Last month I drove to Starkville to take some pictures for a new painting. I went during State's spring break so the lack of cars on campus and around town was a big help!
I may be an Ole Miss girl but I wanted to do this up right for those who hold Starkville just as near and dear to their hearts as I do Oxford. I spent a fair amount of time researching this painting, trying to pick out places that were easily recognizable, meaningful, and artistically pleasing. Among my sources were a brother-in-law who graduated from State, a friend who recently spent two years living in Starkville, and a handful of State fans who I had friendly (and informative!) conversations with at art festivals.
I ended up using mostly using the Ole Main District of downtown Starkville. Included in the painting from there are State Theater, the clock, Mugshots, the Oktibbeha County Courthouse, and Hotel Chester. All of these places have been there for quite some time, though some of their names may have changed throughout the years. Hotel Chester is even on the National Register of Historic Places.
From campus I included Davis Wade Stadium and the Junction. No explanation needed there!
I added the guy carrying the guitar case and flower to represent the legendary Johnny Cash. After a 1965 performance on the MSU campus, he spent the night in Starkville's city jail. He was either arrested for picking flowers on private property or for public drunkenness (I'm guessing it was probably a little of both!). Either way, the experience made an impression on him and he later wrote a song about it called "Starkville City Jail."
Last but certainly not least, I included a bulldog in the painting. Because how could I not?!
You can purchase a print of the painting HERE, or pick one up from me at the Cotton District Arts Festival this weekend! I'll be on University Drive, just down from the Bulldog Deli if you're walking toward campus. More on the festival later this week!