Award-winning photographer visits Department of Art

November 5th, 2013 Comments Off on Award-winning photographer visits Department of Art

taylor_web1 taylor_web

Photographer Candacy Taylor recently presented to students in the Department of Art about her latest project, “American Hair and Counter Culture.”

Taylor examined the importance of creating a strong theoretical basis for work, discussed the trials and tribulations of developing and producing her own projects and explained the critical role marketing and branding plays in reaching a wider audience. After the talk, Taylor allowed students to ask specific questions about their work and their creative process.

Taylor is a writer, photographer and cultural critic with a master’s degree in Visual Criticism. “She has the heart of an artist, the mind of a business woman and the tenacity of a terrier. Taylor uses a variety of methodologies including traditional field research, academic theory and popular culture to re-present everyday experiences and discover a new way to think about culture and identity.”

Taylor was awarded an Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center, and data gathered for “American Hair” will be archived at the Library of Congress.

Department of Art faculty member receives grant for collaborative project

November 5th, 2013 Comments Off on Department of Art faculty member receives grant for collaborative project

Patrice N. Anderson, lecturer in the Department of Art (College of Architecture, Art and Design), received a cross-college faculty grant from the Office of Research and Economic Development along with Dr. Sarah Lee (Computer Science & Engineering) and Dr. Stacy Kastner (Department of English).

ORED is offering $2,000 in support of the group’s collaborative project, “Mending the Gap, Building the Pipeline: Increasing Female Representation in Tech.”

Because this is the team’s first award, they are eligible to submit for one renewal in the amount of another $2,000 next year.

‘LIMBO’ Fine Art Thesis Exhibition opens November 14

November 5th, 2013 Comments Off on ‘LIMBO’ Fine Art Thesis Exhibition opens November 14

Jeff Nickell

Jeff Nickell

(By thesis students)

Throughout history, exploring art has led to many self-discoveries beyond an artist’s expectations.  Sometimes a body of work has the power to encompass the visionary and inspire reflection and, ultimately, growth.  Mississippi State University senior art/drawing major Jeff Nickell understands what it means to surrender to his artwork, as it takes him back to an adolescence of uncanny objects and figures.

Jeff Nickell

Jeff Nickell

Born in Cape Girardeau, Mo., Nickell recalls his childhood interest in the stylistic elements of multiple characters at play and recognizes their influence on him even now as an artist.  His use of mixed media and various techniques help him convey his thoughts and experiences and take the viewer to “a heightened world of playful surrealism.”  Nickell hopes that his colorful, fantastical works will help people rediscover their inner child.  He says, “People these days are looking for a connection back to being a kid again. I know I am constantly looking for that innocence and blissful ignorance of the mundane world.”  He describes his pieces best as “resonant states of feeling; they are what make me, as an artist, feel alive. They are what I am made of, as they are made of me. Being young in the mind will never get old, and I hope the viewer will feel the same.”

Nickell and two fellow senior art students will exhibit their Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Fine Art Thesis Exhibition during the month of November in the Colvard Student Union Art Gallery at the heart of MSU’s campus.  A public reception for faculty, students, family and friends will be held on November 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Art Gallery on the second floor of the Student Union.  All are encouraged to attend and enjoy great art, refreshments and fellowship.  Announcements and student introductions will begin at 6 p.m.

Open from November 14 through December 7, the exhibition marks the final presentation of senior students before graduation and represents a year’s worth of research and thesis studies, four years of foundational coursework, survey, art history, academic and emphasis classes.  Through the development of a significant body of work, enhanced by critical studies, a senior field trip to an urban cultural center, research writing and exposition, the capstone experience of thesis leads to a group exhibition, archive and portfolio in the Bachelor of Fine Arts studio degree.  Each student helps in the development of the exhibition and all work together as a team.  Students also choose a thesis committee comprised of three faculty members to guide and mentor them through the process. MSU Fine Art students go on to earn the terminal MFA degree at other universities, to work as freelance artists and illustrators, to work in the arts administration field, or to teach art, among many career choices.

Mississippi State University’s art program – a part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design – is the largest undergraduate studio program in the state of Mississippi and offers views of its senior student work each semester.  According to Professor Brent Funderburk, the department’s Thesis Coordinator, “We usually have between three and 20 graduating students in Fine Art each term, from the focus areas of ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. This fall, three MSU senior students represent the Fine Art Concentration, each with a drawing focus.”

Andrea Byers

Andrea Byers

Andrea Byers, art/drawing major from Olive Branch, sees her portrait work as both a literal and metaphorical reflection of her personal battle between stasis and growth.  “There’s a duality in everyone, with forces pushing them in two, sometimes opposite, directions.  Choices must be made, but do the forces ever cease to pull?”  Byers hopes that her acrylic and oil self-portraits allow the viewer to reflect on their own inner struggles and embrace the powers compelling them in their own lives.  She challenges, “In the face of assurance versus uncertainty, which is truly the greater risk?  I hope [the viewers] learn as much about themselves from my work as I learned in the process.”

Larry Davis

Larry Davis

Larry Davis, art/drawing major from Jackson, might describe his work as “otherworldly.” Conceptualizing and designing environments inspired by Dante’s “Inferno” is the driving passion behind his thesis work.  He says, “The expansive worlds other artists and authors create for their characters and events have always inspired me to find my own take on their worlds or to conjure my very own.” Through the use of traditional and digital media, Davis is able to re-imagine environments like Dante’s nine circles of Hell and to visualize them based on his own interpretations.  He hopes that his work in the visual development field will inspire society to recognize concept art (for games, movies and animation) as a fine art and bring more of a focus and value to digital media.

The Fall 2013 BFA Fine Art Thesis Exhibition is sponsored by the MSU Department of Art and the College of Architecture, Art and Design.  For more information, contact the Mississippi State University Department of Art at 662-325-2970, or email Gallery Director Lori Neuenfeldt at: lneuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu

See the full exhibition schedule.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Reception set for graduating photography students

November 5th, 2013 Comments Off on Reception set for graduating photography students

The Mississippi State University Department of Art is hosting a public reception for the Bachelor of Fine Art Photography graduating seniors on Thursday, November 21, 2013, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. in the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery, second floor of the MSU Welcome Center (next to Barnes and Noble).

The reception will be held during the photography thesis show “Contact.F.13.” This is the first show made up entirely of photography students work since photography has become its own concentration within the Department of Art. Featured in the show, which is open to the public from November 14 until December 7, are the visually captivating works of four students: Nikki McKenzie, Carrie Shannon, Sarah Tramel and Carey Woods.

Nikki McKenzie | "The Village"

Nikki McKenzie | “The Village”

Nikki McKenzie is from Jackson. Her work documents the individual and collective tailgating experience of different Mississippi State fans.

Carrie Shannon

Carrie Shannon

Carrie Shannon, from Louisville, spent the past semester photographing abandoned houses in and around Starkville. Her work provides viewers with an inside view of homes and precious items that families have left behind.

Sarah Tramel

Sarah Tramel

Sarah Tramel, also from Jackson, explores dreams and the dreamscape though abstract photography.

Carey Woods

Carey Woods

Carey Woods, of Winona, exhibits a body of work giving glimpses into community churches throughout northern Mississippi.

The show is held in conjunction with the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Fine Art senior show in the Colvard Student Union Art Gallery. Both shows are open November 14, with receptions on the evening of November 21 starting at 5:30pm.

Opening remarks by the Head of the Department of Art and both the Fine Art and the Photography concentration thesis professors will be made at 6 p.m. in the Colvard Student Union Art Gallery, second floor of the Union.

For more information about the show or the reception, please contact the Department of Art at 662-325-2970, or email lneuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu.

See the full exhibition schedule.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

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