JCJC’s art gallery features a ‘couple’ of artists

Written By: Teresa Martin
Email Address: teresa.martin@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2012-09-05 08:38:17

ELLISVILLE – Raymond, MS artists, Michael and Gayle McCarty will display some of their works of art during the month of September at the Eula Bass Lewis art gallery at Jones County Junior College. The retired couple taught art at Hinds Community College where Gayle was also the department chairwoman, gallery director and district director of permanent collections for 25 years.  Michael was an art teacher at Delta State University before teaching at Hinds.  Their two sons have inherited the ‘family business’ and are also artists.

Gayle is a mixed media artist incorporating nature into her works of art.  She utilizes a wide range of objects she finds in nature like bones and stones to clay and paper.  A collection of 24 small paintings called “Diary” is part of the collection on display at Jones, which typifies her love and use of nature. For six days a week, for four weeks she painted something reflecting nature with its earth tones to items that are actually found in nature.  It’s all assembled together to form these mixed media hanging pieces. 

“With a need to venture back to a place where art was created for the pure pleasure of manifesting ideas directly, having little if any regard for the final product, the work began,” said Gayle of her collection of nature, “Diary.” 

JCJC sophomore art students Jeremy Childress of Columbia, Cody Pate of Vancleave and Victoria Bland of Mt. Olive found “Diary” interesting but also enjoyed the artists’ husband Michael’s mixture of graphic art and digital imagery.  He combines vintage items with computer software to create new and modern images. 

“These are real pictures from decades ago,” said Pate as he points out the image, “If I Should Die.”  “He brings the past to the present with the computer programs he uses to manipulate and enhance and layer the images.”   

The piece Pate refers to is an actual letter McCarty’s father wrote to his mother before serving in World War II. Family images are layered discreetly behind the flag and the typed letter with a single picture of his father in the middle. All of Michael’s work has a patriotic feel with authentic period images of people he knew.   

Childress noted the details and perspective of one of the artists’ personal favorites, “Gayle.”

“Unless you get close to the picture, (of Gayle, his wife) and you look closely, you wouldn’t notice the pattern.  He’s using a layer of small pictures of his children over create her face.  It’s almost an optical illusion.” 

Both artists offer a different perspective on nature and images that the young JCJC artists found attention-grabbing. The McCarty’s work will be on display through September 21, and is free and open to the public Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. through 3 p.m., and Fridays, 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. For more information call 601-477-4148.


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