Casey Creasey is an up and coming artist and Belhaven resident. She grew up in Vicksburg and though she studied broadcast journalism and public relations at the University of Mississippi, she’s been an artist for much longer than that. She says “I’ve always made art."
In 2005, she received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi. She practiced law for several years before taking some time off after having her daughter. She moved to Belhaven in 2009 where she serves as executive director of the Greater Belhaven Foundation.
Creasey leads a busy life. Aside from directing the foundation, she is a wife and a parent. But she finds time to pursue her favorite hobby: painting. “I just find that painting is a great way to clear your mind. It’s a way to express yourself.”
She enjoys acrylics, watercolors, and other mediums. In her studio are pallets with explosive arrays of dried paints. The three galleries of windows let light flood the small room. While it sounds busy, Creasey finds painting is an escape from the fast-paced, relentless activities of being an adult.
“Well, painting will benefit anybody. It is a good way to get out of your head and escape stress and anxiety and get into something that is just really calming.”
Her daughter Grace also paints with her.
“She just comes in the studio and starts to paint with me,” Creasey said, smiling.
“Sometimes it is a huge explosive mess in there but its actually clean right now.”
During the holidays, Creasey has lots of commissions.
“I love painting watercolor portraits. And that’s what I get commissioned to do most. Children’s portraits. It’s just a lot of fun and, like I said, I love making those keepsake moments for people ...”
When she’s enjoying painting for the sake of it, she likes do to her more creative work.
“I do like to do a lot of watercolor but then,— as I’m really wanting to step outside the box and do something different—I like to do pop art in acrylics and then I’ll do the glaze coat over it so it’ll really sparkle but that takes a lot of time.
Sometimes her pieces can take up to a whole month to finish..
“Oh my goodness. The piece I did for Mistletoe last year that I donated to their silent auction took me, just in my spare time, I would say about two months.”
As the executive director of the Greater Belhaven Foundation, Creasey oversees Bright Lights Belhaven Nights, an annual event that emphasizes local artists.This year, due to Covid 19 the event was scaled back.
“Bright Lights was very different this year. We modeled it after this nationwide festival called ‘Porch Fest,’ and we encouraged residents who were either artists or musicians or anybody who lived in the neighborhood to set up in their front yards and either sell their paintings or their jewelry or play music for their neighbors. We encouraged people to come outside set up and do what they felt comfortable doing.”
Before going to work for Belhaven, she was a stay at home mom and had more time for art.
“It’s harder to do my own thing right now when I’m trying to balance the foundation as well as my family. And I do commissions and then occasionally I’ll have extra time and be able to do some fun stuff and whenever I do I always post it on social media.”
Some of her favorite local artists include Ginger Williams Cook, for her pet portraits, Ellen Langford, for her creative compositions, and Wyatt Waters.