Tordella-Williams. Image: S. Wolf/Millsaps College

The Mississippi Museum of Art in downtown Jackson is pleased to announce the 23 Mississippi artists selected for inclusion in the 2019 Mississippi Invitational exhibition.

Fondrenite Kristen Tordella-Williams is among the nearly two-dozen chosen.

Additional selected artists are G. Douglas Adams, Natchez; Kali Blakeney, Jackson; Charlie Buckley, Tupelo; Critz Campbell, West Point; Claudia Cartee, Seminary; Rory Doyle, Cleveland; Rick Fifield, Poplarville; Robin Jayne Henderson, Oxford; Ben Hillyer, Natchez; Philip Jackson, Oxford; Joseph Johnson, Natchez; Amelia Key, Jackson; Andrea Kostyal, Hattiesburg; Sodam Lee, Itta Bena; Dominic Lippillo, Starkville; Rod Moorhead, Oxford; Betty Press, Hattiesburg; Phoenix Savage, Jackson; Stephen Threlkeld, Oxford; Jennifer Torres, Hattiesburg; Steven Wayne, Southaven; and Brooke White, Oxford.

Initiated in 1997, the Mississippi Invitational surveys recent developments by contemporary visual artists living and working across the state and includes work in diverse media. The 2019 exhibition marks the 11th iteration and will be on view from June 28 through August 11, 2019.

This year’s process began in May 2018 with the Museum’s call to artists to apply and submit sample images of their work. One hundred thirty submissions were considered by guest curator Kimberli Gant, PhD, the McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. The guest curator then conducted studio visits to meet the artists and further assess their work. Following these visits, Gant created the final checklist of works for the exhibition.

“Because the guest curator makes a “blind selection” of artists and their works, without any knowledge of their identities or locations, it is fascinating that the selection always seems to result in a remarkable representation of the state’s diverse regions and municipalities—from bigger towns and cities to tiny communities. And, as always, there is a strong showing by artists who live and work where art is taught at the collegiate level—Jackson, Oxford, Hattiesburg, West Point, and Cleveland, for instance,” said Dr. Roger Ward, the Museum’s Chief Curator.

In addition to exhibiting in the Mississippi Invitational exhibition, all 23 selected artists are eligible to apply for The Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship. At the end of the two-year Fellowship period, the recipient is required to donate one original work of art to the Museum from at least five works created during the grant period. This year’s fellowship recipient will be announced at a private reception for the exhibiting artists preceding an opening reception for Museum members on Thursday, June 27, 2019.

“We are pleased to announce that the Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship, awarded to one of the included artists, has been increased to $20,000 this year. Jane’s generous gift, through the Community Foundation for Mississippi, enables us to make significant investments in the artists of our state, as well as to build our collection of contemporary Mississippi art,” said Museum Director Betsy Bradley.

On Friday, June 28, 2019, at 11 a.m., guest curator Dr. Kimberli Gant will be joined by Hiatt and the recipient of the 2019 Hiatt Artist Fellowship for a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Ward.

Previous Fellows include Philip Jackson (2016), Carolyn Busenlener (2014), Evert Witte (2011), Lee Renninger (2009), Norma S. Bourdeaux (2007), and Kevin Turner (2005).

The 2019 Mississippi Invitational exhibition and its programming are free and open to the public.

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