Mt. Pleasant art gallery opens highlighting students’ work

Yoshiko Yap
Works from eighth-grader Mac Wainwright, eighth-grader Isabella Arellano and a cooperative piece from fifth-graders Riley Bennett and Michael Hill, sixth-grader Mariana Deavers, seventh-graders Jaelynn Siever, Travis Sweet and eighth-grader Andrew Strother are displayed at the Mt. Pleasant Record Art Gallery in Mt. Pleasant, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.

Instead of inviting a recognized artist from out-of-town, Mt. Pleasant’s new downtown art gallery is celebrating its opening days, exhibiting the work of students from the rural community’s public schools.

Located inside the former office and pressroom of the city’s local newspaper, the Mt. Pleasant Record Art Gallery is the latest establishment to pop up on the city’s steadily transforming Main Street.

The gallery’s very first show features paintings and sculptures created by students from Mt. Pleasant’s elementary, middle and high schools, offering a unique and entirely community-generated opportunity for its’ students.

“I can spend the rest of my life trying to repay what this is going to do for our kids,” said Mike Mitchell, the director of arts for the city’s three schools.

Columbia State Pryor Art Gallery curator Rusty Summerville, Mt. Pleasant Record Art Gallery owners Mike Greene and Pat Greene and Director of Arts for Mt. Pleasant Schools Mike Mitchell stand inside the Mt. Pleasant Record Art Gallery surrounded by the work of students in Mt. Pleasant, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.

The opening show that includes a judged contest will culminate with an opening event at 4:30 p.m. at the gallery, 103 South Main St., before the start of the city’s annual Mid-South Barbecue Festival on Friday.

The show will remain on display until Wednesday.

Owned by recognized Columbia businessmen and brothers Mike and Pat Greene, the two recently purchased and renovated the building with the goal of reinvesting in their native community.

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