Lalla Walker Lewis works

Sketches and paintings by the late Greenwood artist Lalla Walker Lewis are being installed for an exhibition of her work, which is opening  Thursday at the Museum of the Mississippi Delta.

An exhibit of works by the late Greenwood artist Lalla Walker Lewis is set to open Thursday at the Museum of the Mississippi Delta.

The show will feature paintings, woodworks and sketches.

Katie Mills, executive director of the museum, said she is excited to see and hear what visitors will take away from the show.

“Art is very personal, so each person will take away something unique,” she said. “I do hope they will see Miss Lewis as the unique and talented person she was. And appreciate that we all see beauty in different ways.”

Lewis, who was born and raised in Greenwood, was famous for depicting life in the Mississippi Delta in her art and worked in a variety of mediums, from paints to woodcuts.

She died at the age of 93 in 2006, but many of her works can still be found in Greenwood homes and businesses.

One featured group of pieces, perhaps most anticipated by longtime Greenwood residents, are the murals from the old Greenwood-Leflore Public Library.

The murals, which were being held in storage by Leflore County and depict cotton plows, riverboats and other aspects of early Mississippi life, were a part of the 1935 Depression-era Works Progress Administration program. This program, established during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, added art to the library that was built in 1914 through the philanthropy of industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

The murals were removed from the building about 20 years ago to be restored.

The Leflore County Board of Supervisors gave its approval earlier this month to show the works. The show will run until Jan. 10, 2021.

“It is really spectacular,” Mills said. “We didn’t know the exact size or condition until we unboxed it.  It is quite large — and in about 20 pieces.  Apparently, when it was taken down and restored, it had to be cut.”

nContact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or abakst@gwcommonwealth.com. Twitter: @AdamBakst_GWCW

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