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Andy Young and the Parable of the Pothole Machine

Friday, May 8, 2015

​Andrew Cary Young, President of Pearl River Glass Studio, is a devoted Jacksonian. His studio in Midtown Jackson is a mainstay of the community, and the art he and his team produce brings light into spaces of all kinds, from churches to the Museum’s own Art Garden. Young might sometimes feign sardonic curmudgeonry, but he is, indeed, a self-described optimist, and his work throughout Jackson and beyond lays claim to his passion for the place he calls home.

Optimism, though mystical in its power to alter consciousness and inspire, falls short of some practical applications; namely, fixing potholes. Young does not like potholes, a viewpoint he shares with many in the city. And while some sections of Jackson’s streets are being freshly paved, perhaps as we speak, there is a well-publicized history of the havoc wreaked by infamous Yazoo clay on the municipal infrastructure. Recently, Young took to the drawing board with satire in mind and designed a Seuss-o-industrial blueprint for a pothole machine to relieve the city’s woes. He had plans to translate this design into a large scale rendering, but after hearing Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber speak at a local forum, Young’s outlook on the pothole machine changed.

“The pothole machine was going to be satire,” Young reiterated. “But when the Mayor spoke, he said, ‘Don’t talk down about Jackson, talk it up. Don’t be negative, be positive.’ And I’m a positive guy. What he said resonated with me.”

This Saturday, May 9, Andy Young passes along some of his positivity to a group of awards recipients from the Mississippi regional competition of The Scholastic Art Awards. The program, called Art is Work, has been organized by the Museum’s education department as an opportunity for these student-artists to hear from and converse with established creative professionals who make art for a living.

Before he speaks on the Art is Work panel, Andy Young will be drawing, in large scale, a new interpretation of Jackson in the Entergy Classroom here at the Museum. “The kids will get to see a concept executed before their eyes,” Young said. The public, too, is invited to watch his process, from 10 AM - noon, as Young takes the inspiration of Mayor Tony Yarber and filters it, like stained glass, into an original artwork indicative of the Capital City.

UPDATE 5/11/15:

Here, Andy Young paints his new vision for Jackson. Embedded within the piece is a poem by the artist:

Jackson stories of the past
Living into the future
Forever on the river
Building what will last