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Artist Charlie Buckley Creates Abstract Grove, Mississippi Art

Charlie Buckley stands in front of his Grove art work at the Graduate.
Charlie Buckley stands in front of his Grove art work at the Graduate.

The Graduate hotel offers luxurious lodging and dining with a touch of southern, Mississippi charm. Adding to that charm is the art work that hangs in the lobby of the hotel. Mississippi artist, Charlie Buckley, has two grand pieces of art that catch your eye as soon as you walk through the hotel’s revolving door.

Buckley's interpretation of the Grove.
Buckley’s interpretation of the Grove.

“They [the Graduate] saw my stuff in Powerhouse,” Buckley said. “I was really excited when they wanted me to do something for the hotel.”

Buckley, who lives in Tupelo and is soon moving to Oxford, was contracted to construct a large abstract piece of the Grove on game day at Ole Miss for one of his works of art. The art work is one of the first you see hanging on the wall beside Cabin 82 down stairs. It is five feet by seven feet and weighs 200 pounds.

“It’s made to show all the different areas of the Grove,” Buckley said. “I used crowd sourcing to help me label certain parts of the Grove and that helped a lot.”

Buckley’s art includes hallmark buildings that surround the Grove so people can get a sense of direction when they look at it. Such buildings are Farley Hall, Barnard Observatory, the Croft Institute and Ventress Hall. Buckley gets creative in the ways he represents the people, trees, tents and the Walk of Champions.

A close up of Buckley's Grove art work.
A close up of Buckley’s Grove art work.

“I made these plastic things [the green and clear circles] to represent the trees. You can see through them so you can see everything else underneath that is going on,” Buckley said. “The string that runs through the streets represents all the different people that pass through.”

Down the Walk of Champions, he made jerseys with the Ole Miss football player’s numbers on them to represent the traditional march through the Grove to Vaught-Hemingway stadium by the football team and coaches. Among the tents he created, you can see the names of the roads that run through the Grove.

“It’s supposed to be abstract,” Buckley said, “you have to look at to see that it is the Grove.”

Buckley's "authentic" Mississippi painting.
Buckley’s “authentic” Mississippi painting.

On the back wall of the lobby that leads to the hotel’s ballroom, another large piece of Buckley’s art is displayed. It is 12 feet by three feet, and represents rural Mississippi.

“The painting is from a bunch of pictures spliced together,” Buckley said. “I think it is authentic Mississippi.”

The painting captures a storm cloud coming over an old, country road beside a field of crops on Old Sardis Road.

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It is simply breathe taking, and it is one of the main focus points of the room. Buckley added a red fox in the corner just for the Graduate because the fox is their logo, but they are home to Mississippi as well.

Buckley continues to paint and create art around Mississippi, and you can see more of his art on his website.

Emily Newton is a staff writer for hottytoddy.com and the editor for Experience Oxford magazine. She is a recent graduate of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media of Ole Miss. Emily can be reached at emily.newton@hottytoddy.com.

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