First You See It, Now You Don’t | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

First You See It, Now You Don’t

Pearl River Glass Studio artists such as Joy Kichi will have work at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s June 18 Museum After Hours event. “Untitled” by Joy Kichi, Photo courtesy Mississippi Museum of Art

Pearl River Glass Studio artists such as Joy Kichi will have work at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s June 18 Museum After Hours event. “Untitled” by Joy Kichi, Photo courtesy Mississippi Museum of Art

Brilliant glass pieces shining brightly in the lobby; excited chitchat filling up the hallways; kids shrieking at the sight of "Jaws"; teams discussing trivia answers; the potent smell of barbecue floating throughout the museum. These are just a few things people can expect at the June edition of Mississippi Museum of Art's Museum After Hours.

The event highlights some of the creative and innovative places and people in Jackson. Every third Thursday of the month, the museum collaborates with local artists, musicians and various organizations to provide a one-night social event. It invites an artistic organization to showcase its work in an art pop-up gallery. For the event, the museum uses moveable walls in the lobby as a temporary space for the artwork. When the night ends, the gallery turns back into a lobby, like Cinderella's carriage turning back into a pumpkin.

For the June 18 event, attendees will see art from Pearl River Glass Studio. The exhibit will display not only glass pieces, but also work from some of the Pearl River artists, including Joy Kichi, created on their own with a variety of mediums including painting and sculptures.

Jacksonian Victoria Casher, 20, attended the April Museum After Hours. She says events like this encourage creativity and fellowship.

"The art pop-ups allow for the community to better learn about and appreciate the arts in a social setting," Casher says. "It's the perfect environment for creatives of all types to get together and express their passions."

Past Museum After Hours exhibits included work from Electric Dagger Tattoo, Midcity Print, Wolfe Studio and several others. The museum works with a Community Advisory Committee that includes members from the Greater Jackson Arts Council, Mississippi Arts Commission and other people in the community to help identify diverse work to showcase. The event gives the artists at the featured business a chance to showcase their work outside the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. environment.

Julian Rankin, MMA marketing director, says the pop-up exhibits show off current Mississippi artists in the community.

"As a museum, our job is to collect and preserve Mississippi art, and art from all over the South, for future generations," he says.

"Because there are creative stories being told all the time, we wanted to go outside of what museums traditionally do and show work that wasn't old. There is an appetite in the community to come see (art) being done around them."

The museum started the pop-up events last fall, but it wasn't until March that Art Bar Trivia, Screen on the Green and the 'sipp Sourced were added. For the June 'sipp Sourced, the menu will feature protein and produce from local farmers.

If MMA's Museum After Hours reminds anyone of Fondren's First Thursdays, that's because both allow more opportunities for celebration and collaboration to flourish in the community. Casher says the art pop-ups create the perfect atmosphere to foster creativity and entertainment. Events like this are important because they encourage creative expression, she says.

"Whether it's cooking, painting, drawing, sculpting or performing, creativity is the simplest way to express one's deepest emotions and thoughts," Casher says. "I can't wait to attend this month's exhibit."

The June 18 Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515) Museum After Hours event begins at 5:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., the museum hosts ArtBar Trivia, and at 8 p.m., the museum will begin Screen on the Green with a showing of "Jaws." The event is free to the public and has a cash bar and food for purchase. The 'sipp Sourced Summer Blockbuster Barbecue is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day and will highlight summer barbecue. From 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., The Palette Cafe will serve dinner. For more information, visit msmuseumart.org.

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