Leaf River Revival - starting at $500.00
Ended at: 313 days 18 hours 21 minutes 47 seconds ago
$1,001.00 USD

This auction has been sold to Becky at $1,001.00 USD.


The painting is 30 x 40 inches acrylic on canvas and is up for auction with proceeds supporting FestivalSouth.

Bids accepted through June 27, 2020 – 7 p.m. CST

Winner announced during livestream broadcast on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.


As FestivalSouth® reimagines how it serves the arts community with live stream broadcasts throughout June 27, artist Kelsey Wishik provides a new take on the festival’s signature commemorative painting that has become a collector’s item over the last decade. The auction of her creation, “Leaf River Revival,” will support FestivalSouth activities into the future and allow someone the opportunity to own this one-of-a-kind painting. The work is up for auction through June 27 at 7 p.m. at festivalsouth.org.

Taking the helm from Amy Giust, the prolific creator of a decade of images for FestivalSouth since its start, was a welcome passing of the baton between the two artists. Giust felt like she had left her imprint on the award-winning festival and that it was time for someone else to have the opportunity. Dr. Mike Lopinto, artistic director of FestivalSouth®, turned to his dear friend and founder of the Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art (HAPA), Becky Montague, for recommendations. WIshik, who had just completed a mural for the city at Hardy St. and North 10th Avenue, became the front runner to create this year’s painting.

“I was thrilled to be offered this opportunity by FestivalSouth” said Wishik. “I feel such a kinship with Hattiesburg and saw it as an opportunity to celebrate my passion for the area.”

Wishik is a maker in many mediums.  Her practice explores themes of consciousness, shared identity, travel, and transformation.  Through sculpture, two-dimensional works, music, and movement, she seeks to discover the diverse capacities of creativity as a unifying language and form of responsive intelligence. 

She has engaged in creative action as long as she can remember. That creative action earned Wishik, a multimedia artist from Ocean Springs, Miss. a prominent place in the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) fifth installment of its exhibition series, titled “Heavy Metal – Women to Watch 2018” after being chosen by a national jury to be the state’s representative for the event.  

Reflecting on her still young career as an artist, Wishik looks back at her childhood doodling and the stories and songs she wrote that for her gave life a narrative quality, as the genesis for her success.

“Even as a kid, just walking around, I saw so many things speaking through life, through other people, and through nature,” Wishik said. “Some of these fascinations became content for early work, but it was when I discovered abstract art and surrealism around the age of 13 that I became deeply enamored with creating art, and experimenting with what I was capable of through poetry, art, and music.

“Creating art is how I process and revere my experience. Sometimes I apply it for the sake of sheer curiosity, because studying something brings you closer to understanding it. Other times, creation comes with the sense of purging, that I am letting something go, or even inviting something in.”

For Wishik, art isn’t contained on a canvas or in a studio – it’s everywhere. “The world is art. The world is in constant flux — a constant act of transformation and reflection of forces at work,” she said. “The word ‘art’ aside, we are creating at every moment. We can’t help it. We interact with our environment and impress upon it through our thoughts, actions, and speech.

“I think when the art process becomes true magic is when we invite it in intentionally. The process of creating can cultivate concentration, develop our emotions and empathy, and encourage abstract thought.”

The Hattiesburg Concert Association (HCA), parent organization of FestivalSouth and the Mesitersingers, launched a major fundraising initiative – the Covid-19 Cultural Arts Emergency Relief Fund to raise funds to continue the high-quality programming the community has come to know and love in the future. The auction of this painting will help support FestivalSouth during these challenging times.

“The HCA wants to be there for the community now and in the future” said Amanda Powell, chairwoman of the HCA. “A gift or bid on the painting today supports that hope and helps us share relief that the arts uniquely provide during these challenging times.”

Bids and outright donations may be made online at festivalsouth.org. For more information and assistance, please call 601.297.5172.