Mississippi College

Art Patrons Attending Sam Gore Lifetime Achievement Tribute

May 23, 2012

Tickets are going fast as Mississippi College’s celebrated sculptor Sam Gore receives a lifetime achievement award.

The latest honor on June 9 for the extraordinary 85-year-old Clinton artist comes from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. The event begins with a reception at the Mississippi Museum of Art in downtown Jackson at 5:30 p.m. followed by a banquet at 6 p.m.

“We expect a sellout crowd,” says Margaret Robbins, the organization’s executive secretary. “Dr. Gore is a big draw.”

The deadline for tickets is May 31. The price of a ticket is $60.

Gore is the former chairman of the Christian university’s Art Department, and his contributions to the arts world span more than six decades. His “Servant Savior” sculpture on the Clinton campus and a 1,200-pound bronze masterpiece “Jesus and the Children” outside the School of Education are destination points for Mississippi College visitors.

Sharing the lifetime achievement award with Gore that Saturday evening is Vicksburg native Dr. Andrew Bucci, a painter in the Washington, D.C. area who’s retired from the U.S. Air Force.

“Andrew is one of the first artists I got to know,” Gore said. “Andrew is a good friend of mine - we were both friends of Mississippi artist Marie Hull.”

The awards dinner can accommodate up to 160 people. Guests will be traveling from Jackson, Clinton, Starkville, Hattiesburg, Oxford, Nashville, North Carolina, and as far away as Arizona to pay tribute to the two distinguished artists.

“Dr. Gore is very deserving of this,” says Randy Jolly, director of the Gore Galleries on the Mississippi College campus in Clinton. “He’s an exceptional artist in Mississippi in quality and body of work. This is an outstanding honor for him and the state. He’s in great company.”

Gore is a 1951 MC graduate who continues to teach part-time at his alma mater.

Gore and Bucci will join an all-star lineup of previous lifetime achievement winners including such literary giants as Eudora Welty, Shelby Foote and Ellen Douglas, opera icon Leontyne Price, artists Marshall Bouldin III and Walter Anderson and actor Morgan Freeman.

Among the guests on hand for the awards dinner will be Dr. Bill Ferris, a Vicksburg native who serves as associate director for the Center for American Studies at the University of North Carolina. Ferris is the former director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

Retired Hinds County Circuit Judge Swan Yerger, a member of the group’s Board of Governors, nominated Gore for the award. Founders of the 34-year-old institute include former Mississippi Gov. William Winter and Aubrey Lucas, who recently returned as interim president at the University of Southern Mississippi.

For more information, contact Margaret Robbins at 662.523.0899 or visit the institute's website at www.ms-arts-letters.org.


Photo: Sam Gore

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