“Natchez Project”

Poster of "Natchez Project"

Natchez Project announces 2012 Fellowship recipients.

Three fellowships were awarded for the Natchez Project 2012. Lynn Smiser Bowers, Steve Hasslock and Billy Ray Mangham were each awarded a fellowship for the 2012 Natchez Project that is held annually in the Natchez, Mississippi studio of Conner Burns.
The Natchez Project is a convergence of selected artists in Natchez for the purpose of exploration and creation of artwork.  The intention of the Natchez Project is three-fold:  to provide time and space for artists to create without distractions, to allow interactions between exceptional artists and to provide an exhibition of art.
The Natchez Project was created and is sponsored by Conner Burns; an artist and gallery owner in Natchez Mississippi.  The 2011 Natchez Project will occur January 23 – 28, 2012 in Natchez, Mississippi.  An exhibition by the Natchez Project Fellowship artists that is free and open to the public will be held Saturday, January 28th, 5-8pm at the Gallery of Conner Burns  –  209 Franklin Street, Downtown Natchez.
Artists receiving fellowships to participate in the Natchez Project are:
Lynn Smiser Bowers – Dallas, Texas – Lynn works within a functional format and includes varied and often intricate surface designs..  Her artwork is exhibited throughout the United States and she is a desired workshop teacher.  She describes her own work with these words – “I choose to combine traditional and contemporary methods and inspirations in my artwork.  Inspiration for my surfaces is eclectic and varied.  My recent work reflects influences from the textile world.  African Asafo Flags, 18th century Japanese ikat kimonos and old pictorial Navajo weavings contain patterns and images that intrigue me. ”
Steve Hasslock – Covington, Louisiana – Steve incorporates a variety of techniques which create a rich and varied surface and story.  He has been active in the art world for decades and has experienced a vast array of processes and methods in the world of clay and in other media.  His large scale installations to his intimate vessels and everything in between, can be found throughout the country.  One art critic stated – “Distilled down – his current artwork embraces his fluid and direct (and often whimsical) style as it interacts with surfaces.  I am not ignoring the forms that he has created, but instead choose to celebrate the surfaces that he creates on those varied forms  … from vases to platters to tiles to walls.”
Billy Ray Mangham – San Marcos, Texas –  Billy Ray spends his time in the whimsical world of Billy Ray sculpture.  During his 36 plus year career he has exhibited internationally and has been celebrated by artists, critics and museums alike.  He would tell you more about his artwork, but he is busy in his studio and at his ‘eye of the dog art center’.  Billy Ray spends his time creating fascinating creatures, teaching others to work with clay and hosting workshops and artists in a variety of media; sharing his property, his talent and his resources to continue to develop the artistic community one artist at a time.
Conner Burns will host the Natchez Project.  In addition to making his clay artwork, Burns teaches workshops internationally to both professional and amateur artists..  His work has been featured in books about teapots, bowls, glazes, cups and pitchers and has received awards from galleries, art festivals, art associations and national clay organizations.  Burns’ work has been exhibited widely and is in collections across Europe, Asia and the United States.
Burns makes vessels that are single fired and glazed with natural glazes that are subtle in both color and texture.  His work is very organic and his intent is to have each piece look as if it ‘grew that way’ rather than something that was made.
The Gallery of Conner Burns is located at 209 Franklin Street in downtown Natchez, Mississippi.  For additional information:  601-446-6334 or



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