Friday, December 08, 2006

My Favorite Place in Vicksburg

The Attic Gallery

In my hometown of Vicksburg, MS, there is an art gallery called the Attic Gallery. It has been around for 35 years and is a mainstay in the Mississippi art scene, known not just throughout the Southern art circuit, but across the country. Known for its eclectic offerings, from highly skilled oil paintings of nudes and landscapes to pictures of bottles of hot sauce drawn in marker on the back of scraps of matte board, the place is a must see if you are in the area. Many an artist has gotten their break by being promoted by the gallery, and it speaks volumes about the gallery's beloved status that the same artists who I remember showing their art when I was 10 are still there 20 years later, as are hordes of other artists who appreciate what the gallery and its crew have to offer.

So that’s my formal description of the gallery, but here’s why it means so much to me. I grew up going to the gallery. The gallery, owned by a cool lady named Leslie Silver, also employed a man named Daniel Boone, who is one of my family’s closest friends*. So we would go by there all the time and visit.

For a kid who loved art and ultimately did a few years of college as an art major, the gallery was just the coolest place ever (and still is). There’s just stuff EVERYWHERE, as the above picture will attest: on the walls, on tables, on the floor, hanging from the ceiling, stacked on top of each other. The place is just such a mish-mash of style and ideas that to visit is to overwhelm your senses. I always try to stop by when I am in town. It’s like a recharger. Just a quick spin through the joint makes me feel better.

It used to be in another location, further down on Washington Street, but back a few years ago, they moved to their present location, still above the ground level, thus technically still an attic. But the place now has two floors and a lot more room to house special exhibits and such (and one of my paintings, much to my inital chagrin, was in one of their shows**). And now, there’s Highway 61 Coffeehouse on the bottom floor. There’s been several incarnations of coffee shops in this location in the past, but this one is likely here to stay seeing that it was opened by Daniel. Years ago, Daniel and Leslie got married, so now the whole building is in their collective hands (When we visited over Thanksgiving, I asked Daniel who was doing the framing while he was running his new coffee shop. He just smiled, said, “Good question,” and laughed).

So if you get a chance to visit Vicksburg, please go visit the Attic Gallery and Highway 61 coffee (and get a hot chocolate with chili pepper in it- really good.) It is worth the effort.

Mom, Fuzzy, Erica at Highway 61 Coffeehouse
Mom, Fuzzy, Erica at Highway 61 Coffeehouse

Dad at Highway 61 Coffeehouse
Dad at Coffeehouse

Katie At Highway 61 Coffeehouse
Katie At Coffeehouse

Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone

*Daniel Boone is also responsible for an enormous chunk of my collection of Groo the Wanderer comic books.

**Long story short: I didn't want to enter a self portriat I had painted into n Attic gallery exhibition show because I didn't think it was up-to-snuff, but my mom went ahead and entered it anyway. I was PISSED off about that, but it ended up being a lot of fun, and a lot of people at the opening reception really liked it. So there ya go.


Daniel said...

Thanks for the loving tribute to the Attic and Highway 61. They are both labors of love and the great thing about working on these two projects involving art and coffee is the people. That means you. It was a pleasure to see all y'all (as we say) over Thanksgiving. Come back now, you hear?

wagsandpurrs said...

That is a really nice description of the Attic Gallery.

Elin said...

I was an exchangestudent in Vicksburg about 16 years ago, and fell in love with the attic gallery.
Every time I'm back in Vicksburg I have to go by the gallery. It is a truly wonderful place, and I'm glad I've been able to introduce it to my husband who came with me last time. Getting the Attic Gallery's newletter makes me feel I'm not that far away, even though I'm on the other side of the world.

cap'n hardqore said...

Don't forget to mention - you kissed Daniel on the lips. Oh, snap!

cap'n hardqore said...

Don't forget to mention - you kissed Daniel on the lips. Oh, snap!

cap'n hardqore said...

Don't forget to mention - you kissed Daniel on the lips. Oh, snap!

baldman76 said...

Dude, did ya have to post that THREE times?