Two art faculty selected for Rogers exhibit

April 15th, 2015 Comments Off on Two art faculty selected for Rogers exhibit

TOP: "Mom's Last Birthday" by Marita Gootee BOTTOM: "Girl Wearing Dress" by Dominic Lippillo

TOP: “Mom’s Last Birthday” by Marita Gootee BOTTOM: “Girl Wearing Dress” by Dominic Lippillo

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State

Photographic creations by two art department faculty members at Mississippi State are part of an exhibition through June 24 at Laurel’s Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

One piece by university professor Marita Gootee and two by assistant professor Dominic Lippillo are among 60 works selected for the 2015 Mississippi Collegiate Art Faculty Juried Exhibition.

In all, more than 200 submissions were made this year by professional artists working at senior and junior levels of Mississippi institutions of higher learning. They were judged by Graham Boettcher, the Birmingham Museum of Art’s William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art.

Gootee, an Indiana State University graduate, joined the art department in 1986 and now coordinates its photography emphasis. Lippillo is an Ohio University graduate who came to MSU in 2010.

“Dom and I are proud to be selected for this exhibition, and we are excited to represent Mississippi State University in this competition,” Gootee said.

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Laurel-based law firm Gilchrist, Sumrall, Yoder and Boone, PLLC.

Located at 565 N. Fifth Avenue, the non-profit art repository has viewing hours 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. While admission is free, a $3 donation for non-member adults may be given. For more, visit or telephone 601-649-6374.

‘One Night Only’ exhibit set for Friday

April 14th, 2015 Comments Off on ‘One Night Only’ exhibit set for Friday


MSU art department announces 2015 summer camp

April 13th, 2015 Comments Off on MSU art department announces 2015 summer camp

Emily C. Koch, now a freshman art major from Ocean Springs, was among high school students taking part last year in MSU's INvision summer art camp. Photo by: Kamau Bostic

Emily C. Koch, now a freshman art major from Ocean Springs, was among high school students taking part last year in MSU’s INvision summer art camp. Photo by: Kamau Bostic

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State

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

Taking place June 5-12, the visual arts experience for students ages 16 and older–including incoming freshmen at the university–now is in its third year. It offers an enriching introductory for both specific academic programs and post-graduate career paths in the studio fields of art and design.

MSU’s art department is the longtime home of the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program.

Camp space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Applications are accepted on a first-come basis and may be obtained by contacting the department office at 662-325-2970.

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.

To learn about the department’s academic offerings, participants 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 will be discussed by professional sculptors, graphic designers, illustrators, interior designers, fashion designers, and landscape architects.

In addition to interacting with faculty members, currently enrolled majors and guest speakers, participants are housed in campus residence halls under the supervision of qualified counselors and resident advisers.

At week’s end, camper-produced works will be featured at the department’s Visual Arts Center Gallery on University Drive. Admission to the exhibit will be free to all.

Lori Neuenfeldt, coordinator for the Visual Arts Center Gallery and departmental outreach programs, said the immersion program helps expose students to familiar and unfamiliar forms of art-making while connecting them with others from around the state and region who share a love of art.

Neuenfeldt said she and her colleagues always look forward to welcoming prospective first-time students, as well as those returning for another summer experience on the Starkville campus.

“Last year was amazing,” said the art instructor who now is in her second year as INvision coordinator. “The students had a lot of fun creating stunning works of art and really discovered different forms of art and their possibilities.”

Noting that camp organizers continue to add new sections, she said this year “we are offering two photo workshops, one in digital and one alternative process. We also plan to offer a wheel throwing class where students will experience making ceramic pieces.”

For additional information about 2015 INvision, contact Neuenfeldt at 662-325-2973 or, or Nicole Jackson at 662-325-2970 or

MSU’s Fine Art thesis group to present senior exhibition, ‘Tangent’

April 9th, 2015 Comments Off on MSU’s Fine Art thesis group to present senior exhibition, ‘Tangent’



(Via thesis students)

Letting go is a process that most people find difficult. Breaking down and releasing the stress onto which we hold is a complex and frightening process. For Mississippi State University drawing major and Kosciusko native Victoria Cheek, this exchange of energy is not only an essential part of nature but part of her outlook on life. In her thesis body of artworks titled “One Indivisible Whole,” Victoria explores this process in its smallest unit and enlarges it in her mixed-media paintings, soon to be exhibited in the Department of Art Galleries in April.

With a double major in art/drawing and environmental geosciences, senior student  Cheek began her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree thesis work by collecting samples of fungi from the local Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. Using a microscope, she was able to photograph the various specimens in their natural processes of emergence, growth and decay. In nature, this transformational process is vital to the birth and growth of new life. In Cheek’s life, the cycle of ups and downs she has experienced mimics nature in this regard and allows for her own continual rebirth.

Through a technique of layering both watercolor and pastel, Cheek creates a story of extreme contrasts that is echoed from the smallest level of entropy she observed to the highest level of spiritual growth that she’s encountered. When discussing personal circumstances that have influenced her artistic expression, Cheek believes that “there is no wall of separation between the means and the end. Everything is interconnected as one indivisible whole.”

MSU’s Department of Art will present its 2015 BFA Fine Art Thesis Exhibition, “Tangent,” from April 23 – April 30. Senior Fine Art student works will be on display in three university galleries – the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall, the Colvard Student Union Art Gallery and the MSU Visual Arts Center just off of campus at 808 University Drive.

“Tangent,” a curve that comes in contact with a line but never intersects it, represents the kindred spirit of the group as well as the very individual paths each has taken. Through the exhibition, the tangential journey of the group – which consisted of the capstone, yearlong process of Fine Art research, writing, presentation and advanced studio practice – has culminated in a body of work from each senior.

A reception for the public will be held on April 23 in the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall from 5 – 6 p.m. (with student introductions at 5:45 pm) and in the Union and Visual Arts Center galleries from 6 – 7:30 pm. Food and beverages will be provided.

Molly Howell

Molly Howell

Molly Howell
Inspired by her roots in the sewing and quilting traditions of the South, Molly Howell uses thread and cloth as her painting media. According to Howell, there is a “mantra” in the process of sewing that allows her thoughts to stay focused and steady. Using the “stroke” of the needle when it makes a stitch, Howell paints with fabric. Originally from Estill Springs, Tenn., Howell will be able to further her medium this fall as she begins the Master of Fine Arts degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jacob Craig

Jacob Craig

Jacob Craig
Previously an engineering student from Gulfport, Jacob Craig battled multiple abilities and decided that his calling was in the arts. Today, Craig is a ceramicist currently intrigued with faceted, architectonic forms. Using wire tools, Craig subtracts from the hollow forms he throws in order to create dynamic, sculptural clay pieces.

Hal Boerner
A maker of nontraditional cups and handles in his ceramics emphasis, Hal Boerner has considered the idea of the vessel as a challenge to the drinker/viewer. While exploring a gamut of possibilities for hand positions, Boerner has developed a range of new and exciting vessels and handles. Designed for functionality, comfort and aesthetic puzzlement, Boerner’s pieces in his thesis are titled “Hand-le Made.” Can the viewer “handle” so many choices? Boerner’s hometown is Tupelo.

Eleanor Bailey
In an ode to classical vanitas, Eleanor Bailey began her thesis body of work in the examination and portrayal of a perfect dinner setting and has created images recording its sequential decay over time. She has found new meaning and symbolism as the death of her picturesque still life has brought forth a new, unexpected drama. Her body of work depicts her time alone as she watches the life of things in the so-called “still life.” Originally from Carnation, Wash., Bailey has been accepted to Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Md., to study medical illustration.

Zachary Kloor
Since a young age, Zachary Kloor has had a fascination with mechanical parts. In our everyday lives, we rely on cars and the ability for their parts to work together to provide dependable energy and movement. From assembly line to post-apocalyptic society, Kloor’s digital artwork will take the viewer on a journey that emphasizes his view of the symbiotic relationship between cars and humans. Kloor plans to be a digital illustrator and visual development concept artist.

Merritt La Foe
Using thick, impasto oils in high relief, art/painting major Merritt La Foe addresses relevant social issues in large-format wood panels. With human rights being in the forefront of her priorities, La Foe shows the beauty of individuals while challenging socially constructed views on gender. She presents to us a representation of individual identity that tends to be excluded in societal norms. A new definition of beauty is intimated. LaFoe is originally from Jackson and is double concentrating in both Fine Art and Graphic Design.

Thomas McBroom
“Augenblick,” or “In the blink of an eye,” is the aptly-named thesis work of art/painting major and Starkville native Thomas McBroom. McBroom leads the viewer through a visual dialog, first by showing an object and by then presenting a space for engaging the paint as it is. Rabbits are the choice of subject, as they push, pull, intertwine and inhabit their painted hutch that the viewer might travel upon and through the manipulated impasto surface. McBroom won “Best in Show” at the MS Collegiate Art Competition in 2015.

Reagan Watts
Reagan Mackenzie Watts, an art/painting major who grew up in many cities across America as a proud member of a military family, directs her focus on manipulating latex house paint in her works. By using nontraditional, mark making tools and complex paint layers, she composes nonrepresentational works that honor and highlight intrinsic paint qualities, the instrumentation of marks and how the two interact.

Alison Petro
What started out as subjective portrait making turned into a spiritual process of breaking and connecting the human form for art/painting major Alison Petro. Using only black, white and grey, the figures are depicted through many layers, starting with an under-painting, leading to over-drawing. New shapes, forms and connections are seen in an expression of human energy and spirituality. Petro is from Soso.

Bonnie Brumley
Strange lands, universal mysteries and their possibilities for phantasmal, organic objects are the inspirations behind the ceramic work of Bonnie Brumley. With functionality of the tea set hiding beneath a sculptural form, Brumley has added what she calls “a flair for the ridiculous.” The pieces themselves are created with a process that continues after the firing of the ceramic piece, allowing for change and evolution in the final result.

Anna Callaway
In observation of a society that often hashes out cookie-cutter forms of women, Anna Callaway uses her painting medium to celebrate the flaws and variations that actualize the individual. With abstractly cropped forms rendered in representational oil paintings, her works reveal what some would consider imperfections, placed front and center in the hierarchy of the composition. Callaway is dual concentrating in both Fine Art/Painting and Graphic Design. She hails from Madison.

Shelby Nichols
Growing up in the Southeast U.S., Shelby Nichols has developed a deeply rooted connection with her surrounding rural wilds. In her thesis work “A Resonance of Origin,” she examines the relationship between an artist and nature by making individually crafted tools. By harvesting her own material from the local forests, Nichols has transformed her experience with nature into the creation of working instruments. It is with these new tools that she will literally further shape her relationship with the living world, as they are used to build and form resonant ceramic artworks.

The Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall is open Monday through Friday from noon until 4 p.m. The Colvard Student Union Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The CAAD Visual Arts Center Gallery is Monday through Friday from noon until 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Lori Neuenfeldt, Department of Art gallery director, at 662-325-2970 or

Read the story on MSU’s site.

Department of Art holds reception for 43rd Student Juried Exhibition

April 7th, 2015 Comments Off on Department of Art holds reception for 43rd Student Juried Exhibition

A special category at the juried exhibit allowed visitors to vote on their favorite work. This year's People's Choice Award went to Lorianna Livingston for "The Pines" (photo:Lori Neuenfeldt)

A special category at the juried exhibit allowed visitors to vote on their favorite work. This year’s People’s Choice Award went to Lorianna Livingston for “The Pines” (photo:Lori Neuenfeldt)

A reception for the 43rd MSU Student Juried Exhibition was held on March 26 in the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall.

This year, 170 works were selected consisting of sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, mixed media, graphic design, typography and package designs.

The work was selected for the exhibit by two jurors outside of the university.

Kevin O’Brien, Fine Art. Kevin O’Brien is executive director of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art. He brings 30 years of experience in museums and cultural organizations to the OOMA. Prior to joining OOMA, O’Brien served as executive director of the Montgomery County Historical Society, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and the Key West Art and Historical Society.  O’Brien’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Tulane University. He is married to artist Grace Benedict.

Kristin Moses, Graphic Design. Kristin Moses is a designer and entrepreneur with over 16 years of using design to help people succeed. Ten years ago she co-founded an award-winning agency where she built many lasting client relationships. In 2013 she launched this new professional and personal endeavor in Austin, Texas. DesignGood is a website dedicated to designers and creatives who are doing good in the world. DesignGood Studio is how she continues to help companies create and re-launch their brands.

The show will remain up until April 10. Gallery hours in the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall are Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment.

We would like to thank all of the sponsors and supporters of the Department of Art programs and students:
President & Mrs. Mark Keenum
Dr. Jerome Gilbert, Provost, MSU
Jim West, Dean, CAAD
Dr. Thomas Bourgeois and the Office of Student Affairs
DPM Fragrance
Barnes and Noble Bookstore
BluFish Design Studio
Chalet Arts
Department of Art Advisory Board
Friends of the Noxubee Refuge
Mississippi Museum of Art
Mount Vision Pastels
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine
RGH Artists’ Oil Paints
Starkville Area Arts Council
Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge
Mississippi Arts Commission

Department of Art student Ty Barnes designed the first through third place Juror Awards and People’s Choice Award for this year’s juried exhibit. Barnes constructed each award out of steel with an oak base. Barnes is a graduating Fine Art major concentrating in sculpture.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Fine Art Juror Awards
Place – Ty Barnes, America, America
Second Place – Lucia Arellano, Luz Aurora
Third Place – Catherine Remington, Striped Chair
Honorable Mention #1 – Hal Boerner, Yogi Pint
Honorable Mention #2 – Kierre Dawkins, Portrait

Graphic Design Juror Awards
First Place
– Cameron McMaster, Gaslight Anthem Gig Poster
Second Place – Lauren Blalock, Lost Identity Package Design
Third Place – Lorianna Livingston, Spiked Apple Chardonnay Identity & Packaging
Honorable Mention #1 – Anna Callaway, Busy Bee Campaign
Honorable Mention #2 – Shannon Acker, Suzy Bishop Identity & Stationary
Honorable Mention #3 – Joe Cain, Fox Socks Brand & Packaging
Honorable Mention #4 – Stephanie Travis, Bumbershoot Music Festival Poster
Honorable Mention #5 – Mickenzie Robbins, To Kill A Mockingbird Book Cover 

Sponsor Awards
BluFish Design Studio Graphic Design Award
– Mickenzie Robbins, To Kill A Mockingbird Book Cover
Chalet Outstanding Fine Art Senior Award – Thomas McBroom
DPM Fragrance Product Packaging Award – Joe Cain, Fox Socks Brand & Packaging
Starkville Area Arts Council Fine Art Award – Ronnie Brook Robinson, Capitulate 2
RGH Artists’ Paint Award – Austin Grove, Self Portrait
Mount Vision Pastel Award – Lorianna Livingston, Orange

Purchase Prizes
CAAD Dean’s Purchase Prizes:
Lorianna Livingston, Visiting Emily 1
Allison Berler, Of Monsters
Bonnie Brumley, Growth
Reagan Watts, Bird’s Eye                

Office of Student Affairs Dean’s Purchase Prizes:
Dominique Belcher, The Red Balloon
Austin Grove, Self-Portrait
Daniel Jackson, Bill Murray
Mark Slawson, Holy Anointed! Holy Longed!
Robert Layne Smith, Twist Ending

Recent Awards and Scholarships of Special Recognition
2015 Grahame Brook Snider Travel Photography Award
– Zach Boozer
2015 Jefferson Clarke Wilson Memorial Award for Excellence in Photography – Brennan Crosby
Donovan Dodd Award for Excellence in Ceramic Art – Michael Wilkerson
MSU Student Scholarship from Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Colorado – Shelby Nichols
Undergraduate MSU-Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge Artist in Residence – Shelby Nichols

EXPRESS Yourself! exhibit celebrates creative diversity

April 6th, 2015 Comments Off on EXPRESS Yourself! exhibit celebrates creative diversity

Judy Duncan of MSU's T.K. Martin Center works with Thalamus Brown, an EXPRESS Yourself program participant, to create a painting. Photo by: Megan Bean

Judy Duncan of MSU’s T.K. Martin Center works with Thalamus Brown, an EXPRESS Yourself program participant, to create a painting. Photo by: Megan Bean

By Sasha Steinberg | MSU

Mississippi State’s T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability will present a collaborative exhibit Thursday [April 9] in the Martha Lipsey Art Gallery.

Open to all, the 5:30-7:00 p.m. event titled “Express Ourselves: An Exhibit of Creative Diversity” will feature creations by participants in the center’s EXPRESS Yourself program, as well as the university’s colleges of Architecture, Art and Design and Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Art students will create a ‘Soul’ portrait of the EXPRESS Yourself artists, while floral design students will prepare a flower arrangement to complement each painting. Interior design students also are designing a seating and lighting project to be paired with the art.

The Martha Lipsey Art Gallery was established as a memorial to the Yazoo City native and former member of the EXPRESS Yourself program who died in 2008. Using Artistic Realization Technologies techinques, the program provides a creative outlet for severely disabled individuals to express themselves through art.

An acronym for EXperiencing Painting as Recreation and Express the Sprit within YourSelf, the program is funded in part by the Mississippi Arts Commission, as well as sales of artists’ paintings and merchandise.

Regular gallery hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, as well as by appointment.

Additional information on the “Express Ourselves” exhibit is available from Judy Duncan at 662-325-1028 or

Named for MSU’s late vice president who led in making the university more accessible to those with physical challenges, the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability provides comprehensive, multi-disciplinary evaluations to remove limitations through the application of assistive technology, allowing individuals to participate in educational, vocational and leisure activities to the fullest degree they choose.

Learn more about the center at; its EXPRESS Yourself! Art program at

Well-known cartoonist, graphic novelist McCloud speaks at MSU

April 2nd, 2015 Comments Off on Well-known cartoonist, graphic novelist McCloud speaks at MSU

(photos by Megan Bean | Mississippi State)

An internationally recognized visual communication authority with more than three decades of professional comic-making experience recently spoke at Mississippi State.

Scott McCloud’s presentation, “Comics and the Art of Visual Communication,” was part of the university’s 2014-15 Institute for the Humanities Distinguished Lecture Series.

Following the presentation, McCloud signed copies of his new graphic novel, “The Sculptor.” Published by First Second Books, it has been recognized by Booklist as “…a work of stunning, timeless graphic literature.” For more, see

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