Department of Art announces 2017-2018 scholarship recipients

June 15th, 2017 Comments Off on Department of Art announces 2017-2018 scholarship recipients

The Mississippi State University Department of Art has awarded the following scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year:

Beverly B. Gulmon Memoria Scholarship: $3,000

  • Savannah Alley, incoming freshman
  • Hannah Bewley, incoming freshman
  • Elaina Hart, incoming freshman

Ferretti/Karnstedt Endowed Scholarship: $1,500

  • Shannon Shepherd, senior 
  • Jeffery Daniel, senior

Ashley DuBoise Endowed Photography Scholarship: $1,000

  • Jeffery Daniel, senior

The Del Rendon Endowed Art Scholarship: $1,500

  • Carly Melton, senior
  • Bhakti Patel, incoming freshman

Tramel Memorial Endowed Scholarship: $1,000

  • Phoebe Fitzgerald, senior
  • Matthew Rogers, senior

Van Bristow Memorial Endowed Scholarship: $800

  • Gerald Wicks, senior

William Pittman Andrews Endowed Scholarship: $1,000

  • Sarah Steen, incoming freshman


Artist’s ‘Stark Vegas’ design steps into spotlight

June 12th, 2017 Comments Off on Artist’s ‘Stark Vegas’ design steps into spotlight

Photo by: Sarah Dutton/The Columbus Dispatch

By Slim Smith | The Columbus Dispatch

Sports Center has a little — and in some cases a lot of — just about everything when it comes to sports apparel. 

The sprawling retail store at Highway 12 and Louisville Street in Starkville even has its own resident artist. 

It might not be the future Evelyn Collins imagined when she graduated from Starkville Academy and headed to college, first at East Mississippi and later at Mississippi State, where she earned with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, but her job at Sports Center fulfills her creative urges. 

“When I went to Mississippi State, I really wanted to major in graphic design,” said Collins, 25. “But I couldn’t get in, so rather than wait a year to get a spot, I decided to major in fine arts, painting. I’m still not painting or doing a lot of graphic design, but this job does give me a chance to use my creative energy.” 

For the past 18 months, Collins has worked in the store’s custom apparel department, creating logos or incorporating existing logos into designs for a range of apparel — everything from team jerseys and uniforms to golf shirts embellished with company logos. 

She’s designed or adapted all sorts of logos for all sorts of clothing. 

But she never really thought about socks. 

Who thinks about socks, right? 

Well, Andrew Tyler, for one. 

Tyler, the store’s shoe manager, has been with Sports Center since it opened in 2009. He speaks with remarkable enthusiasm about the shoes and the shoe-related products he sells. 

So, when Tyler received a notice about a design/marketing contest being staged by Balega, a leading line of high-tech running socks, he immediately thought of Collins. 

“I showed it to her and told her she might be interested,” Tyler said. 

For Collins, it was a chance to measure her creative chops against designers from across the country. 

Noting the judging would be held on the Balega Facebook page, she figured she would need a design that would be instantly recognizable. 

For someone who grew up in the shadows of MSU, a thought immediately came to her mind: Stark Vegas. 

“Stark Vegas has really kind of taken off,” Collins said. “You see it everywhere, so I thought using it on my design would be something people would respond to.” 

Her design was simple, minimalist — the word “STARK VEGAS” embroidered on the inside heel of the sock. The power of the phrase took over from there. 

“They picked 20 finalists out of hundreds of entries,” Collins said. “My design made that cut. Balega then put 10 designs up on its page one week for people to pick out their favorite, then put the other 10 up on the page. When it was over, I was one of the four winning designs. Pretty cool.” 

As a reward for its efforts, Balega sent 250 pairs of Collins’ “Stark Vegas” socks to Sports Center. 

“We’re probably the only place in the world you can buy them,” Tyler said. “We’ve already sold 30 pairs in just the few weeks we’ve had them.” 

Along with the bragging rights, Collins also got a $600 check. 

“I wish I could say I spent it on something cool,” she said, laughing. “I spent it all on bills.

Department of Art invites alumni to participate in 50th Anniversary Exhibit

June 8th, 2017 Comments Off on Department of Art invites alumni to participate in 50th Anniversary Exhibit

The Mississippi State University Department of Art invites all past alumni to submit works for the 50th Anniversary Alumni Exhibition.

The exhibition is open to all alumni with a degree from the MSU Department of Art (BFA, MFA, BS or BA). All media is eligible: ceramics, drawing, graphic design (branding campaigns, packaging etc.), illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and electronic media. 

Works will be reviewed and selected by invited juror Wesley Stuckey, designer, printmaker, educator and fellow MSU alumnus! One Best in Show winner will be selected and invited for a future solo exhibition at one of the MSU Department of Art Galleries.

The MSU Alumni Exhibition will be located in the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery, MSU Welcome Center, next to Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

Important dates:

  • Submission Deadline October 1, 2017
  • Judging the month of October
  • Notifications sent in November
  • Accepted works postmarked to MSU Galleries by December 16, 2017
  • Exhibition opens late January 2018

For full details visit:

Photographs by recent MSU art graduate accepted into national exhibitions

June 8th, 2017 Comments Off on Photographs by recent MSU art graduate accepted into national exhibitions

“Water Weight,” a digital image by Mississippi State art/photography and graphic design graduate Ronnie B. Robinson of West Point. (Submitted photo/courtesy of Ronnie Robinson)

“Love Me Love Me Not,” a digital image by Mississippi State art/photography and graphic design graduate Ronnie B. Robinson of West Point. (Submitted photo/courtesy of Ronnie Robinson)

“Girl with Horns,” a multi-paneled cyanotype photogram by Mississippi State art/photography and graphic design graduate Ronnie B. Robinson of West Point. (Submitted photo/courtesy of Ronnie Robinson)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Photographic creations by a May graduate of Mississippi State’s College of Architecture, Art and Design have been accepted into two national exhibitions.

Created by MSU Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate Ronnie B. Robinson of West Point, a multi-paneled cyanotype photogram titled “Girl with Horns” was accepted into “she,” a national exhibition at the Smith Gallery in Johnson, Texas.

On display through June 11, the exhibition was juried by award-winning New York photographer Kat Kiernan, whose photographic narratives have been featured in various publications including “Fraction Magazine” and “F-Stop Magazine.”

Additionally, two of Robinson’s digital images were accepted earlier this spring in the 2017 Midwest Center for Photography Juried Exhibition in Wichita, Kansas.

Titled “Love Me Love Me Not” and “Water Weight,” the works are part of Robinson’s narrative-based photographic series, “Play Nice, Dearie,” which 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.”

With academic concentrations in photography and graphic design, Robinson has been guided 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.

“While Ronnie’s work explores different techniques and processes, the images selected for these exhibitions share a common thread exploring issues dealing with the pressures young women face as they grow up,” Lippillo said.

“The way Ronnie is able to utilize many different processes shows her diversity as a photo-based artist. I am extremely proud of her drive to exhibit her work, and I cannot wait to see where her photographs are exhibited next,” Lippillo added.

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. 

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Graphic design student to bike across country raising funds, awareness for cancer

June 6th, 2017 Comments Off on Graphic design student to bike across country raising funds, awareness for cancer

Beth Wynn | Mississippi State University

Via | Our People

Heather Hardman wanted to spend her last summer before graduation “doing something bigger than herself.”

In her search, the Mississippi State graphic design senior stumbled upon the 4K for Cancer website. The program allows 18-25 year olds the opportunity to give and get support within the cancer community as they bike or run 4,000 plus miles across the country.

Now part of Team Seattle in the program, Hardman joined 24 other college students in Baltimore, Maryland, this week.  Together, they are biking across the country (through sites such as the Appalachian Mountains, Lakes Michigan and Chicago, the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore and the Olympic National Park), and plan to end their journey in Seattle in mid-August.

Hardman and her teammates will be raising funds and awareness for cancer along the way, visiting treatment centers and delivering scholarships. They will dedicate days of the journey to people they know who have battled cancer by writing these names on their legs. Hardman has had friends and family members who have had cancer, as well as her childhood figure skating coach. (See her dedication list here.)

The graphic design student has taken on several additional roles for the trip.

She was part of the committee that designed the team jerseys.

“I think we rotate out three all summer,” she laughed. “Hopefully there will be laundry facilities at some of our host sites.”

And, some of that responsibility is on her. As a leg leader, she was in charge of finding hosts (lodging and food) for twelve of the cities they will stop in – all around 50-100 miles apart.

“It was easier than I thought it would be to find people willing to help,” she said. “Anytime I called a church or others who have helped in the past, they have been so welcoming.”

Hardman won’t have much time to relax at these stops, though; she is social media coordinator for her team and will be blogging about the experience at She will keep an updated map with her team’s current location and post photos and details from each day.

She is excited about the journey – getting to know this group of like-minded students, exploring new states and pushing herself to the limit – all for a good cause.

Read more and see how you can donate here:

Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence honors faculty graduates at MSU

June 1st, 2017 Comments Off on Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence honors faculty graduates at MSU

More than a dozen MSU faculty members are new graduates of a summer program designed to help them better incorporate writing strategies into class assignments. They include (front, l-r) Joanne Beriswill, Brian Counterman, Martha Barton, Kenya McKinley, Kim Smith and Gail Kopetz; (back, l-r) LaShan Simpson, Lesley Strawderman, Christine Cord, Jeffrey Haupt, Robert Green and Byron Williams. Not pictured is Holli Seitz. (Photo by Megan Bean)

By Allison Matthews | Mississippi State University

More than a dozen Mississippi State faculty members are new graduates of the university’s Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence program.

Now in its fifth year, the three-week intensive institute trains teachers from a variety of university departments to modify course syllabi to incorporate more writing-to-learn strategies into class assignments.

The professional development program is part of “Maroon & Write,” the university’s quality enhancement plan—QEP, for short—to improve undergraduate writing and learning skills across all colleges, curricula and class levels. The QEP is required to maintain accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

As part of the 30-plus hour workshop held this month, participants read a variety of theory-related literature selections and took part in activities such as journaling, free-writing, peer-evaluation and reflective essay development. They will incorporate many of the activities they learned into the respective courses they teach throughout the academic year.

In addition to teaching one course that incorporates writing-to-learn techniques and a formal writing component, MIWE graduates will continue interacting with the QEP staff throughout the school year for ongoing support.

“We ask a lot of our faculty participants. They learn new strategies for incorporating writing in their classes and they challenge their pre-existing ideas about how writing assignments and student engagement can and should work in their classes,” said Deborah Lee, who co-directs the Maroon & Write QEP with English Instructor Ann Spurlock. “The faculty who are chosen for participation in the MIWE are committed to enhancing their skills as a teacher and care passionately about their students’ success.”

“Working with such dedicated faculty is truly an honor,” Lee added.

LaShan Simpson, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, will apply enhanced writing-to-learn concepts this fall in her biomedical materials course for upperclassmen.

“A lot of classes already have writing components, such as the term paper, but I’ve learned to incorporate writing in small instances earlier in the semester,” Simpson said.

She explained that the concept of “scaffolding writing” allows students to start out with smaller writing assignments and build up to larger papers, gaining feedback for drafts along the way.

“This program has put me back in the role of student, and I’ve been able to test out the free writing and informal writing myself before having my students do it this fall,” she said.

Robert Green, undergraduate coordinator for the Bagley College of Engineering, said he has always given writing assignments as part of his engineering administration course, but he has been interested in making assignments more effective.

“This year my students will be working on a white paper, similar to what professionals would prepare for their bosses,” he said.

In recognition of their participation, graduates received a commemorative framed certificate, T-shirt and portfolio embossed with the Maroon and Write program’s logo.

In addition to Simpson and Green, this year’s MIWE summer graduates and the writing-to-learn courses they’ll be teaching during the upcoming academic year include (alphabetically):

—Martha Barton, instructor of biological sciences teaching special topics in biological sciences.

—Joanne Beriswill, assistant professor of instructional systems and workforce development teaching graphics and web design.

—Christine Cord, postdoctoral associate in food science, nutrition and health promotion teaching food law.

—Brian Counterman, associate professor of biological sciences teaching population genetics.

—Jeffrey Haupt, professor of art teaching painting survey.

—Gail Kopetz, instructor of music teaching foundations of music education.

—Kenya McKinley, assistant professor of sociology teaching social work with communities and organizations.

—Holli Seitz, assistant professor of communication teaching elements of persuasion.

—Kim Smith, instructor of curriculum, instruction and special education teaching middle level literacy.

—Lesley Strawderman, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering teaching industrial ergonomics.

—Byron Williams, assistant professor of computer science and engineering teaching software architecture and design paradigms.

Learn more about MIWE and Maroon and Write QEP at, and

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

See the story in The Starkville Daily News.

From the Gallery – May 2017

June 1st, 2017 Comments Off on From the Gallery – May 2017

Mississippi State University Department of Art Gallery Director Lori Neuenfeldt talks with Professor of Biological Sciences Diana Outlaw. Outlaw discusses a special project dealing with photography by autistic children. An exhibit of this work will be on display through July in the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery.

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