Folk art The Saga of Red Eye the Rooster comes to The MAX

Exhibition features over 60 paintings by Mississippi folk artist O.W. “Pappy” Kitchens

MERIDIAN, Miss. — Painter and writer William Dunlap presents The Saga of Red Eye the Rooster, an exhibition featuring the work of Mississippi folk artist O.W. “Pappy” Kitchens. The exhibition opens September 29th at The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience, better known as The MAX.

The Crystal Springs native began painting at age 68. A self-proclaimed folk artist, Kitchens used to say, “I paint about folks, what folks see and what folks do.”

The Saga of Red Eye the Rooster chronicles Red Eye’s life after he was found by a little boy named Henry. Red Eye encounters almost all the seven deadly sins including violence, lust, and greed and heroically fought them all until he succumbs to his own fatal flaw.

“Always a fine storyteller of the Southern tradition, Mr. Kitchens often ruminated on the problems of the world and spoke in parables,” Dunlap told an interviewer from Jackson’s Clarion-Ledger newspaper in 2019. “The official art world at the time did not embrace the narrative, but that did not stop ‘Pappy’ Kitchens.”

Dunlap, a Mississippi native, painter, author, and Kitchens’ son-in-law, helped launch Kitchens’ artistic career. Dunlap’s book, “Pappy Kitchens and the Saga of Red Eye the Rooster,” will be available in the Museum Store for purchase.

The Saga of Red Eye the Rooster will be on display through March 7, 2021. The MAX is open from 9 a.m. to 5

p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It’s easy to find at 2155 Front Street in the heart of downtown Meridian. 

For more information, visit

About The MAX
The MAX showcases Mississippi’s Arts + Entertainment Experience in one immersive destination. Here, visitors of all ages explore the global impact of Mississippians on music, literature, art, entertainment and cuisine. The MAX honors our state’s creative legacy and inspires the next generation of creators through a unique experience of interactive exhibits. Come discover the Mississippi roots of some of the world’s greatest arts and entertainment icons — like Elvis Presley, Oprah Winfrey, B.B. King, Faith Hill, Sela Ward and Kermit the Frog, just to name a few.

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