The Welty Biennial celebrates Eudora Welty as a visionary American: author, photographer, witness and reporter of the state of Mississippi to the world.

Sunlight and Dust by Cole Dickerson

When Eudora Welty was a girl growing up in downtown Jackson, Mississippi a hundred years ago she took photographs of what she saw around her. She called her photographs snapshots: they were taken fast, in a snap. Years later, when Eudora Welty had become a famous writer, she explained: a good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.

From April 28 through June 15 children, ages 6-18, from the Jackson area submitted over 50 snapshots to The Welty Biennial Snapshot Contest.   The photographs spoke to three themes:  2 Things in 1 Image, Old & New, and Everyday Made Special.  

From now through July 2 the winning snapshots, enlarged and artfully framed, are on display in The Upper Atrium at The Arts Center of Mississippi, 201 East Pascagoula.  On July 2, from 5-7pm, the Board of Directors of The Welty Biennial invites you to a Closing Reception, at The Arts Center of Mississippi, honoring The Snapshot Contest Winners.  

A place that ever was lived in is like a fire that never goes out. – from Some Notes on River Country by Eudora Welty

For twelve weeks, beginning 10 April 2015, the first Welty Biennial will circle out from the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, Mississippi, the capital of the state, where Miss Welty was born, grew up as a child, and made her home for the rest of her life. Related events, installations, performances, and contests will take place throughout the city within walking distance of the Mississippi Museum of Art in downtown Jackson.

Classical Mississippi is the theme of the first Biennial. Eudora Welty’s imagination was fed by an awareness of the classical Greek heritage to be found all around her in Jackson, from the columned buildings in her neighborhood, including the Capitol Building, to ruins in a field and the stars in the sky.

The Welty Biennial exhibits include ninety double-exposure photographs by American surrealist Clarence John Laughlin, nine modernist constellation sculptures by James Seawright, and an uptodate interpretation of the sculpture of the Goddess of Mississippi on the Capitol pediment. Events include a concert by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, video on the dome of the Jackson Planetarium, and a dance party at the Welty House Museum. A Snapshot Contest for Jackson schoolchildren aims to pass on Eudora Welty’s vision to a new generation.

All Welty Biennial events and exhibits are free.

Photo Credits