The Artist’s Way

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spring's Promise is one of many award winning pastel pieces.

Spring’s Promise is one of many award winning pastel pieces.


Picayune is rich with talent in the disciplines of the arts and we need to find a way to celebrate every occasion with as many of them as possible and with complete community support.

Concerts by the Community Band, art shows by the Pearl River County Arts League and Greater Picayune Arts Council, along with blues concerts and theater group performances are just a few of the ways to soak up the artistic talents of the local residents.

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Nettie Kennedy, a semi-retired Realtor, board member of Greater Picayune Arts Council and pastel artist is one of those who contribute their talents to the local arts scene.

“I love our art community here in Picayune,” Kennedy said. “We have an incredible talent pool of all kinds of artisans: Visual, woodworking, jewelry— the list goes on and on.

“One of the ladies who is in our Art League just held a one-woman show in Louisiana. This is what I am talking about. We have some talent here.”

Why does a small geographical area have such a high concentration of artists?

“I think that people who come here love the small town atmosphere and slower pace, she says. “Less stress allows them to focus on creating their art. In addition, I find the community very supportive of all the different art organizations and artists here. I have found it very easy to live and work here.”

Kennedy, the mother of two and grandmother of three, has found that her attempt at semi-retirement has her busier than ever. This seems to be another characteristic of those involved in the art community in Picayune.

They simply do not stop.

For example, Kennedy has created a Facebook page for Mississippi Pastel Artists. “When I semi-retired from real estate last year, I decided to work on my art and travel. I have become more active in the Pearl River Arts League, GPAC and St. Tammany Pastel Society as well as The Mississippi Pastel Organization. The Mississippi Pastel Organization is also a part of the International Association of Pastels Society (or IAPS).

“Being centrally located to so many other communities that are strong in the arts, is another reason that I love where I live,” Kennedy says.  “Even in semi retirement— this has been the busiest time of my life with shows, travel, as well as church.  I am just loving it and thrilled to pursue things that I am passionate about. This has been the most exciting year already and I can’t wait for more.”