Serendipitous Art

If you mat it, they will come. That could be the theme for the Serendipity Art Show and Silent Auction at the Mississippi State Hospital on Sept. 2. It's the best place to fulfill your dream of adorning your living or work space with unique, creative and original artwork at a price you can afford. Serendipity is that special event that serves more than one purpose, a fine example of another melodious s-word—symbiosis—in which a mutually beneficial relationship develops between the artists and the buyers.

Ranging from children to adults, art program participants—from Psychiatric Services, Community Services, Jaquith Nursing Home and the Oak Circle Center Child/Adolescent Unit—have a wide range of therapeutic needs met, as well as gaining a structured art education.

The artists benefit greatly from realizing that their creations are appreciated by those who attend the show, said Elissa Plastino, a hospital spokeswoman.

More than 200 pieces will be on display in Building 71 at the Mississippi State Hospital campus in Whitfield. Lookers get a chance to bid in a non-threatening manner, walking from piece to piece in the gallery-style setting, writing their names and bid amounts at each piece that piques their interest.

You can circle again and again, upping your bid if you've been outbid on that favorite handmade paper, pencil drawing, ceramic, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, tempera, crayon batik or mixed-media piece.

My first visit was a year ago, but the memories of the freedom of expression seen in the shapes, lines, textures and colors are as vivid as if it were last week. I was lucky enough to be high bidder on four matted pieces—two vivid portraits of a truck driver in a cap and a fellow who reminded me of a character on the old "Fat Albert" cartoon series, as well as a tissue paper collage complete with a moving message on milk shakes and a small watercolor called "Emotions" that glows with what sunny yellow optimism at its center.

In my library at Morrison Academic Advancement Center, the three large pieces grace the top of a long bookshelf, leaning against the institutional-green cinderblock wall, while the small one sits beside my computer.

The 15th Serendipity Art Show and Silent Auction is Sept. 2, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., in Building 71's Conference Center at the Mississippi State Hospital campus in Whitfield. Go to http://www.msh.state.ms.us and click on "Driving to MSH" for directions to the hospital; once there, the guard will give you directions to Building 71. Checks and cash are accepted. Call 351-8018 if you have other questions.


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