Bostic featured as ‘Our People’ on MSU website

June 16th, 2016 Comments Off on Bostic featured as ‘Our People’ on MSU website

Alex Bostic - Art Department professor in home painting studio - for Our People feature. (photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Alex Bostic (photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

For Alex Bostic, the road to a successful art career began with a spark of imagination—literally.

At the age of seven, he discovered his artistic talents with help from his older brother Charles and a make-believe game of “war” the two played using wood matches.

“One day, a woman who lived next door came out and told us to stop, but we just kept playing. Ten minutes later, a fire truck showed up,” Bostic said. “The firemen who came gave us a ride to the fire station, and the fire chief told us he didn’t want us playing with matches anymore. Instead, he gave us paper and pencils and said, ‘I want you to draw.’”

Bostic ultimately presented nearly 10 fire truck drawings to the fire chief, who put them on display in the fire station’s community announcement box. “That was basically my gallery for two to three years before we moved,” Bostic said with a smile.

Always the “art guy” in school, Bostic started receiving private art lessons in seventh grade from his beloved teacher, Ellen Kuenzel. To this day, mentor and student make it a point to speak at least three times a month over the phone.

After completing associate in arts, bachelor of fine arts and master of arts degrees, Bostic landed his first job as a greeting card designer for Hallmark. He worked for a time in advertising before deciding to join the U.S. Navy as an illustrator draftsman. Prior to teaching stints at California’s Woodbury University, Kansas City Art Institute and Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, Bostic worked as a concept artist for the film industry in Hollywood. Later on, a 23-year career at Virginia Commonwealth University opened the door for drawing and graphic work for big-name clients, like NASA.

Now in his sixth year as an associate professor of drawing at MSU, Bostic is passionate about providing his students with a solid foundation in the arts. Focus and determination to succeed are concepts he emphasizes in the classroom.

“Learning to draw and think in a sequential way is important,” Bostic said. “If you’re a thinker who can draw creative ideas, you can make a living with your craft and use your talents to change lives.”

As the southeast director for the U.S. Air Force Art Program, Bostic has lent his talents while documenting tragic events in countries such as Germany, Haiti and Japan. His paintings, as well as works by artists from other branches of the military, are on display at The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

Specializing in portraiture, Bostic is fascinated with the human figure and seeks to make a connection with the human condition through his artwork. Regardless of the subject matter, his goal always is to have fun.

“Art is a really good escape,” Bostic said. “I get to create something every day.”

Angi Bourgeois named MSU art department head

June 2nd, 2016 Comments Off on Angi Bourgeois named MSU art department head

Angi Bourgeois - Department of Art faculty - studio headshot (photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Angi Bourgeois (photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

A longtime faculty member in Mississippi State’s College of Architecture, Art and Design is the new permanent leader of its art department.

Since 2014, Angi Elsea Bourgeois has headed the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program on an interim basis. Her permanent appointment begins July 1.

In making the announcement, Dean Jim West said Bourgeois “brings broad experience in administrative responsibilities to this critical leadership role,” adding that he is confident “the department will flourish and the College of Architecture, Art and Design will benefit from her leadership as well.”

After graduating with honors in art history from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, Bourgeois went on to complete a doctorate in Italian Renaissance and medieval art history from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Since joining the Mississippi State faculty in 2002, Bourgeois has taught a variety of art history courses and has climbed the academic ranks with a promotion to professor coinciding with her new appointment.

“I have spent my career as a member of this great department and am constantly in awe of the amazing work that is created by our students and our faculty every day,” Bourgeois said. “I am excited to lead the department into the future, growing our strengths and expanding our mission in the coming years.”

Earlier this year, she was elected to a two-year term as secretary for the Italian Arts Society, an international scholarly organization where she has been a member since 2004.

Bourgeois 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.For more biographical information, see http://caad.msstate.edu/wpmu/abourgeois.

‘From the Mississippi Delta to the Black Prairie’ exhibit opens at MSU

May 20th, 2016 Comments Off on ‘From the Mississippi Delta to the Black Prairie’ exhibit opens at MSU

(Photos of the opening reception on May 20 by Lori Neuenfeldt)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Painting creations by a Crawford artist are on display through July 22 at Mississippi State’s Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery.

Free to all, the second-floor exhibition at the university’s Welcome Center features Mississippi landscape-inspired watercolor images by Frances Hairston. Scenes include wildflowers, rural buildings, fields and cotton.

“Growing up in the Mississippi Delta and now living in the Black Prairie, I have a deep feeling for the land and for the natural surroundings,” Hairston said. “This feeling becomes a part of my paintings.”

“I am constantly inspired with ideas of things I want to paint,” she added.  “Everyday objects such as the sun shining through waving stalks of Johnson grass or cows grazing in my neighbor’s pasture attract my attention and urge me to paint.  As an artist, I want to lift the mundane to a new level, so that a viewer can find this same beauty and meaning.”

For more biographical information, visit www.prairieartist.biz.

The exhibition is made possible by the art department, home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program.

One of several departmental venues, the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery regularly features traveling exhibits, student shows, and group and solo exhibitions by professional artists. Summer hours for the gallery are 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more, see at bit.ly/MSUArtGalleriesFB.

Additional gallery information is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, coordinator of the MSU art department’s gallery and outreach programs, at 662-325-2973 or LNeuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu.

Read the story at wtva.com.

Artist-in-residence Elin de Jong featured in The Dispatch

May 18th, 2016 Comments Off on Artist-in-residence Elin de Jong featured in The Dispatch

Elin de Jong (photo via cdispatch.com)

Elin de Jong (photo via cdispatch.com)

‘Making pretty colors’: Textiles artist from the Netherlands finds power in tranquility, dirt and the ‘un-pretty’ of nature at Noxubee Refuge

By Jan Swoope | The Columbus Dispatch

The tranquility of northeast Mississippi’s Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge is a far cry from the bustle of Amsterdam. That Dutch capital is the most populous city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Yet, the quiet woods and waters of the Refuge are exactly where contemporary textile and crafts artist Elin de Jong of Amsterdam passed the month of April, and happily so.

In her first visit to the United States, de Jong spent four weeks as an explorer, an artist-in-residence in Oktibbeha County. The 27-year-old documented colors native to the Refuge landscape by collecting plant materials and using them to brew and apply natural dyes to a variety of fabrics using sustainable techniques, some dating as far back as the Middle Ages.

The artist-in-residence program is a collaborative effort of the Refuge and its Friends organization, and the Mississippi State University art department, along with the Starkville Area Arts Council. Previous artists have included painters, a printmaker, a ceramicist, a mural artist/illustrator and a fine arts/sculpture graduate.

“Elin, and any of the other artists, provide a different perspective on why lands like the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge are important,” said Refuge Manager Steve Reagan. “So often we talk in biological and scientific terms, but they have a different language. A different segment of the public can relate to what an artist is saying. They’re helping us tell the story of the Refuge.”

A better way

For de Jong, the experience on Mississippi soil deepened her own awareness of her work and goals.

“I take away a lot of new friends, inspiration and more clarity about what I want my work to say,” said de Jong, who is intrigued by the history and stories about the meaning of colors and cloth.

“Textiles has always been an attractive medium to me; it can be all sorts of things,” she said. “It’s almost personal.”

In her early work with fabrics and her research into how they are made, the University of Amsterdam graduate became concerned about the environmental impact of bleaches, dyes and some manufacturing processes.

“I found out that the fashion industry is so very, very harmful for the world,” she said.

As an alternative, de Jong set out to find more natural and eco-friendly methods. She started a natural dye garden in Amsterdam in 2014, experimenting with plants to produce textiles and colors both delicate and vibrant.

Through her online presence as Elin Wanderlust, she reveals that she is unafraid to get her hands dirty, to dig up roots, plant seeds, collect bark and shear sheep.

“I can now, through making beautiful colors and soft textiles, address a hard message — a message of taking it slow, wanting less, doing more with your environment and your own abilities to create,” she said.

True colors

At the Refuge, de Jong discovered plants she had never used before. Mulberries were a first for the artist, as were pine, lichen and osage orange (bois de’arc, often called “bodock” regionally). Natural dyes of bright yellow from the Osage, orangey reds from bloodroot and pinks from the mulberries were exciting to create, she said. Symplocos tinctoria (common sweetleaf) was also found at the Refuge.

“It can be used as a mordant,” de Jong explained. “A mordant is used to help set the dye, as a translator between the dye in the plant and the textile.”

The artist employed multiple dyeing techniques and shared some of them in workshops during April. Some methods took hours and even days to make each unique color derived entirely from plants, roots, bark, wood, flowers and leaves.

Her produced work was displayed April 30 in a Mississippi State University art gallery. One signature piece was a quilt titled “Misha Sipi” — the old place. Mulberry dye baths were used on the fabric, most of it donated by residents of Noxubee and Oktibbeha Counties. Some of the material belonged to parents or grandparents who once lived on the land that is now the Refuge. MSU Art Galleries Director Lori Neuenfeldt helped piece the quilt together, as did volunteers from the Golden Triangle Quilters Guild and MSU Fiber Arts Club.

“The use of mulberries to dye the fabric gently references the Choctaw people who were native to the land and would use the berry to give color to their baskets,” de Jong explained.

Other exhibit pieces were bundle dyed: Bundles of fabric wrapped tightly together with plants are steamed for 30 minutes to two hours. Still others demonstrated a printing technique that calls for flowers to be hammered, rubbed or pressed on fabric.

Starkville resident Diana Lyon was a workshop participant.

“The technique I liked best was to take some petals and actually use a rock and tap it on the fabric. It was amazing,” Lyon said. “I’m very concerned about the fate of our environment. I never had really thought that much about how dyes and fabrics can be harmful. Natural dyes are not so polluting to the earth.”

Lasting impressions

On Tuesday, de Jong boarded a plane to return to Amsterdam, where she will pursue creation of a silk undergarment and sleepwear collection using natural dyes. However, she won’t soon forget her first exposure to America or her time in the Deep South. In addition to the plants and projects, the people had an impact.

“All the stories that people have shared with me about the land of the Refuge and the work the Refuge does for wildlife has made a big impression on me,” she said. “And the kindness and openness of the community has truly been inspiring. I want to spend more time in nature and take more time to listen to people’s stories.”

Her hope is that she planted seeds of interest here in slowing down and looking closely.

“We need to stand still, take our time and have a second look before we think of something as ‘dirty’ or useless,” she said. “In nature’s tranquility we can find color, excitement and endless possibility. And isn’t that all we really need?”

Neil Callander’s Design II class paints Barn Quilts

May 6th, 2016 Comments Off on Neil Callander’s Design II class paints Barn Quilts

Students in Assistant Professor Neil Callander’s Design II class presented their Barn Quilt paintings on Tues., April 26.

The Barn Quilt Project is a collaboration between Callander’s class, the Starkville Area Arts Council and community sponsors.

To date, MSU art students have created 17 original barn quilts, which constitute a major portion of the growing Oktibbeha County Barn Quilt Trail.

A special thanks to this year’s community sponsors Don and Leslie Fye, Laura-Lee Cobb, US Lawns and the MSU Department of Art.  Also, thanks goes to Oktibbeha County Barn Quilt Trail organizer Vicki Burnett.

(Photos submitted by Neil Callander)

Department of Art Advisory Board holds spring meeting

May 2nd, 2016 Comments Off on Department of Art Advisory Board holds spring meeting

Members of the MSU Department of Art Advisory Board met on campus on Friday.

The group heard updates on the department and discussed other important topics.

They also had a chance to view the BFA photography and graphic design senior exhibits.

Advisory Board Members include:

Ann Arledge
Past President, MS Chapter
National Museum of Women in the AAS

Lena Barlow
Art teacher, Jackson Preparatory School
(Alumna)

Tony Boutwell
Creative Director, Leading Edges Adverstising
(Alumnus)

Betsy Bradley
Director, Mississippi Museum of Art

Myrna Colley-Lee
Artist

Bill Dunlap
Artist

Chris Ford
Assistant Creative Services Manager
The Commercial Appeal
(Alumnus)

Melody Golding
Photographer
(Alumna)

Dylan Karges
Artist, Illustrator
Research Asst. Cobb Institute of Archeology
(Alumnus)

Mary Meghan Mabus
Graphic Designer
Mabus Agency
(Alumna)

Josh Mabus
Graphic Designer
Mabus Agency
(Alumnus)

Pie Mallory
Arts advocate

Charlotte McNeel
Arts advocate

Jamie Mixon
Professor of Graphic Design at MSU
(Alumna)

Sylvia Hale Pooley
Greater Jackson Arts Council
Bryant Galleries

Janet Scott
Arts advocate

Brandon Smith
Graphic Designer
(Alumnus)

David Trigiani
Architect

Eric Yonge
Graphic Designer/eCommerce
EYStudios
(Alumnus)

Registration open for MSU summer art camp

April 28th, 2016 Comments Off on Registration open for MSU summer art camp

High school students age 16 and up, as well as incoming Mississippi State freshmen, are invited to the university art department’s INvision summer camp. The annual event takes place June 13-17.

High school students age 16 and up, as well as incoming Mississippi State freshmen, are invited to the university art department’s INvision summer camp. The annual event takes place June 13-17.

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State’s art department again is inviting creative upper-level high school students to participate in its annual INvision summer camp.

Taking place June 13-17, the visual arts experience is designed for students age 16 and older, including incoming freshmen at the university.

Now in its fourth year, the program offers an enriching introductory for both specific academic programs and post-graduate career paths in the studio fields of art and design.

Because camp space is limited, early registration is encouraged. Accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, applications may be obtained by contacting the department office at 662-325-2970 or visiting www.caad.msstate.edu/wpmu/in-vision/.

The $595 admission includes a non-refundable $100 filing fee that must accompany each application. Due by May 30, the remaining amount covers the cost of workshops, instruction, supplies, room and board, equipment fees and a meal card.

Campers will be housed in campus residence halls under the supervision of qualified counselors and resident advisers.

INvision is among MSU academic summer camps with tuition support for seventh-12th grade public school students in Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties provided by the Tupelo-based CREATE Foundation’s Toyota Wellspring Education Fund.

Campers will take part in workshops on photography, graphic design, drawing, ceramics and sculpting, among other media. Artist presentations, gallery exhibitions, movie nights and field trips are among the planned cultural and social activities.

Art-related career opportunities also will be discussed by professional sculptors, graphic designers, illustrators, interior designers, fashion designers and landscape architects. MSU faculty members and currently enrolled majors will make additional presentations.

At week’s end, camper-produced works will be featured at the department’s Visual Arts Center Gallery at 808 University Drive. Exhibit admission is free to all.

For additional information about 2016 INvision, contact Nicole Jackson at 662-325-2970 or njackson@caad.msstate.edu.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s art department is the longtime home of the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. It offers a bachelor of fine arts degree, with concentrations in graphic design, photography and fine art (ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture). Learn more at www.caad.msstate.edu, facebook.com/CAADatMSU, twitter.com/CAADatMSU and http://tinyurl.com/CAADatMSUYouTube.

For a list of other MSU summer camps with CREATE-provided tuition support, visit www.createfoundation.com/toyota-wellspring-fund.

See the story at wcbi.com.

Read the story at The Columbus Dispatch.

Campbell joins prestigious Penland board

April 27th, 2016 Comments Off on Campbell joins prestigious Penland board

Critz Campbell (Photo by Blake McCollum)

Critz Campbell (Photo by Blake McCollum)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

A Mississippi State art faculty member is positioned to officially join the policy making body of an international institution specializing in craft education.

Critz Campbell, an associate professor at the university, recently was elected to an eight-year term as a board trustee at North Carolina’s Penland School of Crafts. A West Point resident and Clay County native, he is a Penland alumnus.

Founded in 1929 and annually enrolling more than 1,400, the school located in the Blue Ridge Mountains northeast of Asheville, North Carolina, is dedicated to “helping people live creative lives.” In addition to training in such artistic media as clay, glass, iron, metals and wood, it features artist residencies and community collaboration programs, among other offerings. For more, see www.penland.org.

An MSU faculty member since 2005, Campbell coordinates the art department’s sculpture emphasis program. He currently teaches introductory and advanced sculpture and earlier led courses in furniture design and metal fabrication, among others.

He attended Penland after graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Parnham College in England. Other studies were completed at the Arco Centro de Communicao in Portugal.

“I am excited to serve the school that nurtured me for 20-plus years and has such an impact on craft education,” Campbell said of the trustee role that begins in November.

“The opportunity to represent MSU at an institution as important to craft education as Penland School of Crafts is a great honor, especially when I am representing the College of Architecture, Art and Design, where our mission includes engaging students in the highest level of craft,” he said.

Trustee duties will help him grow as an educator and leader by “gaining a deeper relationship with the American craft community and greater understanding and ability in the pedagogy of craft,” Campbell said, adding that Penland “has a very active board and I expect my role to evolve as I gain experience in the group.

“What excites me most about the opportunity is the relationships I can build with renowned craft educators and advocates,” he said.

Campbell’s artistic creations have been featured at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and International Contemporary Furniture Fair, both in New York, deCordova Museum in Massachusetts and LIMN Gallery in California, among other prominent national venues.

His professional career also has been honored with awards and grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts. For more biographical information, visit www.critzcampbell.com.

See the story in The Clarion Ledger.

Reception held for graphic design seniors

April 27th, 2016 Comments Off on Reception held for graphic design seniors


(Photos by Aaron McElfish)

An opening reception was held on Tuesday [April 26] at the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery for 19 fine art seniors specializing in graphic design at Mississippi State.

Free to all, the second-floor “(dis)ARRANGE” exhibition celebrates the conclusion of the students’ art department studies and will remain on display through May 4.

The wide array of portfolio works includes posters, illustration, packaging, editorial design, typography, advertising design, visual identity design, web design, video work and self-promotional materials. In addition to the physical displays, individual portfolio books will be available for viewing on opening night.

Read more.

Graduating graphic design majors at MSU present ‘(dis)ARRANGE’ exhibition

April 22nd, 2016 Comments Off on Graduating graphic design majors at MSU present ‘(dis)ARRANGE’ exhibition

disarrange_poster

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Works of 19 fine art seniors specializing in graphic design at Mississippi State are on display April 26-May 4 at the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery.

Free to all, the second-floor “(dis)ARRANGE” exhibition at the university’s Welcome Center celebrates the conclusion of the students’ art department studies.

The wide array of portfolio works includes posters, illustration, packaging, editorial design, typography, advertising design, visual identity design, web design, video work and self-promotional materials. In addition to the physical displays, individual portfolio books will be available for viewing on opening night. For a preview, visit www.disarrangemsstate.com.

A 5-7 p.m. opening reception in the students’ honor will be held Tuesday [April 26] at the Cullis Wade gallery. Complimentary refreshments provided by MSU’s State Fountain Bakery will be served.

According to student exhibitor Casey Jennings, “This year’s exhibition theme ‘(dis)ARRANGE’ is inspired by the chaotic and unrestrained feeling in grunge typography, the most memorable style from the decade in which we grew up.”

The “(dis)ARRANGE” exhibitors include (by hometown):

BATESVILLE—Amanda M. Whitaker.

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama—Allison R. Berler.

BRANDON—Robbyn M. Weaver.

CLINTON—Austin R. Grove.

COLUMBUS—Cornelius T. “Hank” Washington.

GULFPORT—Faith East.

HEIDELBERG—Kaiyla T. Barber.

HORN LAKE—Ricardo L. Odum.

JACKSON—Daniel R. Jackson; and Daniel L. Thompson.

LOUISVILLE—Assanti T. Miller. She also is concentrating in photography.

MANDEVILLE, Louisiana—Patrick L. Francis.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee—Jordan R. Hankinson; and Emma Katherine Hutto.

NEW ALBANY—Casey E. Jennings.

RIPLEY—Austin B. Kitchen.

STARKVILLE—Keith Kellum.

TERRY—Kimberly R. Eady.

WEST POINT—Ronnie B. Robinson. She also is concentrating in photography.

The exhibition and reception are made possible by the art department, home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program.

One of several departmental venues, the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery regularly features traveling exhibits, student shows, and group and solo exhibitions by professional artists. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more, see at bit.ly/MSUArtGalleriesFB.

Additional gallery information is available from Suzanne Powney at 662-325-2970 or suzanne@blackdogletterpress.com.