Jackson exhibit features work of Colley-Lee

The Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) in Jackson is hosting the exhibition GladRags: Sketches, Swatches, and Costume Designs by Myrna Colley-Lee.

In this exhibition, which begins June 10, the art of costume design is explored through the work of costume designer Myrna Colley-Lee of Charleston, Miss., who is known largely for her work in the regional theater circuit.

As a young designer, she designed for the play, Long Day's Journey into Night, by Eugene O'Neill, which for the first time ever had an all-black cast. Colley-Lee described the idea of doing the play with color-blind casting, saying, “If a man could play a woman's role a few hundred years ago, why can't a black person play a role that was written for a white person? Why did it matter? Theater is all about the suspension of disbelief, and creating your own world. We didn't see how this was any different.”

Colley-Lee serves as a commissioner for the Mississippi Arts Commission and is on several boards, including the Charleston Arts and Revitalization Effort, Inc., a local civic arts organization; the Rock River Foundation, a philanthropic organization for the arts; the Mississippi State University Department of Art; and the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi, University, among many others.

On Tuesday, June 27, at 6 pm, the Mississippi Museum of Art will host the lively public conversation, “Till, from Script to Stage,” based on a play about Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy who was killed in 1955 after whistling at a white woman in a grocery store in Mississippi. Till's death was a spark that helped mobilize the civil rights movement.

The exhibition will run through October 15, 2006 in the Collection Gallery. It is a wonderful addition to anyone's trip who will be in Jackson for the International Ballet Competition this summer, as it deals with theatrical costuming.

For groups rates and reservations, call Elizabeth Blanks at (601) 960-1515 or toll-free at (866) VIEW ART, or email eblanks@msmuseumart.org, or visit their Web site at www.msmuseumart.org.

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