Mississippi Crafts Center Provides Creative Outlet for Local Artists, Retail Outlet for Collectors
Dogtrot cabins seldom double as treasure chests, but that’s quite literally the case with the Mississippi Crafts Center, which exhibits crafts and artworks from some of the state’s most lauded artisans.
The value of the crafts center to Mississippi is in both economic development and education. Its location in a $7 million facility alongside the Natchez Trace – just far enough from busy I-55 to be quiet – is an ideal setting for art lovers to connect to nature and art by native artisans.
The center is a popular stop for travelers too, giving them a chance to browse among hundreds of creations by members of the guild. Featured artworks for sale change constantly and can range from Choctaw river reed baskets to raku pottery’s rich colors and intriguing shapes.
The building itself uses all natural materials, and has exposed ductwork and brushed concrete. There are more than 5,000 square feet in the guild halls for events, and the 3,500 square feet of gallery space houses the guild’s permanent collection.
The guild’s membership of some 400 artists and artisans – 30 percent are from various minority groups – ensure that there is always a diverse collection of work on display. And with demonstrations every weekend from March to October, as well as school and educational programs held on an ongoing basis, there will be plenty of opportunities to showcase that diversity.
In addition to purchasing artworks, visitors to the crafts center can also develop their own artistic inclinations at its frequent workshops and demonstrations. If one’s Muse doesn’t appear immediately, however, the dogtrot’s front porch and breezeway make tempting places just to sit and wait for it – just as many of the region’s early settlers did on occasion.