104 South Street | Cleveland, MS 38762 | 662-843-3344


Past news items of the Delta Arts Alliance are listed below. Please contact us with any questions you might have.

DAA offers back to school iPhone Photography class

The beginning of the school year is rapidly nearing and the thrill of commemorative back to school photos to mark the occasion has begun to rear its head once again.

In light of this, the Delta Arts Alliance is proud to announce its iPhone Photography class which will be held on Thursday, August 4th.

Faith Barnett, the class instructor, took some time to talk about the class and her passion for its topic.


“I am so excited to be able to finally offer a class on photography! Many would say that it is long overdue, and I am ready to share with others the tips and tricks to photography with the most basic tool, an iPhone. I am so thankful that the Delta Arts Alliance is having me because it is important for us to build not only a foundation of art within the community, but to give the community the confidence to pick up the tools they have and express themselves in their own way.”


The photography class will cover many diverse topics, including: candid moments versus posed moments in subject matter, composition, natural versus flash lighting and what works best for iPhones, and iPhone editing tools such as VSCO.


All those interested in photography, regardless of experience, are encouraged to join the class.


Barnett stressed the universality of this photography class. “No matter what it is that interests you,” she said, “you always have the ability to capture that moment in time without the risk of forgetting. I am excited to offer this class as a stepping stone for students to hone in on that ability with a tool you already keep readily available.”


She also further explained her thought process behind the class’s subject matter.


“Many people always ask me ‘how’ and ‘what,’ but very rarely ‘When?’ The key to my photography is capturing candid moments. The moments I capture most are with my daughter or places I visit. Using an iPhone doesn't mean that there is no room for creativity.

Recently, I took my daughter to get her first pet fish. Of course, no one thinks to bring their big bulky camera into Walmart with them—okay, I've thought about it, but the weird looks I might get.... Many of us would just let that moment become a fleeting memory, but I love visual memories that last.


“Those are the moments where the iPhone camera becomes your greatest tool. In our fast past world, we tend to forget some of the most precious memories that happen in our lives. I am a working mom and student. I have my phone in my hand 85% of the day, and that is why my iPhone has become a bank of my most precious visual memories.”


“This class,” Barnett continued, “will focus on the How, What, and When to use your iPhone as a tool to create visual memories.”


She also mentioned a theme: “Let's focus on our little ones getting ready for their first day of —a priceless moment that make the best visual memories!”


The iPhone Photography class will be offered at The Ellis Theatre on Thursday, August 4th at 6 p.m. with a $10 cost.

Everyone is invited to come join old and new iPhone photographers for an evening of eye opening instruction. Walk-ins are welcome, but RSVPs are encouraged. To register, call DAA at 662-843-3344.

This summer, the MS Art Colony's traveling exhibit will be showcased at Delta Arts Alliance's Ellis Gallery and citizens of Cleveland and the surrounded area are invited to visit the exhibit.

The exhibit will showcase work from the spring workshop of the MS Art Colony residential artist program.

MS Art Colony Exhibit travels to DAA


Jamie Tate, Travel Show Coordinator, talked about the work that will be displayed in the exhibit. "The traveling workshop features various artists in Mississippi, Arkansas, and others from pretty much all over the Southeast."

The exhibit travels all around the state of Mississippi for six months.

"It's a nice group show," Tate says. "You get the opportunity to see some really outstanding work by a lot of different artists. You'll find a great collection of all exceptionally good work from primarily Mississippi artists."

Tate went on to describe the program. "We have 2 a year, one in the fall and one in the spring. It's a residential program that takes place at Camp Henry Jacobs. It's unique because our artists are highly self motivated. We aren't all working on the same thing. Everybody just does what they do."

She says what the Colony has collectively learned above all since it's founding in 1948 is that "Mississippi has some amazing artists with wonderful talent and stories to tell."

Tate strongly encourages everyone to visit the exhibit. "You'll see really beautiful work done in all different forms. We always have phenomenal amazing artwork."

The MS Art Colony's traveling exhibit will begin its stay at The Ellis Gallery Thursday, June 23, 2016 and will remain until Friday, August 12th.  The exhibition reception will be held Thursday, August 11th at 6 p.m.

Delta Arts Alliance is Hey Joe's June 2016 Charity of the Month

This June, we are Hey Joe's charity of the month!


$1 for each burger of the month, Miss June, sold will go to Delta Arts Alliance.

We're very excited to be partnering with Hey Joe's again.


Rori Eddie Herbison talks about DAA's past participation as a charity of the month:

"Last year we raised $300, which is one of the largest checks Hey Joe's has written for a charity of the month. We are certainly looking to top that amount this year."


Miss June boasts a wide range of flavors in every bite.


It consists of a house seasoned lamb patty stuffed with onions and ginger, topped with grilled zucchini and scallions, tomato, feta cheese, and homemad lime/mint raita on pita bread. 


We hope to see you at Hey Joe's with a delicious Miss June on your plate!

A Night in the Arts promises to be a Night to Remember

See how it turned out on our events page!

We are ready to roll out the red carpet for you!


Delta Arts Alliance is proud and excited to announce the upcoming fundrasing block party, "A Night in the Arts," and this is certain to be a one-of-a-kind event you won't want to miss.


Scheduled for Saturday, June 4 at 6 pm, this fundraiser has all the elements to be the party of the year.


"The idea of a block party came during a brainstorming session between the fundraising and publicity committee," said Heather Walker, DAA fundraising chairman. "The organization wanted to do one big fundrasier a year in order to continue the good work done by the orginaztion. The even will host a silent and live auction with various forms of art from painting, sculptures, pottery, music, food art and much more."


To coincide with the opening of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, this event, though not formal, will capture the spriti of new beginnings for a community already steeped in culture, arts, and music.


“Also there is another first for the organization and that will be the presentation of the first-ever Gabion Award to a very deserving and supportive person/family of Delta Arts," Walker contuniued. "The event will also have a block party feel through the food. We will have food trucks and tailgate tents serving food to truly give it the block party feel. The DAA Board of Directors is excited and working hard to make "A Night in the Arts" a successful and amazing evening in our community. Attendees can expect a night full of happenings and excitement. The night will not only host an art auction, both silent and live; food and an awards presentation, but also a wonderfully entertaining band, as well as wine tasting," she added.


Delta Arts Alliance President Stacie Harris agreed.


"I am extremely excited about our upcoming fundraiser," Harris said. "Heather Walker, and her committee, is continuing to work numerous hours planning this amazing evening. We promise it will be a night full of wonderful art, great food, live entertainment, and awards. This event is unique because you won't have to get glammed up for this block party-style experience. It's going to be a Delta casual summer evening occasion for a worthy cause.


"Selfishly, I'm looking forward to picking up another piece of art to add to my collection and hearing The Bouffants for the first time," she added. "They came highly recommended and I've heard they're a great party band with big hair and bigger attitudes.


"All kidding aside, it's been almost ten years since Delta Arts has hosted a fundraiser of this magnitude and it was such a huge success because of the tremendous support we received from the community. It is super exciting to think about the impact a successful fundraiser like "A Night in the Arts" can have on our organization," Harris continued.


Patrons should plan on attending this block party for two reasons, the frist-year president explained.


"One is because it is going to be great fun, and two, because Delta Arts is truly making a difference in our community by offering all types of art education and outlets to the children in not only Cleveland but throughout the Delta. It's exciting to know you're contributing to these efforts when you support DAA," she further added.


Like many programs of its kind, fundraising is the most important component in the sustainability of Delta Arts. For without the efforts of the fundraising committee, and the financial support it receives from these events, DAA would not be able to continue its work, in not only the arts education arena, but its on-going restoration efforts of the Ellis Theater, it's year-round exhibition schedule and its arts advocacy work.


"As a non-profit organization, fundraising is a necessity. Without our generous donors and the many selfless volunteers we have within this organization, it would be all but impossible to operate DAA. The finance committee works very hard drawing up a balanced budget each year. DAA is able to do and give so much back to the community because these fundraisers allow our budget to do so," said Matthew Mullins, Board Treasurer and Finance Chairman.


Harris reiterated, noting, "The monies raised will be designated for the completion of the renovation of the back of the Ellis and for sustaining the programs we have in place. We have acquired and have pledges for a significant portion of the cost for the restoration of the back of the building but we still have a long ways to go in order to be financially sound enough to start this next phase while continuing to provide teh ongoing quality programming."


We hope you have calendars marked, babysitters booked, and your dancing shoes on, because we're shutting down the street and partying the night away.


Don't miss "A Night in the Arts," Saturday, June 4 at 6 pm.


General admission tickets will be $40.


Reserve yours today by calling (662) 843-3344.


Alexander Brown: The Sculptor of Wood

Art comes in many forms and is expressed through many methods. As the world evolves and changes, art does as well, finding its place with artists of constant innovation, artists of strict traditionalism, and all artists in between.

Even as art continues to be expressed in newer, brighter, or heavier ways, many artists hold on firmly to their creative roots. This can often be seen in the medium of their work. Alexander Brown, renowned wood sculptor, is a great example of an artist who has taken a pure form of art and kept it utterly refined throughout his years of artistic accomplishment.

Brown has spent a lot of time in the South. Life was not always easy. He lived through Hurricane Katrina without running water or electricity. Going back to help better others’ lives--including the lives of his friends and community members--through rebuilding homes led Brown to living in a trailer.


Years after the Katrina disaster, Brown found himself doing well with a nice career. “ I had my own fish business,” he said. “I supplied freshwater tropical fish to New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast.”


But a new passion entered his life soon after. Brown described the events that introduced him to wood work: “I started sculpting in 1987 or 1988.This was when I was traveling for my fish business. My brother introduced me to Dorman Davis and he was a just such a diverse artist. He could paint, he could watercolor. He did oil paintings. He did a little metal sculpting. He could do pretty much anything. But his other real passion was wood sculpting.”


“I started just hanging out over there [with Davis] on the weekends. Then he started handing me some wood sculptures he had done that needed some finish work. And he started asking, well, can you do this? Can you do that? So for about six months or so I just did this on the side.”


“One day he said, ‘I got a show up in Houston.’ He had another artist he had paid to help him get ready for the show, but I guess they were having artistic differences or just weren’t getting along. Because he said to me, ‘Look you’re every bit--if not better--than the guy I’m paying. Can I pay you to help me?’ So I gave him 30 hours a week because I still had my fish business to attend to. That’s where I really got my foundation in sculpting. I never really apprenticed with him in the way you would consider an apprenticeship. But he did the sculpting and I would do the finish work.”


Brown continues, “So I ended up working offshore some years later, probably about 1990, a week on a week off. I thought, ‘You know that [the sculpting work] is really fun. So I’m gonna take my American Express and buy these tools so I can start doing this woodwork.’ I went out and did that and then I started just working in my garage.”


Brown will allow viewers the opportunity to see work from all stages of his artistic endeavors, including his first sculpture, starting Friday, April 15, 2016 at the Delta Arts Alliance.

“I’m bringing to the gallery the very first piece I ever made,” Brown said, his voice fond. “I call it my Medicine Man or just my Shaman. He’s a piece I’ll never sell. He’s a piece that has kind of guided me through this whole road I’ve gone down through life.”


The differences between Brown’s early work in his garage and the work he produces now is undoubtedly there but perhaps not as noticeable as other artists. “Development wise,” he says, “I’ve gotten to be much more detail oriented...but other than that I haven’t done too much differently...I guess my style has changed so, but not too much.”


One thing that has stayed constant in Brown’s work has been its emphasis on nature. “I was so heavily influenced in life by nature. I grew up with this bayou in our backyard and that was the neatest place in the world for me to go in my time after school. I absolutely loved it. I’d go pet the snakes and the turtles. I went down to that bayou all the time.”


“So the main theme of my art has always been about incorporating nature in some way. Sometimes it’s through mimicking art, like doing the horse heads and doing the giant salad bowls that look like seashells. And sometimes they’re statement pieces. I’ve done pieces about how mankind is running through its environment on this earth so fast that we’re gonna risk our environment if we don’t slow down,” he said. The difference between what he’d just described and what he generally creates was not lost on him.


Brown highlighted the most important aspect of his artwork: its material. “I use wood, which is, you know, a natural material that’s probably been the most important material to the human race for our development into what we’ve become. It was the very first tool we ever had. It created fire.”


“I love working with wood and it seems to be a dying art. It seems like the art world and wood are dying. There’s not much of that connection anymore. Nobody is really sculpting wood anymore.”


Even the few sculptors who do use wood don’t quite capture it the way Brown, with his deep appreciation for wood in its natural state, does. “Nobody takes wood and keeps it pure and sculpts it from solid blocks,” he said. “I don’t glue pieces, I don’t stain wood, I don’t paint wood. I purely sculpt the wood and let you see all the beautiful colors and grains that are in the wood by just applying a pure wax.”


He added with a laugh, “I’m almost a throwback kind of artists because I’ll go to art festivals and see no one doing what I do.”


Brown began his explanation of his sculpting process, with a chuckle. “The process is actually very simple. I tell people this and they look at me like I’m crazy. But it’s true.”


“Generally,” he explained, “you will make a basic block of wood that the sculpture you’re trying to do can fit inside of. What you’ll usually do is work on one dimension at a time. I generally like to work first on profile.”


He went on to describe how he would focus on including all the details of just one aspect, or dimension, of his subject (be it a person or an object) before rotating the block and repeating the process on a different side of the wood. Once he has sculpted the foundation of the piece, he adds more minor details that coax the creation out of the wood and bring it to life.


“You generally design almost all sculptures before you start. Sometimes I’ll freelance. I’ll have no rhyme or reason and just take a block of wood and just start going. They generally end up being bold when I do that. They’ll be these abstract bowls with no structure or explanation. They’re fun to do.”


Also “fun to do” is exhibiting for the first time at the Ellis Theatre, as the Crosstie Arts & Jazz Festival’s Featured Artist. For his inaugural one-man show at DAA, Brown is exhibiting a retrospective, of sorts, showing a mix of one-time pieces in his career, as well as more conventional pieces, like bowls or other vessels.


“The only metal piece I have ever done will be in this exhibit. This is only the second time I have shown it in 22 years,” he added.


His feature on Mississippi Roads, a Mississippi Public Broadcasting show dedicated to highlighting the wonders that make Mississippi such a unique state, will also be played on a loop during his exhibit in the gallery.


Despite all of his success and recognition, Brown stays humble. “The biggest honor I get from doing this is that I actually make a living from it,” Brown said. “There are so many talented sculptors who just can’t live off their work, so I am honored by every purchase and every opportunity to continue doing what I love.”


Brown’s wood workings will be on display at the Ellis Gallery, 104 South Court Street, Cleveland, MS, through Friday, April 29. For more information, please call (662) 843-3344.


DAA takes on P2P

The Delta Arts Alliance participated in the 2016 Pathways2Possibilites interactive career expo at the convention center in Greenville. The expo included many career pathways for middle school students to explore and experience.


Two of our artists in residence set up shop to represent the Arts pathway, and it was a hit! We even needed to bring in a third artist in residence, David Donovan, by our second day to accommodate all the kids interested in our program!


Ashley Burton and LaToya Edwards sat down to talk about what it was like. Find out what they had to say!

Boro series
Boro series

'boro 1' (front) beside the rest of the boro series by Pat Brown

press to zoom
Marcia Neill Pryor's pieces
Marcia Neill Pryor's pieces

Pieces by Marcia Neill Pryor

press to zoom
Secondary Colors
Secondary Colors

'secondary colors' I-IV by Jean Nimrod

press to zoom
Boro series
Boro series

'boro 1' (front) beside the rest of the boro series by Pat Brown

press to zoom

DAA.squared exhibition

The Delta Arts Alliance and the Delta Artists Association have partnered up for the first time in history to present DAA Squared, an art exhibit featuring 63 12” by 12” pieces of various mediums by 21 Delta artists.


“We’re very excited to be partnering with Delta Arts Alliance. The two DAAs,” said Honey Dean, president of Delta Artists Association. “It’s a great way to connect with the arts here in the Delta and the people who support arts, like the people at Delta Arts Alliance."

The closing reception of the exhibit will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Delta Arts Alliance building. Dean talked about coming up with the idea for the exhibit. “My DAA [Delta Artists Association]  had been talking for a year about doing a show of just squares. So we decided upon a 12 inch square. All of our pieces are 12 inches and we made sure that our sculptures fit into an invisible 12 inch cube.”


“We wanted the exhibit to fit attractively in a small gallery and wanted to provoke our [Delta Artists Association] members to create fresh new work. That was really the inspiration behind it."

Visitors can expect to see various types of pieces in the gallery. “We have all different types of art across the spectrum. You’ll see landscape pieces, 3D art, photography, abstracts, paper and canvas work. There’s something for everyone."


Community members are encouraged to come to the exhibit and take a piece or two home. “They’re going to see innovative artwork done by multiple artists. They’ll see regional art, work prepared for this show specifically. It’s small and affordable. You can buy it and take it off the wall and just carry it out with you.”


“The pieces range anywhere from $50 to $350 for the established artists,” Dean said, emphasizing affordability. “They’re also very adaptable. You can take them and hang them anywhere in your home, so they fit well with anyone.”


Dean specifically wanted to showcase two artists lending their pieces for the exhibit. “We have two new Delta Artists Association members: Will Branton and Ty White. This is their first exhibit with us and we’re very excited for them. I think the idea of the exhibit drew them because it was provocative in a way and a bit different.”


An art veteran, Dean talked about the challenges this particular exhibit posed for her. “This exhibit was provocative for me too because I decided to submit abstract pieces. Abstract is not me. But I’ve enjoyed putting these pieces together."


Dean also has an exhibit downstairs at the Delta Arts Alliance, that is currently open for perusing. “It’s mechanical art and natural science. The exhibit is called Wonders of the World and right now anyone can go and check out the pieces.”


Citizens of the Delta will certainly appreciate this in depth glimpse into the variety and versatility of art that is showcased in the DAA Squared exhibit. Dean hopes that art lovers will leave the exhibit with a smile and hopefully a piece of art too. “It’s a quirky little show. It’s a very happy exhibit. It has its own upbeat personality. I think everyone will enjoy it.”

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending basics at the DAA

Bartending Basics with

Parker Dilworth

On Thursday June 4th, the Delta Arts Alliance kicked off the First Thursday, First Look series with a Bartending Basics class for adults. Participants learned how to make summer cocktails with fresh fruit while enjoying samples made by the bartender himself.


2015 promises to be an exciting year for Cleveland, Mississippi and the Delta Arts Alliance Exhibition Committee is calling on you to help document this historic time in our hometown. Using the hashtag #BoCoPROUD, post your captured images to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those images will then be curated for an exhibition to be hosted in the Ellis at Delta Arts Alliance in February 2016 by photographer Rory Doyle. DOWNLOAD PDF HERE


The Delta Arts Alliance has been awarded a $18,000. 00 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). The grant is a portion of the $1.34 million in grants the Commission will award in 2014-2015. DOWNLOAD PDF HERE

Please reload


The Ellis is Delta Art Alliance's printed newsletter. Pick up a copy around town in Cleveland or take a look online.

From the Middle is Delta Art Alliance's e-newsletter. To subscribe, email rori@deltaartsalliance.org.

From the Middle, Edition IV
From the Middle, Edition IV

The fourth installment of the From the Middle series.

press to zoom
From the Middle, Edition III
From the Middle, Edition III

The third installment of the From the Middle series.

press to zoom
From the Middle, Edition II
From the Middle, Edition II

The second installment of the From the Middle series.

press to zoom
From the Middle, Edition I
From the Middle, Edition I

The first installment of the From the Middle series.

press to zoom

Featuring information about School House Rock, the 2015 Volunteer Service Awards, artist-in-residence Danza Locke, and aspiring artist Emma Spinks.

Featuring information about the DAA's Milkshakes and Music, fundraiser event, Mary Lou Liberty's art exhibit, artist-in-residence Courtney Dean, and aspiring artist Jalyn Casey.

Featuring information about the 2016 summer theatre program's production of "A Journey Through Roald Dahl's Bookshelf" and aspiring artist Eliza Hardy.

Featuring information about DAA's Artist Survival Workshop series, Jamie Tate's art exhibit, artist-in-residence Ashley Burton, and aspiring artist Mia Powell.