Miss. artist known for generosity faces biggest battle of his life - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Miss. artist known for generosity faces biggest battle of his life

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

SOUTHAVEN, MISS (WMC-TV) - An acclaimed Mid-South artist known for his generosity is facing the biggest battle of his life.

Mississippi painter Michael Maness creates bright, colorful works of art that have been featured on album covers, movie posters and magazines around the globe.

Maness recently received the Blues Foundation's International Keeping the Blues Alive Award in the art and photography category. 

He has worked with artists such as The Oakridge Boys, Montgomery Gentry and Steve Cropper, who co-wrote the Otis Redding hit "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay."

Maness has produced over 600 works of art, and has sold or given away all but 22 pieces.

He has used his talent to raise nearly $3 million for local charities.

"You just give a piece of art work to a charity, they auction it off and make lots of money," he said. "And that's how I make money for charity. I don't give them any money, I just give them art."

Giving comes easy for Maness.

"I'm a firm believer in it. It's so much better to make someone happy," he said.

The 52-year-old Southaven resident has battled chronic lymphoma for 14 years. The cancer recently returned.

Maness is also caring for his mother, who is recovering from a massive stroke.

"If there is any way in the world that I can have a band-aid to keep me alive for at least one more year, I gotta stay alive to help my mom," he said.

His works can be seen at See the Difference Interiors on Main Street, where owner Diane Gordon says looking at his cheerful paintings "makes everybody happy."

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