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Museum hosts annual Patron's Party Thursday

By Staff
Special to The Star
May 12, 2002
The Meridian Museum of Art's Patron's Party the annual gala to honor its Patron members and encourage new members will be Thursday from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. at the elegant home of Sam and Frances Long.
The Patron's Party will feature fine food and drink, outstanding watercolor paintings by special guest artist Mark Millet, and music by celebrated Meridian pianist Wayne McInnis.
The Patron's Party is a special gala for museum members at the patron level and above, designed to honor patron members and encourage new patron memberships.
Sam and Frances Long know more than most people about the value of art, and artists, because their daughter, Peyton Long Hutchinson, is a gifted full-time artist herself. Among her works: the painted carousel horse at the Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau on Constitution Avenue, done as part of the Around Town Carousels Abound public art project.
Guest artist Mark Millet is one of the finest watercolor painters in Mississippi, enormously popular with collectors and patrons and equally successful in shows and competitions, winning awards in venues such as the Crosstie Arts Festival, the Mississippi Arts Guild, and Meridian's own People's Choice Art Competition.
Millet, who lives and works in Ridgeland, is a charter member and president of the Professional Artists League of Mississippi and a member of the Mississippi Watercolor Society.
His work illustrates the spirit of the South. "There's a wonderfully nostalgic feel to his paintings," Heder said. His watercolors, full of brilliant colors and ivory light, picture the changes and developments over the course of this century.
Whether portraying an everyday scene or a lost landmark, Mark's paintings create a sense of place a sense enhanced by his interests in history and architecture. "I'm trying to capture vanishing scenes of the South," Millet said. "Or recapture scenes that have already gone."
He finds inspiration for such scenes while traveling the backroads of the state. "I'm constantly searching for the perfect scene. It could be an old store that has seen better days, or kids walking along an old, abandoned railroad. Discoveries like those stir my creative excitement."
But the key to the Patron's Party, and its reason for being, is to thank the Museum's generous supporters, and to encourage new people to join. "The Patron's Party is always so much fun, with a great artist, great food, great music," said Museum President Terry Slife. "But we also want to make sure that our members know how much we need and appreciate their support. And we try to give back to members with so many benefits shows, receptions, special events, classes, workshops the Museum is one of the few places in this world that offers so much for so little. You know your support is hard at work!"
Museum membership levels begin at Individual ($30 per year), and include Dual/Family ($50), Patrons ($150), Sponsors ($300), Benefactors ($500), Grand Benefactors ($1,000), Silver Circle ($2,500), and Gold Circle ($5,000).

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