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Art lovers get ready….
People's Choice Awards opening

By Staff
FIRST-TIME PARTICIPANT E.J. Watson, 17, is a first-time participant in the Meridian Museum of Arts People's Choice Awards. Two of his works were selected to appear in the show. Behind him on the wall is one of them titled, "Madonna and Child." Photo by Carisa McCain/ The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
June 2, 2002
Just as artwork comes in all shapes, sizes and colors artists come in all ages, and from all backgrounds and walks of life.
This will be evident at the Meridian Museum of Art's 11th Annual People's Choice Awards the competition that gives museum visitors the chance to choose the winners.
Artists over the age of 15 from across the Southeastern United States were eligible to submit work. The chosen pieces will hang in the museum beginning Saturday through July 13, when the winners will be announced.
One hundred three artists entered this year's competition; 179 works will be exhibited.
All types of work will be featured in the show, including raku pottery, oil paintings, Calligraphic prints, watercolors, assemblages, bronze sculpture, stained glass, hand-tinted photographs, pastels, quilts, mixed media pieces and egg tempera.
First-time participant
For 17-year-old E.J. Watson, just having his work selected was exciting enough.
Watson will be a senior at Meridian High School in the fall. Two of his pieces will be included in the show.
His first piece, titled "Madonna and Child," is a hand-drawn portrait of Mary holding Jesus.
Watson said is favorite medium is charcoal.
His second piece of artwork, titled "Darkness," was inspired by a photograph of Muhammad Ali he saw in a magazine.
The piece won him second place in the high school division at this year's art competition at Arts in the Park.
The son of Ernie and Rennee Watson of Meridian, E.J. has been accepted into a summer art program at the University of Mississippi. He hopes the experience will give him a taste of college life.
Photographers,
painters, sculptors
Sue Anne Hoyt of Clanton, Ala., has entered abstract oil paintings in this year's show.
Hoyt has a master's degree in art. She started painted seriously 10 years ago and has submitted work to the Meridian Museum of Art in the past.
Self-taught photographer Howard York started doing photography 25 years ago. The Hattiesburg native uses black and white film because he believes it adds substance to the finished work.
York has two works in the show this year a landscape and a portrait.
He said his most memorable lesson about photography came about four years ago, when he took a course from National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones.
Clay sculptor Susan Clark owns Feat of Clay an art shop in Louisville.
A longtime member of the Mississippi Craftsmen Guild, Clark describes herself as a creative person.

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