Turnout high for ‘Arts, Beats and Eats’

Brian Crockett was named Best in Show Artist and Lee Ann Thompson was chosen Most Creative Artist at this year’s “Arts, Beats & Eats” event sponsored by the New Albany Main Street Association. Manning LLC was selected Best in Show Restaurant for its barbecue.

“We had a great turnout,” Main Street Manager Vickie Duke said. “A lot of folks were there, things went really well and most of the artists reported their sales were up.”

And, regardless of sales, the event was a great publicity tool for artists and restaurateurs alike, Duke said.

“We had a lot of new art and artists this year,” she continued. “There were two from Jackson and one from Tupelo. More than half had never shown here before, or had not shown in a long time.” Winner Crockett had displayed art in years past, but not recently, and all of his art was being seen for the first time.

Those attending paid a $10 fee and were allotted to browse the art area, visit with artists and make purchases if they chose. They then were allowed to move on to “A Taste of New Albany,” which meant sampling some of 10 of the area’s best foods. All the while, entertainment was being provided by members of The Bonfire Orchestra from Tupelo. “They were great,” Duke said. “We only had half the band and they didn’t even hook up their amps because we wanted people to enjoy them but still be able to talk to each other.”

Crockett received a $250 award for being best in show. Thompson and Manning each received $125 for their honors.

Artists who displayed their work included Thompson, Kathryn Dye, Jill Headings, Charles Buster, Mary Ann Caldwell, Micha Foster, Crockett, Charles Smith and Jerry McLennan.

Participating in “A Taste of New Albany” were Two Sisters Deli, Nichols Food and Deli, Small Gatherings, Game Tyme, Manning’s BBQ, Tallahatchie Gourmet, Sugaree’s Bakery and El Gave Mexican Grill.

The event is held annually to promote local artists and businesses, and as a promotional even for Main Street. It was from 5 to 8 p.m. at In Bloom.


Best in Show Artist


These large pieces by Brian Crockett, mostly shown for the first time, won him the best in show title.


Most Creative Artist

New Albany art instructor and arts council supporter Lee Ann Thompson’s colorful collection won the most creative title.


Best in Show Restaurant

Main Street Manager Vickie Duke, right, presents a certificate and check to Jaysen Manning’s for his barbecue’s winning the top food title in ‘Arts, Beats & Eats.’