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April 6, 2020
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Arts / Culture

Smile, and Think Folk Art

Paintings created by Marshall Blevins, Church Going Mule, 2020.

Each year Twelve Oaks houses a regional artist, an Artist in Residence, and for 2020 MARSHALL BLEVINS was selected. A folk artist from our neighboring state of Louisiana, she has come to our coast to share her special creative folk art talents. 

Recently, she led a folk art workshop that was fun and informative. On a Saturday in February, an attentive crowd filled the seats at the historic home owned by The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, located at Twelve Oaks Nature Preserve on Hanley Road in Ocean Springs. This event was free to all and highlighted the history of folk art, and an appreciation for folk artists. There was a hands-on workshop available after the presentation. 

Left, Attendees listen to Folk Art presentation, before workshop on lawn. Right, Marshall Blevin, artist.

Blevin has been creating new paintings for the past few months as part of her Artists in Residence Program. Each year a new artist is selected to stay and create at Twelve Oaks. A true folk artist, she goes by the name Church Going Mule, and for good reason, the paintings she creates often are spiritual and center around a strong good-natured mule. She tells us the mule is something that offers a common history in this country, and on a personal note connects her to her own family history. Her grandfather was a folk artist who would include farm animals or a mule in his art. 

A southern artist who has been part of residency programs in North Carolina and Georgia. Blevin’s paintings express freedom, a simple naturalness, and often display childlike themes with bright joyful colors. The abstract storytelling uses playfulness and a sense of refreshing optimism for our world today. Like many Folk artists, she paints on wood or found objects. 

Take a look at a few of her works, and you most likely will smile. The paintings make a wonderful centerpiece for anyone who is lucky to own one. Think folk art, and smile.

Paintings on wood by Church Going Mule, 2020.

Church Going Mule at Twelve Oaks, creating and celebrating art and nature. For more information about the Land Trust organization @ www.LTMCP.org and Facebook @ Twelve Oaks Nature Preserve.

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