Cast of blues

Some of the life casts of blues artists

Sharon McConnell-Dickerson’s “Cast of Blues” life cast exhibit has taken her all over the world: Cognac, France; Chicago, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; Albuquerque, New Mexico, and now the Mississippi artist is adding New Albany, Mississippi to her list.

The engaging exhibit will feature 40 of the life casts of Mississippi blues men and women in the gallery at the Union County Heritage Museum in New Albany.

Opening July 18 at noon, with a program featuring the blind artist working on a life cast of musician Sam Mosley, she will talk about her process and the 18 years she has put into creating this touchable tribute to the blues musicians of Mississippi.

The New England native was a flight attendant for people such as George and Barbara Bush, Henry Kissinger, Donald and Ivana Trump and other well-known people prior to losing her sight.  She cooked fresh gourmet meals for the passengers. As she became blind, she went to Santa Fe New Mexico, to study under well-known life casting artists Willa Shalit and Dan Ericson, who had life-sculpted U.S. Presidents, Muhammad Ali and several famous actors. She learned how to use the direct casting method applying special molding methods directly to the faces of her subjects.  A skin-safe silicone shell is created over the subject’s face that when the materials cure they will be removed and the final work on the cast will be done.

In this special exhibit the faces are meant to be touched.  The associated descriptive material is in Braille as well as optical text, and there are music tracks of the blues musician featured in the exhibit for the ears.

The exhibit and life casting of the face of Mosley, a New Albany musician on the Mississippi Blues Trail, will be featured  at Museum Moments with the actual life cast on Thursday, July 18 at noon. And the opening will be on July 19 from 6 till 7:30 featuring live blues music.  Several associated blues events will be held during the duration of the exhibit including The Blues Doctors on Aug. 30 in a Hot August Night performance.  The exhibit will close Nov. 9. For more information, call the museum at 662-538-0014 or come by at 114 Cleveland Street, New Albany, MS 38652.

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