Mississippi Bound The Kohlmeyer Circle Visits Woodville Lofts & Studios and The Crosby School House

Photo by Jim Derbes

This past Saturday, the Kohlmeyer Circle had the pleasure of taking a day trip to Mississippi. The 15 of us climbed aboard the bus in front of the Ogden Museum, promptly poured mimosas and hit the road.

Our first stop was South of the Border in Francisville, Louisiana, a favorite local restaurant situated right before the state line. Here, we joined our hosts and the owners of Woodville Lofts & Studios, Jan Katz and Jim Derbes. While getting our fill of Southern comfort food, Jan and Jim told the story of how they encountered Woodville, Mississippi after Katrina, and decided to rehabilitate and transform three downtown landmarks.

After splitting pecan pie and German chocolate cake, we were off to see Jan and Jim’s fine restoration work in the Town Square of Woodville. The impressive Woodville Loft & Studios are historically authentic, with contemporary fixtures and flare. Our behind-the-scenes look also included a glimpse of Jan’s stunning art collection, which focuses on the work of self-taught artists.

Next up, the group traveled to The Crosby Schoolhouse, built in Crosby, Mississippi in the 1930s. This unique place — now a shared creative retreat — was once filled with school-age children. Today, the theme of education continues, as artists come to hone their crafts.

Residing at the Schoolhouse are founding artists, Karen Gadbois, Kate McNee and Peter Horjus; resident artists, Ana Treffinger and Luke Koeferl; and guests artists, Seth Damm and Aida Schooler. We got a chance to see what they are working on, from indigo dyed quilts to sculptural jewelry designs made with rope.

Sadly, we had to leave the Schoolhouse to go home. Many of us would have happily moved in…

The trip, overall, was wonderful. If you missed it, not to worry. The Kohlmeyer Circle takes trips annually, and locally, members enjoy tours of Museum exhibitions, artist studios and private collections.

If you are between the ages of 21 and 45, and you share a passion for Southern art, contact membership@ogdenmuseum.org today to become a Kohlmeyer Circle member!