The Siesta painting
“The Siesta” by Becci Rae Edwards. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

The group exhibit “Tribute—Recreations and Reimaginings of Master Works,” will be on display at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Harrison County Campus’s Fine Arts Gallery from August 30 – September 23, 2021. A closing reception will be held on September 23 from noon until 1:00 p.m.

Participating artists are part of a pop-up group started because of a COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

“I wanted to find a way to challenge the artists in our community to do something they may have not tried before–” said founding member Alicia Overton, “to keep us all creative and focused on accomplishing something in a very trying time.”

The first masterpiece show was held in May at the Gulfport Arts Center. It was such a success that the artists wished to have an additional exhibition with several new pieces at the MGCCC Harrison County Campus’s Fine Arts Gallery.

“I challenged everyone to go outside of their comfort zone and paint a copy of an Old Master’s work,” said Overton.  “This practice dates to the 1400s and is still popular today. Painting one of the master’s works was more challenging than most of us thought it would be. We really strove to imitate the original in every way possible: brushstrokes, medium, style and size.   Because the oils and temperas of the old days are no longer available, everyone did their very best to get it right. It sharpens our skills of color, composition and observation to say the least.”

Carol Hutcherson replicated “Sun and Life” by Frida Kahlo after seeing it in the Dallas Museum of Art on recent trip.  “I was immediately drawn to it,” she said. “During the execution of this work, I felt a spiritual connection to this remarkably strong woman.”

Cissy McCabe Quinn recreated “Open Window, Collioure” by Henri Matisse. Looking at her own work, she said, “I became aware of how many times I had used windows in my own paintings. Windows are a viewfinder to the world. The artist has the freedom of seeing the reality or the fantasy of that world.”

MGCCC alumus Anthony Badon reimagined Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” by replacing the central figure with a young man.  “This painting has always intrigued me—Who was this girl, what was her name, what’s her story? I’m a sucker for a good mystery,” he said. “Before approaching this piece I asked myself, ‘how exactly do we know their gender?’ How would the people of 1665 feel if they knew it was never a girl wearing the pearl earring but instead a very androgynous man covered in makeup?”

Becci Rae Edwards painted “The Siesta” from Paul Gauguin’s Tahitian series. “I think most artists dream of painting on an island in an exotic setting with reckless abandon,” she said.

“This has been a great escape for my mind in the time of a pandemic to paint the islands of Tahiti and the South Pacific.  I am transported there daily as I paint which has been a balm for my soul.”

Participating artists include Carol Hutcherson, Judy Jacobsen, Becci Rae Edwards, Cissy McCabe Quinn, Anthony Badon, Alicia Overton, Vielsa Harding, Austin Baldwin, Vanda McCormick, Kay Eaton, Deb Alexander, Anthony DiFatta, George Ann McCullough, Bruce Seabolt, Aline Marbella Villanueva, Cissy McCabe Quin, Benjamin Thomas, Becci Rae Edwards, Beth Ann MacDonald, Russell Hice, Milton Williams, and Kay Eaton.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Harrison County Campus is located at 2226 Switzer Rd, Gulfport. The art gallery is located in the Fine Arts building, building D.

Gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Masks are required inside of college buildings.

For more information, contact gallery director Cecily Cummings at or (228) 897-3909.

Starry Night painting
Starry Night over the Rhone” by Judy Jacobsen. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

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