Photo: Customers at the Spring 2023 Les Fauves Art Sale. (Photo credit: Sarah Smith)
The Northwest Mississippi Community College Art Department is holding its annual Les Fauves Art Sale on Nov. 16, at the Northwest Art Gallery from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For people looking to shop this holiday season, this is an opportunity to support budding artists as they sell their works, many of these students for the first time. It also helps support the Les Fauves art club.
“The art faculty use this sale as an opportunity, as a teaching tool since this is most likely the first-time students have had an opportunity to sell their work,” said Art Department Chair and instructor, Lawayne House. “The art club will receive 10% of each sale. Since our students are required to purchase textbooks and art supplies, which can become quite expensive, this sale is an opportunity for them to recoup some of those funds just prior to the holidays when they need it most.”
Lucia Nelson, art instructor at Northwest, said that this is a teachable experience for students to give them insight into how much work goes into getting ready to present and sell art in a professional manner.
“It’s also a rewarding and proud moment for all of us to see the work filling up the walls of our gallery space,” Nelson said.
Preparing for an event like this begins when the semester does, according to Nelson. Every class brings them closer to a finished piece of art.
“Many of the works that will be sold are the result of the work that students are doing in the studio classroom,” Nelson said. “To prepare the work to be sold, mats are cut for each piece, which is a pretty labor-intensive process.”
Beginning the week of the sale, they are all-hands-on-deck working to get everything prepared. House said that there’s a lot to finish such as matting pieces, firing pottery in the kiln and other small things that must be done to prepare items for sale.
“It is a full week of madness that all seems to somehow fall into place by late Thursday afternoon,” House said.
The art club was founded by Northwest’s iconic art instructor, Jac Young. Young was also instrumental in the development of an Art Department at Northwest, according to House.
Young’s protege and former student, Lane Tutor, worked very closely with Young and was known for his involvement in the Senatobia community. He would become a beloved instructor and co-founded Les Fauves.
“The Les Fauves name comes from an art movement known as Fauvism, a style of painting that flourished in France around the turn of the 20th century,” House said. “The Fauve artist used pure, brilliant color, which was aggressively applied straight from the paint tubes, creating a sense of an explosion on canvas.”
Impressionistic art was inspired directly from nature, but the difference was that Fauvist works had strong expressive reaction to the subjects they portrayed. The artwork would be considered so shocking to the visitors of Salon d’automne that the art critic Louis Vauxcelles would dub them “fauves” which translates to “wild beasts,” according to House.
“Since Jac Young and Lane Tutor liked to think of the Northwest art students as ‘Wild Beasts,’ the name stuck,” House said.
If you’d like to learn more about Northwest’s Art Department, please visit https://www.northwestms.edu/programs/academic/fine-arts-department/art