The late Andrew Bucci left a creative legacy as one of Mississippi’s most celebrated and prolific visual artists. To honor his memory and the centennial anniversary of his birth, the Friends of Andrew Bucci Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi was recently created to help Mississippi public, parochial and private school art teachers acquire supplies that support visual arts instruction for grades PreK-12.
“Andrew Bucci always credited his early art teachers for recognizing and encouraging his talent, namely Mary Clare Sherwood in Vicksburg and Marie Hull in Jackson,” said Margaret Bucci, Bucci’s niece and manager of his estate. “To cultivate new generations of artists in Mississippi, it’s important to increase access to arts education and make sure teachers have the tools and resources they need to provide enriching learning experiences for students.”
The estate of Andrew Bucci was interested in supporting visual arts education in Mississippi, and Margaret said the Community Foundation for Mississippi provided the perfect solution for establishing an impactful program to benefit PreK-12 art teachers and students.
“We’re excited about partnering with CFM to help teachers enhance visual arts instruction and learning about student projects made possible with support from the Friends of Andrew Bucci Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi,” she said.
Grant requests are now being accepted by the Advisors of the Friends of Andrew Bucci Fund Selection Committee. Interested teachers may apply for a grant from the Friends of Andrew Bucci Fund. Grant awards of up to $500 each are for the acquisition of art supplies such as paper, paint, paint brushes, pencils, markers, clay and other materials that provide hands-on opportunities for students to create artworks using a variety of media. Applications can be accessed and submitted here. The deadline to apply is July 31, 2022. (Note: The deadline has been extended to August 31, 2022.)
Bucci was born on January 12, 1922, in Vicksburg and graduated from St. Aloysius High School. After earning a degree in architectural engineering from Louisiana State University, he was trained as a weather officer and served on air bases in Scotland and England during World War II. While stationed near Paris at the war’s end, Bucci studied life drawing at the Académie Julian. He earned a BFA and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
After moving to the Washington, D.C. area in 1956 to work for the National Weather Service, Bucci continued painting, exhibiting art, and maintaining close ties with the Mississippi arts community. He resettled in Vicksburg shortly before his death on Nov. 16, 2014.
In recognition of his contributions to the arts and the centennial of his birth, the Mississippi Senate designated Jan. 12, 2022 “Andrew Bucci Day” in Mississippi. Bucci was the recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission 2009 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for lifetime achievement in the visual arts and the 2012 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Lifetime Achievement award. Bucci’s painting, “Figure in Green,” was chosen by the USA International Ballet Competition as the signature image for the 2014 commemorative poster and program.
More information about Bucci, including an illustrated biography and schedule of centennial exhibitions, is available at andrewbucci.com.
Members of the community are also encouraged to contribute to the Friends of Andrew Bucci Fund through CFM’s website. Gifts in memory of Bucci can be made here.