CAAD faculty, staff honored at annual ‘Years of Service Ceremony’

May 9th, 2017 Comments Off on CAAD faculty, staff honored at annual ‘Years of Service Ceremony’

(photos via Brent Funderburk)

The annual Mississippi State University Division of Academic Affairs Years of Service Ceremony was held on Mon., May 8 at 3 p.m. in the Foster Ballroom of the Colvard Student Union.

Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner welcomed everyone before Robert Wolverton from the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures presented his reflections on university service. Wolverton was also being honored for 40 years of service.

The event ended with recognition of faculty and staff for years of service, ranging from five to 50 years, and a reception.

CAAD faculty and staff recognized include:

Five Years:
Assistant Professor Neil Callander (art)
Assistant Professor Tom Leathem (building construction science)
Assistant Professor Greg Martin (art)
Assistant Professor Emily McGlohn (architecture)
Christie McNeal, communications specialist (CAAD)
Lori Neuenfeldt, gallery director (art)

10 Years:
Pandora Prater, director’s assistant (architecture)
Assistant Clinical Professor Justin Taylor (architecture)
Christina Vanderberg, administrative assistant (art)

20 Years:
Amy Massey, administrative assistant (interior design)

30 Years:
Jane Lewis, dean’s assistant (CAAD)
Professor and Printmaking Coordinator Linda Seckinger (art)

35 Years:
William L. Giles Distinguished Professor and Fine Arts Thesis Coordinator Brent Funderburk (art)

Anna Zollicoffer featured as MSU ‘Our People’

May 3rd, 2017 Comments Off on Anna Zollicoffer featured as MSU ‘Our People’

Story by Emily Gouin | Photo by Russ Houston

Graphic design and marketing senior Anna Zollicoffer enjoys anything that sparks her creative nature.

“I love all things related to creating, whether that be graphic design, drawing, crocheting or cooking,” Zollicoffer said. “Anything that I can be creative with is what I enjoy doing.”

The 21-year-old from Flowood always knew that she wanted to attend Mississippi State University. From the teachers she’s had, to the professional experiences she’s gained, her time spent as an MSU student has been a rewarding experience, and she is especially reflective of the good times as she prepares for graduation this week.

“The art program at MSU has been phenomenal and has taught me so much. I had high expectations for it, but it surpassed what I imagined,” Zollicoffer said. “They teach you all the skills and techniques you need, but they also encourage you to be unique and think outside the box.”

Zollicoffer has created many graphic design campaigns in her classes. She won a class competition among 30 other designers for her Make It in Mississippi campaign, which she said was a challenging project but one of her favorites. She won another competition for a booklet she created for a collaboration project between MSU students and Bradfield & Gorrie, a construction management contractor and design-build service provider. Both projects were accepted in the Mississippi Collegiate Art Competition and the Mississippi State University Student Juried Exhibit this year.

While graphic design is her passion, Zollicoffer also likes to incorporate fine art into her designs through mediums like watercolor and charcoal. She gets inspiration from nature and things that are bright and colorful.

During the summer of 2016, Zollicoffer studied abroad in Rome, Italy, where she created a poster series titled “Rome Abloom.” It was reminiscent of the colorful flowers and people she met during her time abroad.

Zollicoffer currently works at the Social Science Research Center and the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office. At the research center, she portrays education and family information, and economic and health-related data, through infographics, pamphlets and booklets. Her work for the College of Arts and Sciences includes branding for the college’s 60th anniversary and its Discover Your And campaign. She also produces magazine covers, logos, posters, and flyers for the college.

“My ultimate goal in my life and career is to be happy. I’m so glad I chose art as my major,” Zollicoffer said. “I feel like I can’t go wrong in any path I decide to pursue since I’m doing something that I love.”

Following graduation, she plans to either work for a graphic design or advertising agency, or as an in-house graphic designer for a company. Her online design portfolio can be found at She credits MSU with equipping her with the knowledge and skill set to excel in her future endeavors, and she considers graduating from MSU to be a privilege and honor.

“I know how to draw and design, but because of Mississippi State, I understand what is at stake with every design I produce,” Zollicoffer said. “Design tells a story and makes a company memorable. I want to be able to tell that story successfully and beautifully.”

MSU Typography I student poster selected for international student competition exhibit

April 28th, 2017 Comments Off on MSU Typography I student poster selected for international student competition exhibit

“Beauty in Strength” by Heather Hardman

“Beauty in Stregth” designed by Heather Hardman in Assistant Professor Cassie Hester’s Typography I course was selected for inclusion in the international 2016 Poster Battle Competition/Exhibition, “No Selfie Thought, No Culture.”

In total, 520 posters were submitted from 14 countries. The top 50 submissions were selected by a distinguished panel of international judges including Maria Papaefstathiou, Natalia Delgado, Andrew Lewis, Dimitris Kanellopoulos, Peter Bankovand Stavros Damos

The selected top 50 posters van be viewed here:

The works were exhibited in Thessaloniki, Greece, in February.

Ceramic Edition One Night Only Show held

April 28th, 2017 Comments Off on Ceramic Edition One Night Only Show held

(Photos by Ronnie Robinson)

A One Night Only Show was held Thurs., April 16 from 4-7 p.m. in Howell 111.

The show featured work by ceramics students.

Receptions held for Department of Art senior exhibits

April 27th, 2017 Comments Off on Receptions held for Department of Art senior exhibits

(images via Brent Funderburk)
BFA Fine Art Thesis

  • Colvard Student Union and McComas Galleries
  • April 13–May 6
  • Reception: April 13

(images by Kelsey Brownlee)
BFA Photo Thesis

  • Visual Arts Center Gallery
  • April 20–April 29
  • Reception: April 20

(images by Kelsey Brownlee)
BFA Graphic Design Thesis

  • Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery
  • April 24–28 
  • Reception: April 24

EPA raingarden ribbon cutting marks observation of Earth Day at MSU

April 27th, 2017 Comments Off on EPA raingarden ribbon cutting marks observation of Earth Day at MSU

(Photos by Megan Bean | Mississippi State University)

By Vanessa Beeson | Mississippi State University

Three cross-college departments commemorated a new raingarden at the university with a ribbon cutting Friday [April 21] in observation of Earth Day. The raingarden is located in the courtyard of the landscape architecture facility on the Starkville campus.

Landscape architecture students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences built the garden, funded by a $20,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to create a green infrastructure training and demonstration project. Those also contributing to the project include graphic design and engineering students, as well as the MSU facilities management department.

Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum spoke about the importance of sustainability at the ceremony.

“I am so pleased to see so many students who took an active role in leading this effort to make a difference. Having a wonderful raingarden to demonstrate the sustainability of water is something we are all going to learn from for years to come,” Keenum said. “Our university must address critical challenges like this for the future and instill in our younger generations knowledge of how to develop innovative solutions.”

Cory Gallo, associate professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture, said the raingarden manages one-fourth of the building’s rainwater runoff, but the project’s main purpose is to serve as an educational showpiece that teaches students, faculty and the broader community about green infrastructure technologies.

“The focus of this is really about education. This is the most comprehensive raingarden demonstration project in Mississippi and perhaps even in the Southeast. I don’t know of any that communicate what a raingarden does as well as this one,” Gallo said.

The raingarden’s focal piece is a 2,000 gallon cistern that collects rainwater and directs excess water into a 1,500-square-foot bioretention basin where it is managed with soil and plants. The raingarden is a sustainable water management demonstration in three steps — conveyance, storage and management. As water comes off the roof, it goes into the cistern for storage and then into the garden. Once in the garden, the water is cooled, filtered, absorbed and delayed.

Gallo explained the effects of the process.

“If you come here a day or two after it rains, you’ll hear water making its way into the basin because that’s how much water flow has been slowed down. When there is less water, it becomes much slower and takes more time, and it’s cleaner and cooler as it comes through. It’s an audible experience,” he said.

In previous semesters, landscape architecture students installed the basin in addition to surrounding benches. Part of that previous work included collaboration with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Bagley College of Engineering. Civil engineering students completed water quality testing prior to construction as part of the preliminary work.

“This is one of the most amazing projects where landscape architects, graphic designers and civil engineers worked together marching toward environmental sustainability. It is a win-win situation for all involved,” said Veera Gnaneswar Gude, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environment Engineering.

Graphic design students from the College of Architecture, Art and Design also worked alongside landscape architecture students to develop informational graphics to communicate the project’s purpose in an effective, concise manner.

Both landscape architecture and graphic design students enrolled in a cross-college collaborative course were tasked with designing, creating and installing the cistern; building out the garden; and developing, creating and implementing the demonstration component.

Suzanne Powney, assistant professor in the Department of Art, discussed how that hands-on collaboration, especially the opportunity for graphic design students to assist in the construction of the garden, resulted in a better design. She said while the work was challenging at times, the students took it in stride and did an incredible job.

“All of the students worked really hard. I am very proud of them,” she said. “This is a permanent structure they can come back to years in the future and say, ‘I built this.’”

In addition to Friday’s ribbon cutting, students also participated in a ceremonial first planting in the new MSU Community Garden immediately adjacent to the raingarden. Graphic design students contributed to this garden with a wall graphic, numbering system on the planters and educational graphic explaining when to plant various crops.

For more information, visit MSU’s Department of Landscape Architecture online at; the College of Architecture, Art and Design at; and the Bagley College of Engineering at The Water Resources Research Institute, housed at Mississippi State, facilitated the raingarden project’s grant and budget.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

MSU Typography I students receive awards in international competition

April 27th, 2017 Comments Off on MSU Typography I students receive awards in international competition

SILVER Award Regan Huffman


SILVER Award Morgan Linett


SILVER Award Aleigh Moffett


SILVER Award: Samantha Sumrall

Via Assistant Professor Cassie Hester

Posters designed in Typography I by MSU art students Regan Huffman, Morgan Linnett, Alleigh Moffett and Samantha Sumrall received Silver Awards in the 2017 Graphis New Talent Competition.

In addition to being showcased in a digital gallery, their work was printed in a hardbound annual that is currently available for pre-order.

Eleven Typography I classmates also received Merit Awards and are included in the digital gallery: Joanna Bauer, Amy Farrar, Heather Hardman, Kwanzaa Hill, Catherine Remington, Lauryn Rody, Matthew Rogers, Jenn McFadden, Alison Meeler, Katherine Moore and Haylee Upton.

The 2017 Graphis New Talent Competition received 1084 international entries, and the following distinctions were awarded:

  • 18 Platinum Awards
  • 169 Gold Awards
  • 260 Silver Awards
  • 420 Merit Awards

Graphis is an international bastion of excellence in design and visual imagery committed to presenting and promoting the work of exceptional talent in graphic design, advertising, photography and art/illustration. The 2017 Graphis New Talent Annual received submissions from 46 international public and private institutions of higher learning, including but not limited to, Academy of Art University, California College of Arts, School of Visual Art, Rhode Island School of Art and Design, Drexel University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Parsons and York University.

One Night Only Show Thursday

April 26th, 2017 Comments Off on One Night Only Show Thursday

Graduating graphic design majors at MSU present ‘After Hours’ exhibition

April 21st, 2017 Comments Off on Graduating graphic design majors at MSU present ‘After Hours’ exhibition

On display April 24-May 2 at the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery, the “After Hours” exhibition will feature works of 20 fine art seniors specializing in graphic design at Mississippi State. The student exhibitors include (front row, left to right) Lauren Lewis, Layne Smith, McKinley Ranager, Kelsey Bishop, Tori Holmes, Keats Haupt, Jeremy Childress, Kelli Clayton and Sami Mendoza (back row, left to right) Mitch Phillips, Vernon McCoy Jr., Josh Green, Sarah Prater, Anna Barber, Anna Zollicoffer, Erin Frazier, Dustin Nickell-Templin, Brianna Bradley, Ian Green and Hayden Lambert. (Submitted photo)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Works of 20 fine art seniors specializing in graphic design at Mississippi State will be on display April 24-May 2 at the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery.

Free to all, the “After Hours” exhibition in the university Welcome Center’s second-floor gallery celebrates the conclusion of the students’ art department studies.

The portfolio works range from illustrative poster designs and eye-catching advertisements to compelling web design layouts and packaging. In addition to the physical displays, individual portfolio books and self-promotional pieces will be available for viewing on opening night. For a preview, visit and follow on Instagram @afterhoursmsu.

A 5-7 p.m. opening reception in the students’ honor will take place Monday [April 24] at the Cullis Wade gallery. Complimentary refreshments provided by The Biscuit Shop and Strangebrew Coffeehouse in Starkville will be served.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more, see at

The “After Hours” exhibitors include (by hometown):

BILOXI— Ian F. Green; and Dustin S. Nickell-Templin.

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama—Anna C. Barber; and Sarah L. Prater.

BRANDON—Vernon E. McCoy Jr.; and Mitchell S. “Mitch” Phillips.

BOLIVAR, Tennessee—Kelsey M. Bishop.

CALEDONIA—Brianna G. Bradley.

COLUMBIA—Jeremy K. Childress.

CORINTH—Erin N. Frazier.

FLOWOOD—Anna R. Zollicoffer.

LAUREL—Hayden A. Lambert.

NEW ALBANY—McKinley Ranager.

PASS CHRISTIAN—Kelli M. Clayton.

PETAL—Layne Smith.

SIKESTON, Missouri—Victoria L. “Tori” Holmes.

SOUTHAVEN—Sami K. Mendoza.

STARKVILLE—Keats V. Haupt.

TERRY—Lauren B. Lewis.

TUPELO—Joshua C. “Josh” Green.

Additional gallery information is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art department gallery director, at 662-325-2973 or

Part of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, the Department of Art is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. For more, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

‘Contact S17’ photography exhibit now open at MSU

April 19th, 2017 Comments Off on ‘Contact S17’ photography exhibit now open at MSU

“Height” by Mississippi State senior James K. Cox of Clarksdale is among photographic works by graduating art/photography majors that are on display April 17-29 in the university’s Visual Arts Center Gallery. (Submitted photo/by James Cox)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Photographic creations by four graduating art/photography majors at Mississippi State are on display April 17-29 in the university’s Visual Arts Center Gallery.

Free to all, the “Contact S17: BFA Photography Thesis Exhibition” celebrates the final year of art department studies for James K. Cox of Clarksdale, Assanti T. Miller of Louisville, Ronnie B. Robinson of West Point, and Willie D. Stewart of Brooksville. Miller and Robinson also are concentrating in graphic design.

Also open to all is a 5-6 p.m. Thursday [April 20] reception in their honor in the gallery located at 808 University Drive on the edge of the Starkville campus. Refreshments will be provided.

Regular gallery hours are 1-4 p.m., Monday-Saturday, as well as by appointment.

All four students have been guided over the years by Professor Marita Gootee and Assistant Professor Dominic Lippillo of the art department’s photography emphasis area. Gootee is the department’s longtime photography coordinator.

The students’ images reflect the successful conclusion of departmental research, writing and presentation requirements, as well as four years of foundational coursework, survey, art history, and academic and emphasis classes.

Cox, who grew up in the Mississippi Delta, said his imagery is centered in present-time and “involves a limitless collection that brings up feelings of hopefulness that are deserving of preservation.”

“By preserving the imagery in this manner, I’m cherishing the culture that exists in this area, in hopes that it will continue to prosper and evolve into something more,” Cox said.

Miller said her body of work “Visions of Life” was inspired by various personal experiences and contemplations she has had over the years, specifically about the human experience, spirituality and metaphysics.

“Using the basic elements of this physical world —water, soil and plant life—I aimed to explore the simple relationship between the physical and the abstract realities universal to the whole of mankind,” Miller explained.

Robinson’s narrative-based photographic series “Play Nice, Dearie” follows the transformation of a young girl from adolescence into womanhood. Through the series, Robinson said she seeks “to explore and understand the emotions, psyche and society’s treatment of a young woman.”

Stewart’s body of work for the photography thesis exhibit focuses on imperfections of the human body.

“I wanted to show imperfections from different people at different angles,” Stewart said. “The idea is to show that anything on our body, no matter how bad we may think it looks, can be beautiful.”

In addition to the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Department of Art, the exhibit is made possible with support from the university’s Center for Student Activities.

Additional information on the “Contact S17” exhibit is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art department gallery director, at 662-325-2973 or

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s Department of Art is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. For more, visit and

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at