By Leah Allen
BC Staff Writer
Activities are just getting started for the year at the Delta Arts Alliance in Cleveland.
“September has always been my favorite month – since I was a kid. Sure, it’s my birthday month, which may have just a little something to do with it or that it’s the official start of autumn, or maybe even because it’s the start of a new television season. I’m not sure the exact reason, but it’s just an exciting time and during my tenure here at Delta Arts Alliance, the same has held true,” said DAA Executive Director Rori Herbison.
“September is an incredibly fun and exciting time in the gallery. We open our newest exhibition, the first in our upcoming season; and on the same night we host our annual membership meeting. Also, we are placing artist across the Delta and really ramping up our after-school offerings here in the Court Street building. There is never a shortage of to-dos and excitement,” she said.
After school classes have already begun at the Ellis but enrollment remains open for all classes, with the exception of some dance programs that have reached capacity.
DAA offers classes in creative writing, cooking, art, photography dance and more.
The first exhibit of the season will give guests the opportunity to view work from a Mississippi artist.
“We are currently hosting the works of Mr. Jere Allen from Oxford. If you’ve heard me speak before, you know I am forever and a day in love with my job. Mr. Allen’s paintings are just more proof of the awesomeness of my gig here on Court Street.
“These paintings are mesmerizingly, spellbindingly good and I cannot wait for our community to come and see these pieces, listen to these pieces and take in the pieces, wholly and completely,” Herbison added.
In addition to painting, Allen is also a professor of art at the University of Mississippi.
His work has displayed at the Huntsville Museum of Art, the Mobile Museum of Art, the Meridian Museum of Art and the Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay, OR.
“I go to work every day and paint. I often have a notion, but the notion is merely the inspiration to paint. The painting takes care of itself and does not have to accurately depict anything other than a feeling. I often draw a parallel when questioned about the feeling. I ask (people) if they remember having a crush on someone in high school, and if they did, I ask if they had a sensation in their head or their chest,” said Allen.
Much of Allen’s work is impressionistic and symbolic and some critics have compared him to Rembrandt.
“My paintings employ a reactive method in the search for an elusive notion that has perplexed me for many years. The images, symbols, and compositions, which stem from personal, social, political realities, are often a foil to assist in the realization of feelings,” he said.
The Allen exhibit is called Inspirations and will open Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
For more information about the exhibit, the membership meeting or to inquire about enrolling a child in one of the afterschool classes call (662) 843-3344.