Wow, what a day yesteray was! Met new friends, had new experiences, saw new (old) artwork. Which of course is what this little commentary is all about, right? A couple of friends and I went to the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, AR. to see a traveling production of Mel Brooks', "The Producers." It was my first time to see a performance in the Walton and I wasn't disappointed. Overall, it was an outstanding show. There were a couple of times in the second act when the show lost momentum but for the most part it was a romping riot. The best voice in the show was definitely the little guy who sang the role of Leo Bloom.
I was pleased to see that there is a small art gallery housed in the Walton. The current exhibit is a collection of photographs taken by the well-known southern author, Eudora Welty. These photos were taken in Welty's native Mississippi during the heart of the Great Depression just prior to World War II. The subjects were primarily derelict looking homeplaces, old homesteads and farms. Several of the photos focused on the impoverished blacks of the era. I was pleased that the works didn't focus on the poverty of the people but instead showed them in their places of worship and baptisms. It showed their wealth of the spirit, not the poverty of their materialistic possessions. Having lived briefly in the wretched world of Mississippi, I could identify with some of the pictures. One of the photos was even taken on the Pearl River which ran through the city I lived in there. It was a bittersweet exhibit. Anyone with a rural upbringing would find the images familiar regardless of their race, color, or prosperity level.