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Busbee gallery opens James Conner exhibit

By Staff
special to the Star
Oct. 26, 2003
Bonnie Busbee Art Frame and Gallery will host a reception Thursday for "Reflections of Good Things," a show of new works by James Conner.
The event, from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., will feature a talk by Conner, music by Terry Cherry and refreshments.
Conner lives in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and is originally from Noxubee County. He is a full-time artist whose outstanding work and gentle personality are well-known to art lovers throughout the area.
His colorful paintings often depict people with hard lives, living through in hard times, but who still find joy in the things around them.
Conner himself said, "I have been told that my work talks to a person as if a person can walk into my paintings and feel what's going on."
Other viewers have described his paintings as being "as close to reliving moments of enchantment as reality will allow."
Conner believes he was born to be an artist. His first memories are of drawing before he was old enough to attend school. In high school, he received a degree in "advertising art" from art instruction schools in Minnesota. He then served in the U.S. Army as a graphic artist and illustrator with two tours of duty in Vietnam and Europe.
Returning to the United States, he received his bachelor's degree in art from Wayne State University in Detroit. Conner worked first in drafting, then as a sketch artist in the Graphics Division of the Detroit Police Department. While working in law enforcement, Conner realized that he wanted to fulfill his earlier desire to support himself with his art and decided to return to the South.
Although he had continued to paint after college, he says his decision to return to the South brought new focus and intensity to his art. Conner received his master's degree in fine arts from the University of Mississippi. He has been an instructor at Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women and Meridian Community College.
He has exhibited works in New York, Memphis, Tenn., Detroit, Birmingham, Ala., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Atlanta, New Orleans and throughout Mississippi.
What: Opening reception for exhibit of James Conner's work
Where: Bonnie Busbee Art Frame and Gallery, 712 23rd Ave. in
downtown Meridian
When: Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. If you can't make it, but want to see the exhibit, regular gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For information: Call 693-6363