International Arts, Crafts and Literature
Mississippians have quite a creative streak. Witness the many Mississippi artists and artisans who grace us with their talents. From outsider Mississippi art and eclectic pottery to symphony and opera, you’re sure to find something unique and irresistible. Unique shops. Lively festivals. Intriguing studios. Welcoming galleries. Enjoy the cultural feast that is Mississippi art.
We have stories to tell.
Mississippi has produced some of the most remarkable literary legends of all time. Mississippi writers such as William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, Shelby Foote, Tennessee Williams, Walker Percy, John Grisham, and Willie Morris, are all masters of their craft and have carried storytelling to a whole new level. Their influence on American literature is immeasurable. To get acquainted with the work of some of the most prominent Mississippi writers, start by reading William Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury, As I Lay Dying, Intruder in the Dust, or The Reivers; and Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter, The Robber Bridegroom, or The Ponder Heart. If you are fascinated with the Civil War, any of Shelby Foote’s historical epics will be enjoyable. For a taste of life in small town Mississippi, you will treasure My Dog Skip or North Toward Home by Willie Morris. Legal intrigue is the forté of John Grisham, and favorite reads are The Firm, The Client, A Time to Kill, and The Chamber. Don’t forget the masterworks of playwright Tennessee Williams including A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie.You’re invited to experience the places, people, and small town charm that inspired so much of their work. Eudora Welty’s home and garden in Jackson have recently been restored to the way they looked during Welty’s writing peak. The outline of William Faulkner’s A Fable is scribbled on the wall of his antebellum home, Rowan Oak, in Oxford. Yazoo City is home to Willie Morris and the colorful spots described in his books.
Folk art to fine art-fabulous!
Many distinguished and, yes, eccentric Mississippi artists have utilized their strong roots and distinct Southern surroundings to demonstrate their talents and created unforgettable Mississippi art. From his studio in Ocean Springs, Walter Anderson let the plant and animal life of the Gulf serve as his inspiration. Wyatt Waters, renowned watercolorist in Clinton, captures ordinary scenes and locations and transfers them to paper in the most extraordinary way.
Travel the back roads...you just might run into a rare piece of pottery made by George Ohr, "the Mad Potter of Biloxi," or visit with Susan Ford in Jackson, who blows glass into radiant, beautifully formed pieces. Stop in the tiny town of Merigold for a colorful glazed piece from McCarty Pottery, or keep an eye out for a wooden creation by self-taught woodcarver George Berry. The creativity is endless in Mississippi: stained glass, patchwork quilts, intricate Native American crafts, Choctaw Indian baskets, and so much more. The hunt is half the fun.To make your visit even more fun, there’s always a museum, festival, or special event to commemorate almost everything in Mississippi from the historic to the humorous. From downtown celebrations to flea markets to food, music, and film festivals, you’ll typically find unique Mississippi art and crafts, homemade food, interesting games, and lots of live music. Pack some good walking shoes and come check it out.