Visiting artist, drummer Tim Barnes to perform tonight

January 29th, 2015 Comments Off on Visiting artist, drummer Tim Barnes to perform tonight


Drummer Tim Barnes will present a live performance in conjunction with the “Audio/Optics: Tim Barnes & Letitia Quesenberry” exhibit on display through March 6 in the Visual Arts Center Gallery.

An opening reception will be held tonight from 5-6 p.m. at the VAC before Barnes’s musical performance at 7 p.m. in the Metal Shop in Howell Hall.

A one-of-a-kind exhibition fusing sound and visuals. The show features sound artist Tim Barnes and visual artist Letitia Quesenberry. Barnes’s recordings, made during a recent visit to MSU, will be compiled into a single record and played in the gallery where Quesenberry’s visual work will be featured. Quesenberry’s paintings focus on perception and the mystifying nature of optical experiences.

Support and funding provided by: MSU College of Architecture, Art + Design, MSU Department of Art, and a Mississippi Arts Commission grant award.

New MSU exhibit features figure-focused portraits by Starkville artist

January 23rd, 2015 Comments Off on New MSU exhibit features figure-focused portraits by Starkville artist


By Sasha Steinberg | MSU

Works of a Starkville painter are on display through Feb. 27 at Mississippi State’s Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery.

Free to all, the second-floor exhibition at the university’s Welcome Center titled “Empathetic Resonance” features portraits focused on the human figure.

Martin A. Arnold said his creations explore humans’ natural curiosity when confronted with figural representations, which he describes as a “fascination that we all harbor for our fellow humans.”

An opening reception in his honor takes place at 5-6 p.m. Feb. 19 in the same location. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

Originally from Michigan and now teaching at East Mississippi Community College’s Golden Triangle campus, Arnold is an art education graduate of Mississippi University for Women who also holds a master’s degree in fine arts/painting from the University of Mississippi.

Following a 37-year career designing automation machinery for the automotive industry, Arnold said he decided to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a figurative painter.

His works have received numerous national awards and recognitions, including selections for Manifest Gallery’s 2011 “First International Painting Annual,” “Creative Quarterly: The Journal of Art and Design” Issue No. 22 and the New York City-based First Street Gallery’s 2011 MFA Exhibit, as well as the International Art Search Competition in Fort Meyers, Florida, Fort Wayne (Indiana) Museum of Art’s Contemporary Realism Biennial and the Huntsville, Alabama, Red Clay Survey 2012 Exhibition of Contemporary Southern Art.

The MSU exhibition and related programs are made possible by the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s art department, which is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program.

The Wade Gallery is among several art department venues that 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.

Additional information on the “Empathetic Resonance” exhibit is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, coordinator for gallery and outreach programs, at 662-325-2973 or

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Hinds Co. student photo selected for New York exhibition

January 14th, 2015 Comments Off on Hinds Co. student photo selected for New York exhibition

“Miss Lucy’s House” | Zach Boozer

“Miss Lucy’s House” | Zach Boozer

By Sasha Steinberg | MSU

An intriguing image created by a senior Mississippi State art major is among those that will be on display Feb. 4-28 at the SohoPhoto Gallery in New York City.

Zachary S. “Zach” Boozer’s black-and-white photograph titled “Miss Lucy’s House” is one of 43 entries recently selected as finalists of the 17th annual international SohoPhoto Krappy Kamera competition.

Specializing in photography, Boozer is the son of John and Linda Boozer. The Jackson native took his winning photograph with a Holga camera, one which takes 120/medium format film and is often referred to as a “toy camera.”

“I took the image because I was intrigued by the house with its many decorations and the woman who was sweeping the porch as I approached the house,” Boozer said of his work that was printed in a darkroom. “After introducing myself, I found her name was Miss Lucy. She was displaced by Hurricane Katrina and moved to this home in Natchez with her husband, who passed away a few years ago.”

“I wanted to portray her as truthfully as I could within the context of her house that she calls her ‘happy house,’ while conversing with her about the house and her life,” he added.

When asked why he opted for a Holga camera over a digital one, Boozer explained that “using a Holga freed me from having to worry about capturing the most technically sound image I could capture due to the simplistic nature of the camera.”

“This allowed me not only to capture the composition I envisioned, but it also allowed me to be more fully aware in the conversation that I shared with Miss Lucy while I was taking her portrait,” he said.

Serving as juror of this year’s competition was Miriam Leuchter, who is editor-in-chief of “Popular Photography Magazine” and “American Photo Magazine” as well as a board member of the NYC-based Josephine Herrick Project.

Of the more than 40 artists selected for inclusion, Boozer is the only one from Mississippi. In addition to the United States, artists hailed from Great Britain, Italy and Russia.

“I am extremely impressed that Zach’s image was accepted,” said professor and photography emphasis coordinator Marita Gootee. “I know that I see great talent in him and this only confirms my belief that he is going to go far in photography.”

For more information on the Krappy Kamera competition and exhibit, contact the SohoPhoto Gallery at 212-226-8571 or visit

MSU’s art department is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, it offers a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

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Art alumni team exhibit at Ohr-O’Keefe Museume of Art

January 9th, 2015 Comments Off on Art alumni team exhibit at Ohr-O’Keefe Museume of Art

Sarah Qarqish

View of Sarah Qarqish’s thesis work in the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall.

Qarqish + Welch: Art as Form . . . Art as Function

IP Casino Resort Spa Exhibitions Gallery

December 16, 2014 – March 17, 2015
Forms ranging from organic to ornate patterns exemplify the creative spirit of the Sarah Qarqish / Morgan Welch team from Jackson, Mississippi.  Sarah Qarqish studied drawing and graphic design at Mississippi State University.  Her passion is working in multiple media on projects that communicate her love of expression and creativity.  Morgan Welch is a furniture maker who received a BFA in sculpture and minor in architectural studies from Mississippi State University. Together, Qarqish and Welch create fine art that functions as contemporary furniture, among other artistic explorations in their newly formed HannaBerry Workshop.  The focus of the exhibition is form and function. It will feature two and three-dimensional wooden shape configurations that guide the eye of the viewer throughout the large scale floor and hanging installations.  The artists collaborate to force different art media to have “relationships” with each other to create an exciting visual experience.

This exhibition is partially funded by the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

‘Alumnus’ magazine features letterpress

January 8th, 2015 Comments Off on ‘Alumnus’ magazine features letterpress

photo by Megan Bean | MSU

photo by Megan Bean | MSU

By Victoria Russell

Standing in a small art studio surrounded by the aroma of ink, a woman carefully loads carved and metal plates into an antique-looking machine. Beautiful prints emerge, and she handles them with care to add to the colorful display in the studio.

Three years ago Suzanne Powney, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State art department, brought the oldest method of printing to the university—the letterpress, a relief surface that is inked, then printed onto paper.

“In today’s society anyone can make a smooth print from the computer,” said Powney. “The letterpress is a learned process to make tactile designs directly with skill and dedication.”

At Mississippi State, the letterpress is specific to the graphic design program. Letterpresses are used to print textured designs, generally on invitations or posters, and these kinds of prints were common throughout the country until the 1960s when society moved to offset printing.

However, a few artists around the country saved letterpresses because of their ability to produce unique, tactile images.

Its materials are extremely rare and expensive, due to their near extinction in the 1960s, but Mississippi State is one of two universities in the state with a letterpress. Many of the wood type, metal type, linoleum carving and photopolymer plates used for the letterpress at MSU were donated by the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson. Powney allows students to develop prints using her personal collection of letterpress plates.

During the fall and spring semesters, only graphic design students may use the letterpress, but a class on letterpress techniques is offered to all students during the summer sessions. Powney also allows former students to continue using the letterpress and its plates whenever they like.

At Mississippi State, the letterpress is used for more than just grades in a classroom. This past summer, students submitted their work to a local business, The Biscuit Shop, to be used as design decorations on the walls. Students also make work to sell to the public.

“It takes creativity, patience and diligence to produce a work of art through the plates of the letterpress by combining three art processes to make a final product,” said Powney.

The art of letterpress takes time to do each process perfectly, but the skill developed and the final outcome makes it all worthwhile. Powney said that the quote in the letterpress room by non-fiction writer Scott Adams is the key to being successful with letterpress—“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

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