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Unique art at Powerhouse

Most of you know that the Powerhouse is a community arts center that features music, plays, classes and more. This building is a place where collaborations thrive and artists can find a space for their work. Each month they host an art exhibit as part of the Powerhouse Gallery Series, and this month they collaborated with the University of Mississippi to bring in a show featuring work by two artists, Jon Langford and Alysia Steele.

This project was put together by the UM Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies to coordinate with their weeklong celebration, Sarahfest. The exhibit will remain in the Powerhouse until the end of September.

Jon Langford is a Welsh born musician and artist having been a founding member of the punk band, The Mekons. He has lived in Chicago since the early 1990s.

Langford’s paintings are featured on CDs, book covers and on bottles of beer from Dogfish Head Brewery.

His prints on plywood of various musicians are interesting and eye catching. Not only will you recognize many of the faces, but you will also be intrigued by his method of hand mounting them on the base and all the little details he has added into the backgrounds making them more than just portraits but statements as well.

Expect to see Dr. John, Joey Ramone, Elvis, Patti Smith, Johnny Cash, the Clash, Patsy Cline and more.

Steele is an assistant professor in journalism at the University of Mississippi Meek School of Journalism and New Media. She received a master of arts in photography with an emphasis in multimedia management from Ohio University in 2010.

Her book, “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom” is the basis for her work in this exhibit.

Steele traveled more than 6,000 miles and spent more than 240 hours taping church mothers and elders in the Mississippi Delta and surrounding area to get her content for the project. The women portrayed in this book endured the Jim Crow Era and lived through the changes brought on by the civil rights movement.

These ordinary women were witnesses to history and have shared their insights and stories and ultimately their importance of being a black woman. Steele has highlighted each of these stories and the portraits of these everyday heroes in her book which was released in April of this year. She captured more than 7,000 images some of which you will see hanging on the wall in this show.

An art show with two distinct personalities celebrating the perspectives of two different artists is a great way to kick off and complement a festival that celebrates women and all they do.

Thanks to the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council for being a place where the University and community can stage relevant events for all to enjoy.

ANDI BEDSWORTH is owner of Art To Go, which brings free art opportunities to children in the community.