This weekend, a University of Memphis MFA graduate brings contemporary art to North Mississippi with Nutgrass, a pop-up gallery featuring work from a variety of local artists.
“There isn’t really anyone celebrating contemporary art in North Mississippi and Desoto County, and I’d like to change that,” said Toni Roberts, the curator of Nutgrass and 2015 MFA photography graduate.
Nutgrass is a portable space that consists of a trio of walls ready to be installed for one-night exhibitions across the region, with the debut showcase happening on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Sunflower Festival at 2126 Stateline Road in Southaven, Mississippi, about 20 minutes away from the University of Memphis.
Roberts, a native of Horn Lake, Mississippi, got the idea for Nutgrass while staring out at the seemingly endless, undeveloped fields that run alongside the roads in Desoto County and surrounding areas.
“That landscape has been part of my memory and history as long as I can remember,” she said. “And I eventually started to wonder what those wide open fields would look like if they had this kind of art gallery at sunset.”
Roberts chose the Sunflower Fest to introduce her curated selection of art to the community, working alongside Southaven Arts Council chair Spring Lamb to bring the idea together. Featured artists in the inaugural Nutgrass showing include Holt Brasher, Vanessa Gonzalez, Kelly Cook-Harmon, Katie Maish, Lacy Mitcham, Christen Parker, April Pierce and Felicia Wheeler.
For more information, visit nutgrass.org.