Urban Life: Students turn their eyes on downtown Tupelo

By M. SCOTT MORRIS / NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Students in Tupelo High School’s AP Art Studio trained their eyes on downtown Tupelo.
The results will be on display at Lee County Library until the end of the year.
Their instructor, Karen Barclay, has taken hundreds of pictures of the town’s cityscape.
“I told them to use those as their jumping off points,” Barclay said.
Mary Katherine Philips, a 19-year-old senior, took a pretty big jump. She combined the facade of the Lyric Theatre with the iconic Tupelo arrow, then unleashed a swirl of color.
For many students, it was their first time to work with acrylics. Philips admitted that her comfort zone was expanded by the work.
“Stress, yeah. I had to take a while off from it,” she said, “but it ended up coming out OK.” “It made an A,” Barclay said, “and well deserved.”
Daniel Fairley, an 18-yearold senior, painted an industrial scene along the train tracks.
“I just like industrial stuff,” he said.
“He likes edgy stuff,” Barclay added. “He also designed our poster for the exhibit. He did a great job.”
The exhibit features work from 13 students, and two additional pieces by Barclay.
They’re sitting on top of the reference section.
“We got an AEE grant when we did ‘The Art Circus’ last year, so we got 30 easels that we get to keep and use,” Barclay. “That let us put this exhibit up.”
During your next trip to the library, stop by the reference section, where you’ll find fresh interpretations of familiar places.
“You can tell they got inspired by the assignment,” Barclay said. “That’s what’s really exciting.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.