What better way to meet Mississippi artists than in their outdoor studio creating a piece of art. Each artist has from 2-6 PM to paint what inspires them! Mississippi artists will be traveling from the delta, the coast, and just a few miles away to compete.
Make your first stop the Registration/Information table by the theatre/fountain where you can get a list of the artists' biographies and a voting ballot. Vote for your favorite artist to win the $150 Columbia Sportswear People's Choice Award!
Out of those ballots we will select winners for our Pacesetter Gallery art giveaway! Special deals will be available as well from the sponsoring businesses.
If you like what you see and want to purchase a piece join us at the "after party" art will be available for viewing and purchasing at the reception right near the info booth across from Zea's Rotisserie and Bar! Judge/Artist Rick Anderson will be judging the work with cash and prizes to be awarded.
We appreciate our sponsors so much that are committed to supporting the arts and artists of Mississippi.
Major Sponsored Awards
Pacesetter Renaissance Best of Show Award $1000
Community Bank Best Oil Award $500
Branton-Schaffhauser Wealth Management Group of Raymond James Best Watercolor Award $500
Complete Exteriors Best Pastel Award $500
Columbia Sportswear People’s Choice Award $150 GC
Special Category Sponsors
Batteries Plus Best Lamp Post Award $100 GC
Highland Park by Material Girls Best Fountain $50 GC
Red Square Best Pop of Color Award $50 Gift Card
Brooks Brothers Best Figure Award $250 Shirt
Soft Surroundings Best Architecture Award $50 Gift Card
Vintage Wine Market Best Mixed Media Award $50 in Wine
Artists’ Reception Food Sponsors
Olivia’s Food Emporium
Zea Rotisserie & Bar
Pictured is Rowan Bird, a multi-media artist, who is pictured here competing in the Spring plein air event hosted by Pacesetter Gallery and Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks who will be also be competing at Renaissance. See the artists bios below to learn more about Rowan!
Renaissance at Colony Park is known for amazing architecture, curved walls, old world lamp posts, gardens, and spectacular fountains. With fantastic shopping and dining available in Ridgeland, MS, visitors will enjoy a relaxing enjoyable afternoon watching the art come to life before their very eyes.
Leslie Dobbins Ocean Springs, MS
Leslie Dobbins is an award-winning artist residing in picturesque Ocean Springs, Mississippi. From her studio, overlooking Davis Bayou on the Gulf of Mexico, she draws inspiration from her lush coastal surroundings, teeming with wildlife and sea creatures. Leslie is a graduate of University of Oklahoma and is a retired flight attendant. She has been crafting art for years in many mediums, and has studied under a number of renowned artists. At time of writing, Leslie’s first love is oil painting both in studio and plein air. She has much room in her heart for gouache, resin, and acrylic mediums as well.
Thea Stevenson Flowood, MS
Thea Stevenson proudly embraces the role of an artist rekindling a lifelong passion. In her early years, she was told that a career in art was an impractical dream, leading her to set aside artistic aspirations. After pursuing a career in graphic design, she has returned to her hometown of Flowood, Mississippi, to embark on a remarkable journey back to her creative roots. Through her art, she explores the emotions and narratives of rediscovery, illustrating the true joy of returning to one’s passion.
April Joy Watkins Madison, MS
April Joy Watkins has always loved working with acrylics, they are so versatile it has been her medium of choice for over 20 years. April is very inspired by family photos taken while traveling the world. Painting from those special adventures has taught her so much. Those painted memories fill the walls of her home and she continues to work to translate locations into emotional connections.
Kay Meadows Brandon, MS
Kay Meadows is a fine artist/illustrator born and raised in Mississippi. While painting is her first love, her degree is in Commercial Design and Advertising and Kay built a career as a graphic designer working in several industries. This opened doors for personal work, commissions, murals, and more recently illustrating children’s books. Member of Mississippi Artists' Guild, in 2000-2003 Best in Show for Midnight Musicians, Charcoal, Black and White Exhibition, 2001, First Place Nashville Illustration at the Starvie Awards, presented by Sensored Magazine 2004. One man shows at Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center, Hendersonville, TN and at Double Tree Hotel.
Mark Millet Raymond, MS
Mississippi artist Mark Millet has been painting the disappearing scenes of Mississippi for over 40 years. With his watercolors and acrylics, he has captured the discipline of abstraction, impressionism, and southern realism. Since 1992, Mark is the owner and operator of his own studio and has held many classes and workshops over the past 20 years. He teaches high school art as well, encouraging youth to be creative and think outside the canvas. Millet's works have been sold globally to collectors, investors, and municipalities.
Gloria Jones Madison, MS
Gloria Jones has been painting since 2017 and works in oil. Her work includes still life, but her heart lies in the landscape. She loves the process of creating and the sense of peace that comes from painting in a natural setting. Gloria is a member of Mississippi Artists’ Guild and has had artwork featured in galleries and shows in Central Mississippi.
Caitlin Jiles Benton, MS
Caitlin Jiles is the founder and artist behind The Watered Mill. Initially drawn to faceless watercolor portraits, Caitlin is excited to now offer live wedding paintings, custom commissions, and fine art collections. She is overwhelmed with gratitude to be able to share her passion of creating happy art with hopes of making happy hearts. She finds her biggest inspiration in our Creator who uses lots of color and variety. This Central Mississippi artist, painter, teacher, daughter, and friend is excited to help everyone find special connection to the art in their homes.
Catherine Becker Canton, MS
Catherine Becker took an interest in art at a young age and has continued this love of art, working with oil and watercolor/gouache. As a member of the Mississippi Artists’ Guild, she takes advantage of the workshops given by well-known artists, which are sponsored by the guild.
Aline Villanueva Biloxi, MS
Aline Marbella Villanueva was born at a military hospital in San Antonio, TX. When she was 7, the family moved to Aviano, Italy, and lived in Europe for 11 years. At the age of 8, she won grand prize in a nationwide drawing contest sponsored by the Department of Defense in celebration of the “Military Child Month”. She earned her Bachelors in Studio Arts, Art History and Practice, and Design from University of Southern Mississippi. She is an oil, acrylic and gouache fine art painter as well as a mixed media painter. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming and spending time with her 8-year-old son, Aiden.
Lucia Duque Clinton, MS
Lucia Duque was born in Columbia in 1984. She grew up in Spain and it was in Madrid where she developed as an artist. It was there where she got married to a Mississippi songwriter and decided to put down roots in Clinton, MS. Her cultural mix has been key in her painting. Lucia is passionate about color. Her master of acrylic technique with bright colors, textures, and gradients along with chromatic dissonances has led her to find her own artistic voice. She genuinely, and transparently, transmits her experiences, her joys and fears, but above all, her vision of the world.
Patricia Franks Clinton, MS
Patricia Franks is a Clinton, Mississippi artist who cannot remember a time when she wasn't drawing. Her passion for drawing eventually became a passion for painting which led to a BA in Art from the University of Mississippi. During that time, she studied under painter Jere Allen and printmaker John Winters. Currently, she paints mostly in oils, working either in the studio on portrait commissions or painting scenes from nature en plein air. Her subjects stem from her love of nature in all forms, her upbringing in rural Mississippi, and from her many travels. When not painting, Patricia enjoys showing her work and taking classes offered by the Mississippi Artists' Guild, where she currently serves as secretary. Her work can be found at Jackson Street Gallery in Ridgeland and Vicksburg, MS.
Lydia Bourn Madison, MS
A Mississippi native, Lydia taught school in the state for many years, including time spent locally at Madison Crossing Elementary. After a fulfilling career as a teacher, she decided to explore an interest from her past and under the guidance of friend and fellow artist, Mandy Ellard, she began to paint. Painting primarily in soft pastel, Lydia enjoys the immediacy and vibrancy of the dry medium. She participates in art workshops and enjoys the exchange of knowledge and creativity with many other wonderful artists through the Mississippi Artists’ Guld and as vice president of the Pastel Society of Mississippi. Recently Lydia had the honor of being juried in as an Associate Member of the Pastel Society of America, as well as a Signature Member of the Degas Pastel Society in New Orleans, LA.
May Lowe (Maylo) Brandon, MS
May Lowe (Maylo) spent her adventurous childhood on a farm in the Mississippi Delta. This is where she discovered her love for drawing at the age of five and watercolor at the age of 15.
The watercolor medium, because it is so elusive and unpredictable, presents a challenge for the artist as she creates her signature, realistic paintings. May enjoys the painstaking process of recreating the textures of a dog's fur, or the shadows, lights and reflections in a simple glass of water. She has recently started experimenting with acrylic paints and paper collaging. May graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She is a member of the Jackson Watercolor Group and the Mississippi Artists’ Guild where she has received several awards, including Best in Show. Her work can be found in Pacesetter Gallery.
Shawn Richards Pearl, MS
Shawn McCrary Richards resides in Pearl, Mississippi, and was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Throughout her life, Shawn has been a creator in more mediums than can be listed here. Since retiring from teaching in 2016, she has been focusing on watercolor painting and silhouette papercuttings, called Scherenschnitte. Regardless of the materials used we see organic forms, blended colors, and contrast in Shawn’s artwork. Whether creating landscapes, still lifes, portraits, or botanicals, Shawn’s watercolor paintings are composed with vivid yet soothing colors. Her work can be found in Pacesetter Gallery.
Phillip Pringle Madison, MS
Phil has traveled throughout the United States and Europe growing up in the military then serving himself in the United States Air Force, enjoying the experiences of a variety of cultures. He finally settled in Nashville, TN with his wife after college, raising a family and working a career in engineering. Throughout his life, he wrestled with the desire to draw but life demanded his attention. In 2012, Phil and his wife moved to Madison, MS where he finally listened to that artistic voice, jumping in with both feet expressing himself in watercolor, oil, and graphite. He is a current member of the Mississippi Artist Guild, American Impressionist Society, Portrait Society of America, and Laguna Beach Plein Air Association. Phil draws his inspiration from painting en Plein Air taking his ideas back to the studio. His latest piece was awarded Third Place for Oils in the 2022 Mississippi Artist Guild Juried Show.
Thomas Wilson Jackson, MS
Thomas Wilson is a Mississippi plein air painter. In 2009 he wanted to paint the landscape on location. “I bought a cheap wooden box, converted into a pochade paint box, mounted it to a tripod and began painting. I didn’t have much luck with the painting, but the box worked great and I still use it.” Inspired by the work of other great plein air painters, Thomas continues to hone his craft. Light and dark, warm and cool, bright and dull and thick and thin, these concepts are the foundation for everything he paints today.
Angee Montgomery Hernando, MS
Angee Montgomery is a Mississippi artist who explores the natural world through her own metaphorical lens. Using time honored techniques, she creates realistic oil paintings of plants, animals, and figures with a classical and elegant aesthetic. Montgomery's passion for drawing led to private oil painting instruction in her early teens, foundational instruction from Memphis College of Art, and a BFA from the University of Memphis, in 2014. She has had many creative professions dotting her path as a young artist such as Graphic Designer, Creative Educator, and Community Arts Director. Her work has received numerous awards, and she has won several grants over her career to help grow the creative economy in her home state, launching the Motherland Creative Retreat in 2022 - a nature-based artists retreat in beautiful rural Mississippi.
Susan Wellington Flowood, MS
A devotee of painting en plein air and from life, Susan Wellington believes the practice to be essential in “learning to see” as an artist. Whether working in studio or on location, she credits plein air work for the freshness and authenticity evident in her work today. When painting, Susan seeks the essence of the subject, recognizing that her emotional response is key to the piece, both for the artist and the viewer. She believes art can be a pathway to feelings and memories. Susan’s work has received much acclaim over the years. Susan was honored by having work accepted into the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Juried Show, The Oil Painters of America Salon Show, and the Oil Painters of America National Juried Show. She was also recognized as one of the ‘Fav 15’ by the international Bold Brush Art Competition. Her work has been featured on the hit HGTV Show ‘Hometown’ and she is an artist in Pacesetter Gallery.
Beth Dean Madison, MS
Beth Dean is a Mississippi native who has painted since early childhood. Beth holds a B.S. Degree in Interior Design with an Emphasis on Renaissance Art History from Mississippi State University. Beth paints in oil to create her impressionistic paintings. She is best known for her intense color palette and notably her skillful expression of water and skies. It is Beth’s propensity for travel and her keen observation of everyday life whether at home or in far flung places, that make her paintings fresh and vibrant.
Wes Arrington Brookhaven, MS
Wes Arrington has been painting in watercolors for 30 years. His interest in the medium was heavily influenced by Wyatt Waters after taking classes under Waters at Mississippi College. Wes has always enjoyed creating, some of his many interests include woodworking, ceramics, and gardening. A father of four and grandfather to four more, nothing gives him more pride and joy than his family. Currently Arrington and his wife AJ live in Brookhaven, MS, and are renovating the Arrington family home he grew up in.
Feixue Yang Madison, MS
Feixue Yang started watercolor as a hobby and was soon infatuated with this medium. She devotes lots of time to study and experimentation in watercolor. Yang works in both plein air and from reference photos. Her subjects include landscape, still life and figures. Her work can be found in Pacesetter Gallery and was recently on show in the Lucile Parker Art Gallery 2023 Watercolor Show at William Carey University.
Wade Stephenson Mendenhall, MS
Wade’s paintings are about inspiration and is the background for his work. He paints in three mediums, watercolor, oil and acrylics. After 32 years as a Medical Illustrator and a Biological Medical Photographer #243, Wade has won many local, national, and international awards. Presently, Wade has a small art gallery at his residence where he creates stoneware pottery. As a past President of the South Mississippi Art Association in Hattiesburg, a Signature Member of the Mississippi Watercolor Society, and other organizations. His pottery can be found in Pacesetter Gallery.
Maggie Mayer Madison, MS
Margaret Marva Mayer, a.k.a. Maggie, was always an artistic person who recognized beauty in everyday life. Since childhood, she has experienced life in places all over the world. She has resided in the Colorado Rockies to Europe and Middle East. She currently works as a Marketing Graphic Designer for Mid South Rehab Services in Ridgeland, MS, painting during her free time Mayer is a current member of the Mississippi Artists’ Guild and previous Gallery Coordinator and Member of Atlanta Artists Center. Her work has been recognized as a Merit Award winner at Plein Air Marksville, Louisiana in2022, she is a previous member of the Atlanta Fine Arts League, received Best of Show Art Station Stone Mountain, GA in 2007 and was previously represented by LONA Gallery. Her work can be found in Pacesetter Gallery.
Elke Briuer Vicksburg, MS
Elke Briuer uses various media but currently works in acrylics. Her paintings can be found in collections internationally and are featured in film and television. She is a juried-member of Mississippi Art Colony with multiple works included in the bi-annual travel shows and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Art Colony. Her work has been Best in Show in the Vicksburg Artists’ Guild, Mississippi Artists’ Guild and Louisiana/Baton Rouge Artists’ Guild, and at various art venues. Her work can be found in Pacesetter Gallery.
Chelsea Young Jackson, MS
Chelsea Young is a native of Jackson, MS, and founder of local arts organization “Musical Expressions Experience”. Young is an artist at heart who strives to put art education in the hands of our Mississippi youth through music. She enjoys returning to her first love, painting, in her spare time. Young began painting as a child and enjoys painting landscapes and scenery. The artist is drawn to acrylics and the ever-expanding palette and versatile mediums. Her passion is to introduce the culture of arts and to provide dynamic learning experiences that will instill an appreciation for the arts.
Lucie Wren Cooper Jackson, MS
Lucie Wren Cooper is a multi-disciplinary visual artist working and living in Jackson, MS. Her work explores the complexities of light and color, ranging from representational landscapes to more non-objective narrative paintings. Her glass jewelry and mixed media pieces can be found at Pacesetter Gallery.
Bryan Peters Brandon, MS
Bryan is a retired Naval veteran and resident of Brandon, MS. He has been drawing and painting watercolor since childhood. He also attended pastel and charcoal workshops during his high school summer breaks. After joining the Navy, he continued his art with custom shirts for shipmates, cartoons for ship newspapers, and an occasional oil or acrylic painting. He is a self-taught multi-media artist working in acrylic, oil, watercolor, charcoal, pastel and pen and ink. He is also a artisan crafting furniture, wood carving and creating models. Peters is an active member of the Mississippi Artists Guild.
Gayle Quick Richland, MS
Gayle Quick has been drawing and painting since she could hold a crayon and feels like she has always been an artist. Her childhood was spent at Marine Corps bases along the East Coast and in Panama. With her family moving many times, she learned as a young child how wide the world really is. These experiences impacted her both as a person and artist. Gayle believes she sees things differently than if she had lived in one place and she finds inspiration everywhere, from color and shape, to light and reflections.
Rowan Bird Jackson, MS
Rowan Bird is a multi-disciplinary artist in Jackson, MS. Rowan builds stained-glass windows for Pear River glass studio by trade. The rest of his time, he spends in his painting studio creating landscape and figures with oil paint. His latest work is of a canyon series of the American West done with oils on canvas. Bird has received Gold and Silver Keys in scholastic awards at Mississippi Museum of Art, 3 Purchase Awards from University of North Georgia and a Sponsorship and Residency with Level Creek Art Foundation.
Carisa Mitchell Fayette, MS
Carisa Mitchell is a Mississippi artist creating artwork influenced by florals, landscapes, and Southern scenes. A graduate of Mississippi College, Carisa completed a master’s in education as she also completed her master’s in fine arts focusing on two-dimensional design. In addition to being an artist and a business owner, she is also a college art instructor. Taking a representational approach to creating art, her portfolio includes impressionistic style paintings and drawings with vibrant color. Her favorite media are oil and pastel, which she uses to capture the beauty and uniqueness of the subject.
Madeline Allen Mendenhall, MS
Madeline Allen is a self-taught artist that resides in Mendenhall, MS. She enjoys using many mediums, but acrylic is what she reaches for in the creation of most her works. When she isn’t painting, she is raising her three children. Animals are another important facet of Maddie’s life, as she draws inspiration from the horses and other creatures that she cares for. Art is time well spent in winding down from the day, once the children are all fast asleep. While she has held a few different occupations, art has always been her passion.
Cary Haycox Meridian, MS
Cary Haycox, also known as InkStick Studio, is a creative force that employs a variety of techniques to achieve a visual representation that is almost visceral. Currently Cary is applying time constraints to his art that affords him the opportunity for spontaneity yet restricts the possibility of finishing the work at a later date. Cary is looking forward to exploring plein air competition opportunities and how they can be incorporated into his spontaneous art.
Mary Trepanier Flowood, MS
Mary Trepanier first became interested in Art in high school, she enjoyed art class so much and did well. She used her art skills making posters on the computer for different churches and other groups. After working in offices for many years, Mary found herself working at a school for students from Pre-K for ages 3 and 4. She found herself managing the art table every day. Her love for art grew as she came up with new projects every day in so many types of art. When she moved to Mississippi, she took classes from Laurel Schoolar and has furthered her craft by taking workshops in the area. She claims to be a work in progress.
Gay Simpson Madison, MS
Gay Simpson is a native Mississippian who has been painting for many years. She has enjoyed many workshops with national and international artists, always working on her craft. Her favorite part of the painting process is planning a scene and mixing colors. She is a long-time member of the Mississippi Artists' Guild.
Linda Dees Canton, MS
Linda Dees is a painter from Canton, MS. Her work crosses many mediums, and she is a prolific painter. Linda is an award-winning plein air painter and studio painter. Her work has been featured and received awards in many shows through the years. She is also long-time member of the Mississippi Artists’ Guild.
Lauren Taylor Hattiesburg, MS
Lauren Taylor is a Mississippi native who found her love of art through exploring the outdoors with her brothers. Wood, bark, shell, anything seemed like a canvas to her. She was placed in gifted arts in high school and has continued to paint and create throughout her adult life, teaching her children to see art everywhere they look.
Meighan Johnson Clinton, MS
Meighan Johnson is a freelance artist and the owner of Marvelous Vibe. She is a Mississippi native and has been drawing and painting since the age of six. Her art style is very bright, colorful, and whimsical and is heavily inspired by Japanese modern art styles and Modern Disney. She has always had an active imagination, and through her art she has found ways to expand her creativity. She hopes her art will help people see the world through a brighter lens and help them explore their inner child.
David Taylor Greenwood, MS
David Taylor lives in Greenwood, MS, and teaches k4-5th grade art for Pillow Academy. His main area of painting is traditional landscapes, still lifes, and occasional figurative work. He paints in oil on hardboard and occasionally casein paint on paper. His landscape subjects are drawn from the Delta lands surrounding Greenwood, MS.
Emma Knowles (Mississippi College) Clinton, MS
Emma Knowles is a junior at Mississippi College majoring in Studio Art with a focus in 2-D mediums. She has always been driven towards the arts, but really started growing her skills with acrylic paints when she was fifteen. Her dream is to have an in-home art studio, an online presence, and to sell commissions and her original work. She has participated in festivals as an artist, most recently a juried show in Downtown Birmingham.
Alita Gooch (University of Southern Mississippi)
Alita Gooch is currently attending the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. She is majoring in Child and Family Sciences to become a marriage and family therapist. Soon after, she plans to go to MFT graduate school. She has been creating art through physical and musical aspects her whole life. She believes both her studies of psychology and love of art will work hand in hand to heal and help people in the future.