Museum’s Art Challenge sends artists To The Big Woods for inspiration

Area artists, take note of an art challenge. The Union County Heritage Museum is challenging area artists calling for entries for the fourth annual juried Faulkner and Folk Art Exhibit. Cash awards will be given in three categories, interpretation of the writer, works in fine art and works in folk art.

It’s a different way to “see” the work of William Faulkner, novelist, poet as well as visual artist as well as Mississippi’s only native son to earn a Noble Prize. While sometimes Faulkner’s prose may be difficult to follow, his descriptions of his world of Yoknapatawpha are very vivid.

Awards include a first, second and third place cash award in each of the three categories.   The art challenge includes interpretation of William Faulkner the man, artistic interpretation of a scene, character or quote from the book chosen for this year’s reading and art challenge  – The Big Woods.  Entries can be done in the fine art style or folk art style. Two dimensional and/or  three dimension work is accepted.

The possibility also exists for a purchase award, if there is an entry which fits a niche in the museum’s collection, said Jill Smith, museum director, it may be purchased.  Previous year’s art work has interpreted Faulkner’s books Light in August and As I Lay Dying.  Winning pieces have been purchased by the museum or an art patron for inclusion in the collection.

Water Valley sculptor John Steel Davis’ piece, Lena Grove, is now in the William Faulkner Literary Garden,  New Albany artist Hayley Yurkow’s glass engraving of a word portrait  is in the collection ,  as is New Albany metal artist Jonathan’s Smith’s metal sculpture of the coffin of Addie Bundren being rescued from a burning barn.   A paper cutting of William Faulkner done by Lisa McReynolds of Starkville is part of the Faulkner Collection, as well as others.  “We are always looking for unique pieces to further interpret William Faulkner and his work.  He is our most famous native son, and in New Albany we  have a gallery and a library devoted to him and work about him,” said Jill Smith, director and also curator of the exhibit.

Entries should be at the museum by September 14. There is no fee for entry, however if the entry is overly large, please contact the museum to discuss the size.   The exhibit opens September 22, from 5:30 – 7.    The museum is located at 114 Cleveland Street, New Albany -, 662-538-0014, email