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Exhibition explores and celebrates the profession of architecture

Mississippi architecture

A series of exhibits dedicated to architecture, both nationally and locally, is currently on display at the Mississippi Arts Center in downtown Jackson through April 11. “The idea for the event came from a national traveling exhibit,” said John Dunaway, an architect at Canizaro, Cawthon Davis in Jackson and chairman for the exhibit. “The exhibit, put together by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to celebrate its 100th anniversary, is called “America’s Favorite Architecture.” It features 150 buildings chosen by a Harris poll conducted by the AIA. “The exhibit includes lots of iconic buildings, such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building,” said Dunaway.

“This exhibit has been a long time coming,” said Joe Blake, executive director of the Mississippi chapter of the AIA. “We spent over a year working on getting it here, and it has truly been a labor of love.”

Dunaway said that the Mississippi chapter decided to expand the exhibit by featuring Mississippi’s favorite architecture. “We selected 12 buildings and featured them in our 2008 calendar.” The buildings were chosen via online voting by the citizens of Mississippi.

Another one of the exhibits is “A Sense of Place, Mississippi Architecture in Photography,” which is a photographic exhibition of Mississippi architecture selected by a jury of architects and photographers. This exhibit demonstrates the variety of architecture throughout the state as witnessed by professional and amateur photographers. “There are all sorts of structures and even signs in this exhibit,” said Dunaway. “Anything created by man was considered architecture for this competition.”

In the “Art by Architects” exhibit, art in various media created by AIA Mississippi members is on display. This exhibit demonstrates the wide range of artistic talent of AIAMS’s architectural community.

And finally, the “AIA Award Winning Buildings” is a display featuring buildings that have received State, Regional and National Awards. This exhibit features recent architecture and affords the public a better understanding of quality in design and planning of our architectural community.

Each day during the exhibit an AIA member will be acting as a docent at the Arts Center. Visitors will not only be able to view the exhibits but they will have an opportunity to converse with an architect, intern architect or architectural student.

Also during the exhibit, a series of lectures will be held on Thursday evenings from 5:45 to 6:45 in the Russell C. Davis Planetarium, 201 East Pascagoula Street. Thursday, March 26, Steve Dumez, AIA will present “Masked / Unmasked.” On Thursday, April 2, David Cronrath, AIA Dean LSU College of Art & Design will present “Big Art.” And on Thursday, April 9, Robert Canizaro, FAIA will present “Architectural Profession: Glamorous, Creative, Sexy?”

On Saturday mornings at 10 a.m., walking tours will be conducted of Jackson Downtown during the exhibit featuring the architecture of the past, the present and the future. John Dunaway, MCA Chairman and other AIA architects will lead the tours.

For more information, contact Joe Blake at 601-360-0082 or email joe@aiams.org for more information.

Contact MBJ contributing writer Susan Marquez at larssue@aol.com .

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