Fall 2014 MSU Graphic Design BFA Senior Exhibit opens Dec. 2

November 25th, 2014 Comments Off on Fall 2014 MSU Graphic Design BFA Senior Exhibit opens Dec. 2

MSU Hipsters

(By Mary Katherine Kitchens | MSU graphic design senior)

The Mississippi State University Graphic Design Senior BFA Portfolio Exhibit’s theme is ‘Just a Bunch of Hipsters.’ The public is invited to a reception honoring these talented students beginning at 5 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 2 in McComas Hall. Fourteen students have a variety of portfolio work to be displayed throughout the week. Exhibited work includes: web design, posters, illustrations, packaging, editorial design, typeface design, advertising design, identity design, self-promotional materials and more. The students’ final portfolio books will be on display the night of the reception. Visit the senior portfolio website www.msuhipsters.com for a sneak peek.

Along with amazing design work, there will be refreshments served. City Bagel will be catering finger foods and coffee.

The show is open to the public from Dec. 2 –8, 2014 in the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall.

To promote the opening of the show, the students have taken part in a photo shoot that embraced the stereotypical roles of being a hipster that most artists are labeled with. As the opening approaches the photos have been sporadically released along with a small description about the students’ design style.

The fourteen hipsters are as follows:
Alyce Calkins
Ocean Springs
Alyce is a fun–loving energetic designer who loves to explore color and textures. She enjoys incorporating various different patterns in her designs.

Kimberly Davis
Kim loves design because any object she sees can spark a new design idea, and she gets to communicate that with the world. Her work is very experimental, and she loves trying new techniques and using various materials to create her ideal design.

Austin Edwards
Austin’s design is most influenced by simple geometry, bold colors and alternative print processes such as letterpress, screenprinting and vinyl.

McRae Hopper
McRae would rather be outside because he is inspired by nature and spending time outdoors. He enjoys working with his hands whether it is screenprinting or woodworking.

Mary Katherine Kitchens
New Albany
Mary Katherine loves to incorporate hand–drawn illustrative elements into her work as well as experimenting with overlays and textures. She is also inspired by installation art that exceeds the standard norms of design so that it has to involve the viewer.

Colten McMickens
Oak Grove, AL
Colten enjoys digital and traditional illustration but prefers fantasy illustration. Colten wishes to work as a concept artist for video games and movies.

Kelsey Ann Moore
Akron, OH
Kelsey likes hand lettering and illustrations. She enjoys making patterns with simple shapes. She is inspired by an earth tone color palette that can be seen reflected in her work.

Carley Robertson
Memphis, TN
Carley’s design style is a mixture of hand made and simple, clean elements. She enjoys incorporating vintage style with modern designs.

Cissy Rowland
Cissy is inspired by Walt Disney’s quote, “if you can dream it, you can do it.” She is a designer and an artist, but first and foremost, a dreamer and that is all that needs to be said.

Victoria Strayham
Victoria has been told her work is happy and uplifting. She tries to blend graphics with illustrations to create a crafty down to earth design.

Katja Walter
Wasserburg am Bodensee, Germany
Katja’s designs are usually very clean and simple, often based on grids. She loves to work with typography, illustrations and textures to create beautiful, versatile and unique designs.

Rachel Lynn Weed
Rachel loves design because it always presents a new challenge and a new problem to solve. Her design is quirky, hand–drawn, and at times, a little girly.

Carlyse Williams
Birmingham, AL
Carlyse’s design style leans on the more modern side of design or as some of her friends say, “futuristic.” She always uses a good bit of color if she hasn’t snuck a gradient in somewhere in her work.

Chelbie Williamson
Chelbie’s design style is inspired by Lindon Leader’s quote, “I strive for two things in design, simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.” She was drawn to design because it can and is done on everything even though it’s not always noticed because it should remain transparent.


The galleries are open from Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. For more information, contact the Department of Art at 662.325.2970.

The MSU graphic design program is in the Department of Art within the College of Architecture, Art and Design. In August of 2009, the program was featured in an article and name one of HOW Magazine’s three design schools that “should be on your radar.” For more information on the graphic design program, contact Jamie Burwell Mixon, graphic design coordinator at 662.325.2970.

The MSU graphic design program continues to mold its students into excellent designers and prepares them for life after college. This semester of students is no different and has an abundance of exciting work they can’t wait to share with you!

Read the story on MSU’s website and on WCBI.com.

‘Contact F14’ exhibit features creations by MSU photography seniors

November 24th, 2014 Comments Off on ‘Contact F14’ exhibit features creations by MSU photography seniors

TOP (left and right, respectively): "Luz Aurora" and "Heriberto Jesus Francisco Ricardo" by Lucia Arellano MIDDLE: "Fragment 1" by Kaitlin Mullins BOTTOM: "Untitled 1" by Elena Marchak

TOP (left and right, respectively): “Luz Aurora” and “Heriberto Jesus Francisco Ricardo” by Lucia Arellano MIDDLE: “Fragment 1” by Kaitlin Mullins BOTTOM: “Untitled 1” by Elena Marchak

By Sasha Steinberg | MSU

Works of three graduating photography-emphasis majors at Mississippi State are on display through Dec. 7 in the university’s Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery.

The creations of Lucia D.J. Arellano of West Point, Elena M. Marchak of Columbus and Kaitlin C. Mullins of Natchez focus on themes of home, family and memory.

Free and open to all, the “Contact F14: BFA Photography Thesis Exhibition” celebrates their final year of art department studies. The images reflect the successful conclusion of the research, writing and presentation processes, as well as four years of foundational coursework, survey, art history, academic and emphasis classes.

Also open to all, a reception in their honor takes place 5:30-7 p.m. Monday [Nov. 24] in the MSU Welcome Center’s second-floor gallery.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and two hours before kickoff of every home football game.

Throughout their time on campus, the seniors have been under the instruction of professor Marita Gootee and assistant professor of photography Dominic Lippillo. Gootee is the art department’s photography emphasis coordinator.

Arellano is the daughter of Rafael and Pablina Arellano. Her series, titled “Son, O Se Paracen,” roughly translates as “Are they, or do they just look like it?” Through a composite of photographs of relatives, she creates portraits of new family members that may be perceived as photographically real.

Marchak is the daughter of Tom and Melonie Marchak. Titled “Home,” her series addresses nostalgia and family through large-scale images of houses that reflect a character similar to a childhood home and her experiences there.

Mullins is the daughter of Marvin Mullins and Claire Williamson. In “Reminiscence,” her 18-foot piece explores memory association and activation through a retrospective of her late father illustrated through familiar images of everyday life.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, the MSU art department is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. For more, see www.caad.msstate.edu, facebook.com/CAADatMSU and twitter.com/CAADatMSU.

Additional information on the “Contact F14” exhibit is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, coordinator for gallery and outreach programs, at 662-325-2973 or LNeuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu.

Art assistant professor exhibits at Georgia’s Mercer University

November 19th, 2014 Comments Off on Art assistant professor exhibits at Georgia’s Mercer University

work in "Anti-Local" by Dominic Lippillo and Mark Schoon

work in “Anti-Local” by Dominic Lippillo and Mark Schoon

Via ovations365.com

“Domestic (In)Congruence” by Mark Schoon and Dominic Lippillo will be on exhibit through Nov. 21 in the Plunkett Gallery at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. Both artists will be hold a gallery talk before the reception from 2-3 p.m. on Nov. 21.

The show features 30 color photographic works that range in scale from 4″ x 4″ to 33″ x 44″ and are the result of a unique long distance collaboration between the two artists. In a collaborative effort, the two photographers, living 1,114 miles apart (at the time when the work was created), approach their homes as the sites for exploration of domesticity. Beginning independently, one photographer creates an image of his home and sends it to the other. The recipient responds to these visual “prompts” with a photograph of his own that utilizes aesthetic decisions regarding lighting, scale, texture and color – among other factors – to find similarities and differences in his home and to make them read as a pair. In doing so the artists create a conversation pertaining to the definition, use and perception of place. Through the use of the diptych format, two images come together to form a dialogue about proximity, locality and space versus place.

Lippillo and Schoon earned their master of fine arts in photography from Ohio University in 2009. Working independently with lens-based media, they soon realized they had a shared interest in the domestic. Although they approach their solo work differently, a common sensibility could be recognized in the earlier work of both artists leading to the creation of their first collaborative effort, a collection of photographs titled, “Anti-­local.” Selections from their collaborations are included in the permanent collection of The Museum of Photographic Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; the Journal Exposure; and in the supplement of images accompanying Bruce Warren’s textbook Photography: The Concise Guide (2nd Edition March 2011). Lippillo is an assistant professor of art at Mississippi State University. Schoon is an assistant professor of art at The University of West Georgia.

Edible Type Contest a hit with students, judges

November 18th, 2014 Comments Off on Edible Type Contest a hit with students, judges

001a-Edible_type_awards_11132014_ 001b-Edible_type_awards_11132014_M4B2323 002-Edible_type_awards_11132014_M4B2347 003-Edible_type_awards_11132014_M4B2341 004-Edible_type_awards_11132014_M4B2334 005-Edible_type_awards_11132014Winners_Edible_Type_Contest

EDIBLE TYPE CONTEST — Fun and good food were part of the lesson during Cassie Hester’s typography class and an edible type contest. Hester is an assistant professor of art who specializes in graphic design. She charged her students with creating food to reflect the character of the creator of their designated font. Winners were Adey Efrem, of Greenville, “O” cookies with cups of coffee, first place; Lorianna Livingston of Sparks, Md., “V” peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunch sacks, second place; and Andrea Schuurman of Lauderdale, “P” pineapple upside down cake, third place. An ephemeral form, the class consumed the creations soon after the judging of the contest. (photos by Megan Bean | Mississippi State)

MSU students, faculty help launch NYC art field study

November 14th, 2014 Comments Off on MSU students, faculty help launch NYC art field study


Seniors Britney Johnson, a graphic design major from Bay St. Louis, and Christina McField, a fine arts major from Madison, relax at Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain. They were among 16 MSU art majors recently completing a five-day field study in New York City. Photo by: submitted/Lauren Blalock

By Sasha Steinberg | MSU Office of Public Affairs

Sixteen students and two faculty members in Mississippi State’s art department are back on campus following a five-day field study in New York City.

Led by instructor Lori Neuenfeldt and assistant professor Neil Callander, the students are part of the university department’s new Special Topic in ART-Art Field Study. The course was created to provide historical and contemporary cultural experiences in the Big Apple’s worlds of art and design through visits to museums, galleries, artists’ studios and design firms, among other activities.

Neuenfeldt said the course also was designed to give MSU students, many from small cities and towns, the confidence to travel and pursue cultural experiences as they prepare for professional careers after graduation.

“We already see that the students who went on the trip are extra motivated to start their careers and are considering the possibilities that a cultural center like New York has to offer,” she said.

Currently being offered only to sophomore-senior art majors during the fall semester, the one-hour elective resulted from a year-long planning collaboration by Neuenfeldt, Callander, veteran art professor Brent Funderburk and assistant professor Greg Martin.

“The art department has done trips to cities in the past, but they were never built into a particular course like they are in other programs, such as architecture, fashion design and merchandising, and interior design,” Neuenfeldt said. “We designed this experienced-based field study course for our fine art, graphic design and photography majors, especially for those who were missing out on a key component of the fine-arts experience, seeing works of art in person.”

Since the group contained graphic design and fine art majors, “we wanted to offer experiences that highlighted both careers,” she emphasized.

Among other locales, the MSU group visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, graphic design work spaces of Kate Spade Saturday and The Barbarian Group, along with a shared loft in the SoHo neighborhood of artists Claudia DeMonte and Ed McGowan.

Perhaps most importantly, the students and faculty had opportunities to meet with former MSU art majors that have “made it” in New York. They included Jessi Arrington, co-founder of WORKSHOP Graphic Design Firm; Sarah Foley, design manager at Johnson & Johnson; Angela Minor, graphic designer for Global Visual Merchandising & Store Design at The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.; Meredith Norwood, head designer at Azzure Home; and June Upton, a graduate student at Parsons: The New School for Design.

Combining notes, sketches, photographs and videos compiled during the week, the 16-member class now is working to create a “pitch” that will be presented to other students, faculty and interested members of the public at the semester’s conclusion.

One class member is senior Molly M. Howell, an art/painting major from Estill Springs, Tennessee, who previously had visited New York with her family. Viewing works of world-famous artists in Chelsea neighborhood galleries and visiting graduate school representatives from top U.S. art schools on the Parsons campus were among her highlights, she said.

“Having the opportunity to go to New York City and be exposed to the art scene there taught me that MSU is giving me all the tools I need to take my career and life to the next step,” Howell said.

Senior graphic design major Britney Johnson of Bay St. Louis said she most appreciated “encouraging” and “invaluable” insights of the former MSU students.

“Coming from a small town in Mississippi, it sometimes seems like being successful in a place like New York is out of reach, but seeing a community of MSU alumni living and working in New York and hearing their stories really showed me that it is not,” she said.

“There are MSU alumni doing big things in the Big Apple, and hopefully, this trip will show other students that they can be next,” she added.

Part of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, the art department currently offers a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

Department of Art assistant professor featured on blog

November 13th, 2014 Comments Off on Department of Art assistant professor featured on blog

Dominic Lippillo, assistant professor in the Department of Art, and his colleague Mark Schoon were recently featured on the blog 365 artists 365 days.

On January 1, 2014, Frank Juarez Gallery and Greymatter Gallery launched the 365 Artists 365 Days Project to the world. What started as a way to spotlight contemporary artists daily  from across the country blossomed into getting the attention of artists from across the globe such as Germany, Slovenia, Australia,  Russia, London, Israel and the United Kingdom.

See the interview.

BFA Fine Art Thesis Show features dynamic ceramics

November 13th, 2014 Comments Off on BFA Fine Art Thesis Show features dynamic ceramics

Wilkerson art poster

Michael Wilkerson will present his BFA Thesis exhibit “From Nothingness” in the Colvard Student Union Art Gallery on the Mississippi State University campus. An art major from Tupelo concentrating in fine art/ceramics, Michael has been looking toward Asian cultures as inspiration for his Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis. The work is based on the Japanese tea ceremony and the Chinese rituals of Zen in which this ancient gathering is rooted. “The classical Chinese texts I’ve been reading focus a lot on the power of ‘nothingness’ and the usefulness of ‘what is not’. This ties into my ceramic work, as well as life in general. We all have a choice to make something out of the nothingness,” he explains.

Wilkerson, previously studying as a photography student, quickly changed his major to ceramics after taking Professor Robert Long’s survey class and hasn’t looked back. He says that he had always enjoyed photography and drawing, but it never felt exactly right. “I knew that I had to find something else; I just didn’t know what, and I honestly never thought I would end up in clay. So far it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made.” Wilkerson has been working on a series of teapots and tea sets for his thesis show. He says that his work reflects a sense of ritual and gathering found in the Japanese tea ceremony while also playing with the boundaries of the conventional teapot.

Wilkerson will exhibit his Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition “From Nothingness” from Nov. 20 through Dec. 5 on the second floor of the MSU Colvard Student Union in the Colvard Student Union Art Gallery. A public reception honoring the student artist will be held on Thurs., Nov. 20 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and the artist will be formally presented at 5:30 p.m.

Wilkerson’s show represents the culmination of a capstone year of senior research and thesis studies, as well as four years of university foundations, survey, art history, academic and concentration area classes. The end result is the development of a significant body of work for the exhibition and portfolio in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.

Mississippi State University’s Art program, a part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, is the largest undergraduate studio art program in the state of Mississippi and offers exhibits of senior work every year. For more information, contact the MSU Department of Art at 662-325-2970.

Read the story on MSU’s website by Sasha Steinberg.

Read the story on WCBI.

Art alumna featured in MS Business Journal

November 13th, 2014 Comments Off on Art alumna featured in MS Business Journal

Micah Nelson is a 2011 photography graduate.

Gautier artist turns sketches of dolls into cottage industry

By Tammy Leytham | Mississippi Business Journal

GAUTIER — Micah Nelson came from a line of “awesome seamstresses,” but didn’t take advantage of learning the craft when she had the chance. She wishes now she had.

Sewing skills would come in handy in her cottage industry of making and selling dolls, Magnolia Fox Studios.

“I learn as I go,” she said.

“When I see what I have on my sketch pad, it sometimes takes me a little time to get where I want.”

But not to worry. She calls her mother and grandmother on FaceTime for help as needed.

A 2011 Mississippi State University graduate, Nelson studied art with an emphasis in photography.

After college, a mission trip to the Philippines gave her a direction for her talent. “I was so impacted by the trip to the Philippines, I wanted to do something. I just didn’t know what.”

Nelson started sketching what she called creatures. Last year, she started playing around with the sketches to make them into something 3D.

“What better way to do that than dolls … something for children to play with,” Nelson said.

magnolia fox studio-sewing_rgb

Via http://msbusiness.com

The dolls have a simple form. They are faceless, made with colorful materials and scarfs that give them “personality.”

In August, she launched her website, magnoliafoxstudio.com, as a place to sell the dolls.

“Since then I’ve been creating different dolls,” Nelson said. “Each takes on a personality of its own, so people can relate to them. It makes it fun.”

There’s Nina, from the heart of the Delta, who loves a full house and lived through the time of the beehive hairstyle. And Dee Dee, described as a hippie at heart who is a fan of Elvis.

But that’s what comes from Nelson’s daydreaming. The beauty of these dolls is their adaptability. “It gives children a chance to use their imagination,” she said.

For each doll sold, another is donated to Rapha House, a Christian organization that provides homes overseas for children who have been victims of human trafficking. The homes are places for safety and healing, and the organization participates in rescuing children, as well as attending to their physical, mental and emotional needs.

She sent her first shipment of dolls to Cambodia in October.

magolia fox studio-finished_rgb

Via http://msbusiness.com

Nelson continues to work in various media, including her photography. She does paintings of her “creatures,” and other mixed media as well.

And soon she plans to add books that go along with each doll. She’s lined up a writer for the story, and she’ll do the illustrations.

“I want to see where the creatures take me,” she said.

Nelson and her husband, Andrew, live in Gautier. She can be reached at 228-218-2745 or mrsmagnoliafox@gmail.com. She can be followed on Instagram: @magnoliafoxstudio.

Drawing I class has fun with masks

November 13th, 2014 Comments Off on Drawing I class has fun with masks

photo by Assistant Professor Gregory Martin

photo by Assistant Professor Gregory Martin

webDrawing_1-Art_critique_portraits_20141106_M4B1561b copy

photo by Megan Bean | MSU Office of Public Affairs

webDrawing_1-Art_critique_masks_20141106_M4B1545 copy

photo by Megan Bean | MSU Office of Public Affairs

Assistant Professor Gregory Martin’s Drawing I classes recently worked on portrait drawings – profile, front and 3/4 view.

For an assignment, they were asked to copy a self portrait by a famous artist.

Martin also gave students the option of incorporating their copy of a famous artist’s self portrait into a mask, and since the projects were around Halloween, most students took part in the fun.

Funderburk to give illustrated talk for MMA exhibition Nov. 18

November 12th, 2014 Comments Off on Funderburk to give illustrated talk for MMA exhibition Nov. 18

Brent Funderburk at his home studio--for Our PeopleBy Sasha Steinberg | MSU Public Affairs

A veteran Mississippi State art professor and administrator will present an illustrated lecture Tuesday [Nov. 18] at the Mississippi Museum of Art in downtown Jackson.

Free and open to the public, Brent Funderburk’s 6 p.m. presentation, “Infinite Simplicity: Readings from Robert Henri’s ‘The Art Spirit,'” is taking place in conjunction with the museum’s “Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain” exhibition on display through Jan. 4.

Funderburk, a North Carolina native, has taught at the university since 1982 and is a former art department head.

In addition to Henri, he currently is leading programs about Mississippi Gulf Coast artist Walter Anderson, as well his own painting series titled “New Solar Myths: Dreams of Palladio.” He recently addressed the 2014 American Institute of Architects’ Western Mountain Region Conference in New Mexico. For more, visit www.brentfunderburk.com.

Also during the Tuesday evening museum program, Roger Ward will speak about the influence of Spain and Spanish artists on the American painter. He is curator for the “Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face” exhibit.

Additionally, the capital city event will feature readings from “The Art Spirit” and related literature, along with a performance by Ensemble Polonaise of compositions that provide musical context to Henri’s Spanish paintings.

Funding for the events is provided in part by Trustmark, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Mississippi Humanities Council.

With a primary mission “to engage Mississippians in the visual arts,” the Mississippi Museum of Art is located at 380 South Lamar Street in downtown Jackson. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission to the “Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain” exhibition is $12 for adults; $10 for seniors; $6 for students, which includes admission to the 2014 Mississippi Invitational exhibition. Museum members and children ages 5 and under are free.

For more information on current and future MMA exhibits, programs and special events, contact the museum at 601-960-1515 or visit www.msmuseumart.org.

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