backward, dealing with people, places, and impressions
over the last 50 or
so years... It will clearly
be a mixed bag. Between 1950
and 2000, I had children, and they grew up, and I went into college
teaching. Situations, relationships and geography changed.
experience life and its’ changes, from the philosophy of Social Realism
taught at Auburn in the 1940’s – Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, etc.
and, more influentially, through the innovative explorations of the
cubists and abstract-expressionists and impressionists has been an
have had the advantage of being able to study with outstanding teachers
such as Marie Hull and Homer Casteel, in Jackson, and at Allison’s and
Mississippi Art Colonies with Alvin Sella, Howard Goodson, Moe Brooker,
Hugh Williams, Edith Frohock, and many others, over the years.
In the venture, I have explored many media – oils, watercolor,
acrylic, and mixed combinations; enjoying the process of making pieces,
and making comments, rather than recording events and scenes.
some ideas seem to ask for certain media.
As powerful an event as the Tienamin Square Uprising seemed to
demand a violent composition – with obvious references to Picasso’s
- I did
the “Watercolor Quilt” when I was doing fabric projects and teaching
watercolor classes – pulling it all together, as it were – it’s a
sort of sketchbook – scrapbook.
first painting was in oil on canvas, but obviously has taken other routes
in the interval, especially with the introduction of acrylic paint, and
the possibilities of mixed media as a result – much easier with acrylic.
always been interested in fabrics. Learning
to embroider and sew at a young age.
While teaching at Delta State, this led into making fabric collages
and weaving – especially in the form of tapestries.
That’s another hands-on process, more in my control than the
remind myself of that line from “Don Quixote”, where he “Jumped on
his horse and rode madly off in all directions”.
of my paintings hung in the Smithsonian Museum as part of an exhibition of
the Washington Watercolor Society; one, in the (New Orleans) World’s
Fair Exhibit. One, through a program sponsored by the U.S. State
Department, hung in the American Embassy, in Rabat, Morocco.
Others have been part of shows in the Delgado Museum, New Orleans,
and the High Museum in Atlanta, GA, The Brooks Museum, Memphis, TN, and
The Society of the Four Arts, West Palm Beach, FL.
The paintings have been to interesting places, some of which I have
now reside in the permanent collections of the Mississippi Museum of Art,
The Meridian Museum, Deposit Guaranty Bank, Trustmark Bank, Delta State
University, Meridian Community College, Peat-Marwick, and numerous other
public and private collections, from here to England. (No – I haven’t
been there, either) - Lallah
- Lallah Perry is a Mississippi
artist and retired educator whose long career of teaching art
paralleled her painting career as she taught in the Choctaw Indian
Schools around Philadelphia, at Delta State University and Meridian
Community College. Now in her late seventies, there is a wealth of
knowledge of the history of our state wrapped up in this woman. She
once said to me in a letter:
- “I am one of those who can
remember exactly where I was when the news of Pearl Harbor came; Heard
F. D. R.’s Fireside Chats; Heard Edward VIII leave “For the woman I
love”, Winston Churchill and M. L. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech… and
Philadelphia. Too much history – but history needs to be remembered.”
- Lallah Perry has always been her
own woman. She has a sketchbook of drawings she did during the trial
in Philadelphia following the death of the three civil rights
workers. Already singled out as “…not the right kind of people,” she
was extremely brave to sit in that courtroom documenting the events
through her drawings.
- Following the 1963 fire, which
destroyed Alison’s Wells, a spa in Madison County, which was home to
the Alison’s Art Colony established in 1948, Ms. Perry was
instrumental in reorganizing the group as the Mississippi Art Colony
in Feb. 1964. She served as its first interim director and introduced
the custom of making the works by colony artists into a traveling
exhibit. Long-time friend with Marie Hull, they painted together
- Ms. Perry has exhibited widely in
the state and in such venues as the Smithsonian Museum (as part of an
exhibition of the Washington Watercolor Society), the American Embassy
in Morocco and The World’s fair in New Orleans. Her paintings have
hung in the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Delgado Museum in New
Orleans, the High Museum in Atlanta, GA, The Brooks Museum in Memphis,
TN, and The Society of the Four Arts in West Palm Beach, FL.
- Perry’s style has evolved during
the decades. In the 1960’s her primary stimulus was “mood”, her work
expressionistic. Flat planes of bright color, semiabstract but
representational, and painted with broad, energetic brushstrokes,
characterize later work. She is in the collections of the Mississippi
Museum of Art, The Meridian Museum of Art, the Meridian Community
College, Delta State University, Mississippi University for Women, and