QUASAR gears up with a showcase of local artists, talents

Published 11:16 am Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Quasar is back and is getting into motion with their upcoming event to celebrate the arts. The organization invites the public to come out to the Old Armory Pavilion at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26 to enjoy a night of comedy, poetry, live music and visual arts.

“The goal of Quasar is to make the arts more accessible within Oxford,” said Amy Webb, events coordinator and treasurer of Quasar.

Webb is a native of Tupelo and there she experienced secret art galleries and participated in showings around the city. However, she had a harder time upon moving to Oxford.

“I would go to gallery openings and I tried to get involved in the arts communities, but it was really hard to find a community for people who weren’t established, long-time artists with MFAs and galleries,” said Webb.

The writing and arts focused initiative seeks to showcase local talent and to support and develop artists that they find through social media, local radio stations or galleries. The Sunday event will feature local talents such as visual artist Zach Fields, poet Elz, comedian Connor King and musician Rod Smoth.

This event signals a great comeback for Quasar after an uncertain period time. The COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected many people and organizations across the board, including Quasar. The first edition of the Quasar magazine had just published in February 2020 before they were forced to pull back and regroup.

Quasar held small gatherings in outdoor spaces which allowed them to continue when other organizations stopped completely. It was often that QUASAR was the only organization holding events during the pandemic, much to the joy of locals.

“There were some times that we couldn’t hold events altogether,” said Webb. “When we did feel it was appropriate and that we could take those precautions, we got told by a lot of local people how excited they were just to be able to do something because nothing else was going on at the time.”

Now, the organization is ready to ramp back up. Not only has Quasar introduced Anna Yates, a new member, to the team and recently published the magazine’s second edition in time for the September event, but they have officially partnered with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.

According to Quasar Events Coordinator and Treasurer Amy Webb, YAC has helped Quasar since December 2019 and has given a huge amount of support. Through the official agreement, YAC will continue that support and help Quasar become self-sustaining.

Webb is grateful that Quasar is back after a long time to cater to artists in the community and give them a place to shine.

“Whether you’re an accounting student who makes art or you wait tables for a living and you write poetry, we want you to have a place to share that,” she said.

With the help of the community, Quasar is able to hold their events and foster accessibility. Quasar is a non-profit organization and they encourage the public to donate when possible so they can continue to give their artists platforms.

For more information on Quasar, visit www.facebook.com/quasarliteraryarts.