A night of art and culture: Celebrating MMA’s latest exhibitions at the Rayford residence

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JANS – In a splendid gathering that blended art, culture, and community, Denise and Bob Owens recently hosted an event at the picturesque home of Drs. Richard and Edith Rayford, celebrating the Mississippi Museum of Art’s (MMA) latest offerings. The evening was not just a social event but also a deep dive into the world of modern art, highlighting MMA’s current exhibitions: “Picasso Landscapes Out of Bounds” and “Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations.”

The event’s highlight was an insightful presentation by MMA’s Laurie Hearin McRee Director, Betsy Bradley. Bradley, a known figure in the art world for her expertise and passion, illuminated the unique aspects of the exhibits. She emphasized the groundbreaking techniques of Pablo Picasso, renowned for his revolutionary approach to landscapes, and Romare Bearden, celebrated for his vibrant and rhythmic collage work that often parallels Picasso’s abstract style.

“What made the evening more remarkable was the discussion about the profound economic and cultural impact of MMA in the community,” commented Denise Owens. “Bradley’s talk underscored how art transcends being merely a visual spectacle; it is a vital part of the community’s fabric, contributing significantly to both cultural enrichment and economic vitality.”

The Rayfords’ home provided a perfect backdrop for this gathering of art enthusiasts and community leaders. Their residence, known for its exquisite architecture and tasteful art collection, echoed the evening’s theme of appreciating fine art within intimate, personal spaces.

Attendees left with not only a greater appreciation for Picasso’s and Bearden’s genius but also a renewed understanding of MMA’s role in enhancing the cultural landscape of Mississippi. This event was a testament to the power of art in bringing people together and fostering meaningful conversations about its role in society.

Owens retired in 2022 after a stellar career on the Hinds County Chancery Court bench. She now serves as MMA board chair.

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A night of art and culture: Celebrating MMA’s latest exhibitions at the Rayford residence

By Jackson Advocate News Service
December 11, 2023