Cassidy Bayou Gallery celebrates Spring Exhibition

Mary D Reed painting at Cassidy Bayou Gallery

Mary D Reed painting at Cassidy Bayou Gallery


(SUMNER, Mississippi) Clarksdalians and many others have been looking forward to Saturday, April 12, 2014; the 11th Annual Juke Joint Festival is finally here! We will enjoy a full week of festivities leading up to, during, and after the magical Saturday we love so much. Thank you, Roger Stolle, Kinchen O’Keefe, Nan Hughes and Goldie Hirsberg! (Follow the link for all things JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL!)

But, for those of you who have no plans to be jukin’ it to Clarksdale on Saturday, April 12, how about you make plans to travel to the picturesque Town of Sumner for the Spring Exhibition at the unique Cassidy Bayou Gallery? After enjoying the beautiful artwork and beautiful people, walk next door for dinner at the Sumner Grille. Perfect! (BYO Spirits and Wine) (662-833-3051)

Read more about it below:


The Cassidy Bayou Gallery celebrates its Spring Exhibition with a focus on actual and imagined spring flowers, opens April 12. 2014, in Sumner, Mississippi. The Gallery, founded in 2011, is dedicated to exhibiting high quality art.

The forthcoming April 12 Exhibition features the works of Mary Montedonico Reed, of Memphis, Sandra Stingley Simpson of Birmingham, and internationally renowned artist, the late Leonard Brooks of Canada and San Miquel de Allende, Mexico.

The Spring Exhibition Opening is held in conjunction with the Plantation Garden Club of Sumner flower show.

Sandra Simpson is a native of Meridian, Mississippi.  She graduated from Sweet Briar College and attended The Rhode Island School of Design. While at RISD her work was exhibited in juried student exhibitions and one of her paintings was accepted for the Artists of the Northeast exhibition with Andre Emmerich as juror. She also studied with Henry Henche at the Cape School of Art in both Provincetown, Massachusetts and Houma, Louisiana.

Her beautiful floral displays have been exhibited in many group exhibitions  at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, at the Cabaniss Gallery at Altamont School  and  in an exhibition at Spook Farm Gallery in  Far Hills, New Jersey.  She has a had four solo exhibitions in Alabama and one at Walt Disney World for the Annual Meeting of the Garden Club of America.

Mary Reed’s work reflects a passion for all sorts and kinds of papers, usually the inspiration for the beginnings of her paintings. A dialog with the canvas emerges as she applies paint and papers and various accentuating marks. Her work is both  figurative and abstract, but the consistent factor in the work is the collaged elements unified with paint, line and paper. The works become kaleidoscopes which incorporate elements of texture, color and design, in hopes that viewing the works brings as much pleasure to the viewer as it does for her during the creative process.

Mary was born in Memphis, studied art at Vanderbilt and Memphis State and has held numerous exhibitions in Memphis and the mid-South. Her work adorns significant business and educational institutions and Galleries in Memphis. She has published numerous articles n art, including in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Leonard Brooks, born in England, emigrated to Canada and served as the official artist of the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. He and his wife, the late photographer, Reva Brooks, moved to San Miguel in 1948, and made it their home. Mr. Brooks died in 2011, just a week after a ceremony celebrating his 100th birthday anniversary with high praise from the Mexican President and Canadian Prime Minister and the San Miguel art world, where he was beloved for his art and his nurturing of young Mexican artists and musicians.  Mississippi Deltans discovered Leonard Brooks years ago and his works adorn many fine homes in the Delta. For decades Mr. Brooks served as the unofficial dean of the flourishing art colony in San Miguel. This event  continues exhibition of his magnificent watercolors of Mexican and international landscapes are unparalleled. His floral oil and collages of splendid floral displays and paper abstractions are being exhibited. He published several books on art.

This exhibition represents the hope that an art gallery is more interested in art and education than commerce and will be a major contribution to the town of Sumner.

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 12, 2014, 4-8pm
WHERE: Cassidy Bayou Art & Culture Center, 103 South Court Street, Sumner, Mississippi
REGULAR GALLERY HOURS: Sunday, April 13, 2014, 1:00-3:00pm. Saturdays/Sundays April 19-20, 26-27, May 3-4, 10-17, 2014, 1-3pm
FOR APPOINTMENTS: Langdon Clay 662-385-0997 [email protected] OR Desaix Anderson 212-473-9472 [email protected]

Yellow Irises 24 x 18 by Leonard Brooks at Cassidy Bayou Gallery

Yellow Irises 24 x 18 by Leonard Brooks at Cassidy Bayou Gallery

Stormy morning by Sandra Simpson at Cassidy Bayou Gallery

Stormy morning by Sandra Simpson at Cassidy Bayou Gallery

Lilies in the Woods by Sandra Simpson at Cassidy Bayou Gallery

Lilies in the Woods by Sandra Simpson at Cassidy Bayou Gallery

collage in gold frame 24 x 20 by Leonard Brooks at Cassidy Bayou Gallery

collage in gold frame 24 x 20 by Leonard Brooks at Cassidy Bayou Gallery

History about the gallery

The Cassidy Bayou Art and Culture Center was founded in Sumner, Mississippi in 2011 by brothers Desaix and Buford Anderson, natives of Sumner, who have spent their lives far away. Buford created a life in Mexico, building an innovative farming operation and, as president of the Board of Trustees, led a dramatic expansion of the Tampico American School. Desaix spent over forty years as a diplomat in Nepal, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Japan, and broad Asian policy-making.  In recent years, he has become an abstract painter and writer.

Seeking to overcome the stigma of the Emmett Till murder trial, which took place in Sumner in 1955, the town established a bi-racial committee in the nineties to work for racial reconciliation. The town’s goal is also to resurrect the local economy of their exceptionally pretty town.

Motivated by memories of happy childhoods in Sumner and excited by these efforts, the Andersons were eager to help. Establishing an art gallery from Mexico and New York, where Buford and Desaix now live, has been described as “folly,” but the Anderson’s hope is that through this innovative creation in a town of only 310 citizens without a restaurant or grocery store would inspire the Sumnerites. Indeed the Sumner Grill, a decorating shop, and the vitally important Emmett Till Museum have opened since the gallery’s first show in 2011. The Gallery has also been welcomed by crowds of up to 200-300 visitors to the various openings.

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