Pop-Up Show

October 19th – 31st E. E. BASS will be hosting a second exhibition in its North hallway.

“Hot tamales and they’re reddddd hot!”

Lyrics from This little diddy by Robert Johnson, recorded 1936, Mississippi

“Tamales in Mississippi? The hot tamale was adopted by African Americans in Mississippi years back as a comfort food and snack  after working closely with Mexican migrant farm laborers.  Mississippi tamales are smaller than the Mexican ones.  Cornmeal is used to cover the filling of cayenne-spiced meat which is then wrapped in a single husk.  Simmered for a long time, they come out moist and savory.

Now tamales are sold in restaurants and fast food places all over the Delta.  The best ones are still found at places dedicated to making their own recipes like Barbara Pope at the White Front Café in Rosedale.  Betty Press will be showing photographs from her trip to the Hot Tamale Festival in 2014 plus other images from her series on Finding Mississippi.  Featuring the cooks of Old School Hot Tamales were hoping to win the overall best title in the tamale cooking contest.” – Betty Press



Betty Press is a fine art documentary photographer. She is best known for her photographs taken in Africa where she lived and worked in Kenya from 1987 to 1995 and in Sierra Leone in 2008-09 while her husband was on a Fulbright scholarship.  Now living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi she photographs the South as well as Africa.

Her current project deals with living in Mississippi and trying to better understand the “place” where she now lives. In 2012 she received the statewide award in photography from the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters.  In 2013 and again in 2018 she received a Visual Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Her photographs have been widely exhibited and collected around the world as well as being selected for many juried competitions. In 2011 she published her first award winning photobook I Am Because We Are: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb. She captured a stunning, life-affirming portrait of the African people and culture.

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