‘That is going to be enjoyable’: Double Decker Arts Pageant official artist finds assist in Oxford, magnificence in Mississippi – Mississippi At present

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OXFORD – When she awakened the morning of Nov. 19, 2018, Vicki Stevens hurried to Insurgent Bookstore positioned on Oxford’s bustling Jackson Avenue. She was seeking pink and yellow acrylic paints — colours she knew would assist carry her imaginative and prescient of a Double Decker fantasy piece to life. Her deadline: the following day — Nov. 20.

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi At present/Report For America

Vicki Stevens’ artwork supplies

“That’s why it was acrylics — as a result of it needed to dry,” Stevens giggled as she recalled the second she lastly determined to use to be the official paintings artist for the 24th annual Double Decker Arts Pageant in Oxford.

After lacking the primary deadline, the mom of three would have been remiss if she didn’t make the most of the extension.

“I all the time inform my kids, ‘you must undoubtedly apply as a result of you possibly can’t win in case you don’t apply,’” Stevens mentioned. “And I believed I ought to take heed to that too.”

With a skinny sheet laid about half-way throughout her front room ground and her easel propped up subsequent to an finish desk lined with artwork provides, Stevens spent the evening earlier than and the morning of deadline day ending her submission.

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi At present/Report For America

Vicki Stevens holds one of many items of artwork that will probably be displayed through the Study moreFeedback Double Decker Arts Pageant.

Based on Stevens, her expertise portray the double-decker bus and different Oxford scenes over time allowed her to color the piece pretty rapidly.

“There have been years of preparation and exhausting work that went into finishing the portray even earlier than I made a decision to enter,” mentioned Stevens, who was chosen to create this 12 months’s Double Decker Artwork Pageant paintings. “Plus, as with all contest, I used to be fortunate.”

Because the competition’s official paintings artist, Stevens’ acrylic portray of the double-decker bus is featured on promotional posters and T-shirts. She was even prized together with her personal artist’s sales space, which will probably be positioned throughout from Nielson’s on the faculty city’s historic downtown sq.. Stevens is a member of the Oxford Artists’ Guild and has beforehand shared cubicles with different members, however this will probably be her first time having her personal. The award-winning competition started Friday and the artwork distributors open at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi At present/Report For America

Vicki Stevens discusses the upcoming Double Decker Arts Pageant in Oxford, Miss. and exhibits a few of her small items of paintings that will probably be on sale at her sales space.

In between working in an elementary college workplace and finishing artwork commissions, Stevens has been portray about 40 artwork items that will probably be obtainable for buy at her sales space. Trying previous the time she was “actually harassed” about solely having a couple of months to arrange for the competition, Stevens is now trying ahead to reaping the advantages of her exhausting work.

“I’ve simply made up my thoughts; that is going to be enjoyable,” she mentioned. “It’s so overwhelming, however in a great way. Individuals have been so constructive again in direction of me in regards to the paintings. Typically once you put a bit of your self into the paintings, it’s exhausting to only put it on the market. I’ve had a whole lot of assist and good feedback. I respect that folks have responded so properly.”

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi At present/Report For America

Artist Vicki Stevens talks about her portray model and methods whereas in her house in Oxford.

The Houston, Texas native turned Ole Miss alumna describes her inventive model as “very free and colourful.” She knew she needed to keep up the identical aesthetic when it got here time to color her distinctive interpretation of the double-decker bus.

“Once I paint the double-decker bus I feel I have a tendency to offer it a persona as if it had been an individual as an alternative of simply an object,” she mentioned. “I take advantage of a whole lot of colour. I’ve had a number of folks say to me, ‘… that appears alive.’”

Vicki Steven’s poster artwork for the 24th annual Double Decker Arts Pageant in Oxford.

Major colours pink and blue are the colours that will initially come to thoughts when one imagines a scene of Oxford, the Ole Miss campus or the Double Decker Arts Pageant. Take one have a look at Steven’s portray, and you will see a historically pink double-decker bus brushed with sudden but nice strokes of pink and yellow. Occupying nearly half of the canvas is a whimsical swirl of alternating shades of the identical colours, harking back to a circus tent.

Relating to creating artwork, Stevens is often reaching another person’s imaginative and prescient by a commissioned piece. Typically, she finds herself “caught in a rut” and never creating artwork in any respect. However this time, Stevens was in a position to take full possession of her creativity.

“One purpose the Double Decker piece was so enjoyable is as a result of I didn’t have to satisfy anyone else’s expectations,” she mentioned. “I didn’t have to consider what anyone else needed. If I used to be doing a fee for anyone, I sit down and I discuss to them about what they see popping out of the piece. It’s actually enjoyable, and I like to work with folks. However I actually take pleasure in simply having the ability to do my very own factor generally too. That’s the way you develop and discover.”

Initially from Texas, Stevens moved to Oxford in 1987 to pursue an artwork diploma. After graduating in 1991, she stayed on the town as a result of she was courting her future husband. She additionally continued her training and attained a Grasp of Enterprise Administration the next 12 months.

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Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi At present/Report For America

Vicki Stevens exhibits items of her paintings.

Stevens has remained in Mississippi ever since. She’s passionate in regards to the state and says its inventive neighborhood, tradition and panorama have impressed her paintings and have given her the sources to satisfy her ardour.

“I feel Mississippi is simply such a inventive place,” she mentioned. “You meet essentially the most inventive folks right here. Oxford has a really supportive neighborhood of artists. A number of the teams I’m in have helped me to develop and have helped me to study issues that I wouldn’t have. Even the panorama is so fairly. It’s one of many prettiest locations I’ve ever seen. And Oxford to me is simply so lovely.”

To study extra about this 12 months’s Double Decker Arts Pageant click on right here.

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