Art is alive in Pearl River County: PRC Arts League promotes artists

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Local artist Gail Sheasby said that she is constantly designing in her mind and when she sees something that sparks her interest, she puts it on canvas. Photo by Cassandra Favre

Local artist Gail Sheasby said that she is constantly designing in her mind and when she sees something that sparks her interest, she puts it on canvas.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas.

In 1972, a group of artists in Pearl River County created the Pearl River County Arts League.
PRCAL publicity chairman, Gail Sheasby said members would meet to paint together, display their work and attend competitions.
According to the non-profit’s mission statement, the group’s purpose is to foster relationships among practicing artists, promote public interest and appreciation of local artists, provide a gallery for the exhibition and sale of art, establish a studio for working groups and support art education.
“All communities need art,” Sheasby said. “I don’t think life would be the same without music and art.”
The group has grown to include 75 artists who create art utilizing various forms, including oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, mixed media, woodcarving, pottery and photography, Sheasby said.
For the past 41 years, the group has hosted an art show at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Picayune.
This year’s art show will be held on April 17-19. There will be a raffle for the group’s Margaret Dawsey Art Scholarship, which is open to all students enrolled in a Mississippi college who are studying art-related subjects, Sheasby said. Interested students can contact the PRCAL for an application.
The show will be open to the public on Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 19 from noon to 4 p.m.
The art show is open to all artists in Pearl River County and entry forms can be acquired at April’s, which is located at 105 Hwy. 11 S., Picayune.
Along with the scholarship program, the group also donates to Toys for Tots and some members teach art at the senior center, Sheasby said.
Sheasby is also the chairman of the Easel List. Each month a member’s artwork is displayed and sold at one of ten businesses throughout Picayune, including both Bank Plus locations, Barze´ Place Antiques and Collectibles, Dub Herring Auto, First Bank, First National Bank of Picayune, First Southern Bank, Glass Doctor, Regions Bank, the Pearl River County Welcome Center and Highland Community Hospital, Sheasby said.
The artists sell their work and the PRCAL receives a commission from the sale, Sheasby said. The money is utilized to run the club.
However, the group is saving money to pay for a permanent location, Sheasby said.
“Our main priority is to open a gallery and offer art lessons for artists of all ages,” Sheasby said. “I haven’t seen a child yet whose eyes don’t light up when they create art. Art has evolved in the past few years. I have noticed that people are buying more relaxed and informal art for their homes. There are three main reasons people buy art. The first is to decorate their home, the second is for nostalgic reasons and lastly, the art evokes feelings and past experiences.”
The group meets the first Tuesday of the month at Infused, which is located at 209 W. Canal St., Picayune.
Membership in PRCAL costs $25 per year, Sheasby said.
For more information, visit the PRCAL’s website at and follow them on Facebook at Pearl River County Arts League.
Contact the club by email at

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