My name is Victoria Moon Conway. I was born in the great state of Mississippi in the spring of 1980. I spent all of my childhood on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I love my home and am proud of my Southern roots; they are essential to who I am. Yet in 2001 I felt a yearning to experience life outside of the Deep South. I moved to Troy, Ohio. It is a beautifully quaint town nestled on the banks of the Great Miami River just North of Dayton. There, I saw snow for the first time and met my husband.
In 2005, on the eve of our wedding week, we traveled back home to Mississippi. It was there that our spirit and resolve was tested. A hurricane named Katrina made her appearance exactly one week before we said our vows. There is nothing that brings creation to its knees with more intensity than stripping a human of every necessity. And yet in the wake of her devastating surge, we managed to get married anyway. I do have the honorary title of the barefoot bride, as no other has gotten married in our Catholic Cathedral in the same fashion.
And yet because of our experiences, we made the journey back to my home. We have been back in Mississippi eight years now and what a special time it has been. We live in the most perfect little neighborhood, nestled among the mossy oaks and surrounded by the waters of Biloxi's Back Bay. Oak Park captures an even mix of immediate family, cousins, and friends. We have neighborhood picnics, ice cream socials and a garden club that has survived since the 1940's. Even in leaving Ohio, the warmer months bring our very best friends from the Midwest to spend their summer with us. This is where my journey back to art, and my true self, began.