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Anne Scott Barrett Paints Vibrant Watercolor for Poster

illustration of Oxford Conference for the Book posterBegun in 1993, the Oxford Conference for the Book (OCB) has become an expansive weekend where local arts and literature collide. To mark the thirtieth convening of the OCB, conference organizers worked with Oxford-based artist Anne Scott Barrett to create a poster emblematic of the rich history and promising future for the conference.

Mississippi-native Anne Scott Barrett has long called Oxford home and is known for a body of work that traces its evolution. Her recent watercolor paintings depict local landmarks and people in brightly hued detail, like a photo album infused with inside jokes and communal memories. Barrett notes that she believes the conference is integral to the fabric of Oxford, whose roots have always remained literary.

The official 2024 poster envisions the history of collaboration behind the conference in a collage of familiar forms and stunning color. Noteworthy architectural details move the eye from the university campus to the historic downtown Square, referencing the longest-standing anchors of the conference map. At the top, Barnard Observatory glows in a painted sunset. The 1859 Greek Revival building, with its unmistakable green shutters, houses the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Below, the windows of Square Books are recognizable to booklovers across Mississippi. Here, they reflect the Lafayette County Courthouse, where conference-goers have traditionally gathered for author panels. In geometric lettering, “Oxford Conference for the Book” settles into the cityscape behind it, in much the same way that the two have shaped one another over time.

Barrett’s artwork will be included in the Oxford Conference for the Book archive where it will, no doubt, remain a highlight in the collection for years to come. A limited number of full-size prints will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as stickers and keepsakes marking the Thirtieth Oxford Conference for the Book.

Visit or email to reach the artist, and visit for updates on this year’s conference.

Written by Lucy Gaines