year for an unprecedented eight years in a row, this fellow is a gifted entertainer who always makes Mississippi proud. HIs latest album is “Live in Muscle Shoals.” Hear him live at Duling Hall, 8 p.m. Friday. Scott McQuaig opens. Tickets are $35 advance (ardenland.net) and $40i at the door.
Birdsong and Bluegrass, 4-8 p.m. Saturday at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science puts together a lively late afternoon into evening celebrating Migratory Bird Day. Classic folk and traditional bluegrass music from Alan Sibley and the Magnolia Ramblers, Bill Ellison and Temperance Babcock, and Bryan Ledford & the Accumulators, puts just the right notes in the air outdoors. Food will be available for purchase from The Pig & Pint. Guided nature walks, hands-on birding activities, a live birds of prey program and more are part of the fun. Regular museum admission applies; it’s free for museum members.
Fondrenite Sherry Lucas, a feature writer in Jackson for the last 33 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting creativity and culture from Fondren and beyond. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.