Authentic storytelling doesn’t always need direction. For this year’s Photography feature, we let the professionals take the reins. We supplied a starting point with a list of themes and then allowed the artists to construct their own narratives. What we were given is a series of short vignettes that tell us not only about the theme chosen, but also the photographers themselves.
Summer is upon us. If you’re anything like me, you have been bitten by the travel bug something serious. I get stir crazy in the summer and chances are I am trying to get as far away from the South as possible. So, aside from the obvious TSA requirements, what are some of my other summer travel essentials? Let’s take a look.
While I wouldn’t say I’ve been procrastinating working on my beach body (see previous months’ forays into cycling, yoga and even dancing), the collective total of weddings, bachelorette parties and vacations I’ve been lucky enough to participate in during the past year reaches nearly to 20. With my annual beach vacation waiting for me at the end of this month, I decided it is time to seek the help of a professional.
Rob Walker, 33, is a Petal native and Jones County Junior College graduate. Walker loves fishing and kayaking on the river and you can usually find him at one of the bars in Downtown Hattiesburg. After getting his first camera in middle school, nearly two decades passed before his love affair with photography came into full bloom. Specializing in live music photography, Walker was named Best Event Photographer in this year’s Best of the Pine Belt awards. His portrait is compliments of fellow photographer Grant Hobgood.
Keith Kujath of Hattiesburg has combined two of his passions into one avocation, and now he has found a mentor that provides him the inspiration in both of his endeavors.
Kujath is a music maven, with collections of guitars, albums, recordings and – thanks to his mentor, Dick Waterman – the largest individual collection of Waterman photos. A certified clinical perfusionist by profession, Kujath bundles his love for photography and his knowledge of music, both performing and producing, to capture the essence of a stage or musical performance.
Whether it’s from her time spent with the United Way of Southeast Mississippi, the Avenues Alliance or the Luckyday Scholars, Cox makes it a point to better the people and places around her on a daily basis.
“Community is what makes life possible,” said Cox, who now serves as director of community impact for United Way SEMS. She’s also the winner of this year’s Best of the Pine Belt’s Best Volunteer award.
“Tupac (Shakur) said, ‘I am a reflection of the community,’ and that is the absolute truth – we all are.
Now in its ninth year, FestivalSouth continues to enjoy a part of the Hub City’s days and nights each summer. This year FestivalSouth runs June 9-23.
The multi-genre arts festival was the brainchild of Jay Dean, who recently retired as music director for the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and the Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company.
Dean said the idea for FS was developed in 2009 because he wanted to create a major community-based arts and entertainment event.
“It took 18 months to bring it to fruition in June 2010,” he said.
Cody Morse, 28, hails from Perry County, but headed to the Hub City once his persona grew larger than life. Morse is a bartender at The Porter Pub in downtown by trade, a trendsetter by nature. He enjoys guest-hosting Tuesday night trivia at The Porter, dressed to the nines. A member of Hattiesburlesque and a friend to all, Morse enjoys promoting Hattiesburg and hopes to make it a lil more glittery. Morse says he has a beautiful family of friends and enjoys dancing, sewing, and just being out in the Pine Belt.
What is your idea of happiness?
After scrapping the idea of doing a coffee-based cocktail in honor of one of the world’s greatest photographers, Yousuf Karsh, a Turkish Canadian immigrant, an old party favorite was remembered. Named in honor of Ben’s photographer friend who has a fondness for denim jumpsuits, July’s cocktail is nearly effortless. Don’t skimp on making your own honey lemon mix – it’s a small step that makes a big difference in this crushable summer beverage.
1 oz honey lemon mix*
½ oz Giffard Passionfruit liqueur
The Crew, Conway’s Family Pub