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Ferris’ art on display at OTG

Marthat Ferris’ “The Hand”

Marthat Ferris’ “The Hand”

If you have time this Friday night (and hopefully you will), you might want to take advantage of the beautiful weather and head just a few miles out of town proper to visit Oxford Treehouse Gallery.

Located at 328 County Road 418, a.k.a. Fudgetown Road, this little gallery is a gem of an addition to the area’s arts scene. Owned by Walter and Vivien Neill, this space has been bringing great artwork to the community for the last few years.

After living in the gallery space while their permanent residence was completed, the facility now functions as a gallery and workshop.

“We opened Oxford Treehouse Gallery to share this space with other artists and to provide the public with a fine art experience in an unconventional gallery setting. We strive to fill the gallery with art that we love and appreciate — that is both functional within the home and adds to the simple beauty of everyday life,” the couple says.

The gallery is proud to present their newest exhibition, “Paintings and Drawings: Black and White in Color by Martha Ferris.”

Ferris grew up on her family farm which was located on the banks of the Big Black River in western Mississippi. Her process from the very beginning has been to experiment and constantly change making her body of work diverse and includes fabric pieces, large scale splash pools she designed for the Mississippi Museum of Art’s public garden, and paintings and drawings.

The above-mentioned splash pools are the McRae’s Children’s Fountains and double as a play space for children as well as 500 square-foot art work that uses light, water, high powered pumps, colorful mosaics and computer technology to create a space that is not only praised for their beauty but also for their value to the community of Jackson.

Though greatly influenced by her home on the river, she has also been inspired by cities around the world to which she has visited.

Having traveled to various cities such as Damascus, Los Angeles, New York and Berlin, she has created a series of paintings over the last few years, called Cityscapes. Her talent and body of work has recently resulted in her being named the recipient of the 2016 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Visual Arts for her 2015 exhibit, “Foreign and Familiar Places at Fischer Galleries.”

According to Ferris, “Most of the work in my show, “ Paintings and Drawings: Black and White in Color,” was created over recent months and is being shown for the first time at Oxford Treehouse Gallery.  The large drawings in silver ink on black paper arrived as something of a surprise and mark a new direction in my process.  I’m thrilled to be showing at Vivian and Walter Neill’s beautiful gallery, which is a work of art in itself.”

I urge you to take the time to experience the gallery and Ferris’ work Friday, from 5- 8 p.m.

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