MMA announces details of 2021 Mississippi Invitational

The Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) recently announced forty-two artists participating in the 2021 Mississippi Invitational exhibition, a survey of recent works created by contemporary visual artists living and working in the state. This is the largest number of artists represented since the Museum launched the biennial program in 1997. Among the forty-two artists selected, the exhibition will feature work by Florence native, Karen Gilder.

On view August 14 through October 10, 2021, this year’s Mississippi Invitational works were selected by guest curator Danielle Burns-Wilson. “To be invited to serve as guest curator for the Mississippi Museum of Art’s 2021 Invitational is already an honor, but to do so against the backdrop of all that is happening around us is even more meaningful,” stated Burns-Wilson. “The world has reached an entropic state, seemingly never to return to its once ordered ways, and so I wanted the works in this year’s Invitational to reflect the many voices and experiences of this particular moment. I selected works that create a balance – through materials, media, and processes, as well as perspectives. This exhibition conveys human needs, reimagines our future, and liberates thought.”

Invitational artists will be eligible to apply for The Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship—a grant of up to $20,000 awarded to one artist. The recipient will be announced during an opening reception on August 13.


MMA Director Betsy Bradley said, “The might and fortitude of artists has always been an inspiration to me. In the face of all that is contrary, they summon the courage and strength to make something that speaks their truth to other people. And our communities are better for it. The 2021 Mississippi Invitational demonstrates that the power to make something beautiful, to survive, to connect with ideas and with others, can be stronger than the temptation to withdraw.”

A publication accompanying the exhibition will be available in The Museum Store.

During the month of August 2021, MMA will offer free admission as a way to welcome visitors back after the pandemic.

Danielle Burns-Wilson currently serves as Chief Curator at the Houston Public Library. With more than a decade of experience, she also serves as an adjunct professor of art history and art appreciation at Lone Star College-North Harris Campus. Burns-Wilson received her B.A. in history and political science from Prairie View A&M University and her M.A. in art history from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College.


The Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship was created in 2005 by Jane Crater Hiatt and her late husband Wood (1930-2010) in response to the need to nurture and invigorate the arts within the state. The fellowship provides support to an individual artist in the development and creation of art over a two-year period. The funds may be used to purchase supplies and equipment, conduct research, or travel, and may be used for study with an individual artist or in a studio, workshop, or residency setting. Following the conclusion of the grant period, the artist is required to donate one original work of art, chosen from at least five works created during the grant period, to the Museum. Only artists whose work is selected for inclusion in the Mississippi Invitational exhibition are eligible to apply for the Fellowship in the year that their work is chosen. The recipient’s works should demonstrate the potential for significant artistic and cultural impact, as well as act as a catalyst for the development and realization of adventurous and imaginative ideas.


The Mississippi Museum of Art hours of operation are Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, noon until 5 p.m.


General admission is $15 a person; $13 for seniors and groups of 10+, and $10 for college students with school ID. Admission is free to museum members, children ages five and under; and K-12 students on Thursdays.


The Mississippi Museum of Art requires that masks be worn at all times in the Museum and has several hand-sanitizing stations located throughout the building.


For further information visit msmuseumart.org.




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