By Steven Cochran
The Ole Miss Motel on University Avenue was transformed into an art gallery Saturday, Oct. 13 to display the works of several nationally acclaimed artists. The lineup featured the works of 11 talented artists from our very own community, as well as some from as far away as Los Angeles, California and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Erin Austen Abbott, owner of Amelia and founder of the art show, came up with the idea of this unconventional gallery viewing in 2006 to give artists an outlet to exhibit and sell their works.
“The lack of galleries at the time and the desire to create something unique was my motivation behind the creation of ‘One Night Stand,'” she said.
This was the fourth year of offering art-goers the opportunity to purchase a ticket for a “first dibs” opportunity to meet with artists, view their works, and have the first chance of purchasing. To complement the art viewing experience, Jackson Beer Company and Smoke Shop Oxford gave viewers the options for a cold beer and home cooked meal.
Abbott said she enjoys seeing the artists have a successful showing.
“Several artists have gained national shows and recognition from this event,” she said.
As each artist moved into their temporary “gallery space” for the evening, some moved the beds and furniture out completely while a few based their installations around the existing furnishings. Nonetheless, each completely transformed the décor of the rooms to display their talents. The variety of mediums used by each artist were as unique and memorable as the venue itself. One such artist, Lee Harper of Oxford, and her “History of Bones” exhibit, found a way to make art and history fun at the same time.
“It all started as a lark—something funny to do with my son for Halloween,” she said. “It was just a fun take on the Elf on the Shelf that has become such a part of our pop culture.”
Though her son Ben—now a senior at Lafayette High School—grew out of the novelty of it Harper said she just couldn’t give it up.
One thing was evident with each artist—art is their life. Although some are new to their artistry, most knew from an early age that art was their calling.
“I noticed in the second grade that my drawing was noticeably better than my classmates,” said Adrienne Brown-David of Water Valley. And Kristen Ley of Jackson said she knew she wanted to be an artist from the moment she “showed up to career day dressed as an artist.”
Abbott said in a previous hottytoddy.com article the main goal of the art show is to bring people together for the enjoyment of art, the support of artists by making purchases, and simply to enjoy a fun party.
“It’s been an Oxford highlight for the last 11 years,” she said. “I don’t see myself ending it anytime soon.”