By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Bill Bailey is going out on top.
The Oakland, Tenn., painter won Best in Show at this year’s GumTree Festival, which wrapped up on Sunday in downtown Tupelo. He’s shown at the festival for more than 20 years, and it was his first time to win the top prize.
And while he’ll continue to paint, this may be his last year for showing at art festivals.
“This may be my last show,” he said. “That party (GumBall) was my retirement party; I just didn’t tell anybody.”
He was honored to win the award.
“There are so many good artists here,” he said.
Painter Bailey Jack, from Cartersville, Ga., showed off her colorful and whimsical paintings of sheep, dogs, pigs and flowers.
Jack was also impressed with the quality of art at the event, her first.
“I like the caliber of art, no matter the genre,” she said.
Jack’s work was more than skin deep: each of her paintings were done using repurposed materials, from mantles, frames and mirrors.
“It’s my carbon footprint,” she said. “Everything in here could be in a landfill.”
Woodturner Dennis Paullus of Arlington, Tenn., won first place in wood at the festival, and it was his first GumTree Festival.
“I enjoy winning,” he said. “You never know what the jurors are going to say. I’m pleased.”
GumTree Festival director Kit Stafford was happy to see another successful festival.
“We’ve had good crowds, and we are so thankful for the nice weather,” she said.
A bit of rain during set-up on Friday and a little more on Saturday didn’t stop artists from showing off their goods, dancers or bands from performing or art fans from browsing and buying.
“The quality of artists is exceptional,” she said. “They’re the reason we’re here.”
And she’s already planning the 2014 festival.
“We’re already working on the commissioned art piece,” she said.
GumTree Festival Winners
Best in Show
1. Richard White
2. Jan Carter
3. David Johnson
1. Suzanne Ens
2. Linda Lindale
3. Carol McCrady
1. Steve Brewster
2. Jeff & Jaky Felix
3. Herschel Kranitz
1. Sean Starwars Jewelry
1. Charles Pickney
2. Randy Walker
3. Suzanne Juneau
Mixed Media 2D
1. Athlone Clarke
2. Marian Baker
3. Rick Anderson
Mixed Media 3D
1. Tiffany Ownbey
2. Tracey Davis
3. Amy Lansburg
1. Charles Gatewood
2. Ellie Ali
3. Virginia Fergus
1. Fred Draper
2. Jason Stoddard
3. Nancy Blades
1. Steve Windham
2. Robert and Delores Wells
3. Lester Jones
1. Dennis Paullus
2. Kevin Harrington
3. David Nagel
1. Trey Lyons
2. Scott Reed
3. Hal Pitts