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Gulf Coast Library Presents “Mississippi Potpourri, the Art of Susan Hopkins West”

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 10:21am | By: Dawn Smith

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Gulf Coast Library on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach is presenting “Mississippi Potpourri, the Art of Susan Hopkins West,” an exhibit on display on the third floor of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Library through August, which can be viewed during regular library hours.

Painting with oils, water colors, acrylics, pen and ink, and mixed mediums, West captures the beauty of landscape, crabs, shells, and flowers. The evolution of her style can be seen in the exhibit’s more than 40 works of art.

She studied painting under Vernon Reinike, Sammy Britt, and Nancy Rupp, and when in Glasgow, studied with well-known Scottish artist, Craigie Aitchison. A change from realism, West began experimenting with impressionism. Her later paintings reflect surrealism and the use of mixed media, which include house paint and chalk.

Although West is from Gulfport, her father was a pilot in the military, and her family spent time in Japan, Germany, South Carolina, Colorado and Florida. After graduating from Gulfport High School, she spent two years at the University of Mississippi, where she met and married her husband.

After moving to New Orleans, she completed her degree in German with minors in speech and music at Tulane University, where she also earned a master’s degree in early childhood education.

West taught in elementary school for two and a half years, and she credits this experience with changing her life. Teaching children is where she rediscovered her creativity. West says, “One can learn how to paint from children.”

“Mississippi Potpourri” is her first exhibit in six years. While some pieces in the exhibit are on loan from private collections, many will be available for purchase.

For more information about this exhibit, contact Betty Shaw at 228.214.3456 or betty.shawFREEMississippi.