Artist Bryan Saunders visits MSU Department of Art

February 11th, 2019 Comments Off on Artist Bryan Saunders visits MSU Department of Art

Bryan Sanders talks with a student about his self-portrait in Associate Professor Alex Bostic’s class.

Artist Bryan Lewis Saunders visited Mississippi State University on Feb. 6.

Saunders’ packed itinerary included one-on-one time with Department of Art students and faculty. He visited Associate Professor Alex Bostic’s figurative painting class, Assistant Professor Greg Martin’s figurative drawing class, and met with several students to discuss their work and methodologies.

The visiting artist was impressed with the Mississippi State students’ work.

“I could tell who they belonged to,” he said, referring to black and white oil self-portrait paintings in Bostic’s class. “They really looked like them.”

Saunders also had a chance to tour campus and was especially impressed with the Bob and Kathy Luke Library, a separate university library dedicated to the arts, which he said is something he has not seen on other campuses he has visited. The library acquired several books from Saunder’s collection, including The Interviews (vol. 1) and Just Noticeable Difference Issue 2: 30 Days Totally Blind.

The visit concluded with a lecture on his life’s work and influences. Saunders discussed the entirety of his oeuvre, ranging from his first self-portrait sketches in 1995 to his blind and deaf month performances from 2018.

The talk concluded with a lively question and answer session and one-on-one discussions with the students and faculty.

Since 1995, Saunders has worked to excavate the varied nature of his creative process, a task documented in his daily self-portraits series that spans over two decades. He currently lives and works in Johnson City, Tenn., where he attended East Tennessee State University. Reviews and critical inquiries of his work have appeared in Vice, CNN, Hyperallergic, WIRED, and The Huffington Post. Saunders has performed with Lydia Lunch, Eugene S. Robinson and Bibbe Hansen at the International Poetry Festival; exhibited alongside Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Henri Michaux, and Witkacy as part of the Sous Influences: Artists et Psychotropes at La Maison Rouge in Paris, France; and was part a 2015 exhibition titled De Maakbare Mens at the Dolhuys Museum in the Netherlands ­– an  exhibition that featured his work alongside Vincent Van Gogh and Willem Van Genk. Most recently, he spent 30 days in self-initiated blindness and deafness for a performance titled, Blind and Deaf Months, at the Bunk Spot in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

See more photos and add yours from the visit here!

Jeffrey Haupt named interim head of Mississippi State’s art department

August 6th, 2018 Comments Off on Jeffrey Haupt named interim head of Mississippi State’s art department

Professor Jeffrey Haupt is taking on a new leadership role as interim head of Mississippi State University’s Department of Art.

“As a longtime member of the Department of Art, Jeffrey has served for many years as coordinator of the painting area and most recently gained significant experience serving as the interim associate dean in the college,” said Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design Angi Elsea Bourgeois. “He is extremely well prepared and positioned to lead the department to greater achievements in the coming year.”

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the Department of Art offers the largest and most diverse undergraduate studio art program in the state. Students may concentrate in fine arts (ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture), graphic design or photography. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is a professional program with a series of in-depth studio experiences balanced by classes in art history, the humanities and sciences.

Haupt received his Master of Fine Arts from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art. He began his teaching career in 1997 at Indiana University and then taught at the John Waldron Arts Center before joining the MSU art department faculty in 1999 ­as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2004 and full professor in 2010. For more biographical information, visit

“I am honored to serve the Department of Art in this capacity,” Haupt said. “Angi Bourgeois did an excellent job as department head, and I will do my best to build on previous successes and support the department as it moves into the future.”

Learn more about MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design and its Department of Art at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Read the story in the Maroon Memo.

From the Gallery – June 2018

July 17th, 2018 Comments Off on From the Gallery – June 2018

Assistant Professor Ginnie Hsu featured as MSU ‘Our People’

June 26th, 2018 Comments Off on Assistant Professor Ginnie Hsu featured as MSU ‘Our People’

Story by Sasha Steinberg | Photo by Megan Bean

She misses being on the Starkville campus, but Assistant Professor of Art Ginnie Hsu has been happily representing Mississippi State abroad this summer.

Hsu recently finished a two-and-a-half-week residency at Light Grey Art Lab in Bergen, Norway. Along with daily observations of the country’s varying landscape, she appreciates inspiration gleaned from regular interactions with locals and nearly 20 fellow artists.

“I’m an illustrator and designer, so I got as many materials as possible while I was there,” she said. “I really care about mental health and want to try and uplift people. I want to do a series of work based on positive psychology, and Norway ranks as one of the happiest places in the world, so I did research by talking to Norwegian people. It was really interesting to get to know them and learn about their culture.”

In May, Hsu completed a month-long residency at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill in Massachusetts. She enjoyed conversing and drawing inspiration from “a really good mix of creative minds,” including designers, producers, art directors, comic artists and fellow illustrators.

“I had never been to Cape Cod, and there were so many things I got to see when I walked around in nature,” Hsu said. “For that residency, I was essentially trying to figure to how to be human, so I was doing illustration work combining nature and the human condition. I’m now looking to write a proposal for a book.”

A native of Taiwan, Hsu holds a bachelor’s in visual communication and a master’s in design and visual communication from the University of Texas at Arlington. She said she looks forward to sharing knowledge from her summer adventures this fall with MSU students in the art department’s web and app design courses.

“I tell my students it really does take time and experience to find out what you love to do, but that’s so important,” she said. “All of the artists I met were so sweet and encouraging. They told me ‘No matter what, just keep going; keep doing what you’re doing.’ I love teaching, and I love my students. I’m excited to share with them what I’ve seen and to be able to just sit down, get all of these ideas out of my brain and get to work on projects. I’ve really enjoyed these experiences, and I’m hoping I can do more.”

Angi Bourgeois appointed dean of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design

June 21st, 2018 Comments Off on Angi Bourgeois appointed dean of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

A highly respected faculty member and administrator in Mississippi State’s Department of Art has been named the new dean of the university’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, pending formal approval by the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Effective July 1, Professor Angi Elsea Bourgeois will lead CAAD after serving nearly two years as the head of its Department of Art, home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. She succeeds the college’s founding dean Jim West, one of DesignIntelligence’s 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016 who has resumed full-time teaching duties.

In making the announcement, MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner said Bourgeois “is poised to build on the solid foundation that has been established and the progress of the college’s first 14 years.”

“I look forward to working with Angi as she uses her energy and vision to bring the collective talents of the faculty, students, alumni and industry leaders together to make the College of Architecture, Art and Design even stronger and more visible within our great state, the region and nation,” Bonner said.

“I also want to thank Dean Jim West for the leadership he has provided as the founding dean of this unique college. He has led with distinction and garnered strong support for the college, its faculty and academic programs, and we are so pleased that he will continue to support the college and MSU as a faculty member,” Bonner said.

An MSU faculty member since 2002, Bourgeois has taught a variety of art history courses and climbed the academic ranks with a promotion to professor coinciding with her appointment as art department head. She was re-elected to a two-year term in January as secretary for the Italian Art Society, an international scholarly organization that she joined in 2004.

“It’s a great privilege to be given this opportunity to follow in Dean West’s very capable footsteps,” Bourgeois said. “The College of Architecture, Art and Design has supported me throughout my career, and I’m excited to step into this new role and serve the college at such a dynamic moment.”

In addition to graduating with honors in art history from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, Bourgeois holds a doctorate in Italian Renaissance and medieval art history from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

She is the author of “Reconstructing the Lost Frescoes of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome from the ‘Meditationes’ of Cardinal Juan de Torquemada: A Case Study in the History of Art” (Edwin Mellen Press, 2009). In 2010, she published a digital textbook for art history survey courses titled “The History of the Art of the Western World from Prehistory through the Gothic.”

Learn more about MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

See the Maroon Memo.

Upcoming Jackson art fellowship exhibition features MSU professors

June 1st, 2018 Comments Off on Upcoming Jackson art fellowship exhibition features MSU professors

Two faculty members in Mississippi State University’s Department of Art will be featured in an upcoming exhibition organized by the Mississippi Library Commission and Mississippi Arts Commission.

On display June 5-28 at the Mississippi Library Commission’s 3881 Eastwood Drive location in Jackson, “A Perspective of People” showcases work by artists who have been honored through MAC’s highly competitive Visual Artist Fellowship Grant program. Featured artists include MSU associate professors Alexander Bostic and Dominic Lippillo, along with Jackson-based photographer James Patterson. A public reception in their honor takes place June 5 from 5-7 p.m. in the same location.

“Each year, MAC is proud to honor local artists who create exemplary work in their chosen field through our Artist Fellowship program,” said Malcolm White, MAC executive director. “Thanks to this important partnership with the Mississippi Library Commission and our shared vision for enhancing exposure to the arts across our state, we have a great opportunity to spotlight the work and achievements of this year’s fellows.”

Celebrating its 50th year, MSU’s Department of Art is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. Learn more at and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

See the story in the Maroon Memo.

From the Gallery – May 2018

May 29th, 2018 Comments Off on From the Gallery – May 2018

Painting by Alex Bostic accepted to Southern Watercolor Society exhibition

May 24th, 2018 Comments Off on Painting by Alex Bostic accepted to Southern Watercolor Society exhibition

“Greg” by Alex Bostic (watercolor, 30.00 X 23.00 X 0.00 Inches (H x W x D), 2018)

“Greg,” a watercolor painting by Alex Bostic, was accepted into the 41st Southern Watercolor Society Annual Juried Exhibition.

The exhibit will be held at the ArtCenter Manatee in Bradenton, Fla, from May 15 through June 22.

Juror John Salminen chose only 95 paintings from all the submissions.

Work by Alex Bostic selected for international online exhibition

May 24th, 2018 Comments Off on Work by Alex Bostic selected for international online exhibition

“Dupree” by Alexander Bostic

Mississippi State University Department of Art Associate Professor Alexander Bostic’s painting “Dupree” was selected for the 2018 NOAPS Spring International Online Exhibition.

Jurors selected 150 paintings from more than 890 submissions.

See the accepted works here: 

Alex Bostic featured in ‘Artist Spotlight’

May 22nd, 2018 Comments Off on Alex Bostic featured in ‘Artist Spotlight’

“Dupree” by Alexander Bostic

By Dianne Poston Owens | SCNOW Morning News

LAKE CITY, S.C. – Though Alex Bostic left Bennettsville with his family when he was 4, and his time in the northeast became essential to his becoming the artist he is today, he still has cousins, namely Diane and Caroline, to whom he gives a shoutout in his hometown.

Now an art professor at Mississippi State University and living in Starkville, Mississippi, Bostic, who entered an oil painting of his son “Dupree” in this year’s ArtFields competition, credits his time spent in the Pratt Institute art school and his seventh-grade art teacher, Ellen Kuenzel, with helping him achieve his fine artist status.

In Brooklyn Heights, Bostic said, Kuenzel would give me him lessons and talk to him about art.

“I grew up in Brooklyn, and my art teacher, Ellen, mentored me. … To this day I talk to her at least twice a week,” Botic said. “All through my career from seventh grade until now, we have talked. I had lessons on Saturdays, and on Sundays she took me to galleries. … I understood art way better than a seventh-grader should.

“I think that’s why I teach.”

Pratt’s programs are ranked among the best in the nation, with its faculty and alumni among the most renowned artists, designers and scholars in their fields.

Bostic is an illustrator and fine artist. In additional to being on the Mississippi State faculty, he has worked at the Kansas City Art Institute, Woodburry University, Pratt Institute and Virginia Commonwealth University.

After getting his bachelor of fine arts from Pratt, he earned his master of arts degree from Syracuse University and became a studio artist, working in Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; and New York City.

In 2015, Bostic made it to the second round of the ArtFields’ Portrait Artist Competition.

His brother accompanied him on his trip, and the two agreed that Lake City, and ArtFields, was a venue and competition worth revisiting.

“I visited all the works on display and was interested in entering,” Bostic says. “There was outstanding work, and I wanted to be a part of it. When the opportunity came [to enter his work], I took it.”

Bostic said he had just finished the piece “Dupree” and believes it is a good representation of the work he does, and it offers a positive look at a good kid. The painting has been in a show in Chicago and elsewhere.

Bostic said his son, Dupree, is excited that the painting has had its own life.

“He’s in New York City right now, living there,” Bostic said, adding that the painting was done while he helped his son move to the city for a new job. He particularly likes the “determined kind of look on his face.”

It was an important time for the two, Bostic said.

Outside of his art, Bostic collects toys.

“I have a big toy collection,” he said.

His newest one is a figurine of the Incredible Hulk that his son sent to him.

“I’ve got vintage ones, but I like the current ones, too,” Bostic said.

As an educator for the past 34 years, Bostic said he believes in the craft of art, and he wants to “spread that kind of energy all over as much as I can.” His favorite enjoyment is teaching non-art students to draw, he said.