Prairie Arts boasts another record year

From left, Arts Council member Lee Stafford, Best of Show winner Jimmy Criddle, and art judge Scott Baine show off Criddle’s award-winning work.
By: 
DTL Staff
Staff Writer

As many as 20,000 people attended another successful Prairie Arts Festival in downtown West Point Saturday and a Columbus artist earns best of show for a piece called “Miller and Sons.”

“Our vendors seemed very pleased for the most part and we heard nothing but good things from people who attended, our musicians, just about everyone,” said Lisa Klutts, director of the West Point Clay County Growth Alliance, which helps put on the event which celebrated its 40th year and remains one of the top arts festivals in North Mississippi.

“We learn things every year. The lay out seemed to work with the minor tweaking. We can’t say enough about how pleased we are. And we couldn’t do it without all the volunteers. They are the ones who really deserve the credit.

“We try each year to provide diversity in music, artists, craftsmen. We hope we accomplished that,” Klutts continued.

Jimmy Criddle was named “Best in Show” and received a $1,000 top prize from the West Point/Clay County Arts Council.

Scott Baine from the art department at East Mississippi Community College was the judge.

“We had several people who had never entered before and some very good and creative entries,” said Arts Council board member Holly Hitt, who noted art vendors seemed pleased with sales for the day-long event.
Other winners included:

PAINTING

First place, Justin Vowell, “Never Cease to Wonder”; Second place, Joseph MacGown, “4 Expressive Studies.”

MIXED MEDIA, GRAPHICS, DRAWINGS

First place, Joseph MacGown, “Feed Me”; Second place, Scott McQueen, “Howling’ Wolf.”
PHOTOGRAPHY

First place, Teresa Dunlap, “Blues Hands”; Second place, Kim Hunt, “Courthouse at Dusk”

SCULPTURE, POTTERY

First place, Eddie Ridings, “Fly Flapper, Whipper Snapper”; Second place, Mary Jo Williams, “You’ve Been Steam Dunked”; Third place, Craig and Tracy Wilson, “Red Oak Cut Out Vase”

JEWELRY, WOOD, GLASS, FIBER

First place, Candy Cain, “Rodger’s Tree”; Second place, Heidi Kemp, “Violet Inspirations”; Third place tie, Bessie Johnson, “Serving Tray” and Steve Strawbridge, “Coin Bracelet.”
First place winners received $350, second place winners earned $200 and third place winners got $100.

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